"Europe is going to disappear"

How Kierkegaard must have sounded while speaking is plainly evident in this segment from a Danish television program featuring Mark Steyn. Steyn was in Copenhagen to accept the Sappho Prize, which has further raised suspicions about his homosexuality. Steyn has repeatedly denied that the award has anything to do with being gay, insisting that it is granted annually by The Free Press Society. Two years ago the recipient was Kurt Westergaard, who now lives under the constant threat of murder for drawing those famous cartoons of Muhammad, so Steyn is in good company.

The interview is conducted in English and is very good; host Kurt Strand presses Steyn (pronunciation here is perilously close to “Stain”) about some of his remarks on demographic trends and the future of European political culture. In short, if you want to skip the video: not good. Depressingly so. Europe is in the midst of a prolonged spiritual crisis that does not bode well at all for the rest of us, inheritors of the European tradition.

On a more positive note, I think Eurpopean television – or at least Danish television – looks a whole lot better than American television. The set is nicer, the host is well groomed, yet casual, and the camera movement between the two speakers is subtle rather than distracting. And it’s all mercifully free of ridiculous graphics that Letterman used to lampoon so well.

Just one reason why we still need Europe.


  1. "There is a huge hole in the heart of where European culture used to be."

    Steyn has it exactly right. I only speak as a native (expatriate) Briton, but that country is done. They have completely and wholeheartedly repudiated everything that *was* England – the backbone of their heritage has been ripped out.

    "What is there for Muslims to assimilate to?" Quite so: Nothing. And there is no going back now because the English don't marry; they don't reproduce; and they believe in nothing. That is anti-culture.

  2. I think Steyn is wrong to lament the death of cultural nationalism. European identity is based on liberal democratic values. The banning of the Burka and minarets is mistaken. But unless theocratic Muslims become the majority in Europe, I don't see any great danger. If Muslims did become the majority, the more militant might not feel the need to to assert their identity in such radical, and anti Western, ways.

    At one point in the interview, I thought he was nuts, but can't now remember which bit – though he's less cynical, in the sense of being more serious, than I had thought.

    You like him because he has red hair.

  3. Jonathan Webb says

    Yes, I too like him because he is a fellow Sappho Prize winner and has sexy red hair, but I don't see any sign that he's wrong about the death of cultural nationalism. Especially if you judge by treacly British movies like "Love Actually" and "Harry Brown" , or by the ascendence of far right parties recently. Your obsequious muslim students may not be as tolerant as you think if they have the majority. They just might be good at telling you what you want to hear.

    Great, great interview. The absence of graphics might be the next wave. Like Chile Palmer's mini-van.

    I wish Steyn were President. Thanks Quin.

  4. I didn't say he was wrong about the death of cultural nationalism, but wrong to lament it, because it has, heopefully, is being replaced by a civic nationalism, based around respect for liberal democracy and loyalty to the state.

    Muslims can assimilate to capitalism, which will mean men and women getting educated and going out to work, having fewer babies, the pink pound, no going to mosque on Fridays, etc, which many, certainly Middle Class, British muslims already subscribe to.

  5. cubeland mystic says

    "loyalty to the state"

    Anonymous, Interesting phrase. What does that mean exactly?

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