Illiberal Europe

The Brussels Journal has a chilling article on the way in which free speech is being systematically stifled in Europe:

It is said that free societies are stronger than oppressive societies. This is probably true. However, in the West at the beginning of the 21st century, formal and informal censorship of important issues has become rampant. Without freedom of speech, democracy cannot function. The West is weak because it is no longer free…

Gerard Alexander warns against what he calls “illiberal Europe,” by which he means the dramatic expansion of laws to sanction speech that “incites hatred” against groups based on their religion, race or ethnicity. Such laws have been passed in Western European nations since the 1970s. “The real danger posed by Europe’s speech laws is not so much guilty verdicts as an insidious chilling of political debate, as people censor themselves in order to avoid legal charges and the stigma and expense they bring.”

If there’s a theme that’s been running through this blog for some time now, it’s the importance of civil society. The law, important as it is, isn’t what holds society together. Traditions, shared values, culture, all of those are the mortar that binds society into a cohesive whole. When a society loses that sense of shared culture anarchy is the result – see much of the history of the Balkans, Lebanon, or Somalia. The common thread that runs through societal problems from those here at home to those threatening to tear the Middle East apart is the degeneration of civil society.

Europe is facing a loss of its own cultural identity due to a deadly combination of massive immigration and multiculturalist nihilism. Those factors threaten to turn Europe into Eurabia – a culture barely willing to defend itself can be easily overturned by an ideology that is innately expansionist, as radicalized Islam is.

Europe’s attempt to solve this problem has involved suppressing it under a web of speech codes, and laws against “hate.” Part of that is natural – Germany bans neo-Nazi speech along with speech deemed hostile to Muslims – and given Germany’s bloody history, there’s a good reason why the German government is fearful of hateful ideologies. The problem is that such a strategy doesn’t work – there’s plenty of hate across Europe, including anti-Semitism. In fact, anti-Semitism is probably as rampant as it was before the Second World War, except now hatred of Israel gives it a veneer of respectability.

Europe’s long slide is a warning to the US – we’re next. The same factors which are plaguing Europe could easily establish themselves on our shores. The rise in speech codes, the multiculturalist ideology, a lack of assimilation, all of those problems are our problems as well as Europe. The biggest difference may be that the US doesn’t have an increasingly radicalized population on our borders as Europe does with North Africa and the Middle East. Just imagine if instead of Hispanics (who share much of our Westernized cultural background) streaming into our borders it were radicalized North Africans. Our problems would be as great as Europe’s if not even worse.

There’s nothing wrong with immigration, but unless immigration is controlled and immigrants are assimilated into society, you get situations like the banlieues of Paris in which a mass of unassimilated, unemployed, and angry youths cause continual trouble. Europe’s attempt to deal with these problems are only making them worse, and unless European politicians are willing to set multiculturalism aside and fight back against the radicalization of their Islamic immigrants, the very fabric of European society could be unraveled from the inside out.

2 thoughts on “Illiberal Europe

  1. >>When a society loses that sense of shared culture anarchy is the result – see much of the history of the Balkans, Lebanon, or Somalia.

  2. Hey, what happened to my post? There should be more than just two lines of text – which are only copied from Jay’s post! Or am I the only one who sees just a crippled version?

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