Regular readers of Mark Steyn will not be unfamiliar with his central points in America Alone: The End of the World As We Know It:
1) In the ongoing conflict between the West and Islam, both the demographics and the will to power favor the Islamist’s. That a country like Spain, with a birth rate of 1.15 children per adult women, will extinguish itself in a few generations, while immigrants from countries such as Pakistan (birth rate 4.53) will move in to fill the vacuum.
2) That as an aggressive, unassimilated minority edges closer to a majority (as in France, with an estimated 30% Muslim population in the under 20 age group), the character of the democratic institutions will become more closely aligned with Islamic law and culture.
3) That the post-Christian welfare state is largely to blame for the pessimism and failures of will demonstrated by Europe.
4) That America represents the primary exception to this trend, if only by degree, and that only a concerted effort to save United States stands a chance of reversing these trends.
That’s a reasonable précis of Steyn’s book, and he is certainly not unique in either his diagnosis or his prescription for the West. What sets this apart is his writing.
The argument is made in a way that is the most engrossing and entertaining presentation of these ideas I’ve ever read.
Steyn, as part of his superhuman writing regimen, is the obituarist for The Atlantic Monthly, and he puts that talent on display. This is not just a description of a set of demographic realities, but a loving, if premature (he hopes), obituary to a dying great culture. It’s Steyn’s ability to blend humor with the terminal diagnosis that sets him apart.