Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Alas, Europe

Via The Anchoress. A short but deep reflection on the meaning of Europe by David Warren.


The recent riots in France remind me how quickly Europe is receding, in historical time; how completely its civilization has been undermined; how much is irretrievably lost. European Imperialism is retrospectively derided, but it was a manifestation of a European mission -- to civilize and Christianize all human life; to bring the light of Europe to every dark, pagan, and barbarous enclave. It is that light which is now mostly extinguished, just where it once blazed most brightly.

The cynicism that emerged in memoirs of the Western Front, gave colour to the literature and art of the 1920s, gave birth in turn, as I’ve come to think, to that nihilist “spirit of postmodernism”. But this cynicism was not without plenty of precedent in the decadence of Europe before the Great War; and in the loss of Christian faith that had already cracked Europe’s ruling classes. After a century adrift, we find a Europe which itself has gone pagan again, and is returning to barbarity.

As the 20th century progressed, we saw two great ideological manifestations of an Atheism inconceivable to the European past -- respectively Communism, and Nazism. Together they committed horrors on such a scale, as to cause a partial recoil into belief. I’ve come to think the recovery of “traditional Christianity”, “family values”, the birth rate, and so forth -- phenomena we associate with the 1950s -- was only a response to that. At the core, Europe was mortally wounded, and the birth rates quickly fell again, to what they’d been in the 1920s and ’30s, and then lower still. The 1950s were, on this view, like the hesitation of the suicide on the brink. He shrinks for a moment, then makes his final leap.

Soon, the average age in Europe will be beyond childbearing. Among non-Muslim Europeans, in probably already is. We can no longer dream of a recovery. Europe has leapt. New immigrants are taking possession of the continent, transforming it, as in the "Dark Ages". Rome will be sacked again, in due course.

America is not Europe, as Sicily was not Greece in the ancient world. We carried the ideals of Europe to the West, over ocean, and settled a new land. North America today is semi-detached, could survive alone. Christianity remains quite alive here, often in novel, evangelical forms; Catholic order begins to reappear; and yet much of North America -- “Blue State” and Great White North -- seems determined to follow Europe into the abyss, by denying its Christian identity, and embracing the great zero of "multiculturalism". Atheism, in America, has claimed its millions of corpses through the discreet operation of the abortuaries.


Then realize, that Europe did not create Christianity. Christianity created Europe. And will create new Europes, wherever its living seed may fall. Christendom is simply moving -- to Africa, to Asia, to the Americas perhaps; to wherever Christ is wanted, and away from where He is not.

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