When last we spoke of Mr. Steyn, the subject was the out-populating of western pluralist liberals such as myself by adamantly non-pluralist illiberal groups. Chapter Two, entitled "Going...Going....Gone," Steyn's argument is that to believe with all your might that the unassimilated and fertile young will one day take up their (ahem) cross and support you in your age is to ignore the obvious. The Spanish election results in March 2003 clearly marked the Spanish populace's position: as Steyn puts it, "We apologize for catching your eye." That Theo van Gogh could be brutally murdered in the street and the outcry concerning the culturally insensitive subjects of his movie-making could actually be used, if not to justify, then at least to rationalize the manner of his death - farce. Let me quote a paragraph in its entirety:
In June 2006, a fifty-four-year-old Flemish train conductor called Guido Demoor got on the number 23 bus in Antwerp to go to work. Six - what's that word again? - "youths" boarded the bus and commenced intimidating the other riders. There were some forty passengers aboard. But the "youths" were youthful and the other passengers less so. Nonetheless, Mr. Demoor asked the lads to cut it out and so they turned on him, thumping and kicking him. Of those forty other passengers, none intervened to help the man under attack. Instead, at the next stop, thirty of the forty scrammed, leaving Mr. Demoor to be beaten to death. Three "youths" were arrested, and proved to be - quelle surprise! - of Moroccan origin. The ringleader escaped and, despite police assurances of complete confidentiality, of those forty passengers only four came forward to speak to investigators. "You see what happens if you intervene," a fellow rail worker told the Belgian newspaper De Morgen. "If Guido had not opened his mouth he would still be alive."
Wait - I've got to include two more sentences:
No, he wouldn't. He would be as dead as those forty passengers are, as the Belgian state is, keeping his head down, trying not to make eye contact, cowering behind his newspaper in the corner seat and hoping just to be left alone.
The so-inclined reader will no doubt glom onto that first paragraph as "further" "evidence" of racism by a non-voting Rethug. But that's not it at all. The point Steyn makes is that "youths" are young; their victims, or their neighbors if they're just ordinary "youths" rather than violent criminals, are older. As he notes, the ten percent of France that is Muslim is significantly skewed younger (more like 45% of the under-twenty crowd in the major cities), which makes cultural assimilation absolutely vital to the future of French society as it is generally understood. Let me say it another way, to be utterly clear: I don't give a hoot whether 45%, or 65%, of all of France visits a mosque rather than a church or synagogue (or, more likely, a café), and their country of origin is even less important, provided that that 45% (or 65%) buys into the kernel of Western civilization that makes us liberal and pluralist: individual, natural rights that are only affirmed, not granted, by government.