Friday, October 22, 2010

Mark Steyn, Self-plagiarism

Seems Mark Steyn is trying to drum up some publicity for his book.
In Maclean's he writes: "If Heather Reisman carries on boycotting me…"

Response from Sorya Gaulin, vice-president, public relations, Indigo:
“It is regrettable that Mr. Steyn doesn't acknowledge that he wrote his Maclean's piece even though his Canadian sales representative had fully informed him of his book's reorder status… one has to admire Mr. Steyn's self-promoting efforts… an accusation of "boycott" is a serious allegation and one should not be able to make it just to create buzz and sell more books.”

It’s worth noting again the remarkable recycling which occurs both between articles and in regard to his book, America Alone. 


And it's worth considering Steyn’s views on copyright (in response to an attribution error):

The CJC printed the whole thing...Therefore, simply as a point of Canadian law, the CJC is the publisher… you published it; you own it. In British Commonwealth copyright law, you said it … whether he reprinted it legally or illegally, he’s the publisher….”
And on his website: “There are no links to the originating publications... They're simply cut'n'pasted… from The Toronto Star, Canadian Press.... Does the CJC obtain permission from the copyright owners before republishing this material? Canada has an unusually strong copyright law with statutory penalties of between $500 and $20,000 per infringement”.

 The first 360 words or so of America Alone’s prologue had appeared earlier in the Chicago Sun Times (as noted here). Indeed, most of book appears to be recycled material from various columns (which would be fine, were he to acknowledge it).  It's the extent of the practice and the method that are interesting though.  From 900 word chunks to single sentences, previous writing is re-arranged and re-purposed.

Granted, changes must be made when re-using old text; ‘last week’ might become ‘four years ago’. American substitutes are found for British locations, like the 560 word chunk from the UK Spectator where “a cul-de-sac in Pinner” becomes a “Westchester County” cul-de-sac. “Britannia” might become “America”. In a 700 word section from a 2003 Telegraph article, “These islands” becomes the “developed world”, and cities may have to swap places.

Example: a 2007 New York Sun column contains parts of three different articles that had appeared earlier in the Telegraph, Maclean’s, and the National Post. Here are three versions of just part of the Telegraph bit, which also appeared in America Alone, with minor changes at the end:

UK Telegraph, 2005:
…a fellow in Marseilles is being charged with fraud because he lived with the dead body of his mother for five years in order to continue receiving her pension of 700 euros a month.
She was 94 when she croaked, so she'd presumably been enjoying the old government cheque for a good three decades or so, but her son figured he might as well keep the money rolling in until her second century and, with her corpse tucked away under a pile of rubbish in the living room, the female telephone voice he put on for the benefit of the social services office was apparently convincing enough. As the Reuters headline put it: "Frenchman lived with dead mother to keep pension."
That's the perfect summation of Europe: welfare addiction over demographic reality. Think of Germany as that flat in Marseilles, and Mr Schröder's government as the stiff, and the country's many state benefits as that French bloke's dead mum's benefits…

America Alone, 2006, page 112-113:
A fellow in Marseilles was charged with fraud because he lived with the dead body of his mother for five years in order to continue receiving her pension of 700 euros a month.
She was ninety-four when she croaked, so she'd presumably been enjoying the old government check for a good three decades or so, but her son figured he might as well keep the money rolling in until her second century and, with her corpse tucked away under a pile of rubbish in the living room, the female telephone voice he put on for the benefit of the social services office was apparently convincing enough. As the Reuters headline put it: "Frenchman Lived with Dead Mother to Keep Pension."
That's the perfect summation of Europe: welfare addiction over demographic reality. Think of the European Union as that flat in Marseilles, and the Eutopian political consensus as the stiff, and lavish government largesse as that French guy’s dead mom's benefits…

New York Sun, 2007:
A fellow in Marseilles was charged with fraud because he lived with the dead body of his mother for five years in order to continue receiving her pension of 700 euros a month.
She was 94 when she croaked, so she'd presumably been enjoying the old government check for a good three decades or so, but her son figured he might as well keep the money rolling in until her second century and, with her corpse tucked away under a pile of rubbish in the living room, the female telephone voice he put on for the benefit of the social services office was apparently convincing enough. As the Reuters headline put it: "Frenchman Lived With Dead Mother To Keep Pension."
Think of France as that flat in Marseilles, and its economy as the dead mother, and the country's many state benefits as monsieur's deceased mom's benefits.
***
So that Marseilles flat could be Germany, France, Europe - or Spain or Canada next time. With at least three versions so far, Steyn’s making money off that corpse too.
There are lots of changes like that. Credit to other authors disappears as well; about 700 words of one National Review article is recycled, but a reference to G.K. Chesterton gets lost. Here, Steyn deletes credit to Rod Liddle from about 400 words recycled from the Spectator:
Spectator 2005: “My colleague Rod Liddle writes elsewhere in these pages about the media’s strange reluctance to use the M-word vis-à-vis the rioting ‘youths’. I’m sure he’s received, as I have, plenty of emails arguing that there’s no Islamist component, they’re not the madrasa crowd, they may be Muslim but they’re secular and Westernised and into drugs…”
America Alone 2006: “When I pointed out the media’s strange reluctance to use the M-word vis-à-vis the rioting “youths”, I received a ton of emails arguing there’s no Islamist component, they’re not the madrasa crowd, they may be Muslim but they’re secular and Westernized and into drugs…”


The New York Sun article from which the example above was taken contains other overlaps:

The Shortest of Honeymoons New York Sun, 2007:
…the trap in which the political class is caught. The fall 2005 rioters were "youths" (ie Muslims from the suburbs), supposedly alienated by lack of economic opportunity. The spring 2006 rioters were "youths" (ie pampered deadbeats from the Sorbonne), protesting a new law that would enable employers to terminate the contracts of employees under the age of 26 in their first jobs, after two years.
To which the response of most Americans is: you mean, you can't right now? No, you can't. If you hire a 20-year-old and take a dislike to his work three months in, tough: chances are you're stuck with him till mid-century. In France's immobilized economy, it's all but impossible to get fired. Which is why it's all but impossible to get hired. Especially if you belong to that first category of "youths" from the Muslim ghettos, where unemployment is around 40 to 50 per cent. The second group of "youths" — the Sorbonne set — protesting the proposed new, more flexible labor law ought to be able to understand that it's both necessary to the nation and, indeed, in their own self-interest: they are after all their nation's elite. Yet they're like lemmings striking over the right to a steeper cliff — and, naturally, the political class caved in to them.
When most of us on this side of the Atlantic think of "welfare queens," our mind's eye conjures some teenage crack whore with three kids by different men in a housing project. But France illustrates how absolute welfare corrupts absolutely. These Sorbonne welfare queens are Marie Antoinettes: unemployment rates for immigrants? Let 'em eat cake, as long as our pampered existence is undisturbed…
Maclean's April 2006:
The trap the French political class are caught in…The fall 2005 rioters were "youths"(i.e. Muslims from the suburbs), supposedly alienated by lack of economic opportunity. The spring 2006 rioters are "youths"(i.e. pampered Sorbonne deadbeats), protesting a new law that would enable employers to terminate the contracts of employees under the age of 26 in their first jobs, after two years.
To which the response of most North Americans is: you mean, you can't right now? No, you can't. If you hire a 20-year-old and take a dislike to his work three months in, tough: chances are you're stuck with him till mid-century. In France's immobilized economy, it's all but impossible to get fired. Which is why it's all but impossible to get hired. Especially if you belong to that first category of "youths" from the Muslim ghettos, where unemployment is around 40 to 50 per cent. The second group of "youths" -- the Sorbonne set -- protesting the proposed new, more flexible labour law ought to be able to understand that it's both necessary to the nation and, indeed, in their own self-interest: they are after all their nation's elite. Yet they're like lemmings striking over the right to a steeper cliff.
When most of us on this side of the Atlantic think of "welfare queens," our mind's eye conjures some teenage crack whore with three kids by different men in a housing project. But France illustrates how absolute welfare corrupts absolutely. These Sorbonne welfare queens are Marie Antoinettes: unemployment rates for immigrants? Let 'em eat cake, as long as our pampered existence is undisturbed.

The Shortest of Honeymoons New York Sun, 2007:
… a news item from 2005: A fellow in Marseilles was charged with fraud because he lived with the dead body of his mother for five years in order to continue receiving her pension of 700 euros a month.
She was 94 when she croaked, so she'd presumably been enjoying the old government check for a good three decades or so, but her son figured he might as well keep the money rolling in until her second century and, with her corpse tucked away under a pile of rubbish in the living room, the female telephone voice he put on for the benefit of the social services office was apparently convincing enough. As the Reuters headline put it: "Frenchman Lived With Dead Mother To Keep Pension."
Think of France as that flat in Marseilles, and its economy as the dead mother, and the country's many state benefits as monsieur's deceased mom's benefits. To the outside observer, the French give the impression they can live with the stench of death as long as the government benefits keep coming.
UK Telegraph, 2005:
…consider this news item from the south of France: a fellow in Marseilles is being charged with fraud because he lived with the dead body of his mother for five years in order to continue receiving her pension of 700 euros a month.
She was 94 when she croaked, so she'd presumably been enjoying the old government cheque for a good three decades or so, but her son figured he might as well keep the money rolling in until her second century and, with her corpse tucked away under a pile of rubbish in the living room, the female telephone voice he put on for the benefit of the social services office was apparently convincing enough. As the Reuters headline put it: "Frenchman lived with dead mother to keep pension."
That's the perfect summation of Europe: welfare addiction over demographic reality. Think of Germany as that flat in Marseilles, and Mr Schröder's government as the stiff, and the country's many state benefits as that French bloke's dead mum's benefits… On Sunday, Germany's voters decided that, like that Frenchman, they can live with the stench of death as long as the government benefits keep coming.

The Shortest of Honeymoons New York Sun, 2007:
…in an advanced technocratic state, where almost any issue worth talking about has been ruled beyond the scope of partisan politics, you might as well throw away terms like "left" and "right." The previous presidential election was meant to be a contest between the supposedly conservative Jacques Chirac and his supposedly socialist Prime Minister, Lionel Jospin. In practice, this boiled down to a candidate who's left of right of left of center, and a candidate who's right of left of right of left of center. Chirac and Jospin ran on identical platforms: they were both in favor of high taxes, high unemployment and high crime. Faced with a choice between Tweedleleft and Tweedleright, you couldn't blame French voters for choosing to make it a real race by voting for the one guy running on an openly stated, clearly defined manifesto. In 2002, the political class considered most of M Le Pen's preoccupations — immigration, crime, unemployment — beneath discussion.

National Post 2002:
In an advanced technocratic state, where almost any issue worth talking about has been ruled beyond the scope of partisan politics, you might as well throw away the compass. The presidential election was meant to be a contest between the supposedly conservative Jacques Chirac and his supposedly socialist Prime Minister, Lionel Jospin. In practice, this boils down to a candidate who's left of right of left of center, and a candidate who's right of left of right of left of center. Chirac and Jospin ran on identical platforms: they were both in favor of high taxes, high unemployment and high crime…. Faced with a choice between Eurodee and Eurodum, you couldn't blame French voters for choosing to make it a real race by voting for the one guy running on an openly stated, clearly defined manifesto. M Le Pen wants to restrict immigration; Chirac and Jospin think this subject is beneath discussion, etc…
*******
A sample of America Alone's recycling:

This a rough comparison.  Text in bold italic indicates where wording differs between the original article and the book (such aswas reported to be” in the book, for “is” in the corresponding article). Text in bold represents a word or sentence in the book not appearing in the original publication.

America Alone, Page 110 - 120, and The Australian Aug. 2006:
Consider this poll taken in 2002 for the first anniversary of September 11/ 9/11: 61 per cent of Americans said they were optimistic about the future, as opposed to 43 per cent of Canadians, 42 per cent of Britons, 29 per cent of the French, 23 per cent of Russians and 15 per cent of Germans. I wouldn’t reckon those numbers will get any cheerier over the years.
What’s the most laughable article published in a major American newspaper in the last decade? A good/strong contender would be a column published in the New York Times/ is a New York Times column by the august Princeton economist Paul Krugman. The headline was/is “French Family Values”, and the thesis is that, while parochial American conservatives drone on about “family values”, the Europeans live it, enacting policies that are more “family friendly”. On the Continent, claims Professor Krugman, “government regulations actually allow people to make a desirable tradeoff – to modestly lower income in return for more time with friends and family.”
How can an economist make that claim without noticing that the upshot of all these “family friendly” policies is that nobody has any families? Isn’t the first test of a pro-family regime its impact on families?
As for all that extra time, what happened? Europeans work fewer hours than Americans, they don’t have to pay for their own health care, they don’t go to church and they don’t contribute to other civic groups, they don’t marry and they don’t have kids to take to school and basketball and the county fair.
So what do they do with all the time?
Forget for the moment Europe’s lack of world-beating companies: They regard capitalism red in tooth and claw as an Anglo-American fetish, and they mostly despise it. And in fairness some of their quasi-state corporations are very pleasant: I’d much rather fly Air France than United or Continental. But what about the things Europeans supposedly value? With so much free time, where is the great European art? Assuredly Gershwin and Bernstein aren’t Bach and Mozart, but what have the Continentals got? Their pop culture is more American than it’s ever been. Fifty years ago, before European welfarism had them in its vise-like death grip, the French had better pop songs and the Italians made better movies. Where are Europe’s men of science? At American universities. Meanwhile, Continental governments pour fortunes into prestigious white elephants of Euro-identity, like the Airbus 380, the QE2 of the skies, capable of carrying 500, 800, a thousand passengers at a time, if only somebody somewhere would order the damn thing, which they might consider doing once all the airports have built new runways to handle it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure it’s a swell idea. It’ll come in very useful for large-scale evacuation operations circa 2015.
“When life becomes an extended picnic, with nothing of importance to do,” writes Charles Murray in In Our Hands, “ideas of greatness become an irritant. Such is the nature of the Europe syndrome.” The Continent has embraced a spiritual death long before the demographic one. In those 17 Europeans countries that /which have fallen into “lowest-low fertility”, where are the children? In a way, you’re looking at them: the guy sipping espresso at a sidewalk café listening to his iPod the eternal adolescent charges of the paternalistic state…. The government/state makes the grown-up decisions and we spend our pocket money on our record collection. Hilaire Belloc, incidentally, foresaw this very clearly in his book The Servile State in 1912 – before teenagers or record collections had been invented. He understood that the long-term cost of welfare/a softened state is the infantilization of the population. The populations of wealthy democratic societies expect to be able to choose satellite TV packages/from dozens of breakfast cereals at the supermarket, thousands of movies at the video store, and millions of porn sites on the Internet, yet think it perfectly normal to allow the state to make all the choices/demand that the state take care of their elderly parents and their young children while they’re working. It’s a curious inversion of citizenship to demand control over peripheral leisure activities but to contract out the big life-changing stuff to the government. And it’s hard to come up with a wake-up call for a society as dedicated as latterday Europe to the belief that life is about sleeping in.
Page 112 – 114, and UK Telegraph, August 2005:
In 2005/ Responding to Islamist terrorism in Britain and elsewhere, Germany was reported to be/is considering introducing a Muslim public holiday. As Mathias Dopfner, chief executive of Axel Springer, put it: "A substantial fraction of Germany's government - and, if polls are to be believed, the German people - believe that creating an official state Muslim holiday will somehow spare us from the wrath of fanatical Islamists."
Great. At least the 1930s' appeasers did it on their own time. But, in recasting appeasement as yet another paid day off, the new proposal cunningly manages to combine the worst instincts of the old Europe and the new.

UK Telegraph, September 2005:
If you want the state of the Continent/Europe in a nutshell… consider this news item from the south of France (2005): a fellow in Marseilles is being charged with fraud because he lived with the dead body of his mother for five years in order to continue receiving her pension of 700 euros a month.
She was 94 when she croaked, so she'd presumably been enjoying the old government check/cheque for a good three decades or so, but her son figured he might as well keep the money rolling in until her second century and, with her corpse tucked away under a pile of rubbish in the living room, the female telephone voice he put on for the benefit of the social services office was apparently convincing enough. As the Reuters headline put it: "Frenchman lived with dead mother to keep pension."
That's the perfect summation of Europe: welfare addiction over demographic reality.
Think of Germany/the European Union as that flat in Marseilles, and Mr Schröder's government/the Eutopian political consensus as the stiff, and the country's many state benefits/lavish government largesse as that French bloke's/guy’s dead mum's benefits.
Germany is dying, demographically and economically/Take the one-time powerhouse of the Continent – Germany. Pick any of the usual indicators of a healthy advanced industrial democracy: Unemployment? The highest since the 1930s/for 70 years. House prices? Down. New car registration? Nearly 15 per cent lower (in 2005) than in 1999. General nuttiness? A third of Germans under 30 think the United States government was responsible for the terrorist attacks of Sept 11.
While the unemployment, real estate and car sales may be reversible, that last number suggests the German electorate isn't necessarily the group you'd want to pitch a rational argument to.
Repeated in “Europe Day”, Steynonline May 2006:
If you want the state of Europe in a nutshell, consider this news item from the south of France, 2005: a fellow in Marseilles was charged with fraud because he lived with the dead body of his mother for five years in order to continue receiving her pension of 700 euros a month.
She was 94 when she croaked, so she'd presumably been enjoying the old government check for a good three decades or so, but her son figured he might as well keep the money rolling in until her second century and, with her corpse tucked away under a pile of rubbish in the living room, the female telephone voice he put on for the benefit of the social services office was apparently convincing enough. As the Reuters headline put it:
Frenchman Lived With Dead Mother To Keep Pension.
That's the perfect summation of Europe: welfare addiction over demographic reality.
Think of the European Union as that flat in Marseilles, and the EUtopian political consensus as the stiff, and lavish government largesse as that French guy's dead mom's benefits. Europe is dying, demographically and economically. Take the onetime economic powerhouse of the Continent - Germany - and pick any of the usual indicators of a healthy advanced industrial democracy: Unemployment? The highest since the 1930s. House prices? Down. New car registration? Nearly 15 per cent lower in 2005 than in 1999. General nuttiness? A third of Germans under 30 think the United States government was responsible for the person attacks of September 11th.
While the unemployment, real estate and car sales may be reversible, that last number suggests the German electorate isn't necessarily the group you'd want to pitch a rational argument to, especially about the urgent need either to give up the unsustainable welfare state or to produce a population capable of sustaining it - whether by immigration, transhuman science or the old-fashioned method of a box of chocolates, the lights down low and Johnny Mathis on the hi-fi. According to polls taken before the inconclusive German elections, 70 per cent of people want no further cuts in the welfare state and prefer increasing taxation on the very rich, and only 45 per cent of Germans agreed that competition is good for economic growth and employment. In other words, things are going to have to get a lot worse before European voters will seriously consider "necessary reforms" and "painful changes". And the longer European countries postpone the "painful" reforms, the more painful they're going to be. Here’s another statistic:
Washington Times:
Over 30 percent of German women are childless; among German university graduates, it's over 40 percent.

The Australian:
(Yet) According to polls taken before the inconclusive German elections/recent polls, 70 per cent of Germans want no further cuts in the welfare state and prefer increasing taxation on the very rich (whoever he is)…. only 45 per cent of Germans agreed that competition is good for economic growth and employment.
In other words/It seems things are going to have to get a lot worse before German voters will seriously consider radical change/necessary reforms….

… The longer European countries postpone the "painful" reforms, the more painful they're going to be.
Page 114, UK Telegraph March 2005:
Almost every issue facing the EU - from immigration rates to crippling state pension liabilities - has at its heart the same glaringly plain root cause: a huge lack of babies.

Telegraph, June 2005:
Every day you get ever more poignant glimpses of the Euro-future, such as it is.

Maclean's 2007:
One can talk airily about Western civilization being flushed down the toilet of history, but it turns out even that's easier said than done.

Telegraph, June, 2005:
In East Germany, whose rural communities are dying, village sewer systems are having a tough time adjusting to the lack of use. Populations have fallen so dramatically that there are too few people flushing to keep the flow of waste moving. Traditionally, government infrastructure expenditure arises from increased demand. In this case, the sewer lines are having to be narrowed at great cost in order to cope with dramatically decreased demand.There's simply no precedent for managed decline in societies as advanced as Europe's, but the early indications are that it's going to be expensive: environmentally speaking, it's a question of sustainable lack of growth.

reprised in Maclean's, 2007:
…on the fast depopulating plains of eastern Germany, rural communities are dying, and one consequence is that municipal sewer systems are having a tough time adjusting to the lack of use. Populations have fallen so dramatically there are too few people flushing to keep the flow of waste moving. Traditionally, government infrastructure expenditure arises from increased demand. In this case, the sewer lines are having to be narrowed at great cost in order to cope with dramatically decreased demand. For the demographically dying West, it's not a question of "sustainable growth," but of sustainable lack of growth.

Page 114, Telegraph 2005:
There's simply no precedent for managed decline in societies as advanced as Europe's, but the early indications are that it's going to be expensive. One notes again that the environmentalists got it exactly backward; it’s not a question of sustainable growth, but of sustainable lack of growth.

Page 114, Chicago Sun Times, 2005:
For purposes of comparison, by 2050 public pensions expenditures are expected to be 6.5 percent of GDP in the United States, 16.9 percent in Germany, 17.3 percent in Spain and 24.8 percent in Greece. In Europe, we're talking not about the prospect of having to reduce benefits but about so long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, adieu, adieu, adieu to yieu and yieu and yieu. American reformers like to say that Social Security is a Ponzi scheme. The EU has a vastly greater problem: The entire modern European welfare state is a Ponzi scheme. And the political establishments in Paris, Berlin, Brussels et al. show no sign of producing their own plain-spoken EuroBush to confront it.
Telegraph, 2004:
Germany has a shrinking economy, an ageing and shrivelling population, and potentially catastrophic welfare liabilities. Yet the average German worker now puts in over 20 per cent fewer hours per year than his American counterpart, and no politician who wishes to remain electorally viable would propose closing the gap. The Dutch and Norwegians are even bigger slackers.
Page 115, Opinion Journal Jan 2006:
This isn't a deep-rooted cultural difference between the Old World and the New. It dates back all the way to, oh, the 1970s…. it's a product of the U.S. military presence, the American security guarantee that liberated European budgets: instead of having to spend money on guns, they could concentrate on butter, and buttering up the voters. But even with reduced defense expenditure, the European welfare state depends on economic growth and population growth. The former is now barely detectable and the latter is now already in reverse.
Page 115, Irish Times, June 2005:
After the rejection of the European Constitution Jacques Chirac… reacted to his ingrate electorate's appalling lèse- majesté by appointing as French prime minister a man who is the very embodiment of the ruling elite's serene insulation from popular opinion - Dominique de Villepin,
the magnificently obstructionist big-haired French foreign minister in the run-up to the Iraq war.
Irish Times, June 2005:
Aside from his Byronic hair (Monsieur de Villepin) writes sub-sub-sub-Byronic doggerel. Whenever he turns up on CNN, starry-eyed American Democrats send cooing e-mails wondering why their own vulgar republic can't produce a political leader who speaks English with such suave erudition/dash and élan - a veritable Rimbaud to Bush's Rambo.
So, in his first big speech in the gig/after the voters gave their betters a bloody nose, Monsieur Sophisticate was at pains to reassure them that the contradictions of a pampered lethargic over-regulated welfare society could all be resolved through "Gallic genius": "In a modern democracy, the debate is not between the liberal and the social, it is between immobilism and action. Solidarity and initiative, protection and daring: that is the French genius."
Oh-la-la! C'est magnifique! C'est formidable, n'est-ce pas? All those elegant/fabulous nouns just waiting for a stylishly coiffed French genius to steer the appropriate course between the Scylla of solidarity and the Charybdis of initiative, between protection and daring, immobilism and action, inertia and panic, stylish insouciance and meaningless gestures, abstract nouns and street riots, etc, etc.
The French electorate has relatively down-to-earth concerns: crime, jobs, immigration. But for a man of letters that's all too dreary and prosaic compared with an open- ended debate between solidarity and initiative stretching lazily into the future.
Part of the Irish Times article is repeated in the National Review 2005:
…in his first big speech in the gig/job, he was at pains to reassure French voters that the internal contradictions of a pampered lethargic welfare society could all be resolved through “Gallic genius”:
“In a modern democracy, the debate is not between the liberal and the social, it is between immobilism and action. Solidarity and initiative, protection and daring: That is the French genius.”
Oh-la-la! C’est magnifique, n’est-ce pas? All those elegant nouns just waiting for a stylishly coiffed French genius to steer the appropriate course between the Scylla of solidarity and the Charybdis of initiative, between protection and daring, immobilism and action, inertia and panic, stylish insouciance and meaningless gestures, abstract nouns and street riots, etc., etc. The French electorate was in the mood to hear something about crime or jobs. But for a man of letters with a Byronic hairdo that’s all too dreary and prosaic compared with an open-ended debate between solidarity and initiative stretching lazily into the future.
Page 116, National Review 2005:
Over the last half/Across half a-century, Continental politics evolved to the point where almost any issue worth talking about was ruled beyond the bounds of polite society. Austria was the classic example: Year in, year out, whether you voted for the center-left party or the center-right party, you wound up with the same center-left/center-right coalition presiding over what was in essence a two-party one-party state. In France, M. Chirac isn’t really “center-right” so much as ever so slightly left-of-right-of-left-of-center — and even that distinction applies only when he’s standing next to his former prime minister, the right-of-left-of-right-of-left-of-center Lionel Jospin. Though supposedly from opposite ends of the political spectrum, in the 2002 presidential election they wound up running against each other on identical platforms, both passionately committed to high taxes, high unemployment, and high crime.
Americans often make the same criticism of their own system — the “Republicrats,” etc. — but… the U.S. still has a more genuinely responsive politics with more ideological diversity than anywhere in Western Europe. On the Continent, the Eurodee and Eurodum mainstream parties are boxed into a consensus politics that’s no longer viable/sustainable. The people are weary of certain aspects of this postwar settlement — permanent double-digit unemployment and the Islamification of their cities — but they’re not yet ready to give up the social programs, the short work weeks, long vacations, and jobs for life. Europe’s structural problems would require immense cultural change to correct.

Page 116, Telegraph 2005:
Is it likely that "Europe" will muster the will for "painful economic reforms"? It was always a political project masquerading as an economic one, and thus the ruling class's investment in it is more primal and less rational/largely emotive and ideological.
… Hence, the Guardian's attack on the Prime Minister for demanding reform of the CAP:
"It is unreasonable of Mr Blair to repeatedly flourish as if self-evidently outrageous the simple arithmetic of 40 per cent of spending on four per cent of the European workforce, when rural life is of such social, psychological and aesthetic importance to a vastly larger proportion of the continent's population."
I think "aesthetic importance" means "we have to drive past a lot of French farms to get to our holiday homes". Rural life was central to France's sense of itself. But so was the Catholic Church, and it's empty now. And so were Catholic-size families, and they're down to one designer kid... So the character of those quaint villages is utterly changed. Why should the British taxpayer subsidise an ersatz French heritage park about as authentic as Disney's Hunchback of Notre Dame? If Pierre's given up the church and the family, what's the big deal about giving up the farm?
Ah, well, it won't be a problem much longer. Under the CAP/its present economic arrangements, it's Europe that's bought the farm.

Page 117 – 118, Telegraph 2005:
According to its Office du Tourisme, the big event in Evreux this past weekend/the first weekend of November 2005 was supposed to be the annual fête de la pomme, du cidre et du fromage at the Place de la Mairie. Instead, in this charmingly smouldering cathedral town in Normandy, a shopping mall, a post office, two schools, upwards of 50 vehicles and, oh yes, the police station were destroyed by - what's the word? - "youths".
Over at the Place de la Mairie, M le Maire himself, Jean-Louis Debré, seemed affronted by the very idea that un soupçon de carnage should be allowed to distract from the cheese-tasting. "A hundred people have smashed everything and strewn desolation," he told reporters. "Well, they don't form part of our universe."
Maybe not, but unfortunately you form part of theirs.
Mr Debré, a close pal of President Chirac's, was a little off on the numbers. There were an estimated 200 "youths" rampaging through Evreux. With baseball bats. They injured, among others, a dozen firemen. "To those responsible for the violence, I want to say: Be serious!" Mr Debré told France Info radio. "If you want to live in a fairer, more fraternal society, this is not how to go about it."
Oh, dear. Who's not "being serious" here? In Normandy, it's not just the cheese that's soft and runny. Granted that France's over-regulated sclerotic economy profoundly obstructs the social mobility of immigrants, even Mr Debris - whoops, sorry - even Mr Debré cannot be so out of touch as to think "seriously" that the rioters are rioting for "a fairer, more fraternal society". But maybe he does. The political class and the media seem to serve as mutual reinforcers of their obsolete illusions.

Page 118-120, Telegraph Nov. 2005:
December 2002 - I was asked to take part in a symposium on Europe and began with the observation: "I find it easier to be optimistic about the futures of Iraq and Pakistan than, say, Holland or Denmark."
At the time, this was taken as confirmation of my descent into insanity.

Page 118, National Review March 2006:
Europe was still regarded as a bastion of social progress. By 2006, the Right was querying my thesis, arguing that the Bush Doctrine is a crock: How can liberty save the Muslim world when Muslims are jeopardizing liberty in Europe?
Well, they’re not contradictory positions. In the Middle East, it may well be that, as the gnarled old Yankees tell tourists, you can’t get there from here. But I’d argue there’s a sporting chance of being able to get at least partway there from the here and now of the present Muslim world.

Page 118, Telegraph Nov. 2005:
(2 sentences slightly paraphrased) Whatever their problems, most Islamic countries have the advantage of beginning any evolution into free states from the starting point of relative societal cohesion. By contrast, most European nations face the trickier task of trying to hold on to their freedom at a time of increasing societal incoherence:
they’re getting there from here in the one-way express lane, and they’re/it’s not going to like where it ends up. About six months after 9/11, I went on a grand tour of the Continent’s Muslim ghettoes, and then flew on to the Middle East. The Muslims I met in Europe were, almost to a man, more alienated and angrier than the ones back in Araby. Don’t take my word for it. It was a Hamburg cell that pulled off 9/11, a British subject who was the shoebomber, a Montreal welfare recipient who tried to blow up LAX, a London School of Economics man who had Daniel Pearl executed . . .
True, America and Australia grew the institutions of their democracy with relatively homogeneous populations, and then evolved into successful "multicultural" societies….

Page 118, National Review 2006:
…. But the Continent isn't multicultural so much as bicultural.

Page 118, National Review March 2006:
You have hitherto homogeneous Scandinavian societies whose cities have become 40 percent Muslim in the space of a generation. Imagine colonial New England when it was still the Mayflower crowd and one day they woke up and noticed that all the Aldens and Allertons, Billingtons and Bradfords were in their 50s and 60s and all the young guys were named Ahmed and Mohammed. That’s what’s happened in Rotterdam and Malmö.

Page 119, Telegraph 2005:
There are ageing native populations, and young Muslim populations, and that's it: "two solitudes", as they say in my beloved Quebec. If there's three, four or more cultures, you can all hold hands and sing We are the World. But if there's just two - you and the other - that's generally more fractious. Bicultural societies are among the least stable in the world, especially once it's no longer quite clear who is the majority and who is the minority - a situation that much of Europe is fast approaching, as you can see by visiting any French, Austrian, Belgian or Dutch maternity ward.
Take Fiji - not a comparison France would be flattered by, though until 1987 the Fijians enjoyed a century of peaceful stable constitutional evolution the French were never able to manage/muster. At any rate, Fiji comprises native Fijians and ethnic Indians brought in as indentured workers by the British. If memory serves, 46.2 per cent are Fijians and 48.6 per cent are Indo-Fijians; 50-50, give or take, with no intermarrying. In 1987, the first Indian-majority government came to power. A month later, Col Sitiveni Rabuka staged the first of his two coups...
…Is it that difficult to sketch a similar situation for France? Even in relatively peaceful bicultural societies, politics becomes tribal: loyalists vs nationalists in Northern Ireland, separatists vs federalists in Quebec. Picture a French election circa 2020, 2025: the Islamic Republican Coalition wins the most seats in the National Assembly. The Chiraquiste crowd give a fatalistic shrug and Mr de Villepin starts including crowd-pleasing suras from the Koran at his poetry recitals. But would Mr Le Pen or (by then) his daughter take it so well? Or would the temptation to be France's Col Rabuka prove too much?
And the Fijian scenario - a succession of bloodless coups - is the optimistic one and not just when measured against such notable bicultural societies as Rwanda. After all, the differences between Fijian natives and Indians are as nothing compared with those between the French and les beurs.

Page 120, National Review March 2006:
All those Bush Doctrine naysayers who argue that Iraq is an artificial entity that can never be a functioning state ought to take a look at the Netherlands. You think Kurds and Arabs, Sunnis and Shiites are incompatible? What do you call a jurisdiction split between post-Christian secular gay potheads and anti-whoring anti-sodomite and everything you dig Islamists? If Kurdistan’s an awkward fit in Iraq, how well does Pornostan fit in the Islamic Republic of Holland? Europe’s problems don’t nullify the Bush Doctrine so much as present a more urgent case for it.

Page 120, Telegraph 2005:
As to the "French" "youth", a reader in Antibes cautions me against characterising the disaffected as "Islamist". "Look at the pictures of the youths," he advises. "They look like LA gangsters, not beturbaned prophet-monkeys."
Leaving aside what I'm told are more than a few cries of "Allahu Akhbar!" on the streets, my correspondent is correct. But that's the point.
The theoretical virtue of multiculturalism is that it’s a mellifluous/ “multiculturalism”… was sold as a benign cultural cross-pollination: the best of all worlds. But just as often it gives us the worst of all worlds…the worst attributes of Muslim culture - the subjugation of women - combine with the worst attributes of Western culture - licence and self-gratification. Tattooed, pierced Pakistani skinhead gangs swaggering down the streets of northern England areas are as much a product of multiculturalism as the turban-wearing Sikh Mountie in the royal/vice-regal escort."
Islamofascism itself is what it says: a fusion of Islamic identity with old-school European totalitarianism. But, whether in turbans or gangsta threads, just as Communism was in its day, so Islam is today's ideology of choice for the world's disaffected.

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