In Our Time

Self, Secularism, and Suicide

The response of the Western European governments, and of a substantial portion of what is called the European elite—roughly speaking, the upper-middle classes—to the invasion of the Continent from the east and south must be among the most unusual and perverse spectacles in human history.  For nearly a year now, the world has looked on with astounding lack of surprise and seeming uninterest as the leaders of one of history’s great civilizations have abdicated their constitutional responsibilities by refusing to defend their territories, their citizens, and their cultures against raw foreign aggression and have even, in the case of Germany, invited the aggressors in to do their worst.  What is happening in Europe today seems unbelievable.  By early spring 2016, plain signs of popular resistance to the various national governments, the federal government in Brussels, and the “migrants” themselves were appearing across Europe—Eastern Europe, especially—incited by the often disruptive, demanding, and arrogant arrivals; by the Muslim suicide bombings in Paris and Brussels; and by the fear of future bombings elsewhere on the Continent, and in the British Isles.  This reaction, though expectable, natural, and necessary, will be of little interest to historians, simply because it is readily explainable, whereas the continental elites’ refusal to recognize the existential peril is difficult...

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