Srdja Trifkovic’s contact within the Dutch Ministry of Immigration isn’t the only one who has noticed that the current flood of “migrants” now heading to Europe resembles an invasion. Catholic World News reports that Edward Luttwak has likened the current wave of immigration to the barbarian invasions that doomed Rome. Luttwak charges that the Islamic migrants are working for “the gradual Islamization of Europe.” Even more ominously Luttwak states, “In today’s Europe, I see no will to survive.”
It is hard to disagree with Luttwak. In fact, far less dramatic evidence that Western man has lost the will to survive is all around. Last month, Foreign Policy reported that New Zealand is in the process of replacing its flag. The current New Zealand flag consists of the Blue Ensign with the stars of the Southern Cross in red on its field. As such, it is a proud emblem of New Zealand’s British heritage. That heritage used to be something New Zealanders both took pride in and took seriously: over 40% of New Zealand’s military age men served in World War I, most of them volunteers. Now, New Zealand’s leaders are embarrassed by their British past. Only one of the potential new flags features the Union Jack. Foreign Policy offers this quote from the Flag Consideration Panel on why New Zealand needs a new flag: “A potential new flag should unmistakably be from New Zealand and celebrate us as a progressive, inclusive nation that is connected to its environment, and has a sense of its past and a vision for its future.”
Perhaps only someone who has visited New Zealand can appreciate how Orwellian that statement is. When I visited that lovely country over a decade ago, I was struck by how the country’s museums and monuments focused on the Maori, and not on the British settlers who actually created New Zealand. For example, the national museum in Wellington is called “Te Papa Tongarewa” and places much more emphasis on New Zealand's Maori heritage than on its British heritage. Increasingly progressive New Zealanders refer to their country as “Aotearoa.” It’s as if the Mall in Washington were covered with teepees and Americans often used an American Indian name for our country.
Of course, we may yet be headed down that path. Earlier this week, President Obama unilaterally renamed Mt. McKinley “Denali.” Whatever else may be said about the culture that thought nothing of giving imposing mountains such names as “McKinley,” “Everest,” and “Cook,” there is no doubt that it had a will to survive. The same may not be said of the descendants of that culture, who feel guilty about turning foreigners away at the border or even about continuing to use the names their forebears gave to the places they settled.
Thomas Piatak is a contributing editor to Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture. He writes from Cleveland, Ohio.