Waiting for Charles the Second

“How will it be with kingdoms and with kings—
With those who shaped him to the thing he is—
When this dumb Terror shall rise to judge the world,
After the silence of the centuries?”

—Edwin Markham, “The Man With the Hoe,” 1899

“A state cannot be constituted from any chance body of persons, or in any chance period of time,” wrote Aristotle.  “Most of the states which have admitted persons of another stock, either at the time of their foundation or later, have been troubled by sedition.”  Where Aristotle writes “sedition,” we might today think of dissent or even a type of revolution.  Taking cues from Edmund Burke’s Reflections on the Revolution in France, Christopher Caldwell, senior editor at The Weekly Standard, has penned Reflections on the Revolution in Europe, outlining a subtler form of revolution: Third World immigration and its effects on Europe.  Caldwell asks, “Can we have the same Europe with a different people?”  His answer: a resounding “no.”

Unlike the rapid events of Burke’s age, this revolution crept along slowly in its execution.  “It took fifty years of mass immigration for Europeans to grow frightened of their minorities,” Caldwell maintains, until...

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