The North Worth Saving

Srdja Trifkovic, Orthodoxy Today, February 21, 2009

We need a paradigm shift in the West that would pave the way for a genuine Northern Alliance of Russia, Europe, and North America, as all three face similar existential threats in the decades ahead. In an uncertain and ever more brutal world, the Northerners may finally consider banding together, lest they be defeated in detail.

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The concept is as old as Sun Tzu (“if enemy forces are united, separate them”) and was more recently restated by Mao (“concentrate a superior force to destroy the enemy forces one by one”). It is highly relevant to the American interest because the civilization upon which this country is founded–usually described as “Western,” although “Northern” would be more accurate–is in danger of being defeated in detail by its enemies, internal and external.

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Europe’s demographic self-annihilation is well advanced, from the Atlantic to the Urals and beyond, with Russia and the rest of the Old Continent sharing the same downward trend. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia’s population has fallen six percent, from around 150 million to just over 140 million. The combination of a low birthrate, an aging population, and a public-health crisis may result in the country’s population collapsing by one third, to around 100 million, by 2050. On current form, there will be a 40-percent drop in the size of the core (ages 14 to 25) group, ensuring a continued decline for the rest of the century. At the same time, the number of self-identified Muslims in Russia has risen by 40 percent in the last 15 years to 20 million, partly fueled by immigration from Central Asia and the Caucasus.

In Metropolitan France, an ostensibly healthy birthrate of 12.2 per thousand conceals the fact that, of some 800,000 births in a nation of almost 60 million, Muslim immigrants (predominantly from North Africa) and their French-born descendants account for more than a quarter. Italy will plummet from today’s 57 million to a much older 40 million by 2050. By that time, the continent as a whole will face a net loss of some 150 million people. Europe’s population has aged to such a degree that it will continue to shrink even in the unlikely event that birthrates rebound to the replacement level. This “negative momentum” means that even if women in the future should have an unexpected fertility increase to two children on average, the population would be destined to continue shrinking.

In the 1970’s, the U.S. birthrate not only dipped below replacement but fell below the European rate. In the years since, the American rate recovered modestly to just below replacement level. The fertility rate of white Americans slipped below the replacement rate in the early 1970’s, however, and it never recovered: Today it stands at about 1.8 babies per woman.

Demographers say that the U.S. population will grow by 135 million in the next four decades–a stunning 44-percent increase–but that growth will be entirely the result of immigration (overwhelmingly from the Third World) and increases in the nonwhite population.

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Continental conservatives–German Christian Democrats; French, Spanish, and Italian rightists–are natural Northerners even when they are squeamish about admitting it. Members of the dominant European left, however, are overwhelmingly enthusiastic about Barack Obama because they are ashamed of their own roots and looks. The sentiment is becoming all-pervasive: Even The Economist opined that Obama’s victory “would salve, if not close, the ugly wound left by America’s history.” The left flatly denies that a common Euro-Russo-American civilization exists, let alone that it is worth preserving or jointly defending.

It is in the United States that the obstacles to a northern paradigm are the most formidable. Opponents are present, to some extent, in every influential segment of this country’s foreign-policy community.

American exceptionalists believe that the United States differs qualitatively from Europe (not to mention Russia) by virtue of her “propositional credo,” which transcends the shackles of ethnicity, race, culture, and faith. Global hegemonists seek dominance over Europe and fragmentation of Russia, rather than partnership with them. Many hegemonists are also visceral Russophobes, owing to their own ethno-cultural baggage rather than any objective assessment of Moscow’s global position and impact on U.S. interests. Obama’s selection of Joe Biden as his Vice President, Hillary Clinton’s appointment to State, Robert Gates’ retention at the Pentagon, and General Jones’s management of the National Security Council point to the President’s willful blindness to the collapsing economic foundation of the American “hyperpower.”

Multiculturalists oppose any notion of “our” physical or cultural space that does not belong to everyone. They deny that we should have a special affinity for any particular country, nation, race, or culture, but demand the imposition of our preferences upon the whole world. They are the mortal enemy of any notion that any shared legacy of the European family is worthy of preservation.

These groups share the radical notion that America is not a real country, but a metaphysical concept or a tool for their own Will to Power–or both. They do not want this country to belong to the people whose ancestors created her and who have inhabited her for generations. They celebrate the resulting random mélange of mutually disconnected multitudes as somehow uniquely “American” and virtuous.

Ideologues will deny it, but in the decades to come Europe, Russia, and America will be in similar mortal peril from those very multitudes. The magnitude of that threat will become clear as those nations age and the numbers of hostile aliens grow. In the end there will be no grand synthesis, no crossfertilization, and certainly no peaceful coexistence, between the North and the Third World.

The short-term prospects for fostering a sense of unity among Europeans–Eastern, Western, and American–are dim and will remain so for as long as the regimes of all the major states of the West are controlled by an elite class hostile to its own biological roots and cultural fruits.

In the longer term, however, it is at least conceivable that the ongoing financial and economic crisis will produce salutary political and cultural effects. In the face of diminished property values, rising unemployment, and collapsed retirement portfolios, our elites risk a comprehensive loss of credibility and authority comparable to that experienced by Europe’s ruling class in 1914-18. When the dust settles they may no longer be heeded as arbiters of who we are, what we are to think, and how we are to lead a good life. As the credibility of American global dominance tanks with the dollar, Europe may increasingly see its interests tracking with those of Russia, forcing Washington to acquiesce.

No refocusing of international policy will matter if there is not a reversal of demographic and immigration trends. The richer the country, the emptier its cradles. A trend toward Third World living standards may lead to Third World birthrates. Increased scarcity may finally break the political taboo about addressing non-European immigration.

Can we hope that a reminder of the harsher realities of life will revive the North’s sense of itself as a Christian civilization and resistance to the stealth jihad being waged in our midst? Sadly, the more likely result of the crisis we now face is deepening demoralization, increased demands for government solutions and services, and ever more inane adulation of such purveyors of political snake oil as our newly enthroned President Messiah. In the early eighth century the triumphant march of Islam into Christendom seemed unstoppable, until it was halted at the gates of Constantinople (718) and at Tours (732). Conversely, in July 1914, Europe was at the peak of every imaginable human achievement, only to be turned into a pale shadow of its former self a mere century later.

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