America Alone: The End of the World as We Know It (ISBN 0-89526-078-6) is a New York Times bestselling nonfiction book by Mark Steyn, published in 2006. It has been widely praised by conservative commentators, and recommended by George W. Bush. Christopher Hitchens reviewed the book with praise, and describes it as "an admirably tough-minded book." Hitchens goes on in his review and states:
- Mark Steyn's book is essentially a challenge to the bien-pensants among us: an insistence that we recognize an extraordinary threat and thus the possible need for extraordinary responses. He need not pose as if he were the only one with the courage to think in this way.
The paperback edition (ISBN 1-59698-527-5), released in April 2008 with a new introduction, is labeled "Soon to Be Banned in Canada", reflecting the result that Steyn then anticipated from the Canadian Islamic Congress human rights complaint against Maclean's Magazine. He faced in these cases before the Canadian Human Rights Commission and the Human Rights Commissions of Alberta and British Columbia.
America Alone covers topics surrounding the global war on terror and centers on issues of demographics in Muslim and non-Muslim populations. Steyn argues, "much of what we loosely call the Western world will not survive the twenty-first century, and much of it will effectively disappear within our lifetimes, including many if not most European countries." The declining populations in European countries coupled with both the increasingly high birth rates of Muslim countries and the increased Muslim immigration into European nations will, according to Steyn, lead to the end of modern European culture. The book's topics include:
- Chapter 1: The Coming of Age: Births vs. dearths
- Chapter 2: Going...Going...Gone: Demography vs. delusion
- Chapter 3: Men Are from Venus: Primary impulses vs. secondary impulses
- Chapter 4: Flying the Coop: Big Mo vs. Big Mac
- Chapter 5: The Anything They'll Believe In: Church vs. State
- Chapter 6: The Four Horsemen of the Eupocalypse: Eutopia vs. Eurabia
- Chapter 7: The State-of-the-Art Primitive: The known unknowns vs. the knowingly unknowing
- Chapter 8: The Unipole Apart: America vs. everyone else
- Chapter 9: The Importance of Being Exceptional: Citizens vs. dependents
- Chapter 10: The Falling Camel: Last legs
Steyn attributes the inevitable fall of the Western world to three factors: 1) Demographic decline, 2) The unsustainability of the advanced Western social-democratic state, and 3) Civilizational exhaustion. In terms of demographic decline, European nations have very low birth rates while Muslim nations have very high birth rates. This causes several problems for the European countries. First, the European countries will simply run out of Europeans to repopulate their countries, and second, a youthful population is more capable of inciting a revolution than an older population is capable of defending against one.
The Western social-democratic state exacerbates this problem. Responsibilities of normal adults have been slowly taken over by the state—care of the elderly, childcare, and most recently, health care and insurance. Steyn argues that these programs erode humanity's basic sense of self-reliance to a point at which a more resilient group of people—Muslims in this case—will take control. Steyn sums up the problems of the previous two factors in a formula: "Age + Welfare = Disaster for you, Youth + Will = Disaster for whoever gets in your way." Beyond a demographic problem, Europe lacks the will to defend itself, leading to the third factor: civilizational exhaustion.
Nations become so focused on moral and cultural relativism—with "diversity" and "racism" as their new favorite words—that they are unable to see that their very existence is at stake. European nations have given up defending themselves and rely on America for their defense. Civilizational exhaustion goes beyond a lack of will to defend oneself and has manifest itself most visibly in its anti-Americanism. America has become the prime example of everything that is wrong with the world, and to each group looking to find fault, it is something different. To the Muslims, America symbolizes gay porn and immorality; to Europe, America is a radical Christian nation thinking only of Jesus and abortion. America is viewed as a threat and an enemy, when it is in reality the most benign hegemon the world has ever seen. According to Steyn, America will be the last and only country—as all others will be taken over by Muslims—that will retain its sense of self-preservation, but this is not a given. America's enemies know that it ran from Vietnam and they hope that America will continue to flee when faced with a challenge.
Steyn's final argument is that an invasionScript error from the Muslim world Script error will not win in an outright attack, like flying planes into skyscrapers; in fact, an overt attack would be a bad strategy as it would invoke response from even the most flaccid nation. Europe will collapse from within: from wimpiness. If, rather than a physical attack, "you frame the issue in terms of multicultural 'sensitivity,' the wimp state will bend over backward to give you everything you want—including, eventually, the keys to those skyscrapers. Thus, during the Danish 'cartoon jihad' of 2006, Jack Straw, then British foreign secretary, hailed the 'sensitivity' of Fleet Street in not reprinting the offending representations of the Prophet."
Steyn begins with examples of doomsday scenarios that have not and will not pan out—he mentions "climate change", The Population Bomb, The Limits to Growth, The Cooling: Has the New Ice Age Already Begun? Can We Survive?, nuclear winter, and Jimmy Carter's 1977 prediction that the world's oil will run out in the next decade.[when?] Of all the scenariosTemplate:Which? mentioned, none have come to fruiting and most seem foolish in retrospect; however, during this same time period, the population of the developed world declined from about 30% of world population to around 20%, while the population of Muslim nations increased from about 15% to 20%.
See also Edit
- The West's Last Chance: Will We Win the Clash of Civilizations?
- We Are Doomed: Reclaiming Conservative Pessimism
- The Death of the West
- Danish cartoon controversy
- Jack Straw
- Home Alone, scroll down to chapter-preview links.
- A review of America Alone: The End of the World as We Know It by Theodore Dalrymple in Claremont Review of Books
- BookBites - Quotes from America Alone
- Excerpt from book
- A hostile review by Johann Hari
- A critical review of America Alone by Rayyan Al-Shawaf in the San Antonio Express-News
- Conversations with History: Mark Steyn, Template:YouTube, University of California Television, 2007-03-14ar:التفرد الأمريكي (كتاب)