The police in Cologne have been criticized.
So have the police in Stuttgart and Hamburg. The German media have been criticized. The Justice Minister spoke of "organized crime." (Though it appeared to me to be badly organized.) The Chancellor's office was offended by the presumption that any wrongdoer might be a recent refugee claimant. This because of rumors that they had been criticized.
And all this because of people out on the streets of those cities, and others, in the night following 31st December, wishing Frohes Neues Jahr to each other across their various cultural divides.
It took the state broadcaster, and other media, three days to report the story. Instead, they had reported "no incidents" that night. I suppose, like the police, they were short-staffed. And how, anyway, could it interest anyone that so many young men "of Arab or North African appearance" had been out and about in the middle of Cologne, around the ancient Cathedral and, we now learn, so many other German cities (and their respective cathedrals).
With firecrackers, I gather, it started in Cologne. The young men "of Arab or North African appearance" were firing them directly into the crowds of German-looking revelers. But few injuries came of this.
And in what followed, I gather, few women were actually raped. Most only received "unwanted touching," from up to thirty at a time of these young men. In the account of one, only a few hundred unwanted touches, as she screamed and thrashed and fought her way out of the railway station. (There have been no arrests.)
The new mayor of Cologne, a lady elected on the strength of her credentials as a kind, tolerant, refugee-loving person, blamed the women. They must not have known how to behave. They need a "code of conduct" to avoid unpleasant incidents with the 1.1 million and counting freshly-arrived "new Germans" — overwhelmingly young men of military age.
But then, others criticized the new mayor of Cologne.
I sympathize with her. It is hard these days to assuage one politically correct group, without somehow irritating another. I would have just advised the young, German-looking women not to go out for New Year's, for the rest of their lives.
From what I can see, through my murky German, they are having a kind of orgy of criticism across the country, now that the story is officially out. A great deal of it has been directed at Pegida (the acronym from the German for, "Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West"). Even before they'd had a chance to say or do anything, they were blamed.
So the refugees cannot be the cause of any trouble; it is the people who don't like them.
Perhaps, if this story has legs — and it appears to have many hundred thousand — we are merely watching the development of an "Arab Spring," for Europe. Which is to say, great crowds of rather bored, horny young men, seeking to express themselves in their unique cultural ways. Another manifestation, one might say, of "democracy."
Europe "disintegrated" herself in two World Wars as the result of crowds, demonstrating for hope or change or whatever; finally converted into crowds of troops, one national group storming another. What is so different in this case? Perhaps it is only a (very European) World War Three?
Except, I'm not sure those "old Europeans" have the stomach for it any more. Every piece of punditry I've struggled to read in the German media strikes me as an option for surrender. After strike three, the Muslims win.
Except, we're not supposed to call them "Muslims." It sounds so "racist" in its specificity. Better to describe them as, "of Arab or North African appearance." Or someone might come up with a better euphemism, to free these poor people from the truth of what they are.
An affront to the ideals of multiculturalism, at the least. A rude reply to the question, "Why can't we all just get along?"
That is, more or less, the slogan of contemporary "white" Germany. A form of arrogant humility, expressed in an exaggerated, false politeness. The culture of those who are rich, and lack heirs, and are puzzled when they discover that they are being ritually mugged.
As a Canadian, I can smell this disease. It is our national social culture, too. It is what has replaced Christianity, as the ethos of that culture. It is the ethos of "niceness." It is founded in a stubborn refusal to face hard facts; and its reaction, when the facts explode, is quite unpredictable. This because there has never been a generation so free of commitment, purpose, common sense; nor so incapable of moral self-government.
It is said, by the paranoical, that Islam is overrunning Christendom. But this is not true. The great majority in the latter realm are not Christian at all: only post-Christians, with seriously deformed "former" Christian attitudes. It is inconceivable that a continent of Christians would have let themselves be invaded by Saracens. They would have fought.
This is because, at the most primal level, a Christian knows that he is a Christian, as opposed to something else. His identity is not up for negotiation. He stands for something, and may stand down from cowardice, but hardly from confusion over his identity. The old Christian Europe, for all its internal squabbles, intended to remain Christian.
History happens, over time. Those last two World Wars were themselves ultimately a product of the loss of Christian faith, over centuries preceding; the loss of Christian identity and its replacement with secular, national ideals.
The new post-Christian Europe hasn't a clue. Pegida itself doesn't know what it stands for: it is itself part of a fully "secularized" Europe, and the term "patriotic European" is merely fascist. There never was a Europe to be patriotic to. There was a Europe that was Christian, and now this.
David Warren. "And Now This." The Catholic Thing (January 8, 2016).
Reprinted with permission from The Catholic Thing. All rights reserved. For reprint rights, write to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
David Warren is a self-confessed white male, and worse, a Roman Catholic. He pings mostly from the Parkdale district of Toronto, Canada. He has lived for a fairly long time. He was a journalist for much of this time, but also not a journalist for long stretches — in Canada, and in several other countries. He wrote a reactionary, thrice-weekly column in certain Canadian newspapers; until 2012, when his employer offered him a nice whack of money to "just go away." That money having been expended, he is open to paying gigues. For such, as for other baroque purposes, he may be reached by email through the link here. Please try to keep it civil.Copyright © 2016 The Catholic Thing
back to top