Steyn on Hedegaard: Lars Man Standing

By Adams • on February 19, 2009

From the Corner at NRO:

by Mark Steyn

Lars Hedegaard looks at Europe and Islam from the left’s point of view, starting with a forgotten line by Marx:

There are still a few grizzled post-socialists around that will remember what their old prophet, Karl Marx, had to say about religion in the very first sentence of his Contribution to a Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right from 1843:  “Criticism of religion is the premise of all criticism”.

Criticism of religion is not only the starting point of all criticism. It is the prerequisite of any kind of criticism. In a society where religion cannot be criticized, everything becomes religion - from the length of your beard to what hand to use when wiping your backside.

The above would have been unexceptional observations to any Continental lefties a generation ago. Why then are the Euroleft prostrate before Islam? Simple arithmetic:

They are now increasingly dependent on the Muslim vote, which they hope will guarantee them a perpetual foothold at least in the major population centers.

With Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Antwerp, Brussels, and many other Continental cities from Malmo to Marseilles approaching majority Muslim status in the next decade, the demographic reality of a re-religionized Europe is too hard to buck. For the soft-left establishment, to be unsolicitous of Islam is to condemn yourself to a few fast shrinking redoubts. (It’s strange, for example, to hear American Jews still professing bewilderment at the ever more naked hostility in Europe toward Israel. Look at the electoral math: For your average squishy Europol, there is nothing to gain and an awful lot to lose by being perceived as insufficiently hostile to “Zionism”.)

So democratic parties maintain their electoral viability by pandering to the anti-democratic impulses of their fastest-growing bloc. As Mr. Hedegaard sees it:

This new weltanschauung takes us back to a legal order - or rather lack of order - the like of which we haven’t seen in the civilized world since - when? The democratic revolutions of the 19th century, the French Revolution, the American Revolution, England’s Glorious Revolution, John Milton’s Areopagitica, Magna Carta?

Take your pick. Any one of the above is true.

The road chosen by the parties on the Left permits no return.

On a smallish point: He notes the routine application of the “extreme right-wing” label to Geert Wilders. These terms have always been somewhat portable, but it’s already clear that in the new Europe the “right-wing” badge will be pinned most enthusiastically on those opposed to Islamization.

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