Western civilization based on Judeo-Christian values is at risk of collapse. This may seem like a bit of alarmist hyperbole, but the evidence is mounting that the basic values upon which the great enterprise of Western civilization rests are under assault from within and without. The invaluable Fjordman, who is closer to the immediate problem than I, wonders Can Eurabia Still be Averted? and is fairly pessimistic that Europe can survive as a part of the civilized West:
Historian Bat Ye'or, who first coined the term "Eurabia", thinks that Europe's ties with the Arab-Islamic world are now so firmly entrenched and established that Eurabia is an irreversible fact. Europe will cease to be a Western, democratic continent, and will become an appendix to the Arab world, a civilization of dhimmitude employed to spread Jihad and further the cause of Islam on a global basis, while the original, non-Muslim population are held hostage in their own countries out of fear of Muslim violence. Do you think this is true, or can Eurabia still be reversed and Europe salvaged?
I must admit there are certain parts of Europe that do seem to be beyond hope, or very close to it. ALL of the largest Dutch cities are projected to have a Muslim majority within a generation, as will several English, French, Belgian, Scandinavian and Spanish cities. I forsee several possible scenarios.
The scenarios he proposes are uniformly distressing. David Warren, writing on Sunday of the Apocalypse? is, if anything, even more pessimistic (Hat Tip: larwyn):
As the 20th century progressed, we saw two great ideological manifestations of an Atheism inconceivable to the European past -- respectively Communism, and Nazism. Together they committed horrors on such a scale, as to cause a partial recoil into belief. I’ve come to think the recovery of “traditional Christianity”, “family values”, the birth rate, and so forth -- phenomena we associate with the 1950s -- was only a response to that. At the core, Europe was mortally wounded, and the birth rates quickly fell again, to what they’d been in the 1920s and ’30s, and then lower still. The 1950s were, on this view, like the hesitation of the suicide on the brink. He shrinks for a moment, then makes his final leap.
Soon, the average age in Europe will be beyond childbearing. Among non-Muslim Europeans, in probably already is. We can no longer dream of a recovery. Europe has leapt. New immigrants are taking possession of the continent, transforming it, as in the "Dark Ages". Rome will be sacked again, in due course.
I would contend that what we are seeing, especially in Europe, is the natural history of Narcissism playing out on a wide stage; further, what is happening there is a cautionary tale for the American experiment. This post is to be the first of a series examining the history of Narcissism, the ways in which the personal and the societal have interacted and continue to interact to worsen the problems that stem from the Narcissistic aggrandizement of the self, and offer some ideas on ways to lessen the impact of the societal illness so engendered.
Psychoanalysis is a retrospective science (or hermeneutic exercise, if you prefer) which seeks to explain a person's current difficulties by discovering the earlier templates or models which determine the person's relationship with himself, with others, and with the greater reality. Applying the same tools to an analysis of a society is, of necessity, going to work better in retrospect than as prediction, however, since the past is prologue, certain outcomes can be seen in nascent form by looking closely at the current reality.
For example, if a patient has a tendency to choose lovers who are inappropriate, the most likely outcome of a new relationship, barring any structural changes in their character, is a repetition of past failed relationships, but perhaps with some differences in the details. Likewise, a society that has failed to adequately identify and resolve its problems will also, barring major structural shifts, continue to repeat the same errors until it fails.
My plan is to first describe the natural history of the Narcissistic Personality, followed by a look at those historical elements in the European culture and in the American culture that are associated with the increase in Narcissistic pathology. I plan to then look at current societal trends that are exacerbating the problems and those which have a chance to ameliorate the dangers. Finally, I would like to offer some hopeful ideas on ways to address these issues in the future.