Monday, July 16, 2012

Is Americanization Inevitable?

Mark Steyn writes an interesting piece titled "Islamist Generation"  with a subtitle that captures his thesis: "Today’s Muslim youth are less Westernized than their parents were."

The theory used to be that Westernization, which equaled modernization, which equaled secularization, was an altogether irresistible force that no culture could forever withstand.  Needless to say, when the mullahs took over Iran in the late 1970s, and then elsewhere later, the old theory became ripe for reassessment.

An always important subset of Westernization, and an exception to it as well, is Americanization.  America is exceptional (that word again) for at least two reasons: an apparently recalcitrant religiosity (overwhelmingly Judeo-Christian, to be sure) and while democratic, a democracy that stubbornly persists in privileging liberty over equality. (Or at least a democracy that still gives liberty a fighting chance.)

For those exceptions and more, I used to think Americanization irresistible as well.  Because of that belief, while I was sympathetic with those who insisted on "English only", for example, I never got too excited about its necessity.  In spite of liberals' best efforts to keep immigrants unassimilated (by right, for heaven's sake) and thereby ignorant and thereby dependent, dependent on liberals, that is, I was always confident that the power and appeal of America was just too strong, that in short order, no more than one generation, the large majority of immigrants would simply refuse to be played for the fools liberals took them to be and would become red-white-and-blue Americans after all, insisting on grasping for themselves the American Dream.

I'm not so sure anymore. What has changed?

I fear that now too many elites (don't ask me how many is "too" many), have lost confidence in America, if, that is, they were not already hostile to it.  Since the 60s that ethos of hostility towards or lack of confidence in America has steadily become institutionalized in the Democrat Party and in the person of Barack Hussein Obama they finally elected someone as president who believes exactly as they.

So, back to the point of Steyn's piece, what can we expect of young Muslims in America?

I don't know. 

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