A Book Review of
The Strange Death of Europe: Immigration, Identity, Islam
by Douglas Murray
“Europe is committing suicide…. More than any continent or country in the world today, Europe is now deeply weighed down no with guilt for its past.” — Douglas Murray
I finished reading Douglas Murray’s The Strange Death of Europe just 24 hours before a Libyan Muslim detonated an explosive device at the exit of an arena in Manchester, sending arrows of shrapnel into dozens of concert-goers and confirming, in an instant, every one of Murray’s arguments.
Timely, erudite, and needed, The Strange Death of Europe is the story of European cultural and racial ‘assisted suicide,’ with a focus on the effects of ongoing mass immigration from Africa, the Indian sub-continent, and the Middle East. This is a book that, in terms of its central arguments and pool of facts, will say nothing new to those on the Alt Right.
In this movement we live our lives with the burden of truly painful knowledge. We know that our current course will lead only to dispossession and destruction. Everything about the contemporary world suggests that we are a generation born either to witness the end of our great race, or to orchestrate its most stunning and earth-shattering rebirth. This book offers nothing in terms of assisting the latter, but in terms of its contribution to an understanding of the former, its unique strength may be said to lie in the concise, compelling, and clear-headed manner in which it advances the thesis that multiculturalism is a death sentence on Europe. Murray’s book is a forceful refutation of the lie that we are ‘progressing’ to a better European future, taking the theme of impending European death to a mass audience, particularly in Britain where the book climbed to number three in both the Sunday Times and UK Amazon bestseller lists, and sold out in numerous branches of the country’s largest high street book merchant. Despite ubiquitous socio-political conditioning, there is clearly a hunger for dissenting speech.
Murray opens with the stark statement: “Europe is committing suicide,” soon refined into the more nuanced argument that Europe’s political leaders, together with a complicit media, are in the process of taking their populations down the road of ethnic and cultural annihilation. The apparent acquiescence of European populations in this diabolical journey is ascribed by Murray to a number of factors. Europe has lost faith in its beliefs, traditions and legitimacy. It is in the midst of an “existential tiredness.” At the heart of this loss of direction and sense of self is the imposition of a cult of guilt — a cult that has grown weed-like from the fertile soil of Holocaust and slavery narratives advanced by the enemies of our people. Murray remarks that “More than any other continent or culture in the world today, Europe is now deeply weighed down with guilt for its past.”
While such a situation could itself be viewed as a civilizational crisis, Europe’s fate is made doubly precarious because of the simultaneous mass influx of non-Europeans. Under the current socio-political dispensation, Europe has been designated not as the home of the Europeans but as a home for all who wish to claim it. European nations, and those outside the continent that have historically been dominated by Europeans, are unique in being subjected to this form of international land-grab. Murray writes that “we know that we Europeans cannot become whatever we like. We cannot become Indian or Chinese, for instance. And yet we are expected to believe that anyone in the world can move to Europe and become European, …The world is coming into Europe at precisely the moment that Europe has lost sight of what it is.”
The first chapter focusses on demographics and the lies that politicians and ‘think tanks’ have employed to cloak this land-grab from the public. Choosing ten-year periods, Murray demonstrates the rapidity of the non-White influx. Between 2002 and 2012, for example, Whites became a minority in London, and England and Wales became home to an additional three million immigrants. There are now nearly three million households in England where not a single adult speaks English. Between 2001 and 2011 the number of Muslims in England and Wales rose from 1.5 million to 2.7 million — a figure that still doesn’t take into account illegal immigrants or non-responders to the census (of whom Muslims comprise the largest element). Murray writes that Britain is a nation “altered completely,” and adds that “by 2011 Britain had already become a radically different place from the place it had been for centuries.” Political and media reaction to such wholesale population changes was permitted to be expressed “in only one tone of voice” — “solely in the spirit of celebration.” Politicians and journalists lined up to champion every evidence of increasing “diversity.”
A key plank of the platform of such multicultural cheerleaders has been the “pretence that this was nothing new.” Assisted by a host of shadowy academics and unelected advisers, the false narrative was disseminated that Britain, and indeed other European countries, had always been “diverse.” Murray dissects this lie, pointing out that prior to the 1950s, “and certainly for the previous millennium, Britain had retained an extraordinarily static population.” The most significant influxes into the island of Britain in the entirety of the last two thousand years had been those of the Saxons, the Normans, and the Irish — all fellow North-Western Europeans, and close genetic cousins of the native Britons. The static nature of the British population was finally destroyed with a succession of Acts of Parliament that were hurriedly pushed through with no consultation with the British public. The 1948 British Nationality Act and the 1962 Commonwealth Immigrants Act enabled the first significant waves of Africans and Indians to enter Britain under the pretext that they would fill labor shortages.
Between 1948 and 1952 between around 2,000 Blacks entered Britain each year — undesirable, but a figure that tragically seems minute by today’s standards. By 1957 the figure had climbed to 42,000, and the lies began to crumble. Government investigations into this new population revealed that the idea that Blacks were helping fill a labor shortage was grossly ill-founded. In one report, completed in December 1953, civil servants stated that the new population found it difficult to secure employment not because of prejudice among Whites, but because the newcomers had “low output” and their working life was marked by “irresponsibility, quarrelsomeness, and lack of discipline.” Black women were “slow mentally,” and Black men were “more volatile in temperament than white workers … more easily provoked to violence … lacking in stamina,” and generally “not up to the standards required by British employers.” Murray’s treatment of this period of British history is unfortunately weak and lacking in broad historical context. He opines that the passage of these immigration-facilitating Acts of Parliament were part of a succession of blunders and under-estimations in the sphere of immigration legislation, which were later followed up with a series of Race Relations Acts intended to try to repair some of the damage.
Such an argument is weak to say the least. While I agree to some extent with his central thesis that elements of the European population are complicit in this ongoing ‘suicide,’ I simply cannot agree with the premise that our present situation is for the most part the result of miscalculation and political blunder. His treatment of the Race Relations Acts is an excellent example of flawed thinking and poor appreciation of the wider historical context. In 2014 I presented findings uncovered during my own research into the historical context of the Race Relations Acts. Rather than being ‘accidental’ or ad hoc pieces of legislation, these laws were demonstrably part of a long tradition of Jewish attempts to alter the racial make-up of Britain and move towards the outlawing of ‘group libel.’ Indeed, Murray is quite aware that Jewish organizations are an important component of the pro-immigration forces, noting “it genuinely shocks me to discover […] [that] many Jewish groups and Jewish leaders have been taking a conspicuous lead in welcoming refugees.” Murray, of course, is no expert on Jewish history and, as far as I can tell, appears to style himself as the quintessential anti-Islamist philo-Semite — a type that unfortunately remains quite common on the Right. His failure to grapple with this theme leaves a yawning gap in the logical progression of his argument.
Because of the nature of the subject he is discussing, Murray nevertheless finds himself indirectly discussing Jewish influence. For example, he refers to Barbara Roche, “a descendant of East End Jews,” as a chief architect of the multicultural state under Tony Blair. Roche dismissed all her critics as “racists,” “criticised colleagues for being too white,” and “believed that immigration was only ever a good thing.” After ten years of her highly influential immigration reforms, Roche beamed to an interviewer: “I love the diversity of London. I just feel comfortable.” Although Murray cites this quote from Roche, he seems entirely unaware of the research of Kevin MacDonald and others, who have shown that Jews in many White countries have sought to alter their demographic surroundings precisely in order to “feel comfortable.” Another Jew who features prominently in Murray’s account of the death of White Britain is the Jewish academic, novelist, and journalist Will Self. Self may be regarded as the quintessential cultural support act for his political counterparts, telling one television audience that British identity was nothing more than “going overseas and subjugating black and brown people and taking their stuff and the fruits of their labours.” One another occasion, Self told a BBC audience that those who oppose multiculturalism are “usually racists with an antipathy to people, particularly with black and brown skins.” Self isn’t acknowledged as Jewish in Murray’s text, appearing solely as a particularly malicious left-liberal.
Although he fails to make the necessary logical connections, Murray rightly portrays such comments as sounding “the authentic and undisguised voice of revenge.” Indeed, confronted with such a stark realization, Murray appears momentarily to contradict his own ‘suicide’ thesis: “The repercussions of the argument are striking to consider. For if [revenge] is even partially a spur for the recent transformation of our country, then what we are going through is not an accident, or a mere laxness of the borders, but a cool and deliberate act of national sabotage.” Despite flirting with this perfectly defensible, though more controversial, thesis, Murray inexplicably leaves the idea hanging and returns to the suicide narrative for the remainder of his text. There is no further mention of sabotage, or saboteurs like Roche and Self. They disappear into the shadows. This was one of the most frustrating aspects of the book, and one that, despite its merits, it doesn’t ever quite recover from.
Murray’s jarring change of direction is made clear in the title of the third chapter — “The excuses we told ourselves.” The chapter is an extended musing on the apparent justifications for multiculturalism that ‘we’ convinced ourselves with. By ‘we’ Murray refers to the European masses, all of whom have been force-fed lies for decades about multiculturalism, and who are placed on this diet of falsehood as soon as they can verbally communicate. Murray fails to acknowledge that the European peoples never concocted the lies that cloak the multicultural murder project. He fails to attribute this responsibility to the alien saboteurs and treasonous elites that it rightfully rests with. Despite this misattribution, Murray’s treatment of the fallacies of the multicultural narrative is very good. The fallacies are familiar to us all: the argument that Europe is ageing, that immigration is an economic benefit, that immigration makes a society more cultured and interesting, and that globalization makes mass immigration both inevitable and unstoppable.
Murray’s rebuttals to these contentions are piercing and succinct. Using a range of statistics he proves not only that immigrants are a massive drain on national finances, but also that government statisticians have been massaging their figures in order to produce politicized narratives of social ‘progress.’ One instance cited by Murray, in which a government report used the example of a French tech entrepreneur as ‘typical’ of immigrant economic contributions, is breathtaking in its deceitfulness. Cutting his way through endless government propaganda, Murray argues that mass immigration cost the British people around £160 billion between 1995 and 2011. Multiculturalism isn’t just killing us as a people; it is bankrupting us.
The argument that Europe is ageing and needs an influx of younger people is also dealt with thoroughly. Murray points to surveys suggesting that Europeans want to have more children but are finding it difficult due to economic, social and cultural pressures. Murray further argues that multiculturalism itself has a depressing impact on the desire of Europeans to have children because it reduces the sense of security and makes couples less optimistic about the future, even if on a sub-conscious level. Murray criticizes the argument that reduced European birthrates should be so superficially and dangerously ‘solved’ with mass immigration, and suggests that European governments should instead introduce policies that encourage procreation. Breaking down the “ageing continent” argument even further, Murray produces statistics showing that, contrary to propaganda, Europe does not have a labor shortage, but rather has a problem with an ‘over-educated’ youth that looks down on manual labor. According to Murray, the solution to Europe’s alleged ‘age problem,’ rather than importing a new population, is to turn to policies encouraging reproduction and the family, and the re-education of our young away from overly-materialistic life expectations.
Murray also skewers the idea that ‘diversity’ is culturally enriching. He begins by critiquing the very basis of the argument, because it implies that “European societies are slightly boring or staid places.” In reality, Europe has an “already existing proliferation of languages, cultures and cuisines.” The ‘enriching’ argument also rests on the false premise that you can learn about other cultures not by travelling to experience them, but “to encourage the world to come to you.” A further fallacy is the implication that “the value of migrants continues to increase as their numbers increase.” Describing the “embarrassing” but oft-cited example of food, Murray points out:
The amount of enjoyment to be got from Turkish food does not increase year on year the more Turks there are in the country. Every 100,000 extra Somalis, Eritreans or Pakistanis who enter Europe do not magnify the resulting cultural enrichment 100,000 times. It may be that Europe has already learned what it needs to learn from cuisine, and accordingly gained all that it needs to gain, and that in order to continue enjoying Indian food it will not be necessary to keep on importing more Indians into our societies.
Murray also stresses that the ‘diversity’ allegedly brought by multiculturalism is demonstrably false since most immigrants come from only a small number of countries. In the case of Britain, there are relatively few immigrant populations who haven’t originated in Pakistan, India, or Africa. Since most were former colonies, the British had already learned everything they needed to know about these cultures by the late nineteenth century. Their presence in modern Britain for some kind of putative ‘educational’ or enlightening cultural purpose is doubly absurd.
Perhaps Murray’s most forceful argument against the ‘enrichment’ hypothesis is his extended commentary on immigrant crime, scattered throughout the text. Although much of the material will be familiar to readers of The Occidental Observer, Murray’s reflections on Rotherham and similar instances of mass sexual exploitation of European children by immigrant gangs are worth reading. Of particular interest is his exploration of the stunning impact of political correctness in neutering the responses of local police and local government, causing an inertia that enabled the sexual abuse of European girls to continue unchallenged for years.
One of the more interesting chapters of the book is that titled ‘Multiculturalism.’ Here Murray points out that the term ‘multiculturalism’ has resisted firm definition, meaning a number of different things to different people — and in its malleability becoming an extremely useful tool for its agents. For example, great swathes of the public may understand multiculturalism as no more than a kind of mild pluralism, and that it would be the ‘polite’ position not to mind people of a different cultural background living in their country. Thus, even when they say that they do support multiculturalism, this definition is what they have in mind. But, as Murray points out, there is a deeper layer to ‘multiculturalism,’ and this is the definition that traitors and ‘saboteurs’ hold to: that the future of European societies is “to become a great melting pot,” in which White Europeans steadily dissolve into oblivion. While the European masses think they are consenting to the first proposition, they have instead been contributing to the furtherance of the second.
As well as involving subtle manipulation, multiculturalism is also openly aggressive and anti-European. Murray cites the American political philosopher Samuel Huntington as writing: “Multiculturalism is in its essence anti-European civilization. It is basically an anti-Western ideology.” Murray writes that in order to become multicultural, European societies have “had to do themselves down, particularly focussing on their negatives.” Thus, even when states are suicidally open and liberal to the point of encouraging large-scale migration, they are nevertheless “portrayed as countries which are uniquely racist.” European societies prostrate themselves while even the most minor achievements of immigrants are celebrated and their myriad faults ignored. Murray employs the example of the Swedish Minister of Integration, Mona Sahlin, who spoke at a Kurdish mosque in 2004. Sahlin told her audience that many Swedes were jealous of them because “the Kurds have a rich and unifying culture and history, whereas the Swedes only had silly things like the festival of Midsummer’s Night.” More common examples include the alarmingly ubiquitous claim (like that made by Swedish Parliamentary Secretary Lisa Bergh) that the Swedes, British, Germans etc. “have no culture.”
Murray roots this self-denial and self-hatred in “the tyranny of guilt” — the title of the tenth chapter. Beginning with the case of the drowned Syrian boy Aylan Kurdi, the author comments at length on Europe’s “unique, abiding and perhaps finally fatal sense of, and obsession with, guilt.” Murray highlights the importance of historical and cultural representations of the 1930s and 1940s in promoting and enforcing a sense of guilt among Europeans, leading ultimately to a contemporary insistence “that Europe had absolutely no choice other than to take in everybody who wanted to come. To not do so was to be a Nazi.” But this particular historical period is merely a root, and many branches of guilt have sprung from it. “Today’s Europeans expect themselves, long before anybody else raises it, to bear specific historical guilt that comprises not only war guilt and Holocaust guilt, but a whole gamut of preceding guilts.” Australian children are taught that their national culture is founded on genocide and theft, a narrative reflected best in the country’s annual “Sorry Day.”
European guilt has been incredibly useful for the enemies of our people. Murray points out that “embedding the idea of original sin in a nation is the best possible way to breed self-doubt”; this has been “helpful to everyone other than those of the guilty nation.” While not all Europeans are susceptible to the guilt narrative, some, notably concentrated on the Left, are particularly prone to it. Murray describes these types as self-loathing masochists, and cites the example of the male Norwegian leftist Karsten Hauken who, after being beaten and sodomized by a Somalian migrant, wrote a public letter expressing his “sense of guilt and responsibility” that his attacker would be deported back to Somalia where he would experience a “dark uncertain future.”
Perversely, it is Europe that faces a dark and uncertain future, as revealed in Murray’s overwhelmingly pessimistic text. In the penultimate chapter Murray offers and explores policy suggestions that might yet see Europe survive (deportations, cultural shifts, and making the shaming of the nation a criminal offense as it is in countries like Turkey). But with candid realism, he locates these proposals within the sphere of wishful thinking.
The book’s final chapter “What Will Be,” is an apocalyptic vision of a future that is all too close to becoming contemporary reality. “By the middle of this century, while China will probably still look like China, India will probably look like India, Russia like Russia, and Eastern Europe like Eastern Europe, Western Europe will at best resemble a large-scale United Nations. … It will not be Europe anymore.” Through rhetorical cultural devices based on guilt and insidious systems of ‘morality,’ our homeland has been convinced that it owes a debt to humanity — a debt that can only be paid through self-denial and self-dispossession.
Although flawed, this book is an important (and apparently popular) warning about the decline of the European peoples. The text is at times hampered with neocon and philo-Semitic tendencies, but these feel labored, disjointed, and strained within the broader narrative. At times one suspects that Murray himself feels torn between these ‘grafted’ inclinations and deeper cultural, and probably racial, affinities with his own people. I am often suspicious and disregarding of those on the Right who flirt with our ideas and yet are among the first to condemn our movement. Murray can probably be placed in that category. Murray is also a homosexual — another demographic that is both undesirable in our movement and overwhelmingly unhelpful to our politics. However, it remains the case that The Strange Death of Europe is a useful text worthy of study and a modest place in your bookcase. Coming from the relative mainstream, it can also be used as a conversation starter, or left in a staff room for the perusal of others. It is probably the only mainstream, ‘respectable’ text in English that discusses the impending catastrophe, and therefore should be discussed and promoted.
The awakening of others must be our priority — the alternative is an endless nightmare.
 K. Paul, Whitewashing Britain: Race and Citizenship in the Postwar Era (Cornell University Press, 1997), p.134.