When French voters said "Non!" to the EU Constitution last May, one reason was the Polish plumber. Actually he ——— or she ——— was a scare tactic by leftwing parties, who were afraud the EU Constitution might bring in cheap labor from Eastern Europe. Polish workers might go so far as to work hard for less money. They might even exceed the 35 hour work week!
So the French voted to keep out the Poles, the Czechs and all the other former victims of the Soviet Empire. But now we have the Maghrebian rioters to pit against the Polish immigrants, and things might looks quite different. The ethnic French are steadly losing the demographic race to the burgeoning population of young and fecund Muslims. As the Baby Boumeurs begin to retire, France will become increasingly Muslim. The European plan to forge an alliance with the Arabic world against America has backfired — instead of Muslims immigrants become Europeanized, it is Europe that is now becoming l'Arabie du Nord.
It is simply inconceivable to limit Muslim immigration, in the current climate of French Political Correctness. Only Jean Marie Le Pen is talking about it, and it is therefore considered to be a fascist idea. The only possible solution, therefore, is to bring back that Polish plumber, and his Czech and Bulgarian counterparts, and do it in large numbers.
1. The Poles — and other former Soviet subject peoples — tend to be Christian. In Poland the Catholic Church was a bulwark against the Communist Party, even after it was thoroughly penetrated by the secret police. Even the Russians still have more than a smidgen of religion in their psyches, after decades of officially enforced atheism, as Gorbachev discovered when his fellow party apparatchiks would exclaim "Bozhe moi!" — My God! — as the Soviet Union began to slowly fall apart.
2. Poles therefore come with a cultural barrier against the temptations of ideological utopianism, including Islamic radicalism. It may be quite possible to convert a post—modern Frenchman to Wahhabi Islam. There isn't that much of a distance between post—modernism and pre—modernism — and 7th century Arabia is about as pre—modern as you can get. Islamic fundamentalism solves all existential doubts, because doubt is punishable by death.
To solve his own existential despair Jean—Paul Sartre devoted his energies to promoting Stalinism and then Maoism, in a great betrayal of humane values. But when it comes to 100 percent faith, there is no substitute for the Saudi version of Islam. For a Muslim France there would be no existential despair — spousal abuse and child marriage, yes, but no existentialism.
3. In addition, Polish plumbers are young and have lots of children — a survival necessity for modern France, and for Western Europe as a whole.
4. Over time, the wave of Islamic radicalism is likely to soften and fade, just as French Catholicism has done in the last hundred years. But it will only do so if it is confronted with a competing faith. Europe has erased its own cultural values — that's what multiculturalism is about, after all. So it lacks any transcendent belief at all. When "Europa" becomes "Eurabia," no religious competition will be permitted. Therefore if France is going to encourage immigrants who can hold their own against radical Islam, it must do so before Shariah spreads from the banlieus to the country as a whole.
The one thing we keep learning from history is a sense of human limits.
Social engineers continue to dream that humans can be molded and shaped at will. If the French riots have shown anything, it is the emptiness of that dream. People have a stubborn tendency to do pretty much what they have always done.
Well, then: We can try to forecast the future of two groups, based on what they have done before — Maghrebian immigrants and Polish plumbers. Europe's social engineers might ask which immigrants they would prefer for a peaceful future.
James Lewis is a frequent contributor.