Thursday, February 16, 2017

Expansionism is the Fundamental Threat to the West

A video going around on facebook shows Steve Bannon asserting that the clash between the West and Islam is going to be the 4th great crisis or "turning point" in American history. This is intended by liberals to show Bannon is irrational or a war monger or Islamophobic or whatever insults they can conjure up. Their reactions remind me of the description given by another blogger that SJWs don't read or listen for the point of accumulating information, but they merely scan for something to be enraged by. In this case the video went viral because it feels like some form of hate speech to them, although conceptually there's plenty there for rational adults to analyze.

The question in general is does Islam pose an existential threat to Western society? and if so, is it the greatest threat? I'm taking this a step further than Bannon, who invokes Judeo-Christian values or western society, but his examples pertain particularly to the US. The American revolution and civil war didn't pose some existential threat to the entirety of Western civilization.

I agree with Bannon that Islam is a threat to the West. Despite what liberals would have us believe Islam is not a race, and I would argue that it is not a religion. It is, but it is also a culture, and even more importantly, a political ideology, much being incompatible with the Western tradition. This is not to say of course that individual Muslims can't prosper in the West or contribute to it, but they cannot in large numbers without changing what the West fundamentally is. We could not replace the native population of America with Muslims and expect it to look, behave, or function anything like the West.

Islam is a threat in the way that pneumonia is a threat. Yes, if enough pneumonia gets into the body it will kill the host. But that doesn't typically happen. Pneumonia only gets an advantage when the body is weakened. So which is the true cause of death: the pathogen, or the underlying weakness? If someone battling AIDS finally succumbs to pneumonia, we generally say they died of AIDS.

I propose that the greatest threats to the West boil down to a single concept: expansionism, which I will describe in the following sections. Now I don't pretend this is the only threat to the West. There are others, greed, hysteria, a lack of rational discourse being high on the list. I suspect though we might be able to provide a context where those vices are downstream from the expansionism.

Territorial Expansionism

Anyone who has read history or played a good strategy game like Civilization or Risk knows that, even in games where expansion is the goal, over-expansion leaves one vulnerable to counter-attack. Let's explore some scenarios where over-expansion has led to problems for the West and ethnically European people.


In his book The Collapse of Complex Societies Joseph Tainter lays out the cycle of empirical expansion and collapse, with Rome serving as the canonical example. In those days the primary energy source was grain. A country's energy input was roughly equivalent to the grain they produced or purchased. However an expanding nation could plunder the accumulated wealth of the conquered. As long as plunder was inbound, the nation enjoyed an artificially high level of wealth / energy. The downside was that with each conquest they accumulated responsibility for administering the new lands and putting down insurrections. As the size of administered lands grew, and the plunder shrank, the balance sheets became untenable.

The Romans were not able to adapt to their new reality. In fact their policies tended to drive farmers off the land; in the late empire a surprising amount of arable land went to seed. Clearly the Romans did not grasp the long-term costs of expansion, nor how to maintain power without large inflows of wealth. Ultimately the Romans were put to the mercy of the invading Goths.

Nazi Germany

Probably the quintessential example of the perils of manic militant expansionism. Not content to dominate north central Europe, Hitler pushing his Wehrmacht halfway to Asia, choosing to fight nearly everyone at once, and ending in the total destruction of the German state. While we are reminded frequently of the Jewish dead, usually stated at 6 million although the real number may be under 3 million, what is rarely mentioned is the number of dead Germans. Roughly, four and a half million killed in the military. Another half million killed by bombing and other affects of war, and then another half million or so killed after the war, bringing the total to something like 6 million.

Even if you were a dyed-in-the-wool Aryan supremacist, the excessive expansionism was disastrous. If you were just a normal German caught up in the mess it was even more disastrous, or if you were one of the millions that lied in the path of Wehrmacht, or who died helping to fight it. The end result was grief for nearly everyone.

United States

The United States as we know it was born out of Manifest Destiny, or expansionism sanctioned by God. The 13 English colonies became 50 spread from one side of the continent to the other, with two halfway to Asia. Such an aggressive land grab might have made sense in the context of early America. Western European populations were surging as a result of the technological advances of the industrial revolution. There was also limited competition for the land. The stone-age native inhabitants were scant in number, with estimates at just over a million over the whole land that would become the United States (and just 20 million spread over the 2 continents of America). There was little competition from the advanced powers as well, with the French and Spanish being checked and ultimately ejected from the western hemisphere.

From 1607, the founding of Jamestown, to 1965, a span of 358 years, the population surged from a million or so Indians to almost 200 million total, with about 90% European, yielding an average growth rate of a little over half a million a year. By modern standards 200 million people over an area the size of the US was still a fairly low-density country, but at this point the expansion policy seemed to be successful with good long-term prospects. [Note, for the analysis I'm using white population as something of a proxy for western society. We're talking about large-scale ethnic and cultural trends here. I understand that trends don't apply to every individual, and yet current attitudes make these sorts of disclaimers a necessity when discussing demographics.]

Around 1965 two events greatly altered the demographic trajectory of the US.
  1. Slowed growth rate. Over the course of the 1960s the birth rate dropped by over a third.
  2. Non-white immigration. Until 1965 immigration primarily came from Europe. However in that year the Democrat-run Congress passed a law the shifted immigration priorities towards non-white and non-western sources.
The effects have been immense; it doesn't seem most Americans truly understand the demographic swing undergone in a generation or two. In 1965 the population was nearly 200 million souls and 90% were white. In 2010 the white population was a bit under 200 million. That's very small growth, just a few million in about 50 years, a far drop from half a million a year. 

However the overall population soared to 310 million officially, with the real number probably closer to 330 million. In the same era that white population grow maybe 5 or 6 percent, non-white growth was [...does math, takes 130 million divided by 20 million.....] 650%, with an expansion rate of over 2 million per year. Since 1965 the growth rate of non-whites has been 100 times that of whites!! In 50 years the founding race's population percentage has dropped nearly a third. I would challenge you to find any example of such a demographic scenario in all history that was not caused by armed invasion, natural disaster, or the willful emigration of the founding tribe to a more desirable locale. This seems to be historically unprecedented.

Now the normal rebuttal you'll hear to all this is that none of these demographics matter because America was founded on an idea. [Well really that assumes you're opponent is rational. The more likely rebuttal I hear from liberals is I'm just upset because I'm white with insinuations that white people aren't allowed to have certain opinions. But remember, they aren't racist, right?] But is America really founded on an idea or is that more like American mythology? Certainly the founding fathers themselves didn't think America was an idea where all concerns for demographics could be brushed aside as petty xenophobia. Benjamin Franklin questioned the practicality of permitting even Germans from settling in Pennsylvania, as they would tend to isolate into their own cultural bubbles. And in fact he was correct, with many such enclaves persisting until our wars with Germany made such cultural affiliations a social liability.

The question isn't so much deciding what is right or wrong, but what will happen regardless of our beliefs. It might be morally superior to allow entry too all those who wish to partake in our welfare state (it's not, but let's just go with that). Regardless of opinion, the result is likely to be both a degradation of the cultural values that made America great to begin with and, more concretely, the fracturing of the country along ethnic and cultural boundaries. It's already happening. The four states with white population percentage less than 50% are California, Hawaii, New Mexico, and Texas. What do those states have in common? Not a lot, but they all have active secessionist movements. They aren't the only such movements, as they are also seen in Alaska, Cascadia, and New Hampshire/Vermont, but there is an undeniable correlation between the demographic situation and separatist desires. 

If you investigate the separatist movements, you'll find mostly the countering arguments are economic. You'll find much less allusions to the American "idea" as cause to stay united. New Mexico's movement stays small because ultimately they receive more from the federal government than they receive. And this should be generally true, on average, since the federal government is running enormous deficits. They're able to spend more than they're collecting from the states' citizens. But that can't last forever. What happens when the economy tanks and the government piggy bank is emptied out?

Whether you support multiculturalism or not, there is simply no precedent for a stable multi-cultural society. Even the Old Testament warned against such ventures. I predict that as multiculturalism progresses in the country we will see increasing segmentation in the country, leading to outright schisms once the economy falters.


Even tiny Israel pays the price for expansionism. In 1971 the Arabs offered peace to Israel, in exchange for ceding back the lands it had gained in the 1967 war, particularly the Sinai lands it annexed from Egypt. Israel chose to hold out for more, and since that time has engaged in widescale expansion of Israel settlements into the West Bank and the Golan Heights. The cost has been intense hostility with the Arab world and almost universal condemnation of Israel from the UN. Even the US abandoned Israel, a parting f-you from the outgoing Obama administration. Because of their expansionist desires, the long-term tenability of the world's only Jewish state remain uncertain.

Economic Expansion

Nations these days tend not to compete militarily as much as economically. The Soviet Union lost the Cold War because it could not keep up economically. Much as military expansion drove the empires of yore, economic expansion drives the US hegemony today. But even in the economic realm expansion is prone to the same side effects and risk of collapse. The American empire is a realm of aggressive global capitalism and mercantilism. The fiercest wars are waged for access to markets, to resources, to cheap labor, and ultimately to higher profits.

But these venture come at a cost to the nation. The free flow of capital to outside investment means less investment domestically. The free flow of capital drives the free flow of people, and the drive to undercut wages causes the mass import of foreigners and the instability that comes with a multi-ethnic state.

The destructive forces of unrestrained capitalism were laid out two centuries ago by Marx and Engels. While the prescription (communism) was bunk, the diagnosis was illuminating. Liberals today tend to blame all social ills on capitalism. Conservatives in turn blame it all on the liberal agenda. The reactionary should be careful to understand that unrestrained capitalism and liberalism are both wrought with destructive potential, and we should take the time to tease out which societal ills are being caused the two orthodoxies and their associated expansionist tendencies.

State Expansion

While the state is just one portion of the nation, it too is subject to the same tendency to over-expand and collapse. A massive and monolithic governing apparatus is stifling to a country for reasons too numerous to get into here without reciting half of the conservative doctine. But let's look at an example that allows us to witness some concrete aspects of state expansionism.

Europe does not suffer from territorial over-expansion. Her empires have long since collapsed. However the state sector has expanded enormously, so that the bulk of western European countries are welfare states. And not just welfare states, but they are something of a Ponzi scheme, where the state requires a forever growing productive population base to fund the social liabilities. This need provides the major rationale for letting immigrants pour in: the social programs need warm bodies. So they permit a massive demographics shift with all the risks I mentioned earlier. The great irony in this is that the immigrants are generally not very productive and cause an even greater strain on the very social programs they are fighting desperately to maintain.

Adversarial Expansion

Most readily apparent as a threat to a civilization is the expansion of a competing neighbor. Even a perfectly balanced society is at risk of being overrun. Let's look at a couple threats that the US has faced on the global scale.


People today don't have the perspective to realize just what a threat global communism was following World War II. The Soviet Union was a collosus and had the intention of imposing global communism. It had gobbled up Eastern Europe and posed an immediate threat to western Europe. Communism also took hold in China, and Korea was only saved (halfway) through direct US intervention. Similarly Southeast Asia became an orgy of communist and anti-communist bloodshed. Latin American countries were also falling to communist yearnings, many averted only through covert and typically brutal intervention by the US military and CIA.

Even more alarming was the level to which the US was infiltrated by communists, considered to be the most heavily infiltrated modern government ever. I highly recommend everyone to take the 3.5 hours (don't need to all at once) to watch Stefan Molyneux's breakdown of the communist threat that drove Joseph McCarthy to make his infamous purges of communists from the government and media.

While history always seems like a foregone conclusion, just imagine where we'd be if communism had completed it's sweep of Europe and Asia. Clearly communism did at one point pose a very direct threat to the Western way of life.


Islam is inherently expansionist. Upon it's introduction in backwards Arabia it's adherents sprung immediately into prominence, quickly occupying great swathes of the Middle East, north Africa, and southern Europe, and the growth and spread of Islam has continued to this day. In fact Islam is projected to become the world's largest religion by 2070, despite Christianity having a 800-year headstart and being spread by the great colonial powers (including Rome itself).

Islam is designed for expansion. Of interest to western nations should be the concept of Taqqiya, which allows Muslims to downplay and even outright deny their religion if there is social pressure to do so. However as the percentage of Islam grows so do their religious demands on the society, as has been outlined by Peter Hammond.

Note this graphic is out of date as France is at 10% now, and faces frequent riots and restlessness. The official numbers put Sweden and Germany at 5%, but those were from before the great Merkel open-door's policy. No doubt they are close to 10%, and the Netherlands as well. They fool themselves into believing the Muslim immigrants will happily adopt to the superior Western ideals. They would do well to open a history book. The expansion of Islam will either have to be repelled, or those countries will turn increasingly Islamic, eroding the western tradition. What do people really think will happen once Muslims have 51% of the electorate in a western democracy?


Here I have shown 3 ways in which a nation's own over-expansion can lead it to ruin: territorial, economic, and political. Over-expansion implies many things. Lack of patience. Lack of planning. Lack of sobriety. Lack of proportion. Lack of humility. Generally a lack of balance and a lack of virtue. When pondering some social ill, ask yourself in what domain could expansionism have been the cause. To do so immediately drives one to consider the big picture of the issue within the context of the continuous power cycles that occur between and within nations.

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