The death of Borders Books was a terrible blow to my social life and to my health for that matter. I used to have a major bookseller within a fifteen minute drive of my house which was the recipient of much of my disposable income. With Borders gone, that income has gone mostly toward booze and cigarettes (though I'm trying to quit smoking.) I remember my store's final days well. The last time I crossed its threshold was in early September 2011. By then every book was a staggering 80% off so I grabbed everything on the shelves, including things I don't normally read anyway. I don't cook much but I'll take that cookbook for Okinawan seaweed cuisine. On that final trip I picked up Tom Kratman's Caliphate. I'm quite happy I did.
Demography is destiny, as the book's tagline tells us. Kratman extrapolates the current European demographic trends to their logical conclusion. By the early 22nd century, Europeans are a cowed minority of dhimmis living under the not-so-tender mercies of an ascendant Muslim caliphate. The United States dominates much of the free world, if not outright annexed many formerly independent nations such as Canada. The story takes place between the years 2103 and 2113 with interludes that flashback to the present day. The European caliphate is incapable of supporting a modern technological civilization. Janissaries are prized as soldiers because even after rigorous formation in Islamic theology, they still retain a residual Christian notion of God helping those who help themselves. This means they take the time to do target practice and maintain their weapons. Muslims, as portrayed in the book, are extreme fatalists, inshallah. If Allah wills that they hit their targets, then they will hit their targets regardless of what they do or fail to do.
The novel's catchphrase could very well be "God, what a shitty world," as almost every character says so at one time or another. Kratman shows us how bad the world can get. The Germans are so utterly debased that they allow their own children to be kidnapped and sold into slavery or prostitution by their Muslim overlords. The Americans have virtually abandoned the Constitution and engage in nakedly imperial adventures around the world. The plot centers around two German siblings and one American soldier turned clandestine operative. Their paths intertwine as they save the world from the Caliphate's new biological superweapon.
Kratman leaves the reader with some optimism at the end. The American empire is resolved to liberate Europe from its own suicide. Can the future Kratman prophesied be avoided all together? Demographically, no. Europe has passed beyond the point of no return. They will probably all be majority Muslim nations by the middle of this century. In his Author's Afterward, Kratman listed several possible scenarios. One scenario, posited by Colonel Ralph Peters, is that eventually the Europeans will be pushed too far. They will revert to type and tell their Muslim citizens "To a gas chamber, go." Like Kratman, I think that's the least likely scenario.
Europe is in its demographic death spiral because it has lost its faith in its own future and in the next life. If this life is all we have, then why shouldn't we live it up at the expense of those who are yet to come? Why should we take pride in our heritage and culture since those things lead to death camps? Nothing short of a miracle can save Europe now. They'll totter on for another two or three generations, but the math is inescapable. Europeans are not producing enough children to provide a large enough tax base to support their welfare states or their old age pensions. Either they must raise taxes on a shrinking labor pool or they must import younger foreign workers. Young people with the means to do so will seek their fortunes elsewhere, exacerbating the problem. Younger foreign workers will wonder why they should sacrifice so much of their incomes to support elderly white people who can't support themselves anymore.
Put your hope in God mes enfants. Because there is no hope that Europe's current trends are going to end well for anyone.