The Best Quotes From Mark Steyn’s America Alone

by John Hawkins | November 2, 2006 11:19 am

I recently finished Mark Steyn’s superb book, America Alone[1], which is about disturbing European demographic trends and the danger of radical Islam. The book was just mesmerizing, one of the best books I’ve read in years, and as you’d expect with anything Steyn penned, it was so magnificently written that I could hardly tear myself away from the book. If I were to give the book a letter grade, it would be an A+ — it’s “must read” material.

Let me put it in a slightly bigger nutshell: much of what we loosely call the Western world will not survive the twenty first century, and much of it will effectively disappear within our lifetimes, including many if not most European countries. There’ll probably still be a geographical area on the map marked as Italy or the Netherlands — probably — just as in Istanbul there’s still a building known as Hagia Sophia, or St. Sophia’s Cathedral. But, it’s not a cathedral; it’s merely a designation for a piece of real estate. Likewise, Italy and the Netherlands will merely be designations for real estate. — P.xiii

Here’s what did happen between 1970 and 2000: in that period, the developed world declined from just under 30 percent of the global population to just over 20 percent, and the Muslim nations increased from about 15 percent to 20 percent. — P.xiv

I wonder how many pontificators on the “Middle East peace process” ever run this number: the median age in the Gaza Strip is 15.8 years. Once you know that, all the rest is details. If you were a “moderate Palestinian” leader, would you want to try to persuade a nation — or pseudo-nation — of unemployed, poorly educated teenage boys raised in a UN-supervised European funded death cult to see sense? Any analysis of the “Palestinian problem” that doesn’t take into account the most important determinant on the ground is a waste of time. — P.xvi

All dominant powers are hated — Britain was, and Rome — but they’re usually hated for the right reasons. America is hated for every reason. The fanatical Muslims despise America because it’s all lap-dancing and gay porn; the secular Europeans despise America because it’s all born-again Christians hung up on abortion; the anti-Semites despise America because it’s controlled by Jews. Too Jewish, too Christian, too godless, America is George Orwell’s Room 101: whatever your bugbear you will find it therein; whatever you’re against, America is the prime example of it. — P.xxiii

The refined antennae of Western liberals mean that whenever one raises the question of whether there will be any Italians living in the geographical zone marked Italy in a generation or three hence, they cry, “Racism!” To agitate about what proportion of the population is “white” is grotesque and inappropriate. But, it’s not about race; it’s about culture. If 100 percent of your population believes in liberal pluralist democracy, it doesn’t matter whether 70 percent of them are “white” or only 5 percent are. But if one part of your population believes in liberal pluralist democracy and the other doesn’t, then it becomes a matter of great importance whether the part that does is 90 percent of the population or only 60 percent, or 50, or 45 percent. — xxvii

(T)here’s a lot to be said for a great nation that understands its greatness is not an accident and therefore it should spread the secrets of its success around; conversely, there’s not much to be said for a great nation that chooses to hobble itself by pretending it’s merely one vote among co-equals on international bodies manned by Cuba and Sudan — the transnational version of “affirmative action”….” — P.xxvii

Even in America, too many Democrats take it as read that the natural destination of an advanced Western Democracy is Scandinavia. If it is, we’re all doomed. — P.xxix

The single most important fact about the early twenty-first century is the rapid aging of almost every developed nation other than the United States: Canada, Europe, and Japan are getting old fast, older than any functioning society has ever been and faster than any has ever aged. A society ages when its birth rate falls and it finds itself with fewer children and more grandparents. For a stable population — i.e. no growth, no decline, just a million folks in 1950, a million in 1980, a million in 2010 — you need a total fertility rate of 2.1 live births per woman. That’s what American has: 2.1, give or take. Canada has 1.48, an all-time low and a more revealing difference between the Great Satan and the Great White North than of the stuff (socialized health care, fewer handouts, more UN peacekeepers, etc.) that Canucks usually brag about. Europe as a whole has 1.38. Japan, 1.32; Russia, 1.14. These countries — or, more precisely, these people — are going out of business. — P.2

Big government depends on bigger population: Americans have a relatively smallish government compared to Canada and Europe, but the US Social Security system assumes a 30 percent population growth between now and 2075 or so and, even then, expects to be running a deficit after 2017. Now imagine you’re Spain and you’ve got even bigger public pensions liabilities and a population that’s going to be halving every thirty-five years. The progressive Left can be in favor of Big Government or population control, but not both. That mutual incompatibility is about to plunge Europe into societal collapse. There’s no precedent in human history for economic growth on declining human capital — and that’s before anyone invented unsustainable welfare systems. — P.3

What’s the Muslim population of Rotterdam? Forty percent. What’s the most popular boy’s name in Belgium? Mohammed. In Amsterdam? Mohammed. In Malmo, Sweden? Mohammed. By 2005, it was the fifth most popular boy’s name in the United Kingdom. — P.6

In 2050 — Italy’s population will have fallen by 22 percent, Bulgaria’s by 36 percent, Estonia’s by 52 percent — or more. Seventeen European nations are now at what demographers call “lowest low” fertility: 1.3 births per woman. In theory, those countries will find their populations halving every thirty-five years or so. In practice, it will be quicker than that, as the savvier youngsters figure there’s no point sticking around a country that’s turning into an undertaker’s waiting room. Not every pimply burger flipper wants to support entire old folks’ homes single-handed… — P.11

In their bizarre prioritization of “a woman’s right to choose,” feminists have helped ensure that European women will end their days in a culture that doesn’t accord women the right to choose anything. Non-Muslim females in heavily Muslims neighborhoods in France now wear headscarves while out on the streets. — P.16

Anyone who’s traveled in the Middle-East will recognize that moment — not with the wacky death-to-the-great Satan guys but with the hot-looking Westernized Bahrani lady doctor you’re enjoying a little incendiary flirting with. And then — ten, twenty, forty-five minutes into the conversation–she says something nutty. Often what’s nuttiest is that it’s completely illogical: in the Spring of 2002, I met many Arabs who believed simultaneously that (a)September 11 was pulled off by the Mossad and (b) it was a great victory for the Muslim people. — P.17

So if a population “at odds with the modern world” (in Phillip Longman’s phrase( is the fastest-breeding group on the planet, how safe a bet is the survival of the “modern world?” — P.19

In a few years, as millions of Muslim teenagers are entering its voting booths, some European countries will not be living formally under Sharia, but — as have parts of Nigeria — they will have reached an accommodation with their radicalized Islamic compatriots, who like many intolerant types are expert at exploiting the “tolerance” of pluralist societies. In other Continental countries, things are likely to play out in more traditional fashion, thought without a significantly different ending. — P.38

(T)he secondary impulses are so advanced that many of America’s allies no longer share the same understanding of basic words like “power.” In 2002 Finnish prime minister Paavo Lipponen gave a speech in London saying that “the EU must not develop unto a military superpower but must become a great power that will not up arms at any occasion in order to defend its own interests.” No doubt it sounds better in Finnish. Nonetheless, he means it: for many Europeans, the old rules no longer apply. They’ve been supplanted by new measures of power like how smoothly you fit in at the transnational yakfests (EU, UN, ICC, etc.). — P.44

The Left, for its part, offers an appeal to moral virtue: it’s better to pay more in taxes and to share the burdens of a community. It’s kinder, gentler, more compassionate, more equitable. Unfortunately, as recent European election results demonstrate, nothing makes a citizen more selfish than socially equitable communitarianism: once a fellow’s enjoying the fruits of government health care and all the rest, he couldn’t give a hoot about the general societal interest; he’s got his, and if it’s going to bankrupt the state a generation hence, well, as long as they can keep the checks coming till he’s dead, it’s fine by him. “Social democracy” is, it turns out, explicitly anti-social. — P.45

The bullying, intimidating side of Muslim immigration in Europe seems to be largely absent in America, in part at least because the assertiveness of the individual American citizen makes it a riskier undertaking. — P.46

What would happen if America were to follow Mr. Hutton’s advice and “join the world”? Well, those “40 million Americans without health insurance” would enjoy the benefit of a new government health care system and, like their 250 million neighbors, would discover the charms of the health care “waiting list” — the one year, two years, or more Britons and others wait in pain for even routine operations; the six, twelve, eighteen months Canadians wait for an MRI scans, there being more scanners in the city of Philadelphia than in the entire Great White North. They’re now pioneering the ultimate expression of government health care: the ten month waiting list for the maternity ward. — P.51

We — the befuddled infidels — talk airily about “reforming” Islam. But what if the reform has already taken place and jihadism is it? What if the long percolation through Wahhabism, the Muslim Brotherhood, the Iranian Revolution, and contemporary Western-promoted whinging over grievances such as “colonialism” is the reform. — P.82

When they want to, Islamists can assimilate at impressive speed. So we have fire-breathing Imams milking Euro-welfare and litigious lobby groups with high-rent legal teams. Neither of these are features of Arab life. Rather, they illustrate how adept Islam is at picking and choosing what aspects of Westernization are useful to it. Whatever the arguments are for and against “gay marriage,” there are never going to be many takers for it. But the justifications for same-sex marriage are already being used to advance the cause of polygamy, and there are far more takers for that. It’s already practiced de factor if not de jure in France, Ontario, and many other Western jurisdictions, and government agencies, such as the United Kingdom’s pensions ministry, have already begun according polygamy piecemeal recognition for the purposes of inheritance law. Neither feminists nor homosexuals seem obvious allies for Islam, but lobby groups have effortlessly mastered the lingo, techniques, and pseudo-grievances of each. — P.84

You’ll recall that most Western media outlets declined to publish those Danish cartoons showing the Prophet Mohammed. Thus, even they were piously warning of a rise in bogus “Islamophobia” — i.e. entirely justified concerns over Islamic terrorism and related issues — they were themselves suffering from genuine Islamophobia — i.e., a very real fear that, if they published those cartoons, an angry mob would storm their offices. It was a fine example of how the progressive mind’s invented psychoses leave it without any words to describe real dangers. — P.85

The “moderate Muslim” is not entirely fictional. But it would be more accurate to call them quiescent Muslims. In the 1930s, there were plenty of “moderate Germans:” and a fat lot of good they did us or them. Today, the “moderate Muslims” is a unique contributor to cultural diversity: unlike all the visible minorities, he’s a non-visible one — or at any rate, non-audible. — P.86

(O)ne can’t help noticing that the most prominent “moderate Muslims” would seem to be more accurately designated as apostate or ex-Muslims like the feminist lesbian Canadian Irshad Manji and the California academic Wafa Sultan. It seems likely that the beliefs of Mohammed Ataa are closer to the thinking of most Muslims than those of Ms. Majii are. The pseudonymous apostate Ibn Warraq makes an important distinction: there are moderate Muslims, but no moderate Islam. Millions of Muslims just want to get on with their lives, and there are — or were — remote corners of the world where, far from Mecca, Muslim practices reached accommodation with local customers. But all of the official schools of Islamic jurisprudence commend Sharia and violent jihad. So a “moderate Muslim” can find no formal authority to support his moderation. — P.88

I was startled in successive weeks to hear from Dutch and English acquaintances that they’ve begun going out “covered.” The Dutch lady lives in a rough part of Amsterdam and says when you’re on the street in Islamic garb, the Muslim men smile at you respectfully instead of jeering at you as an infidel whore. The English lady lives in a swank part of London but says pretty much the same thing. Both felt there was not just a physical but psychological security in being dressed Muslim. They’re not “reverts,” but at least for the purposes of padding the public space, they’re passing for Muslim. And as more of the public space becomes Muslim it will seem more and more comfortable to do that. — P.94

Two forces are facing off on the European continent: on the one side, the modern social-democratic state that the America Left thinks should be our model; on the other, the resurgent Islam that the American Left insists is just a scam cooked up by Karl Rove. We now have an excellent opportunity to test both propositions. How bad is it going to get in Europe? As bad as it can — as in societal collapse, fascist revivalism, and then the long Eurabian night, not over the entire continent but over significant parts of it. And those countries that manage to escape the darkness will do so only after violent convulsions of their own. — P.104-105

It’s true that there are many European populations reluctant to go happily into the long Eurabian night. But, alas for them, modern Europe is constructed so as to insulate almost entirely the political class from populist pressures. As the computer types say, that’s not a bug, it’s a feature: the European Union is a 1970s solution to a 1940s problem, and one of the problems it was designed to solve is that fellows like Hitler and Mussolini were way too popular with the masses. Just as the House of Saud, Mubarak, and the other Arab autocracies sell themselves to the West as necessary brakes on the baser urges of their peoples, so the European leadership deludes itself on the same basis: why, without the EU, we’d be back to Auschwitz. — P.105

The transatlantic “split” has nothing to do with disagreements over Iraq, and can’t be repaired by a more Europhile president in Washington: you can’t “mend bridges” when the opposite bank is sinking into the river. If Americans think that the post-bombing 2004 Spanish election result was a disgrace, look down the road to the next election cycle, in France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and beyond. In the United States, psephologists speculate on the impact of Ralph Nader’s 2 or 3 percent in swing states. Think about an election in which 20 percent of the voters are a self-segregating Muslim bloc. If Washington had a hard time getting any useful contribution to the war from Europe in 2001 or 2002, you do the math ten or fifteen years hence. — P.107

About six months after September 11, I went on a grand tour of the Continent’s Muslim ghettos and then flew on to the Middle East. The Muslims I met in Europe were, almost to a man, more alienated and angrier than the ones back in Araby. — P.118

The theoretical virtue of “multiculturalism” is that it’s a form of mellifluous cultural cross-pollination: the best of all worlds. But just as often it gives “the worst of all worlds” the worst attributes of Muslim culture — the subjugation of women — combined with the worst attributes of Western culture — license and self-gratification. Tattooed, pierced, Pakistani skinhead gangs swaggering down the streets of northern England are as much of a product of multiculturalism as the turban wearing Sikh Mountie in the royal escort. Islamofascism itself is what it says: a fusion of Islamic identity with old school European totalitarianism. But, whether in turbans or gangsta threads, just as Communism was in its day, so Islam is today’s Identity of choice for the world’s disaffected. — P.120

The jihadists understand that the Continent is up for grabs in a way that America isn’t. And as their numbers grow, it seems likely that wily Islamic leaders in the Middle-East will embrace the cause of the rights of European Muslims in the same way that they claim solidarity with the Palestinians. — P.121

Four years after September 11 it turned out there really is an explosive “Arab Street,” but it’s in Clichy-sous-Bois. Since the beginning of the century, French Muslims have been carrying on a low-level intifada against synagogues, kosher butchers, Jewish schools, etc. The concern of the political class has been to prevent the spread of these attacks to targets of more, ah, general interest. They’re losing that battle. Unlike America’s Europhiles, France’s Arab street correctly identified Chirac’s opposition to the Iraq war for what it was: a sign of weakness. — P.122, 123

Battles are very straightforward: Side A wins, Side B loses. But Europe is way beyond anything so clarifying. Today, a fearless Muslim advance has penetrated far deeper into Europe than Abd al-Rahman. They’re in Brussels, where Belgian police officers are advised not to be seen drinking coffee in public during Ramadan, and in Malmo, where Swedish ambulance drivers will not go without police escort. It’s way too late to re-run the Battle of Poitiers. P.123, 124

As President Reagan liked to say, “status quo” is Latin for “the mess we’re in.” — P.132

“Containment” is another overvalued commodity: it’s an expensive dictator management program that, in the case of Iraq after the first Gulf War, required the United States Air Force and the RAF to bomb the country ineffectually every other week for twelve years, in return for which the Americans were blamed for UN sanctions and systematically starving to death a million Iraqi kids — or two million, according to which “humanitarian” agency you believe. Of course, the minute the war started and these genocidal sanctions came to an end, the Left decided this UN “containment” had after all been a marvelous and desirable thing. — P.133-134

Europe is a weak power, a supposed Greater France remorselessly evolving month by month into Greater Bosnia — P.135

Islamism is a twenty-first-century political project driven by seventh century ideology. That’s a potent combination of ancient and modern. In Europe and North America, incendiary Imams — uneducated and knowing barely a word of the language spoken by the society in which they live — have nevertheless done a grand job at re-primativizing second – and third-generation Western Muslims. Not all of them, of course, but how many does it have to be to become a problem. — P.138

(Ahmadinejad) believes in the return of the Twelfth Imam — the so-called “hidden Imam” — and quite possibly that he personally is the fellow’s designated deputy. The president, as mayor of Tehran, wanted the city’s boulevards widened so that the hidden imam wouldn’t be insulted by having to ride in triumph through narrow streets. …(Ahmadinejad) told (in 2005) Natwar Singh, the Indian foreign minister, that everything would be hunky-dory in two years time, which Mr. Singh took to mean when Iran’s nukes would be ready but which turned out to be the Twelfth Imam’s ETA. Human history has never wanted for millennial cultists of one form or another, but ours is the first age in which such men have the means to pull off the apocalypse. In medieval Europe, the apocalyptics had intent; President Ahmageddonouttahere is an apocalyptic with a delivery system. “The end is nigh” is an old slogan. Now the means are nigh. — P. 142, 143

(W)hat we’re confronted with in Iran are known knowns: a state that’s developing nuclear weapons, a state that’s made repeated threats to use such weapons against a neighboring state, a state with a long track record of terrorist sponsorship, a state whose actions align with its rhetoric very precisely. What’s not to know? So the question is: will they do it? And the minute you have to ask that question you know the answer. It’s the same answer to the same question: Will they go ahead and slaughter the Breslan schoolchildren? Will they decapitate the bumbling Englishman? Will they kill the Iraqi aid worker and the American “Christian peacemaker”? — P.149

“Mutually Assured Destruction” only works if you know who lobbed the thing your way in the first place. One reason Iran set up Hezbollah and other terrorist franchises is to have “plausible deniability.” Actually, it’s implausible deniability, but that’s good enough for the UN. So, if the links back to the mullahs were just the teensy-weensy bit tenuous and murky, how eager would the United States be to reciprocate? Bush and Rumsfeld might, but an administration of a more Clinto-Powellite bent? How much pressure would there be for investigations under the auspices of the UN? Perhaps Hans Blix could come out of retirement, and we could have a six-month dance through Security Council coalition-building with the secretary of state making a last-minute flight to Khartoum to try to persuade Sudan to switch its vote. — P.149, 150

From the Ayatollahs to the freelance jihadists, there are, in the end, no “root causes” — or not ones that be negotiated by troop withdrawals from Iraq or the other red flag raising ceremony for a Palestinian state. There is only a metastizing cancer that preys on whatever local conditions are to hand. — P.150

When people make certain statements and their acts conform to those statements I tend to take them at their word. As Hussein Malawi, former leaders of Hezbollah, neatly put it, “We are not fighting so that you will offer us something. We are fighting to eliminate you.” — P.151

In our time, even the most fascistic ideologies have been canny enough to cover their darker impulses in bathetic labels. The Soviet bloc was comprised of wall-to-wall “People’s Republics,” which is the precise opposite of what they were — a stylistic audacity Orwell caught perfectly in 1984, with its “Ministry of Truth” (i.e,, official lies). But the Islamists don’t even bother going through the traditional rhetorical feints. They say what they mean and they mean what they say — and we choose to stay in ignorance. Blow up the London Underground during a G-8 summit and the world’s leaders twitter about how “tragic” and “ironic: it is that this should have happened just as they’re taking steps to deal with the issues — as though the terrorists are upset about poverty in Africa and global warming. Even in a great blinding flash of clarity, we can’t wait to switch the lights off and go back to fumbling around on the darkling plain. — P.152

Yet as the great strategist of armored warfare Basil Liddell Hart wrote: “The destruction of the enemy’s armed forces is but a means — and not necessarily an inevitable or infallible one — to the attainment of the real objective.” The object of war is not to destroy the enemy’s tanks, but to destroy his will. As Liddell Hart put it: “Our goal in war can only be attained by the subjugation of the opposing will….All such acts as defeat in the field, propaganda, blockade, diplomacy, or attack on the centres of government and population are seen to be but means to that end.” — P.156

Facing a foe who has nothing but will and manpower, do we have the strength to (in Liddell Hart’s phrase) subjugate that will? — P.157

In 1796 George Washington wrote to Alexander Hamilton: “The nation which indulges towards another an habitual hatred, or an habitual fondness, is in some degree a slave. It is a slave to its animosity or to its affection, either of which is sufficient to lead it astray from it duty and interest.” That neatly sums up the Euro-American relationship: the United States has become a slave to its habitual if largely misplaced fondness for Europe, while Europe has become a slave to its habitual if entirely irrational hatred for America. — P.160

Almost all the supranational bodies — from the EU to the International Criminal Court — are, if not explicitly hostile to American values, at the very least antipathetic to them. — P.172

In the eighties, Paul Kennedy warned the United States of “imperial overstretch.” But the danger right now is of imperial understretch — of a hyperpower reluctant to sell its indisputably successful inheritance to the rest of the world. — P.172

“You’re either with us or you’re with the terrorists?” Most of America’s European “allies” check the Neither of the Above box and most Middle Eastern “allies” checked the Both of the Above box. Belgium isn’t exactly with the terrorists, but it isn’t with us in any meaningful sense. Saudi Arabia is with us but also funding the terrorists in every corner of the world. And both countries get away with it. — P.174

There’s something a little bizarre about a so-called unipolar world in which it’s the unipole that gets shafted every time. — P.174

Nudge things half a decade down the road. There’ll be an informal Islamo-veto over many areas of French and European policy. Russia and China have already determined that, whatever their own little local difficulties with Muslims, their long-term strategic interest lies in keeping the jihad as an American problem. The internal logic of the demographic shifts will be to make much of the world figure it makes sense to be on the side America’s not. — P.175

In 2004, Goh Chok Tong, the prime minister of Singapore and a man who talks a lot more sense than most Continental prime ministers, visited Washington at the height of the Democrats’ headless-chicken quagmire frenzy. He put it in a nutshell:” The key issue is no longer WMD or even the role of the UN. The central issue is America’s credibility and will it prevail.” The prime minister apparently understands that more clearly than many Americans.

That’s been my basic rule since September 11: anything that shifts power from the individual judgement of the free citizens to government is a bad thing, not just for the war on terror, but for the national character in a more general sense. — P.187

The EU figures it needs another fifty million immigrants in the next few years just to maintain a big enough working population to fund the lavish social programs its vast retired army of baby boomers expects to enjoy. And the sonly available sources of immigrants are North Africa and the Middle-East. Whether these are the chaps to keep Pierre and Gerhard in the style to which they’ve become accustomed is highly doubtful: according to some Scandinavian statistics, 40 percent of those on welfare are immigrants. Elsewhere, the picture is similar: welfare regimes work a lot better for their Islamist beneficiaries than for native Continental ones.

In 2005, Anne Owers, Her Majesty’s chief inspector of prisons, banned the flying of the English national flag in English prisons on the grounds that it shows the cross of St. George, which was used by the Crusaders and so is offensive to Muslims. The Drivers and Vehicles Licensing Agency has also banned the English flag from its office. So has Heathrow Airport. — P.197

Bomb us and we agonize over the root causes. Decapitate us, and our politicians rush to the nearest mosque to declare that “Islam is a religion of peace.” Issue blood curdling calls at Friday prayers to kill all the Jews and infidels , and we fret that it may cause a backlash against Muslims. Behead sodomites and mutilate female genitalia, and gay groups and feminist groups can’t wait to march alongside you denouncing Bush and Blair. Murder a schoolful of children, and our scholars explain that to the “vast majority” of Muslims “jihad” is a harmless concept meaning “healthy-lifestyle lo-fat granola bar.” Thus the lopsided valse macabre of our times: the more the Islamists step on our toes, the more we waltz them gaily round the room. — P.200

There’s a contradiction at the heart of Islamist confidence, nicely caught in a story from New Zealand about female Muslims driving around in burqas. According to some police representatives, this mode of dress somewhat restricts the field of vision, and also offers opportunities for fleeing bank robbers to disguise themselves as Muslim women. However, nobody wants to be insensitive, do they? And, on the whole, the police were happy to take the Islamic lobby groups at their word that the burqa was a requirement of these women’s faith. But as Greg O’Connor of the New Zealand Police Association couldn’t resist adding, “If one’s belief system was so strong that one didn’t want to show one’s face then perhaps that belief system should extend to not driving.” Indeed. If your clothing can’t evolve out of the came-train era, maybe your mode of transportation shouldn’t either. — P. 201, 202

At the heart of multiculturalism is a lie: that all cultures are equally “valid.” To accept that proposition means denying reality — the reality of any objective measure of human freedom, societal health, and global population movement. — P.203

To a five year-old-boy watching Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee procession on the Mall in 1897, it would have been inconceivable that by the time of his eighteenth birthday the greatest empire the world had ever known would have sunk to an economically moribund strike-bound slough of despond whose tax rates drove its best talents abroad, and whose most glittering colonial possessions now valued ties to Communist Russia over the mother country. It’s difficult to focus on long-term trends because human life is itself short-term. — P.207

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