Quotes from America Alone: The End of the World As We Know It

Mark Steyn ·  224 pages

Rating: (3.3K votes)


“Her Majesty's government is engaging not merely in Orwellian Newspeak but in self-defeating Orwellian Newspeak. The broader message it sends is that ours is a weak culture so unconfident and insecure that if you bomb us and kill us our first urge is to find a way to flatter and apologize to you.”
― Mark Steyn, quote from America Alone: The End of the World As We Know It


“Everyone's for a free Tibet, but no one's for freeing Tibet. So Tibet will stay unfree - as unfree now as it was when the first Free Tibet campaigner slapped the very first "FREE TIBET" sticker on the back of his Edsel. Idealism as inertia is the hallmark of the movement...He's [the guy with the bumper sticket] advertising his moral superiority, not calling for action. If Rumsfeld were to say, "Free Tibet? Jiminy, what a swell idea! The Third Infantry Division goes in on Thursday," the bumper-sticker crowd would be aghast. They'd have to bend down and peel off the "FREE TIBET" stickers and replace them with "WAR IS NOT THE ANSWER.”
― Mark Steyn, quote from America Alone: The End of the World As We Know It


“Americans and other Westerners who want their families to enjoy the blessings of life in a free society should understand that the life we've led since 1945 in the Western world is very rare in human history. Our children are unlikely to enjoy anything so placid, and may well spend their adult years in an ugly and savage world unless we decide that who and what we are is worth defending.”
― Mark Steyn, quote from America Alone: The End of the World As We Know It


“There may be many things wrong with the United States but only a blind fool who hasn't been paying attention for the last twenty years would hold up Europe as the alternative.”
― Mark Steyn, quote from America Alone: The End of the World As We Know It


“The state of our civilization manifests itself both in the non-problems that terrify us beyond all reason - rising sea levels - and in the real problems we pay no heed to [population decline]...In reality, much of the planet will be uninhabited long before it's uninhabitable”
― Mark Steyn, quote from America Alone: The End of the World As We Know It



“Somewhere along the way these countries [EU] redefined the relationship between government and citizen into something closer to pusher and addict. And, once you've done that, it's very hard to persuade the addict to cut back his habit. Thus, the general acceptance everywhere but America is that the state should run your health care. A citizen of an advanced democracy expects to be able to choose from dozens of breakfast cereals, hundreds of movies at the video store, and millions of porno sites on the Internet, but when it comes to life-or-death decisions about his own body he's happy to have the choice taken out of his hands and given to the government.”
― Mark Steyn, quote from America Alone: The End of the World As We Know It


“After September 11, I wondered rhetorically midway through a column what we in the West are prepared to die for, and got a convoluted e-mail back from a French professor explaining that the fact that Europeans weren't prepared to die for anything was the best evidence of their superiority: they were building a post-historical utopia - a Europe it would not be necessary to die for. But sometimes you die anyway.”
― Mark Steyn, quote from America Alone: The End of the World As We Know It


“We have been shirking too long, and that's unworthy of a great civilization. To see off the new Dark Ages will be tough and demanding. The alternative will be worse.”
― Mark Steyn, quote from America Alone: The End of the World As We Know It


“The populations of wealthy democratic societies expect to have total choice over their satellite TV packages, yet think it perfectly normal to allow the state to make all the choices in respect of their health care. It's a curious inversion of citizenship to demand control over peripheral leisure activities but to contract out the big life-changing stuff to the government.”
― Mark Steyn, quote from America Alone: The End of the World As We Know It


“The state has gradually annexed all the responsibilities of adulthood - health care, child care, care of the elderly - to the point where it's effectively severed its citizens from humanity's primal instincts, not the least the survival instinct...They corrode the citizen's sense of self-reliance to a potentially fatal degree.”
― Mark Steyn, quote from America Alone: The End of the World As We Know It



“Far from being tortured, the prisoners [at Guantanamo] are being handled literally with kid gloves (or simulated kid-effect gloves). The U.S. military hands each jihadist his complimentary copy of the Koran as delicately as white-gloved butlers bringing His Lordship the Times of London. It's not just unbecoming to buy in to Muslim psychoses; in the end, it's self-defeating. And our self-defeat is their surest shot at victory...Even a loser can win when he's up against a defeatist. A big chunk of Western Civilization, consciously or otherwise, has given the impression that it's dying to surrender to somebody, anybody. Reasonably enough, the jihadists figure: hey, why not us?”
― Mark Steyn, quote from America Alone: The End of the World As We Know It


“The progressive Left can be in favor of Big Government or population control but not both. The mutual incompatibility is about to plunge Europe into societal collapse. There is no precedent in human history for economic growth on declining human capital - and that's before anyone invented unsustainable welfare systems.”
― Mark Steyn, quote from America Alone: The End of the World As We Know It


“The continent has embraced a spiritual death long before the demographic one. In those seventeen European countries that have fallen into the "lowest-low fertility," where are the children? In a way, you're looking at them: the guy sipping espresso at a sidewalk cafe listening to his iPod, the eternal adolescent charges of the paternalistic state. The government makes the grown-up decisions and we spend our pocket money on our record collection...the long-term cost of welfare is the infantilization of the population. The populations of wealthy democratic societies expect to have total choice over their satellite TV package, yet think it perfectly normal to allow the state to make all the choices in respect of their health care. It's a curious inversion of citizenship to demand control over peripheral leisure activities but to contract out the big life-changing stuff to the government. And it's hard to come up with a wake-up call for a society as dedicated as latter-day Europe to the belief that life is about sleeping in.”
― Mark Steyn, quote from America Alone: The End of the World As We Know It


“When people make certain statements and their acts conform to those statements I tend to take them at their word.”
― Mark Steyn, quote from America Alone: The End of the World As We Know It


“Almost by definition, secularism cannot be a future: it's a present-tense culture that over time disconnects a society from cross-generational purpose. Which is why there are no examples of sustained atheist civilizations. "Atheistic humanism" became inhumanism in the hands of the Fascists and Communists and, in its less malign form in today's European Union, a kind of dehumanism in which a present-tense culture amuses itself to extinction.”
― Mark Steyn, quote from America Alone: The End of the World As We Know It



“Unfortunately, magnanimity is often seen as weakness by those on the receiving end. It's easy to be sensitive, tolerant, and multicultural--it's the default mode of the age---yet, when you persist in being sensitive to the insensitive, tolerant of the intolerant, and impeccably multicultural about the avowedly unicultural, don't be surprised if they take it for weakness.”
― Mark Steyn, quote from America Alone: The End of the World As We Know It


“For states in demographic decline with ever more lavish social programs, the question is a simple one: Can they get real? Can they grow up before they grow old? If not, then they'll end their days in societies dominated by people with a very different worldview.”
― Mark Steyn, quote from America Alone: The End of the World As We Know It


“We're the endangered species, not the spotted owl. The "population explosion" is a prop of the Western progressive's bizarre death-cultism. We are so bad, so polluting, so exploitative, so violent, so destructive that we owe it to the world not to be born in the first place.”
― Mark Steyn, quote from America Alone: The End of the World As We Know It


“One reason why the developed world has a difficult job grappling with the Islamist threat is that it doesn't take religion seriously. It condescends to it. In Europe's wholly secularized environment, the enduring religiosity of America is not just odd, but primitive.”
― Mark Steyn, quote from America Alone: The End of the World As We Know It


“You can't help noticing that since abandoning its faith in the unseen world Europe seems also to have lost its faith in the seen one. Consider this poll taken in 2002 for the first anniversary of September 11: 61 percent of Americans said they were optimistic about the future, as opposed to 43 percent of Canadians, 42 percent of Britons, 29 percent of the French, 23 percent of Russians, and 15 percent of Germans. I wouldn't reckon those numbers will get any cheerier over the years.”
― Mark Steyn, quote from America Alone: The End of the World As We Know It



“We’ve elevated the secondary impulses over the primary ones: national defense, self-reliance, family, and, most basic of all, reproductive activity. If you don’t “go forth and multiply” you can’t afford all those secondary-impulse programs, like lifelong welfare, whose costs are multiplying a lot faster than you are.”
― Mark Steyn, quote from America Alone: The End of the World As We Know It


“Big government is a national security threat: it increases your vulnerability to threats like Islamism, and makes it less likely you’ll be able to summon the will to rebuff it.”
― Mark Steyn, quote from America Alone: The End of the World As We Know It


“But in practice the lack of belief in divine presence is just as likely to lead to humans avoiding responsibility: if there's nothing other than the here and now, who needs to settle disputes at all? All you have to do is manage to defer them till after you're dead--which is the European electorates' approach to their unaffordable social programs. The meek's prospects of inheriting the earth are considerably diminished in a post-Christian society: chances are they'll just get steamrollered by more motivated types.”
― Mark Steyn, quote from America Alone: The End of the World As We Know It


“But that's Islam in the third millennium: they want the certainties of seventh-century society with the conveniences of the twenty-first century.”
― Mark Steyn, quote from America Alone: The End of the World As We Know It


“Appeasement is a vote to live in the present tense, to hold the comforts of the moment.”
― Mark Steyn, quote from America Alone: The End of the World As We Know It



“Gerald Ford used to say when trying to ingratiate himself with conservative audiences, “A government big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take away everything you have.” And that’s true. But there’s an intermediate stage: a government big enough to give you everything you want isn’t big enough to get you to give any of it back.”
― Mark Steyn, quote from America Alone: The End of the World As We Know It


“The famous United Nations statistic from a 2002 report—more books are translated into Spanish in a single year than have been translated into Arabic in the last thousand—suggests at the very minimum an extraordinarily closed world.”
― Mark Steyn, quote from America Alone: The End of the World As We Know It


“No Islamic nation could have flown to the moon or invented the Internet, simply because for a millennium the culture has suppressed the curiosity necessary for such a venture.”
― Mark Steyn, quote from America Alone: The End of the World As We Know It


“A dependence on immigration from very limited and particular sources is not a strength but a weakness.”
― Mark Steyn, quote from America Alone: The End of the World As We Know It


About the author

Mark Steyn
Born place: Toronto, Canada
See more on GoodReads

Popular quotes

“Although I remain uncertain about God or any particular religion, I believe in karma. What goes around, comes around. How you live your life, the respect that you give others and the mountain, and how you treat people in general will come back to you in kindred fashion. I like to talk about what I call the Karma National Bank. If you give up the summit to help rescue someone who’s in trouble, you’ve put a deposit in that bank. And sometime down the road, you may need to make a big withdrawal. People”
― Ed Viesturs, quote from No Shortcuts to the Top: Climbing the World's 14 Highest Peaks


“Well, Hodge, wasn't the brightest candle on the birthday cake.”
― Josh Lanyon, quote from Come Unto These Yellow Sands


“I am a woman built upon the wreckage of myself.”
― Chris Cleave, quote from Incendiary


“there are very few who can think, but every man wants to have an opinion; and what remains but to take it ready-made from others, instead of forming opinions for himself?”
― Arthur Schopenhauer, quote from The Art of Always Being Right


“They are the eyes of a poet, or painter—an artist, a tortured soul.”
― Morgan Rice, quote from Arena One: Slaverunners


Interesting books

Cast in Secret
(8.5K)
Cast in Secret
by Michelle Sagara
Tears of Tess
(26.9K)
Tears of Tess
by Pepper Winters
Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us
(67.8K)
Drive: The Surprisin...
by Daniel H. Pink
Strangers on a Train
(12.8K)
Strangers on a Train
by Patricia Highsmith
Until Friday Night
(28.5K)
Until Friday Night
by Abbi Glines
My Losing Season: A Memoir
(7.4K)
My Losing Season: A...
by Pat Conroy

About BookQuoters

BookQuoters is a community of passionate readers who enjoy sharing the most meaningful, memorable and interesting quotes from great books. As the world communicates more and more via texts, memes and sound bytes, short but profound quotes from books have become more relevant and important. For some of us a quote becomes a mantra, a goal or a philosophy by which we live. For all of us, quotes are a great way to remember a book and to carry with us the author’s best ideas.

We thoughtfully gather quotes from our favorite books, both classic and current, and choose the ones that are most thought-provoking. Each quote represents a book that is interesting, well written and has potential to enhance the reader’s life. We also accept submissions from our visitors and will select the quotes we feel are most appealing to the BookQuoters community.

Founded in 2023, BookQuoters has quickly become a large and vibrant community of people who share an affinity for books. Books are seen by some as a throwback to a previous world; conversely, gleaning the main ideas of a book via a quote or a quick summary is typical of the Information Age but is a habit disdained by some diehard readers. We feel that we have the best of both worlds at BookQuoters; we read books cover-to-cover but offer you some of the highlights. We hope you’ll join us.