Steyn backs off

Now says he’s anti-genocide. Glad to hear it.

Confronted with the charge of endorsing genocide, it seems that Mark Steyn is running away from his own words as fast as he can.

Good. I hope he’s sincere, and merely wrote something that was easy to misinterpret. (More than once: for example, “even if you’re hot for a new Holocaust, demography tells. There are no Hitlers to hand.” Does that sound to you like someone recoiling in moral horror?)

Since Steyn posted his … ummmm … clarification, his fans (and Instapundit’s) have been writing to denounce me for poor reading comprehension. But here’s a sample email that came in this morning, suggesting that even if he wasn’t trying to promote genocide, he was succeeding:

The problem is that Mark Steyn is discussing survival, and you’re discussing destruction. In this case, you can’t have one without the other. You don’t like the calculus but that doesn’t mean that it’s wrong, just very disagreeable.

How else does Europe survive as a “Western” Judeo-Christian concept?

Answer &#8212 It doesn’t. Demographics is hard science, and feelings are soft anti-power. Hard Science always wins this struggle.

Even if Steyn is not totally sincere &#8212 even if he was indulging in a little bit of pornography-of-violence for his Islamophobe readers, like the one quoted above &#8212 I’m glad he regards the charge of supporting genocide as something he needs to deny. Hypocrisy is the tribute vice pays to virtue. It’s when the tribute stops coming in that we all need to worry.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: