Christopher Caldwell

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Christopher Caldwell (born 1962) is an American journalist, author and a former senior editor at The Weekly Standard, as well as a regular contributor to the Financial Times and Slate. He is a senior fellow at the Claremont Institute and contributing editor to the Claremont Review of Books. Caldwell's writing has also appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and The Washington Post. He was also a regular contributor to The Atlantic Monthly and The New York Press and the assistant managing editor of The American Spectator.


  • In order to work, free-trade systems must be frictionless and immune to interruption, forever. This means a program of intellectual property protection, zero tariffs, and cross-border traffic in everything, including migrants. This can be assured only in a system that is veto-proof and non-consultative—in short, undemocratic. That is why it is those who have benefited most from globalization who have been leading the counterattack against the democracy movements arising all over the West.
  • Since the turn of the century, Europeans have been faced with the most basic question about their future: whether they have one. In some countries — especially Italy, Germany, and Austria — the native population has been shrinking for decades. Birth rates have fallen so low that each native generation is about two-thirds the size of the last. The decline was masked for a while by the size of the almost wholly autochthonous Baby Boom generation, but now those native Europeans have begun to retire and die. Non-European immigrants, especially those from the Middle East and North Africa, have rushed to claim a place on the continent.
  • Dual citizenship is a great convenience for certain favored people and those who serve them. But it shakes loose the wider society’s understanding of itself as a people — and thus shakes loose the basis on which it can secure its own rights. Citizenship rights are not just an abstract but a practical thing. They have to be not just dreamed up and proposed, but also administered and defended. They are most likely to produce a stable and just society when the people who are asserting them are the same people who are defending them.

Interview with the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum (2007)[edit]

Interview (2007)
  • [L]aws against Holocaust denial have done more harm than good. On a practical political level, I think that they give very intolerant mischief makers a cheap and easy way to pose as something more exalted than what they actually are, as sort of martyrs of free speech.
  • [Y]ou see evidence in the united Europe—in which there is free circulation of people and ideas—of a much more homegrown European-style antisemitism. You see a sort of waning of vigilance. You see a rise of the kind of clubby, dinner-party type antisemitism in England, where it is very strong. So I do think there is a new antisemitism, but I'm afraid it hasn't so much replaced the old antisemitism as exists alongside of it.

Reflections on the Revolution in Europe (2009)[edit]

  • The social, spiritual, and political effects of immigration are huge and enduring, while the economic effects are puny and transitory. If, like certain Europeans, you are infuriated by polyglot markets and street signs written in Polish, Urdu, and Arabic, sacrificing 0.0035 of your economy would be a pittance to pay for starting to get your country back. If, like other Europeans, you view immigration as a lifeline of excitement, worldliness, and palatable cuisine thrown to your drab and provincial country, then immigration would be a bargain even if it imposed a significant economic cost.
  • If one abandons the idea that Western Europeans are rapacious and exploitative by nature, and that Africans, Asians, and other would-be immigrants are inevitably their victims, then the fundamental difference between colonization and labor migration ceases to be obvious.
  • In no country in Europe does the bulk of the population aspire to live in a bazaar of world cultures. Yet all European countries are coming to the wrenching realization that they have somehow, without anyone's actively choosing it, turned into such bazaars.
  • Bizarrely, as immigration began to change Europe at its economic and cultural core, the political vocabulary remained the same as when immigration had been a fringe phenomenon. People kept talking about restaurants.
  • The policing of tolerance had no inbuilt limits and no obvious logic. Why was 'ethnic pride' a virtue and 'nationalism' a sickness? Why was an identity like 'Sinti/Roma' legitimate but an identity like 'white' out of bounds? Why had it suddenly become criminal to ask questions today that it was considered a citizen's duty to ask ten years ago?
  • One moves swiftly and imperceptibly from a world in which affirmative action can't be ended because its beneficiaries are too weak to a world in which it can't be ended because its beneficiaries are too strong.
  • When an insecure, malleable, relativistic culture meets a culture that is anchored, confident and strengthened by common doctrines, it is generally the former that changes to suit the latter.

Interview with Bill Kristol (March 2017)[edit]

Interview with Bill Kristol (20 March 2017)
  • [T]he escalation of the radicalization of Muslims in Europe, I think, has, in the past 2 or 3 years – and you know the incidents – the Nice truck bombing, the Berlin Christmas Fair bombing, those sorts of incidents, I think, have really worried Europeans.
  • The thing I worry about in Europe is that there is a logic of escalation in some of this. That the people whose voices aren’t heard have to do things to make their voices heard. Do you know what I mean? They’ll have to, you know, like, demonstrate and that kind of thing.
  • Europe can be the scene of world history even if it’s not the protagonist in world history, but it seems to show very little sign of being the protagonist.

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