Of course, a referendum was held in Switzerland, which led to the ban on minarets. Of course, a law was passed in France banning the wearing of the burqa. Of course also, political parties that reject Islamization of Europe and promote a return to national values experienced significant electoral success. A book written by Thilo Sarrazin, board member of the German Central Bank, « Germany Doing Away with Itself » is a bestseller and shows that German people are anxious.
Nevertheless, I must say what needs to be said. These are only isolated outbursts that will not change the final result, because the result is already here. The long history of civilizations demonstrates strong trends, as well as desperate reactions against them. The trends are highly visible and imply a diagnosis made by multiple authors, Mark Steyn in « America Alone », Bruce Thornton in « Decline and Fall », Walter Laqueur in « The Last Days of Europe », and more. Desperate reactions are no more, no less than what they are.
Europe is dead. And it is important to say it clearly, since many of the elements that killed Europe are today at work in the United States, especially since Obama and his henchmen arrived in the White House.
Europe died because she has slipped toward socialism and the establishment of welfare states that gradually destroyed the spirit of enterprise and the will to compete… and because the slippage instilled a mentality of dependency and passivity. The Obama administration is not formally and explicitly socialist, but its members have set gears in motion that could lead to structures facilitating creation of a European-style welfare state. The health care reform signed into law a few months ago is but one of these gears.
Europe died because, in most European countries, redistribution systems are in place allowing more than half the population to pay no income tax and receive generous government benefits. This population segment is consequently always inclined to vote to raise taxes on the other segment, which makes victory nearly impossible for candidates campaigning to cut taxes. The Obama administration has begun to implement mechanisms designed to drag the United States in exactly this direction.
Europe died because the welfare states’ redistribution systems generated slow growth, high unemployment and low expectations, and because dependency and passivity created an atmosphere of irresponsibility and a preference for the present that led to a declining birth rate and to accelerated aging of European populations. The USA is not yet there, but growth is sluggish, unemployment is high, poverty is spreading all over the country, and the left is trying to instill a spirit of irresponsibility and a preference for the present that appear alarmingly similar to what prevails in Europe today.
Europe died because most of her education structures, from primary schools to universities, have been taken over by leftists and produce more misfits than people with marketable skills. Most American universities still carry and transmit a quest for excellence, but faculty adherents of political correctness who sow seeds of destruction in their courses must be unhesitatingly uprooted, as many former students go on to become journalists, politicians, teachers, professors and other agents of influence.
As they are managed in mixed economy mode, most Continental European countries have lost nearly all sources of independent information; information is rarefied, suffocated, deeply distorted, and more or less controlled by the governments; pluralism looks more and more like what would exist in countries with single-party systems. In most continental European countries, TV channels such as FOXNEWS would be unimaginable, printed magazines such as the National Review or the Weekly Standard could not exist, online magazines such as FrontPage would probably be long gone.
In continental Europe, pluralistic debates have almost completely disappeared. Intellectuals espousing ideas and values close to those of American conservatism and neo-conservatism are treated as dissidents were in the Soviet Union. Authors such as Bernard-Henri Levy and Pascal Bruckner in France remain visible only because they incessantly proclaim that they belong to the left, because they support Obama and because they are close to organizations like J Street: to be invited to appear on television in France, as in many other European countries, you must fill these three prerequisites. If not, you may be invited once, and you will then be placed on a blacklist
Today’s Europe is directed from above by technocrats who were never elected by anyone and who are accountable exclusively to politicians. Populations have essentially given up and lost any hope to be heard: only the left and the extreme left can mobilize crowds, and it is usually to ask for more interventionism and more redistributive policies.
For decade upon decade, Europe hosted people emigrating from other countries and imbued with other cultures. Her institutions have taught them multiculturalism, anti-capitalism and moral relativism. They are mainly Muslims. They have considerably higher birth rates than native populations. They do not integrate. They have their own value systems and gradually create counter-societies within their European host societies. Islamists act and disseminate nefarious ideas.
Europe seems like a giant balloon that is slowly deflating. More and more Europeans discern that they have no future. Some vote for parties who talk of a national surge or a new start, but have no chance of winning. Some read pessimistic but lucid books. Most languish in a state of immobile resignation. Occasionally, political leaders pretend to do something: the French government enacts a law on the burqa, for example. But beyond appearances, the tide continues to rise. To justify the law on the burqa, several French ministers emphasized that they were complying with the requirements of Islam and had, before legislating, sought the advice of Muslim theologians. At the same time, welfare state systems break down under the weight of abyssal deficits. Lawless zones under the control of imams and gangs grow and multiply.
In a book published earlier this year, « Reflections on the Revolution in Europe », Christopher Caldwell asked whether Europe would be the same with different people in it. That’s undoubtedly the crucial question. He replied in the negative. Demography is an exact science: in two decades, three at most, there will still be a continent called "Europe" on maps, but it will be a very different continent. It will be poorer, more Muslim, much less free. Pockets of wealth will remain, but it will dangerous to go out at night, especially for women without a veil. It's already risky for woman to go out without a veil in the outskirts of all major French cities, in Brussels, in Antwerp, and in parts of London and Berlin. Jews will survive if they keep their heads down and abstain from wearing yarmulkes; it’s already risky for a Jew to wear a yarmulke almost anywhere in Europe.
In terms of foreign policy, the positions of key countries in Europe and those of the EU will be close to those of the Organization of Islamic Conference. That’s already very often the case. Beyond the weight of Muslim populations, most European countries have weak armies and in any case have adopted a diplomacy of weakness.
The USA is not there yet. But seeing what the Obama administration and the leftist Democrat majority in Congress have done in less than two years, one could fear the worst unless a change of direction occurs in the near future.
Tea parties have shown that America is still alive and that the American people have no intention of suffering the fate of Europe. The November 2 election will have historical significance: some frightening drifts must be stopped before it is too late. Too late means that the United States would be well on the road to what is happening in Europe. The situation in Europe is more than a failure. It is a disaster that many observers have yet to fully assess.
If the U.S. followed Europe on the road to disaster, it is freedom on earth that would be seriously threatened.