Every week on Monday morning, the Council and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher’s Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture, or daily living. This week’s question: What Do You Think Europe’s Future Looks Like?
Don Surber: Arabia.
Stately McDaniel Manor: I suspect that Europe’s future is Islam. Not only are European–and Scandinavian–countries importing the very means of their destruction through more or less unrestrained immigration, they have, as Mark Steyn has often noted, sown the seeds of their own demise by failing to plant the seeds necessary to produce sufficient Europeans to replace themselves. When the birthrate falls below replacement level, as it has in much of Europe, it’s merely a matter of time.
Several other issues will accelerate the decline: Europe has essentially turned away from Christianity and the societal and moral cohesion it provides. There will be no modern crusade, figurative or literal, because far too many Europeans no longer think their faith, or the freedom to practice it as they choose, worth preserving. They simply lack the will to fight–in any way–militant Islam, and have all but invited it to conquer them.
Paris will no longer be the fashion center of the world as female fashions will never again change from year to year.
Some Europeans are beginning to understand that their economic and political systems are abject failures, but it will likely be too late to turn them around, particularly with the European Union still in place. They have, in the name of sophistication and equality of outcome, thrown away the national pride and social ties that might have compelled them to fight their conquerors. Soon, Europe will be too old, too weak, and too morally corrupt to fight. Millennia of civilization will end with a whimper, and a bloody whimper it will be. A shared faith and national pride are two of the main forces that hold any nation together. Europe has essentially abolished all three.
It won’t take long for Germany to run out of money to bail out the rest of the EU, and when they beg America for help, they’ll discover that we are truly the brokest nation in history. If England backs out of the EU, they may have a chance, but the rest of Europe is in real trouble, and until and unless we have a genuine conservative in the Oval Office, and the American people wake up to our very real troubles before it is too late, future nations, Lord knows who or where, will be writing histories about the fall of Europe and America, about how the noble experiment in democracy failed, falling to the barbarian hordes like all before it.
Individual liberty is not the natural state of man. When we forget, as Europe has forgotten, that it must be taught, cherished, and fought for every day by all free men, it is lost. Europe, as a nation of more or less free people, is doomed. Many know it, but as with everything else, they won’t admit it, even to themselves, and they won’t do anything about it.
JoshuaPundit : It really depends. In spite of the failed EU experiment, Europe remains very diverse, so I think we’ll see various outcomes depending on several factor.
The UK’s Brexit vote in June could signal the beginning of the end for the EU. Multiple polling indicates that if the UK leaves, a majority of voters in other countries will want to as well. The EU also didn’t do itself any favors by having its unelected bureaucrats attempt to impose a fine for any EU country refusing Muslim refugees of – wait for it – € 300,000 per head!
Needless to say, a number of EU members were quick to say that under no circumstances were they going to pay anything like that, especially with a number of members in fiscal chaos. Nor were they going to accept the arbitrary quotas of ‘refugees’ assigned them.
So whether and in what form the EU survives is a big factor, especially when you consider the issue of schengen visas which allow open borders for citizens or legal residents like refugees between member nations. If it survives the present crisis, I think it’s a question of the water circling the drain.
As it is right now, the EU and its currency, the euro primarily benefit Germany because it allows Germany to ship its exports cheaper than it could if the were valued in Deutschmarks. That’s why the Germans have been so willing to bail out other EU members. But even Germany has its limits to what its taxpayers will put up with and that is fast approaching, which brings us to the second factor – massive migration from the Muslim world.
This problem actually began some time ago, in different ways in different countries. Tony Blair in the UK saw bringing vast amounts of Muslims in from places like Pakistan as a source of Labour voters and workers whom would finance the UK’s welfare state. He was right about them being Labour voters, but sadly mistaken about both their ability to assimilate into British society and about their being tax contributors as opposed to being tax money consumers. Similar things contributed to this same situation elsewhere in Europe, particularly in France, Belgium, Sweden, Norway and the Netherlands, with the problem being exacerbated by their liberal asylum programs. Most of these people were not actual refugees, but economic migrants as stories spread in the Muslim world about the lavish benefits available.
In Germany as in some of the other countries, the influx was also driven by low birth rates and the need for new workers to finance their massive welfare states. Germany, Italy, Scotland, Greece and a number of other nationalities are actually in danger of becoming extinct in a generation or so. Many of the countries that saw military age young Muslim males as an easy solution to their demographic problems are now finding out to their horror that they’ve imported something very different.
I see Western Europe responding in different ways. It’s an open question whether the UK will avoid becoming a Muslim state no matter how the Brexit vote goes, especially if Charles become King. Sharia is already established there, with Sharia courts mandated for Muslims handling domestic matters. Scotland, which will probably break away from the UK soon seems well on the path to becoming Scotlandistan.
France will probably survive. It has a strong sense of nationhood, a well organized nationalist movement and I could see them, at the least, deporting a fair amount of France’s Muslims. The same is likely true of Denmark and Switzerland, whom have also imported comparatively few Muslims and maintain a stubborn degree of independence.
Norway and Sweden might also survive simply because the tipping point has been so obviously reached. Non-EU Norway at this point is actually offering Muslim migrants money to leave, and if that doesn’t do it they will simply start deporting them. And in Sweden, even the asylum friendly Swedes are finally beginning to fiercely pressure their government.
Belgium will likely split along ethnic lines, with Flanders becoming an independent country. The Netherlands, like the UK is an open question. They have one of the largest percentages of Muslims in Europe, around 6%. Geert Wilder’s Rightist PVV continues to get more and more support in each election and may even take over the government, so we may yet see the Dutch maintain their independence.
Germany is at the point France is. They have a government that is totally unresponsive to them importing people into Germany, a million of them, most of whom make no attempt to assimilate and see Germans, particularly German women as prey. Two things enabled Mutti Merkel to get away with this so far, the traditional German obedience to authority and German experience of the previous Muslim migrants to Germany, mostly from Kurdistan, Turkey and Iran. These migrants assimilated and behaved quite differently from the kind of people Merkel has now foisted upon the country. The Germans are revolting, and their rightist, Euro-skeptic nationalist party, AfD “Alternative for Germany” is doing quite well politically.
The one constraint for a lot of Germans with wholesale deportations is memories of Germany’s actions under the Nazis. To steal a line from the always superb Spengler, if that’s a problem, they can just do what they did last time – hire Ukrainians.
Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece aside from stagnant economies and poisonous demographics have another misfortune…they’re geographically close to the Muslim world. Young native Greeks, Spaniards and Portuguese whom are able to are actually fleeing these countries because there are no jobs or futures for them there. Spain is so desperate for taxpaying residents that they have, ironically, started a special ‘fast track’ program for Jewish migrants whom have ancestors whom were expelled in 1492. There haven’t been many takers. i think there’s a distinct possibility of a reverse Reconquista in at least Southern Spain and Portugal unless things change. Italy may see the same.
New Europe is an entirely different proposition. These countries have taken in few Muslims, are relatively new to freedom after decades of Soviet tyranny and have functioning militaries. In response to what they quite rightly see as Obama’s treachery, some of these countries have joined together in a military alliance outside of NATO known as the Visegrád Group, consisting of Poland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Hungary. Don’t be surprised if you likewise see co-ordination with Germany, Romania, the Baltic states and perhaps even Russia.
The reason is the third factor in Europe’s future, Turkey. Tayyip Erdoğan and his Islamist AKP have assumed a virtual dictatorship over the country, and even his erstwhile partner, former Erdoğan loyalist and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has been forced out of office after a few disagreements with Erdoğan.
Turkey also has a relatively stagnant economy with a huge credit bubble on the verge of bursting, a growing population and the largest conventional army in Europe. Don’t be surprised if you see Turkey do exactly what the Ottomans did in the past, attempt to expand and plunder Europe via the historic route through the Balkans, hooking up with Muslim enclaves in Bosnia, Albania and Kossovo.
Since Erdoğan and the AKP took over, Turkey has never taken its role as a NATO ally particularly seriously. Since the road to the Caucasus is now blocked by Iran and Turkey’s historic antagonist Russia, Europe is the other alternative. Greece, Macedonia and Bulgaria lack the military power to stave off the Turks and the Serbs would be outflanked on three sides. While this would call for an Article 5 intervention from NATO, I doubt that an Islamist friendly Obama or Clinton administration would do more than token military assistance.
The last thing Russia wants is the Turkish military on its borders, so Russia might very well intervene. Certainly the Visegrád Group would and we could literally see another major battle at the Gates of Vienna.
What Turkey does will be the third major factor in Europe’s future, and it might even be a positive, uniting one if the scenario I’m exploring here becomes reality.
GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD : “A large Mohammedist minority is in Europe to stay. Persisting with the establishment’s approach makes a certain sense: keep a lid on prejudice, tamp down extremism, and hope that time will transform the zealous Mohammedism of recent immigrants into a more liberal form of faith, and make the conflict go away.
Or least keep it manageable … The most likely scenario for Europe isn’t dhimmitude; it’s a long period of tension, punctuated by spasms of violence, that makes the Continent a more unpleasant place without fundamentally transforming it.”
Skippy Lipchitz’s happy happy version not so long ago.
Between the financial crisis and the migration of a million combat age males from Mohammedist world, Europa will face an ever scary future of uprisings, successions, unification battles, independence battles a probably a few wars
Start with continuing concerns about the finances of so-called southern peripheral countries. The Greek bailout of 2015 created strong and lingering resentments in Germany and other creditor nations of northern Europe. This bailout was the third in five years, and it will not be the last. Some are now forecasting a new Greek default early this summer. Portugal’s sinking economy may also need rescue soon. The Portuguese and Greek governments united recently to denounce what they view as the European Union’s relentless, draconian austerity measures. Meanwhile, Italy struggles to manage its own excessive debt, low growth, high unemployment, and severe banking crisis. Spain is on the verge of breaching its deficit targets for the ninth consecutive year. A familiar refrain in Germany goes, “We shovel money south, while they pretend to reform, and we pretend to believe them.”
The refugee crisis may well become a serious threat to Europe’s cohesion and security. Amid the hundreds of thousands of displaced and suffering, there are jihadist infiltrators, with the number of suspects now so large they are nearly impossible for authorities to track. German authorities have confirmed that roughly 3,800 blank Syrian passports are in the possession of Islamic State. The probability of fresh attacks in the next few years will remain high.
But there’s another daunting problem: how to integrate such large numbers of Mohammedist refugees? Germany alone has already taken in roughly 1.1 million homeless from Syria and elsewhere since the summer of 2015. While it’s difficult to obtain precise data, a decent number of refugees are apparently poorly educated; by some estimates, as many as 20 percent may be illiterate. Even if most are able to join the workforce over time, can they become part of European society?
It’s foolish and dangerous to deny the fact that many Europeans will not welcome these newcomers, just as it is obvious that many of these newcomers — largely from socially conservative and in some instances militantly illiberal backgrounds — will have little enthusiasm for joining life in liberal, progressive Europe.
So far, Europe’s success in integrating Mohammedists has been mixed at best. A senior Central European politician LOL’d the current problem in a semi private communique as, “the land of full mosques invading the continent of empty churches.”
Also there is the the enduring strategic problem of Mitteleuropa, a fragmented region suspended between larger powers by virtue of geography, language, and culture. As it emerged from the last age of empire, Woodrow Wilson sought to re-anchor the region through self determination, a short experiment as weak states were preyed upon by more capable neighbors. A perpetual source of instability at best, Tim Snyder described it as the “Bloodlands” at its worst. Robert Kaplan, quoting Josef Pilsudski, founder of the second Polish Republic, refers to the need for an “Intermarium” group of unaffiliated democratic states between the Baltic and Black Seas.
While it is obviously desirable if these countries are also democracies, it would mark an important step towards a sustainable security system if they had a reasonable ability to defend themselves and were at least not constantly in play between larger alliances. At a minimum, this could buy time, giving Russian strategic culture an opportunity to mellow, grow beyond its post-imperial ambitions, and learn to live within the boundaries of a modern nation state.
The Glittering Eye : Beats me. The people of the ethnic states of Europe have choices to make. They can retain the ethnic identities they’ve built for themselves or they can accept mass immigration from the Middle East and Africa. They can’t do both which is what they’ve been trying do to.
Don’t think they can’t put the ethnic identity Humpty Dumpty together again. It would require expelling and or killing millions. They’ve done it before. Multiple times.
The idea of Europe seems to be dying a painful death one way or the other.
Laura Rambeau Lee, Right Reason: The future of Europe looks much like the rest of the Western world as progressives prey on the emotions of its citizens to gain power through democratic means. Although not familiar with the grooming of young Muslims to aspire to positions in government and elected office in Europe, it is happening in America locally, across every state and nationwide. I assume the same forces promoting civilization jihad in America are also behind the efforts in Europe.
Just this last week the city of London elected its first Muslim mayor, Sadiq Khan, of the Labour Party. His platform of making London more “fair” for all and tackling the issues of affordable housing, freezing commuter fares, creating jobs, and pushing for cleaner energy could well be the platform of any progressive mayoral candidate in any large American city. Populists appeal to the emotions of the voters, who don’t see the emptiness of their promises until it is too late.
As more Muslims are elected to office in Europe they will pursue acceptance of shari’ah over existing laws under the guise of “fairness” and understanding of cultural differences. We are already seeing reports of sexual attacks by Muslim men against European woman, and government officials are telling women to dress more modestly or stay indoors to avoid attacks. This sends a message that the victims are somehow responsible for these attacks. This is shari’ah. In addition, we have to remember these countries have very strict gun control laws so self-defense is difficult.
The experiment of the European Union is failing as some countries and their people are bearing a disproportionate financial burden and resentment continues to build. There will be a backlash of Europeans who will attempt to reassert their cultural dominance… kind of a “Make (insert country here) Great Again” platform, which will eventually lead to internal chaos and violence as these factions clash. Europe is becoming ripe for a despot or dictator.