Thursday, June 01, 2006

European Utopia

via Victor Davis Hanson.

The enemies of Europe's past - responsible for everything from Verdun and Dresden to a constant threat of mutually assured destruction - were identified as nationalism and militarism. Meanwhile, at home, Europeans cited cutthroat competition and unbridled individualism as additional contributory causes of the prior strife and unhappiness.

So in response to the errors of the past, Europeans systematically expanded the welfare state. They welcomed in immigrants. Politicians slashed defense spending, lowered the retirement age and cut the workweek. Voters demanded trade barriers to protect the public from the ravages of globalization. Either to enjoy the good life or to save the planet, couples forswore children.

But instead of utopia, unintended consequences ensued. Unemployment soared. Dismal economic growth, shrinking populations and a scarier world outside their borders followed.


Some brave soul soon is going to have to inform the European public: Work much harder and longer for less money; defend the continent on your own; move out of mama's house and start changing diapers - and from now on expect far less from the state.

Who knows what the reaction will be to that splash of cold water? In response, what European populist will soon appear on the streets in Rome, Berlin or Madrid once again to deceive the public that it was someone else who caused these disappointments?

We in America should take note of the looming end of this once seemingly endless summer. We've been there, done that with this beloved continent all too many times before.


Frontline Spain clamors impatiently for the European Union to clamp down on illegal immigrants streaming across the Mediterranean. The utopian vision of a continent with porous borders is, for the time being, on hold - at least as it pertains to Africa.

The Dutch, the French and the Danes are petrified about unassimilated Muslim radicals in their countries who have killed or threatened the most liberal of Europeans. Churches are almost empty. Mosques are being built; Italians wrangle over plans for one of the largest in Italy - to be plopped amid the vineyards and olive groves of Tuscany.

A majority of polled Germans now believe that the pacifist Europeans are in a "clash of civilizations" with the Islamic world.

The Socialist and Liberal experiement that has become Western Europe is a failure. Is a war brewing? I don't know. However, I know that some of us aren't going to do anything about it.

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