Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Europe's Cultural Future

For my Omnilore class in Great Decisions 2006 I need to prepare a lecture on the future of Europe. Now I don’t pretend to be a seer or a wise man and my prognostications are generally tempered by hope. For example, I’m convinced that the next US President will be another Republican because the American people will not trust the Democratic Party with the nation's defense. At least, that is my fervent hope. When considering Europe’s future I am similarly influenced by our European family ancestry to spice my predictions with a soupcon of optimism.

When thinking about the future it is foolhardy to ignore the past and the historical intersection of America and Europe has been a complex and rich tapestry. Since 1900, hundreds of thousands of Americans have bled and died for the sake of European freedom. We spent a fortune on the Marshall Plan and on continuous military protection of the Continent that allowed European countries to transfer military spending to social areas. We tore down the Berlin Wall freeing Eastern Europe and enabling the Eastern countries to enter the European Union. We have been robust trading partners. For these and many other reasons it is important that Europe regain its economic vitality and renew its commitment to the spread of democracy.

Europe’s future has many dimensions, cultural, political, economic, war fighting and so on. And every dimension has an impact on America, for good or for bad. Indeed many Americans, mostly Democrats, wish that America would become more like Europe. They favor liberal social policies, increased government controls, higher taxes, libertarian cultural mores, global organizations and appeasement over war. Thus it pays to look at Europe as a precursor of what America could be like if it becomes substantially more liberal.

I’ll look first at the cultural dimension which includes religion. It is the most troubling of the European dimensions. Paul Belien wrote in the Brussels Journal that Europe’s current problems are entirely self-inflicted. This does not mean, however, that the result will be less catastrophic. By subverting the roots of its own Judeo-Christian culture – a process that started with the French Enlightenment (as opposed to the
Scottish Enlightenment, which was not anti-religious) – a religious and cultural vacuum was created at the heart of European civilization. The collapse of faith in its own values has, not surprisingly, led to a demographic collapse because a civilization that no longer believes in its own future also rejects procreation. Today, a new religion and culture is supplanting the old one. There is little one can do about it, but hope for a miracle.

Now that does indeed sound catastrophic. But what are the consequences? Perhaps the article from Reuters today provides an indication of the collapse of faith in its own values. Dutch pedophiles are launching a political party to push for a cut in the legal age for sexual relations to 12 from 16 and the legalization of child pornography and sex with animals. The "Charity, Freedom and Diversity" party said on its Web site: We are going to shake The Hague awake! The party said it wanted to cut the legal age for sexual relations to 12 and eventually scrap the limit altogether.

The Netherlands already has liberal policies on drugs, prostitution and gay marriage but was shocked by the plan. Indeed an opinion poll published Tuesday showed that 67 percent said promoting pedophilia should be illegal. But a third of the population thinks it’s just fine. Ad Van den Berg, one of the party's founders, told Reuters, We want to get into parliament so we have a voice. Other politicians only talk about us in a negative sense, as if we were criminals. The party wants private possession of child pornography to be allowed and also supports allowing pornography to be broadcast on daytime television, with only violent pornography limited to the late evening.

Paul Belien contrasts the collapse of European culture with America’s conservative reserves or, as the German sociologist Arnold Gehlen explained, “the reserves in national energy and self-confidence, primitiveness and generosity, wealth and potential of every kind.” Belien writes: Every so often I travel to the U.S. to recharge my batteries, and I am not the only European Conservative to do so. From time to time one needs to breathe the air of freedom before submerging again in the stifling atmosphere of Europe.

America’s “conservative reserves” are far stronger than Europe’s, because America, unlike secular Europe, has remained rooted to a larger extent in traditional Christian values. I do not doubt that if these values continue to decline in the U.S., American culture will collapse as European culture and civilisation have collapsed. However, America can learn from the impending European catastrophe, and avoid a similar fate. The old European civilization – the pre-secular or the pre-post-Christian one – will live on in the U.S. If it perishes there too, mankind will relapse into the dark ages that are now taking hold of Europe, the cradle of Western civilization.

Will we learn the European lesson? The fate of Western Civilization hangs in the balance.



14 Comments:

Blogger gary daily said...

Rather than examining Europe through nearly opaque red, white and blue glasses, anyone who really wants to know Europe today within the sweep of modern European history should read Tony Judt’s acclaimed work, _Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945_. But for those who insist on U.S./European comparisons, Judt supplied a few in an October, 2005, essay (see http://www.nybooks.com/articles/17726):

“It is becoming clear that America and Europe are not way stations on a historical production line, such that Europeans must expect to inherit or replicate the American experience after an appropriate time lag. They are actually quite distinct places, very possibly moving in divergent directions. There are even those—including the authors of two of the books under review—for whom it is not Europe but rather the United States that is trapped in the past.

“America's cultural peculiarities (as seen from Europe) are well documented: the nation's marked religiosity, its selective prurience, its affection for guns and prisons (the EU has 87 prisoners per 100,000 people; America has 685), and its embrace of the death penalty. As T.R. Reid puts it in The United States of Europe, "Yes, Americans put up huge billboards reading 'Love Thy Neighbor,' but they murder and rape their neighbors at rates that would shock any European nation."

America is a great country. To deny this is to live in a dark corner of ignorance. But measuring Europe, or the world, by our standards and perspectives is not just arrogant, it can be downright embarrassing–people of other nations start measuring right back, and is it surprising that we don’t always measure up?

[Hope this is posted. My last two postings have not been added to this blog. What’s that all about in this land of free expression?]

9:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There you again Bill. Find a fringe element in Dutch politics, and use it to paint all of a Europe as a haven for pedophiles. I feel bad for these poor folk who have to endure your right-wing rants during these Omnilore sessions! It must get tedious. Hopefully they can see through your distortions and delusions. If you'd like to use your technique, I would suggest you look at how racist and homophobic America has become by looking at Fred Phelp's Church.....using your methodology, he is representative of the right wing!

8:34 AM  
Anonymous william said...

One thing that you need to include is that the birth rate in Europe has been below replacement levels for decades. This is due to liberal abortion laws and cultural changes that have limited the size of families. Europe has been demographically doomed for a long time. The influx of Islam is just speeding up their decline.

8:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know my m.o. – although I love all of your blogs, every once in a while I have to write to tell you that one is brilliant; this is one of them. I’m forwarding it to my 16-yr old son; the future of our nation.

Dave

3:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Right on, Bill!!

The Dutch party really shocked me. Thanks for bringing it out in your post!!

Marie

3:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a few friends from Holland and they are moving OUT of that area due to the Muslim influence. There was no mention of the group you talked about! Egads!

Helen

3:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bill,

You should be publishing in serious conservative journals --National Review, The American Spectator, Commentary (Jewish), The Weekly Standard, etc. Please give it some thought.

Greg

3:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Totally agree with the above commentators. Europe has become infested with pedophiles, atheists, faggots, Muslim terrorists, and if we don't anything about the Mexicans and restore Biblical Law to our country, we will go the way of DoDo. Bravo on a great post. Agree with Greg, you should submit your stuff to the National Review or the National Alliance. Thanks!

4:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh come on. With his deep understanding of (and empathy for) Europe, you have to agree Bill is uniquely qualified to lecture a spellbound Omnilore audience on its future. In that continent someone with Bill's political views usually belongs to one of the fringe neo-fascist groupings which pop up from time to time and generally get ignored. So I'm sure his prognostications will be especially worthy of respect.

The quote I especially liked is "We tore down the Berlin wall." If Bill can take the credit for the reunification of Germany, then his vision of the future of Europe will make interesting reading.

5:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agree with the above. It appears that Bill has resorted to quoting Flemish inciters of racism and xenophobia without telling his "Omnilore" audience. Using Paul Belien as his prototype "European", this racist blogger belongs to the right wing Belgian political party "Vlaams Belang". One of their platforms is amnesty for all Nazi collaboraters. Mr.Belien would feel very comfortable hanging with the KKK and other white supremacist groups in the hinterlands of Idaho, or even, dare say, the cliffs of Palos Verdes. What a shame, that the beautiful peninsula harbors residents who carry such hateful views!

7:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, looks like Bill discretely fails to mention that Arnold Gehlen joined the Nazi party in 1933. Interestingly, he took over from the eminent Paul Tillich who fled Germany as the Nazis were taking over. This is really a shame. All of the readers of this blog should understand that the "German sociologist" Bill refers to was indeed a member of the Nazi party. Now there really should be no more pretense, Bill is an admirer of racists.

7:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting blog, with some xenophobic undertones. Curious that many of the critical comments are of a substantive nature, whereas the complimentary ones seem to be a bit, shall we say, cheerleaderish? It appears that the blogger's fans are ignorant white women who live in an enclave of wealth, and fear that the brown people are very close to storming the gates of their little world. Very sad indeed.

7:53 PM  
Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

What the critics of this post fail to realize is when a "movement" such as the socialists begin to try to social engineer "equality", they do it at the expense of "individualism" and freedom.

FAR.

8:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Racism is not pretty...but RACISM=SURVIVAL. Sad but true, things are completely out of hand for white people, and it is all of of their own faults. Anyone been to Paris? ALL BLACK or Mustafa's! Sad! Maybe one out of 100 people are native! WHy is it that only originally white countries get pilfered and fucked over! WTF! Why is it so horrid IF whites (or some) choose to be only white and seperate from other ethnicities?How comne no one ever accuse Asian countries for being so damn homogenous! They have a hold of their shit and some pride! White are pathetic self-eliminating people filled with nothing but hate of themselves.
-Regrettably white

12:21 AM  

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