Tuesday, September 13, 2005
SC&A On Europe
The EU, that new common voice, has changed the compact we have with Europe. It cannot be described simply as a counterpart to the economic might of the US. Counterparts are equals-- the EU has written laws that defend certain trade subsidies and abolish others, for example-- effectively enshrining protectionism for itself while decrying it for everyone else. What the EU really has done is become a voice that legitimizes anti Americanism, without, 'naming names', all in the interest of self service at the expense of the US. To think otherwise is naive.The odd part is that Europe has all the assets to be a truly vibrant and thriving place, but it just doesn't seem to want to be that place. It can't embrace change. Oddly, what this reminded me of was the last point made in Minh-Duc's post at State Of Flux about Katrina:
It is not about disagreements or honest differences of opinions, no question. Disagreements can be beneficial and healthy. It is about a fundamental change in European attitudes towards America, orchestrated for no other reason than to deflect attention away from a continent that has become morally bankrupt and an economic stepchild to the US. It is an attempt, as was said earlier, to maintain influence, at our expense.
Private Citizens Are Assets Not Liabilities: Earlier on the crisis, the government announced that private citizens should not to come to the affected area to help, because they would get in the way. We later learned that private charities and individuals were faster, more responsive, and far more effective than the government. Disobeying government order, they came. And because they came, many lives were saved.The EU is afraid of its own people, and so they have instituted a static, bureaucratic form of government that is hobbling their own progress. If you don't follow EU politics you may not realize how far into raving idiocy they veered under the Chirac/Shroeder cabal. Read this post by Pedro at The Quietist. That's it exactly. That's Europe in a nutshell. As for their claims about the evil American Empire, Carl of No Oil For Pacifists smacks them down in no uncertain manner here.
If you think I am just babbling to make myself feel good, you are wrong. Because of the European elite's abdication from the land of sanity, we are either faced with having another American century or a Chinese century. Bad news, kiddo. We are up at bat again.
The whole goal of the post WWII European humanistic movement and the UN was to produce change and progress in the world, especially the Third World. Well, that succeeded to some extent.
So now you have growing economies and that produces global change. I can't think that rising living standards and advancing economies are a bad thing in traditional humanistic terms, but that is really what Europe is trying to defend itself against.
They would do far better to embrace the change and seek to work with it.
Not to mention that the former communist countries aren't buying the 'supra state.'
They have been there and done that.
But they have relatively little influence and they have a lot of catching up to do, another commonality for countries escaping Communism.
The socialists of old Europe are trying to stomp down new Europe's domestic efforts at flattening their tax systems, etc. It is hard to know how this one will come out in the next decade.
"It is hard to know how this one will come out in the next decade."
I'd look to the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, the Arab Hegemony, The Roman Empire,The Alexandrine Empire,The Mughal Empire and The Chinese Empire.
The zeniths of civilizations, each...in their day. For my waypoints on that course.
Regional power blocs degenerating to Warlordism degenerating to Barbarism to Exploitation and perhaps Colonization by a younger, more vital and more unified predatory civilization...and the "easy pickins'" of a bunch of squabbling pissant tin dictators will be a major factor in further unifying the successor civilization.
Like the Spanish, the French and the British with the Indians of the Americas, the British in India and Africa, and everyone with a flag and a ship and a gun did in China and Africa.
This stretches beyond your ten year timeline, I realize.
The latter Brit Empire was a different case, because theirs was a maritime empire, and they seeded their civilization in other climes, (and you know how the English worship gardening).
Couple that with their deliberate decision to more or less "cut and run" from their former colonies after WW2...that's why the Anglosphere Civilization is still dominant. You and I, as Americans, are card-carrying members of the "Evolved" British Empire.
Pity that so few people appreciate what a nifty thing a Navy (and a Merchant Marine!), are.
You're a Southerner,as am I, one of the reasons we ARE Americans is that the Union had the Navy, and the Confederacy did not.
The lessons were encapsulated in "The Influence of Sea Power Upon History" by Alfred Thayer Mahan.
So the Euros,(and I dislike the term because it imputes a unity that only exists in a very small social class, and has very little depth even there), have some hard choices to make.
They either swallow their prides, and apply to membership in the club of which the US and the UK are the "Big Swingin' Dicks", or they become "Twinkies" to be gobbled up by...my guess is the Turks and us.
Given their history, my money is on their pride.
My wife is half American Indian, her mother is full-blooded, from the Southwest, and I often hear what a pack of bastards the APACHE were...It's a bit mind-boggling for me to hear, as a palefaced descendant of the smallpox, whiskey, and firearm bearers, who set up reservations for Indians.
The APACHE were assholes...
I bet on "pride", every time.
My concern over the the next ten years is really the Chinese. How much time does what's left of the west really have?
I'd love to discuss the difference between the evolution of the previous British colonies and others with you some time. I have come to conclude that the real difference might be common law in contrast to other codes. On the other hand, that is not an absolute. Look at Canada now.
The Ottoman empire fell so completely because of its internal corruption, and that is really what is happening to the EU. For the last twenty years France's real strategy has always been to keep Germany tied to it with an alliance of mutual interests, but now this is close to failing.
One of the possibilities in central Europe is that Germany allies itself with Turkey, and that Turkey attempts to seize northern Iraq and its oilfields. This is a definite possibility, and if it happens France will go along. So much for NATO.
Another possibility is that Germany cuts its tax rates and works hard on profiting from the growth wave in eastern Europe and selling weapons to China. France whines hysterically and NATO holds until China makes its move.
"My concern over the the next ten years is really the Chinese."
Oh they're there, and they're going to be a force to be reckoned with, but they are a peculiar lot, the Chinese. A very "inward-looking" crew,(to be honest, like much of Asia, pretty damned xenophobic, if you get right down to it).
In many ways, they resemble the British in that they sent their children all over the planet,although, since they weren't in the colonial game, they sent them to live under already established polities, rather than to create their own.
And wherever they went, they all pretty much ended up living and behaving in similar fashion.
Family, Business,Education, Gambling and Insular.
For all their power since Mao unified them under his banner, they've only taken over Tibet...
" For the last twenty years France's real strategy has always been to keep Germany tied to it with an alliance of mutual interests, but now this is close to failing."
France and Germany, (and Russia too, for that matter), are in boxes of their own making. All three have had empires carved out of the smaller and weaker populations of Europe.
What "sheep" in his right mind is going to a dinner party thrown by "wolves"?
And without the "sheep" attending, who are the "wolves" going to have for dinner?
Increasingly ugly...I figure that the people of Europe have had a bellyful of the power dreams of the governing classes of Paris, Berlin and Moscow.
The Brits, again, are different. Their empire was carved out offshore, so in Europe's POV, the Brits don't have a history of conquest..."clean hands", relatively speaking.
A good observation about the Common Law and British colonies.
As a seaman, there's a rule of thumb, if the nation you're visiting was a British colony, it is, within it's geographical and cultural frame of reference, a decent place.
Anyone else's colonies are shit holes.
Kenya borders Somalia, South Africa borders Namibia,Singapore and Malaysia vs. Cambodia and Vietnam...etc.
As for China, it did have an imperial period. It is such a big country that its bias has traditionally been towards stability. What is going on there now is anything but. They have peasant riots about land, riots about unfair working conditions, riots about police, riots about working conditions for the labor brigades....
I've been reading their news, and it isn't a stable social situation.
If you have to pick whether to be burned yourself or whether to light someone else on fire, many will pick the second option. The population's anger will turn somewhere.
Right now there is a bunch of anger against the party and the controlling interests. But that anger could easily be deflected against the west, just as it is now boiling up against the Japanese.
On Boxun I recently ran across all of Mein Kampf posted in sections on a discussion forum.
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