March 06, 2004

Avoiding the End of Europe

Wretcherd points to an excellent AEI speech by Niall Ferguson on the decline and fall of Europe.

It's all very well and good but there is no Hollywood ending here, not even the hope of a concrete plan of action to reverse the tide. In other words, Europe is doomed in its current economic, ethnic, and cultural configuration and there is nothing to do but to wait for the arrival of the minarets.


There is nothing inevitable about the decline of Europe, even in countries that are currently rushing headlong to demographic decline and death. There is a fundamental difference between choosing to face the wall and die and having that be your own alternative.

Christianity is a cultural heritage for Europe's post-christian millions but, more than that, it is a choice. There is an unspoken assumption interwoven through most (including this) "Europe is declining" stories that note post-christianity in the EU, that is that christianity is a spent force. Looking worldwide, this is a laughably inaccurate observation. All sorts of christian churches are gaining not only through births in the 3rd world but through active conversions including most if not all the classic christian faiths of Europe.

Another choice that is presented as an inevitability is a low birth rate, largely an artifact of abortion and birth control. This is a radical choice but it is ludicrous to think that there is no choice and it should not even be presented as a possibility.

A third choice is in assimilation. The US has a much larger assimilation capability than most EU states yet even the US needs to work on assimilation. Europe has its own choices to make in this field.

None of these choices are likely in the next electoral cycle but none of the threats to Europe are likely to come to a head in the next electoral cycle either. The first step is to note the problem. The second step is to define solutions that would work. The third step is to choose and implement the best solutions available. By simply taking real public policy choices off the table a priori, those who are currently projecting a decline in the EU are doing Europe a major disservice. A grave problem such as the death of nations deserves the widest possible discussion regarding the widest possible set of solutions.

If nothing else, the Poles of America will fund and retake Poland as will the Germans of America and so on. They will have the money to do so (European economic decline remember?) the numbers to do so (US has a higher birth rate than many EU states) and the faith to do so (spiritual renewal in US christianity is a subject of history and the present day). If the prospect of sharia and the islmization of Europe does not drive Europeans to take action, the reality that eventually their American cousins will eventually come back is likely to do it.

Go Europe!

Posted by TMLutas at March 6, 2004 03:24 PM