Monday, February 24, 2020

Brussels Bureaucrats Ably Visualize the EU’s Decline, by Guillaume Durocher - The Unz Review

The European Commission’s in-house think tank has produced an interesting report on “European common goods” which has a wealth of infographics highlighting the various ways the European Union is declining: the rise China, the rise of euroskeptic populism, weak militaries, poor quality migrants, and weakness on R&D and tech. The paper is worthy of Signal, both in terms of striking visuals and fluffy bureaucratese (which you can read only if you wish to have direct insight into globalists’ minds).
The report’s authors speak of the “polycrisis” (financial, debt, and migrant crises), “megatrends,” and supposed “reinvention” the EU has experienced in recent years . . . but really the document is very frank in highlighting the downward slope Europe is facing. Say what you want about the Eurocrats, they are acutely aware of many of our continent’s problems, even if their supposed solutions are often highly questionable. The infographics follow, with the occasional quote and commentary.
Rise of China
The report notes that “standard-setting power threatens to shift towards Asia, along with economic prowess and technological leadership.” What’s more, partners who have traditionally looked to the EU – namely Africa and the western Balkans – “are diversifying their partnerships” throw growing ties with China, India, and/or Russia.
The EU’s defense capabilities have taken a huge hit with Britain’s departure, leaving France as the only country left with semi-serious power-projection capability.
On energy, Europe has decoupled economic growth from carbon emissions: GDP per capita has resumed growth, even as emissions are overall declining. However, so far Europe has not led the clean energy industrial revolution, which perhaps make sense given her post-industrial services economy.
While the EU touts elevated climate ambitions, more and more Europeans are unable to pay their utility bills. If, as can be expected, reducing carbon emissions will require lower purchasing power for the people, both big business and yellow-vest protestors will object. The EU’s top diplomat, the elderly Spanish social-democrat Josep Borrel, caused uproar when he suggested Greta Thunberg’s climate protestors would not be willing to pay an economic price for their cause:
The idea that young people are seriously committed to fighting climate change — we could call it the ‘Greta syndrome’ — allow me to doubt that. . . . I would like to know if young people demonstrating in Berlin calling for measures against climate change are aware of what such measures will cost them and if they are willing to lower their living standards to offer compensation to Polish miners, because if we fight against climate change for real they will lose their jobs and will have to be subsidized.
On the positive side, the report notes that new energy technologies could lead to “a new socio-economic paradigm based on local economic activity.” That would certainly improve the prospects for deep and genuine local sovereignty.
Winner-take-all is winner-take-all…
In theory, the EU has the scale to produce its own homegrown tech giants. In practice, despite the removal of legal trade barriers between states, the nations continue to be the real markets that one wins or loses and none of them is big enough to rival the United States or China. That’s statal-linguistic memetics for you. However, if the EU were to become fully protectionist on digital matters, there’s no doubt we could achieve digital sovereignty.
And now the most disastrous area: migration. As the report notes, the EU is increasingly:
  • Suffering from brain-drain to the Anglosphere
  • Failing to attract high-quality migrants
  • Attracting low-quality and “non-economic” migrants.
The report is worth quoting, if only to show the state of official thinking (bullet points and bolding in the original):
  • Migration will remain a defining issue for the EU in the years to come as the absolute number of migrants across the world is expected to continue increasing. Economic development in the world’s poorest regions will in the short-term lead to greater migration as people’s ability and willingness to emigrate increases with income. This trend could affect much of the African continent, where the population is not only very young, but also set to double in the next 30 years.
  • Europe will likely remain an attractive destination: It is already home to 15% of the world’s migrants (excluding mobile EU citizens) and, since 2010, EU28 countries have received on average 43% of the world’s new asylum applications.
  • Yet, the EU continues to underachieve on attracting high-skilled talent. Labour migration to the EU27 has fallen by more than half since 2008and accounts for just 15% of total immigration. More than half of legal migration flows into EU Member States are driven by family reunification – mainly marriage migration – or humanitarian grounds.
The following is drawn from the paper’s “worst case” scenario on migration, called “Destitute fortress Europe”:
  • More EU Member States harden their line over immigration, so that immigration flows are drastically reduced, even as many of Europe’s best brains emigrate to the US and Asia-Pacific region, attracted by strong economic growth, technological leadership and easier access to finance. Economic growth stagnates in these Member States, and public finances prove unable to cope with higher dependency ratios, putting more people at risk of poverty.
  • Because some EU Member States remain more open to migration and refugees, ‘hard-line’ countries close off their borders, withdrawing from the Schengen area. Anti-migrant and xenophobic discourse in these countries drives discrimination against existing migrant communities – including second and third generation migrants – in turn prompting or reinforcing the development of parallel societies and even radicalisation.
We note here the schizophrenia in official thinking which is rampant among the metropolitan classes across the West. On the one hand, opposition to immigration is interpreted as irrational, hateful, and will lead to ethno-religious conflict. On the other, it is discretely acknowledged that mass non-European immigration (African/Islamic, in particular) is leading to “the development of parallel societies and even radicalisation” (a euphemism for the Islamist terrorists who have murdered hundreds of innocent Europeans in recent years, not to mention supposedly unremarkable apolitical petty criminality, rapes, and homicides committed by these groups).
You would think that the first step in preventing the emergence of migrant “parallel societies” would be, at least, to halt the flow of people coming in. Because here’s the thing, today’s Afro-Islamic “parallel societies” will be tomorrow’s majority societyacross Western Europe. And, on current trends, that will probably happen within 50 years.
Democracy & Euroskepticism
Finally, the report notes that mainstream parties and liberal regimes are in decline.
This section strikingly shows the tension between liberalism/globalism, which are a set of a values which have been imposed on the West in a top-down fashion, and democracy, which has no values as such, but merely refers to the majority will. Hence all the handwringing among liberal elites about “illiberal democracy” or “national(ist) democracy,” that is to say, when a government adopts policies which the majority of the people want but which liberals disapprove of.
This section warns of “foreign meddling” and “echo chambers,” and of the opportunities for “digital democracy,” “engag[ing] citizens,” and even “civil servants increasingly becom[ing] ambassadors for a revitalised discussion about the EU.”
Critics have argued that genuine democracy and media/ideological/political pluralism simply means chaos and impotence of the kind the Weimar Republic became notorious for. Our liberal-democrats are hypocritical, it is argued, because their regime only worked precisely to the degree democracy was limited, notably through the top-down imposition of an elite consensus through the dominant political parties and the media. Democracy as such is an agnostic regime which does not enable a society to live up to right values (for instance, ecological ones, as we see today). Democracy without conformism, which in recent decades has conveniently been provided by our televisions, is quite unworkable.
We shall see if prolonged political mess, which seems quite likely in the coming years, leads our elites to a principled critique of parliamentary democracy, as was popular in the 1920s, and not just on the far-left and far-right.
The EU is a confederation of social-democratic statelets dedicated to the pursuit of purchasing power and impossible equality. This is antonymous with great effort. Europe’s geopolitical and socio-economic inferiority to the Anglosphere is here to stay. Our human capital is what it is, as is our division into nations and states, in the absence of a successful conqueror (the unhappy Napoleonic and Hitlerian adventures).
Of course, there is a well-known recipe to maximize a nation’s geopolitical potential: a popular Bonapartism. For any nation in the world, I cannot think of a better regime than one which is ecumenical, steady, and eugenic, that is to say paternal and enlightened in the best sense. This kind of regime would benefit Congo or Iraq – where millions have died amidst democratic chaos – as much as it would Europe.
I am convinced Europeans would not even contest the European Union if they were convinced Brussels was on their side (economically, culturally, demographically, and otherwise), if the motto were: “Europe for Europeans!” But as things stand, this would require an intellectual revolution the metropolitan classes are unwilling to make. The urbanites love themselves for embracing the world and fear their kinsmen the proles.
Geopolitically, Europe today is much like France in nineteenth and early twentieth centuries: significant, but only by living at the expense of the past achievements and millennia of capital (cultural, biological…) accumulated by better generations, and thus steadily declining.
Still, there was a moderate renewal of French power in the Twentieth Century, notably with the postwar trentes glorieuses economic boom and her exceptional Baby Boom. And we should not forget that great reversals of power dynamics are common through history: witness the rise of the United States from an insignificant colony to the world’s superpower or the vagaries of Prussian-German history.
Europe cannot know greatness for the foreseeable future. However, Europe could become more cohesive, more self-confident, more self-sufficient, harmoniously developing and consolidating . . . like a vast Japan, though ideally one in which the most gifted Europeans would have many children. Really, that would be quite fine on this Earth which is overloaded with excess humanity.