A Continent Without a Purpose
Europe, the Old Continent, has become senile and lost its way. Nationally, super-nationally and internationally Europe has lost all sense of purpose. The process of achieving national self-determination that very much defined 20th century European history all the way to the Yugoslav Wars has been halted and reversed. States no longer exist for the purpose of allowing a people the right to exist and rule themselves. The EU was started to help create closer ties between countries to lessen the possibility of a new continental war and improve economic synergy. Now it doesn’t know what it wants to be or become. It certainly cannot push for a unified European identity, as due to inconvenient realities such an identity would have to be a “White” identity and in any case exclusive to its members. It also has ambitions of being an international power player, along with the great powers, but lacks the will to exert its influence outside its borders in any meaningful way. All the while, rifts are forming inside it, on ideological, economic, geopolitical and even ethnic grounds. All this contributes to what we have today, an entire continent and its peoples, tired, demoralised and with no hope for the future.
What Are We?
Let’s start looking at this from the lowest level I outlined, the nation-state. There’s a reason it’s called that, and the two terms are not interchangeable, although some people might think so. A nation is a unified people and a state is the body that governs them. Europe is one of the few places in the world where the ideal has been taken the furthest, to the extent that some countries could even be called ethno-states with how homogenous they are. However, go to any even slightly public figure in today’s Europe and ask them what the country you’re in is for, and you will not get an answer. Well, that’s not strictly true. You may get something along the lines of “to create and keep up a safe and sustainable environment for all inside it”. But what differentiates such a country from any other? Why keep up the charade of borders and “national” governments if the goal of all countries is so basic and interchangeable? I’ve never got an answer.
United by What?
Not that the EU is any more capable of answering these questions. Just as its member states, it too has an identity crisis. Internally, it is supposed to promote European unity. It is of course true that Europe has avoided a continent-wide conflict for 80 years. However, due to the power imbalances, cultural differences, different national goals, different reigning ideologies and different levels of economic development between its members, any kind of further integration is almost impossible. There seems to be a great deal of hope within the Union that shared organisations and integrated infrastructure will somehow automatically lead to a closer relationship between its members. I meanwhile can’t stop thinking about Yugoslavia.
Where to, EU?
Internationally both the EU and individual European countries are also scrambling to find a purpose. Europe doesn’t know how it should align itself to the rest of the world. Even under the Trump administration, the role of the democracy and freedom bringing world police is firmly in America’s hands. Bringing Western values to the rest of the world also smacks of colonialism and cultural imperialism, which is a big no-no, especially for guilt-racked Western Europe (Eastern Europe doesn’t care). Some have floated the idea of the EU acting as a fourth great power to further balance China, Russia and the USA. I am very sceptical of the EU’s ability to do this. For one, its two biggest members, France and Germany, already have very divergent modus operandi for acting internationally. Germany prefers to economics its way through the Union and the world, while France gallivants with its armed forces around the Françafrique and elsewhere, wrangling the EU to set up peacekeeping operations in the wake of its interventions. Apart from these different approaches, another reason to wonder about the EU’s great power aspirations goes back to questions of identity. As far as the other Great Powers go, Russia seeks its former imperial might (and money for its oligarchs), China is the same imperial might it has always been, and America thinks it represents humanity. What is Europe? I know what I want it to be, but that is irrelevant. What does the current EU leadership think it is? What is the single driving force behind EU foreign policy? Get along? Hardly a strong force to use against the other three.
Stupid and Lame
This lack of driving force most disastrously manifests in policymaking. There is a general strange attitude towards problems on all levels in Europe, from heads of state and the EU Commission, all the way down to the local municipal council level. I call it “real problems, stupid solutions”. I could just meme on this, mentioning anti-rapeTikTok dances and the like, but this is a much larger and more serious problem. European leadership and their followers in the wannabe-class seem incapable of making smart decision when faced with trouble, and dismiss real action as being somehow impractical or morally dubious. Low birth-rates are very much a problem in all European countries, already creating negative native population growth across the continent. Rather than worrying about the slow disappearance of entire ethnicities, incentivising family-building or attempting a controlled collapse to some level of local sustainability, European leadership has placed all hope in mass immigration. This means in the long run, the native populations will continue to dwindle, while the carrying capacity of their countries are increasingly strained with ever more immigration from elsewhere. Countries like Hungary that do attempt to curb this phenomenon are regarded as stupid or denounced as downright evil. Related to this is the twin rise of nationalist populism and Islamist extremism. Here too, the European powers-that-be fail to come up with any kind of meaningful response. Nationalist populist parties grow in the polls everywhere on the continent, stealing voters from other parties. The response? Those ex-voters of yours are just dumb hicks who should wither away as the march of progress continues. Any worries about things like demographic decline are dismissed as conspiracy theories, no matter how much publicly available material backs it up as a phenomena. As for the Islamists, they don’t actually follow any ideology, and they’ll stop their fight for their vision of the Ummah, as long as you teach them about LGBT rights. The third area where stupidity reigns is environmentalism and climate worries. Europe is stuck in the same false dichotomy as America, where the Left has taken mantle of “The Environmentalists” and to answer them, the Right takes a very anti-environmental stance. A uniquely European phenomena though, is the appearance of so-called “Blue-Greens”, centre-Right politicians who pay lip service to “green” ideals in the hopes of attracting (younger) voters. In practice though, both actual Greens and “Blue-Greens” share the same attitude to green issues. Both more-or-less sideline environmental concerns for either social or economic ones, respectively. Neither is also capable of breaking free of the election cycle, or even entertaining some of the rather illiberal measures that should be taken. Still, they must do something, and this leads to more stupid solutions. The most egregious example is Germany turning away from nuclear power, with its opponents citing the Fukushima disaster of all things as they did so. The plan was to replace nuclear with renewable energy sources, which already come with their own problems. Germany ended up in an energy crisis, meaning they had to continue the use of coal and (imported, Russian) gas. A return to nuclear power was out of the question.
A Slow-Motion Implosion
I am really very pessimistic about Europe’s future. I began writing this piece about a month ago, and since then European economies have been utterly destroyed by the effects of the 2020 Plague and the responses to it. The EU decided on a multi-billion Euro emergency fund, which has done yet more to split not only the political class of the Union’s members, but its citizenry as well. As I mentioned in my previous article, socio-political trends are making their way over from America as well, and are causing yet more strife, mostly on the national scale. I don’t think either national or Union leadership has any idea how to deal with any of this. The only thing you can really do is just marvel as this massive structure slowly crumbles and collapses, right before your very eyes. The only hope we can have is that Oswald Spengler was right, and something new can be born from the ashes.