The following analysis of Europe’s apocalyptic economic and political future was translated from a recent article in an Austrian daily newspaper. The author of this essay is willing to break some of the great taboos of the modern West:
- He states that Multiculturalism has failed, and that its failure was unavoidable.
- He acknowledges the imminent bankruptcy of the European welfare state.
- He admits that the demographic collapse of the native white population coupled with mass immigration of uneducated and inassimilable immigrants will lead to civil war.
You’ll notice, however, that he remains stuck in the mindset of a twentieth-century technocrat in certain ways:
- He stubbornly clings to economic determinism in his analysis, even while acknowledging the role played by ethnic conflict in the coming troubles.
- He pre-emptively rules out a role for the traditional nation-state in any new order.
- He displays the elite contempt for “populists” that has been an all too familiar staple in Western political discourse since 1945 — as if any input from the Great Unwashed would be disastrous for the social order.
JLH, the translator of the article, includes his own take on the author’s arguments:
This piece is thought-provoking and, in some ways, just provoking. This is as serious and comprehensive an analysis as I have seen in any well-regarded establishment paper.
The description of the “ideal” immigration to a developed country reminds me of the flight of wealthy and highly talented citizens from Hong Kong just before the Chinese took over. The Canadian government took a very pragmatic view of the situation. As I understood it at the time, there was a minimum level of wealth or other contribution you could bring with you to assure that you would be welcomed with open arms. There has been no news follow-up that I know about — I could easily have missed it — but I have to suspect that western Canada has grown much more prosperous and commercially and technologically proficient. And no one hears about these immigrants ranting in the streets about their religion, Does anyone even know what it is?
It also reminds me of an article I translated last year by Henryk Broder. He was in Düsseldorf, and his driver took him through a section of “little Japan” — an area not just of shops, but of residences, temples, etc. A wholly foreign place in a German city. And this caused him to ruminate: Does anyone even notice that this settlement is here? Does it have a high crime rate? Or any crime rate at all? Do the residents demand help from the government or recognition from local authorities as being unusual or special? They go to their jobs, interact politely with their colleagues, and go home. And, of course, he compared this to the disadvantage of the many Islamic “parallel societies” in German cities.
What the Die Presse writer does not consider, because he is speaking from a European perspective, is what has happened to the USA through successive waves of immigration — often poor, but until recently, usually ambitious and determined — from Asia, the Pacific, the north, west, east and south of Europe, Africa, the Caribbean, etc., as they were successively driven out by tyranny or lack of opportunity. And were often met here with suspicion and hostility. Cf. Mark Twain’s pungent anecdote of the Irish railroad foreman — representative of an ethnic group looked down on and oppressed by the native Yankees when they first arrived — now giving the back of his hand to the Chinese laborers who were laying the track for the great push westward. Even those of us who want control of our borders and the right to decide who comes here have to ask ourselves: “What was different then? Why does Now cause us such concern?” Have we changed, or have our leaders?
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For all his criticism of the elites, the journalist here seems most put out by the fact that the people in charge of policy and media — those he would ordinarily identify with — have blown it to such a degree that they have allowed the intrusion of “populist” forces. Horrors! Run for the hills! All those unreliable, no-think politicos like Geert Wilders and René Stadtkewitz might have a say in the next coalitions. Why can’t the people who are suited to the task just do it right and keep the rabble out?
Sorry, but even in apparent allies, that kind of attitude disturbs me. Just my peasant background. It is too visible in all of the West. Spengler would probably smile.
Many thanks to JLH for translating this article from Die Presse:
The Calm Before the Plunge
by Michael Ley
April 13, 2012
Failed immigration policy. Poverty among seniors. Conflicts between people with children and people without children, End of the social contract.
The coming revolt: a scenario.
Multiculturalism as a post-modern ideology and alternative to the homogeneous national state — in my estimation — proved to be a social cul-de-sac, an unrealistic utopia. The arduous overcoming of national cultures was counteracted by the unthinking absorption of other cultures and religions. All the classic, pragmatically valuable countries for immigration were systematically rejected, in order to effectuate an integration that was doomed from the start, in multiple ways . The integration of immigrants — excepting asylum seekers — can be done sensibly only according to their professional qualifications and the needs of the societies accepting them. Historically, no society in peacetime integrates people of other cultures to a comparatively great extent for other than economic reasons. Exceptions were always made for the politically, ethnically and religiously persecuted.
Immigrants are, above all, have an economic interest in a country for immigration. For these reasons it is legitimate for the receiving society to apply this same interest to its immigrants. Meaningful immigration can only mean this congruence of material interests. Social integration is connected — next to professional — to the immigrant’s education, religion and ethnicity. So it oscillates between individual attitude and religious or ethnic assumptions. Cultural and religious differences between immigrants and the majority population can as a rule be offset by a correspondingly high level of education.
Young, dynamic, flexible and — optimally — educated immigrants and their progeny are the most important goods of a shrinking and aging knowledge-based society. The future of an immigrating society depends to a great extent on its education and desire to integrate. The productivity and competitiveness of Western nations will be decided in the global battle for the most capable minds. Education and integration are becoming the most important investments in the future and will decide the ongoing fate of nations. Streams of immigration flow into the countries with the best work and integration conditions. The highly qualified immigrant will become the most sought-after commodity on the employment market and a popular citizen for nations.
Facing this desired group of people will be millions of uneducated immigrants who will crowd into the developed societies to scavenge, in the sad milieu of European suburbs, the last crumbs of one-time welfare societies. They will compete with the resident sub-proletariat — the post-modern precariat — for the shrinking budgets of the socialist state. The border areas of many big cities will be shaped by poverty, ethnic-religious parallel societies, and serious social and political tensions.
Development in Germany, Austria and several other European states will not, however, be determined by well educated and socially integrated immigrants, who will supplement the low-birthrate generations of the native population in the employment market and therefore lend decided help in financing the pension and welfare systems. Since the educational differences between natives and immigrants are considerable and the percentage of 20-40 year-old immigrants has grown and/or is growing disproportionately, the level of education and training is declining steadily. With this development, incomes fall and economic outlooks in general become substantially worse.
The thesis — propagated for decades — that increased immigration was necessary to maintain the pension and welfare system was correct, to be sure, but the reality proved to be a fallacy. The consequences of this failed immigration policy are the impoverishment of great segments of the population, and therefore a battle between poor and rich, a generational conflict between older and younger generations and altogether an economic downhill slide into mediocrity and into global insignificance. The population and immigration researcher Herwig Birg describes this development as follows: “The chief effect of the demographic changes is an extreme increase in social disparities and the danger of social conflicts through the erosion of the social protective system and stagnating or falling per capita incomes. In this case, four conflicts appear: a generational conflict, a regional conflict, conflicts between population groups with and without immigration background and conflicts between people with children and people with no children.”
What is worrying is not just the shrinkage of the general population, but the split development between the sharply increasing number of elderly and the simultaneously falling number of middle-aged and younger groups, because of which the social protective system is eroding and poverty, especially in old age, is increasing. And rising poverty cannot be balanced out by an enormous increases in productivity in the workplace, since innovations in the workplace as a rule are combined with a reduction in the number of jobs.
In the future, social tensions and conflicts will increase; the debt-laden government will no longer be able to expand the welfare state in order maintain social peace. On the contrary, it will have to cut bank transfers to immigrant workers so as not to completely alienate taxpayers.
The generational conflict will be unstoppable, because the enormous burden of maintaining the disproportionately large percentage of older people will fall on the younger people. The call for a later retirement age will become louder and more determined, while the “old people” will defend their vested rights. The present system of allocation — the financing of senior stipends through payroll contributions — will no longer work. To avoid the looming poverty of old age, many young people — not only the highly qualified — will leave the country, exacerbating the problem.
The distribution of Islamic immigrants differs by region and will hold future conflicts. There is the danger that certain city sectors in crowded areas will become Islamic ghettos, and therefore turn into fortresses of religious-ethnic conflicts. The coming cultural and political conflicts between large segments of the original population and Islamic parallel societies will no longer be containable. Consequently, there will be radicalization and a decrease of dialogue on both sides.
A deep split is threatening our society, which will not only shake but insidiously erode the foundations of that very society. Added to that is the crisis of the European Union and its member states: the real estate bubble, bank failures, gigantic state debt and emerging bankruptcies are the new order of things. Europe is threatened with a Twilight of the Gods which appears to be swallowing up the dream of a new civilization. The European currency union and maintenance of the economic criteria of individual member states were supposed to represent the stabilizing anchor of the union’s member states. Actually, the economically weak countries were not willing or perhaps not able to form a common economic and finance policy. Favorable credit from the European central bank as good as invited both government real estate investors and banks to pursue a policy of indebtedness and risky financial business. Most recently, with the bankruptcy of Greece — which could not be allowed to happen — the chimerical idyll of the Union gave way to rude reality. The basic problem of the European Union is in the economic disparities — the immense indebtedness of individual countries.
A common currency presupposes both a coordinated financial and economic policy as well as a comparable economic development. Many of the Union’s member countries do not satisfy both assumptions. Greece, Portugal, Spain and Italy neither pursued a consistent financial policy nor introduced corresponding economic reforms. In hindsight, the doubts of the German Central Bank about the integration of financially weak countries were completely justified.
The conversion of the currencies would have required no change in financial and economic policy in many member states, because competitive disadvantages and high indebtedness could no longer be balanced out by devaluation of one’s own currency. In the framework of a common European financial policy, it would have been possible not only to oversee national developments, but from the start to correct or determine them.
The entry of several countries to the common currency was premature, and European politicians were unwilling to critically consider these risks as well as the danger of preserving national characteristics. Help for the beleaguered countries can either lie in support from the other EU states, or forced debt restructuring, or national bankruptcy. Economic support by means of a so-called umbrella from the states which are net contributors or by means of European loans are in the long term neither financially viable nor politically responsible. If several states must permanently support financially weak members with money transfers, the European Union’s existence is endangered.
All parties are involved in the cover-up of the demographic problems and their social, economic and civilizational consequences. It is the great taboo of our politics and our media, to preserve the illusion of a prosperous society and a caring welfare state. Both of these, however, now lie in the past and cannot be resuscitated. In a few years, the bubble will burst and historian Barbara Tuchman will have to add another chapter to her book on “The Stupidity of Those Who Govern” [“The March of Folly: From Troy to Vietnam”]: a chapter on the stupidity of the policies in the waning twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.
Keeping mum about one of the greatest problems of our social policy will bring on bitter vengeance and will shake the legitimacy of our political system and its representatives in unexpected ways. The power and scope of this social caesura could have unforeseeable consequences.
According to Max Weber, the two deadly sins of politics are “lack of objectivity and — often but not always identical with it — irresponsibility.” Most representatives of the political and media elite fit this description by trying in political discourse to maintain silence about or at least minimize the consequences of demographic developments and failed Multiculturalism. The elites would not care to take the responsibility for the social developments of the past decades and show themselves incapable of an ethic of responsibility which would allow them to admit the dramatic mistake of a completely failed immigration. And so they are frittering away the future of our society. Populist parties make use of the developing crisis of the established parties and establish themselves in parliament. So, in the future, it will become ever more difficult to form comparatively stable governing majorities, and the political system will tend to become clogged. Weak governments are in no position to undertake important reforms or even to pursue a long-term policy.
The spiraling of social and ethnic-religious conflicts, of increasing impoverishment of broad swathes of the population, and of a lack of a political ability to act will swirl until it evolves into social and political violence: civil war.
The future of many European societies will be shaped by the fact that more and more people no longer feel committed to the majority society and live in counter-cultures. With this development, the social contract between the generations, between the various levels and milieus will only be conditional. The consequences are easy to foretell: rising criminality, urban decay with growing slums, ethnic conflicts and gang wars, political radicalization and with it the collapse of political and social consensus.
The coming revolt will degenerate into an asymmetric revolution: Without political leadership which has a clear political concept, countless conflicts will occur, which will not lead to a new social contract. And so the “modernity project” will unavoidably crash and burn.
A prospect with hope for the future of European societies can only lie in the overcoming of the multicultural ideology and the thematizing of suppressed problems. A return to the classic nation-state with its culture is neither desirable nor possible. The only sensible alternative could be a universalist European civilization which demands and defends its values consistently. This, however, would mean Europeans burying their romantic utopias and rethinking the project of a post-modern open society.