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The End of Europe
The Washington Post ^ | June 15, 2005 | Robert J. Samuelson

Posted on 06/15/2005 9:16:40 AM PDT by quidnunc

Europe as we know it is slowly going out of business. Since French and Dutch voters rejected the proposed constitution of the European Union, we've heard countless theories as to why: the unreality of trying to forge 25 E.U. countries into a United States of Europe; fear of ceding excessive power to Brussels, the E.U. capital; and an irrational backlash against globalization. Whatever their truth, these theories miss a larger reality: Unless Europe reverses two trends — low birthrates and meager economic growth — it faces a bleak future of rising domestic discontent and falling global power. Actually, that future has already arrived.

Ever since 1498, after Vasco da Gama rounded the Cape of Good Hope and opened trade to the Far East, Europe has shaped global history, for good and ill. It settled North and South America, invented modern science, led the Industrial Revolution, oversaw the slave trade, created huge colonial empires, and unleashed the world's two most destructive wars. This pivotal Europe is now vanishing — and not merely because it's overshadowed by Asia and the United States.

-snip-

All this is bad for Europe — and the United States. A weak European economy is one reason that the world economy is shaky and so dependent on American growth. Preoccupied with divisions at home, Europe is history's has-been. It isn't a strong American ally, not simply because it disagrees with some U.S. policies but also because it doesn't want to make the commitments required of a strong ally. Unwilling to address their genuine problems, Europeans become more reflexively critical of America. This gives the impression that they're active on the world stage, even as they're quietly acquiescing in their own decline.

(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Editorial; Foreign Affairs
KEYWORDS: eu; eurofreude; europe; europeanunion; europedecline

1 posted on 06/15/2005 9:16:40 AM PDT by quidnunc
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To: quidnunc
Unless Europe reverses two trends — low birthrates and meager economic growth

They're done. The Muslim population that has infiltrated Europe has a very high birthrate and their Socialistic policies have killed innovation. We need to be ever vigilant here in the U.S. or I'm afraid we will suffer the same fate.
2 posted on 06/15/2005 9:20:34 AM PDT by Millee (So you're a feminist......isn't that cute??)
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To: quidnunc

Some would say the decline of Europe started in the 1940s, about the same time as America started to dominate. I wonder why???


3 posted on 06/15/2005 9:22:42 AM PDT by kipita (Rebel the proletariat response to Aristocracy and Exploitation.)
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To: quidnunc

Good article.


4 posted on 06/15/2005 9:24:33 AM PDT by loreldan
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To: Millee
The Muslim population that has infiltrated Europe has a very high birthrate and their Socialistic policies have killed innovation

If the leftist libbies had their way, we would be sharing the same fate as them.  I just can't believe how close we came to Kerry being elected and this would be happening to us right now.

5 posted on 06/15/2005 9:26:30 AM PDT by softwarecreator (Facts are to liberals as holy water is to vampires)
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To: kipita
kipita wrote: Some would say the decline of Europe started in the 1940s, about the same time as America started to dominate. I wonder why???

The US was the only major power to emerge from WWII with its infrastructure and economy intact..

6 posted on 06/15/2005 9:27:53 AM PDT by quidnunc (Omnis Gaul delenda est)
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To: quidnunc
This gives the impression that they're active on the world stage, even as they're quietly acquiescing in their own decline.

Wow, the truth packed into that one concluding sentence is pretty compelling, isn't it?

7 posted on 06/15/2005 9:28:00 AM PDT by The Electrician ("Government is the only enterprise in the world which expands in size when its failures increase.")
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To: quidnunc
"Since French and Dutch voters rejected the proposed constitution of the European Union, we've heard countless theories as to why: the unreality of trying to forge 25 E.U. countries into a United States of Europe..."

This is interesting. Maybe the Europeans will gain a new respect for the truly spectacular and marvelous phenomenon which the United States of America was at the beginning, when colonists threw off the British rule, and what a tremendous success the 'enterprise' continues to be. America, stand up and take a bow. The one and only, 'not-easily-duplicated', truly free and UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
8 posted on 06/15/2005 9:34:21 AM PDT by SMARTY
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To: quidnunc

Ping


9 posted on 06/15/2005 9:41:26 AM PDT by Eighth Square
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To: quidnunc
"irrational backlash against globalization."

Typical lefty. Anyone who disagrees with their world view is 'irrational'.

10 posted on 06/15/2005 9:42:21 AM PDT by BenLurkin (O beautiful for patriot dream - that sees beyond the years)
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To: quidnunc

Well said, but a distinction should always be made between western and eastern Europe. The eastern Europeans seem to be a tougher breed. For some reason - no one seems to know quite why - Poland experienced a baby boom in the 1980's and is now blessed with a youthful cohort coming of age at a time when youth in western Europe is a vanishing resource. One of the pleasures of visiting Poland is to see the abundance of young people.


11 posted on 06/15/2005 9:43:37 AM PDT by Malesherbes
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To: quidnunc
The US was the only major power to emerge from WWII with its infrastructure and economy intact.

A true statement.

It is also true that the US rebuilt Japan and Germany and sheltered all of Europe from normal costs of Defense for over 50 decades.

Japan recovered to such a great extent that in the 1980's we thought they were going to eat our lunch.

But Europe never recovered to such an extent. It wasn't the War that carried her off. It was the socialist coffin they carried her off in.

12 posted on 06/15/2005 9:49:12 AM PDT by ClearCase_guy
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To: quidnunc
The US was the only major power to emerge from WWII with its infrastructure and economy intact..

Japan was devastated, yet they are totally socialist. The War isn't a factor. The main factor is people get elected to government and impose socialism upon their citizens. They purposely choke capitalism and dumb down their populace. Low birth rates are due to high taxes and feminism. The left in American can't wait to send us down the same road. The left is quite strong around the world. I don't seen many social programs being reduced anywhere in the world. I don't seen government being rolled back anywhere. The left will destroy this Republic, unless we destroy the left first.

13 posted on 06/15/2005 9:51:13 AM PDT by liberty2004
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To: Malesherbes

Would a "Back to Europe" movement perhaps be a good idea? I would love to romp in the olive groves of my ancestral Calabrian homeland.


14 posted on 06/15/2005 9:53:48 AM PDT by Macrinus
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To: SMARTY
e truly spectacular and marvelous phenomenon which the United States of America w

Our great Republic is due primarily to our Founders. They sought to bind down men of mischief with the chains of the Constitution. Unfortunately for about 100 years the left and been relentless in trying to purposely destroy this Republic and morph it into a balkanized Socialist hell. Europe is almost over the brink. If the left have their way, we shall follow. I don't see a Republican leader for 08 who truly understands what is at stake. The socialist policies of the left is killing this country and all we here is how the rich are growing richer.

15 posted on 06/15/2005 9:54:20 AM PDT by liberty2004
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To: liberty2004
sorry, didn't write my thoughts correctly.

should be.... yet they aren't totally socialist....

16 posted on 06/15/2005 9:55:52 AM PDT by liberty2004
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To: liberty2004
The left will destroy this Republic, unless we destroy the left first.

Wow, chilling scenario, but I think you're absolutely right.
17 posted on 06/15/2005 9:56:36 AM PDT by Millee (So you're a feminist......isn't that cute??)
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To: quidnunc

a weak european ecconomy is NOT bad for the USA.

The EU is trying to become the regulatory force of THE world.

IOW USA regulations are irrelevant, obey EU rules. Or worse you now have TWO groups of pencil pushers to overcome.

When the EU as a regulatory force collapses, THEN europe will be able to recover.


18 posted on 06/15/2005 10:01:14 AM PDT by longtermmemmory (VOTE!)
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To: Macrinus

Re: Back to Europe. Italy permits dual citizenship. I lived there for a year and I know a number of Americans there who enjoy the benefits of having an ancestral claim to live in that wonderful country.


19 posted on 06/15/2005 10:03:05 AM PDT by Malesherbes
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To: softwarecreator

It IS happening here, right now. We are simply not reproducing, political correctness and unrestricted immigration will take care of the rest. Change is constant and ongoing, it will accelerate under the libs and we will continue our slide into the gutter. Sorry to be so negative but evolution is constant too.


20 posted on 06/15/2005 10:03:17 AM PDT by Eighth Square
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To: quidnunc

Europe: See Eurabia.


21 posted on 06/15/2005 10:04:13 AM PDT by OB1kNOb (Excrementum Occurum)
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To: Millee

You are right on the mark, never was a truer statement made.


22 posted on 06/15/2005 10:06:59 AM PDT by Eighth Square
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To: Eighth Square
Good point.  But somehow I don't feel that Islam, PC and unrestricted immigration is evolution ... sounds like we are going backwards.
23 posted on 06/15/2005 10:07:53 AM PDT by softwarecreator (Facts are to liberals as holy water is to vampires)
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To: liberty2004
unless we destroy the left first

Well, we can dream, can't we?

First things first, the Hildabeast MUST be defeated in 2008.

24 posted on 06/15/2005 10:09:50 AM PDT by softwarecreator (Facts are to liberals as holy water is to vampires)
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To: kipita
Some would say the decline of Europe started in the 1940s, about the same time as America started to dominate. I wonder why???

The decline in Europe started with the spread of democratic socialism at the beginning of the 19th century. This was in imitation of the American revolution. But what worked here until 1860s (and has been in obvious decline since the 1940s) never worked in Europe because it always developed a radical nature.

25 posted on 06/15/2005 10:15:22 AM PDT by Pelayo
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To: quidnunc

500 years shot to hell.


26 posted on 06/15/2005 10:17:02 AM PDT by Chi-townChief
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To: quidnunc
Unless Europe reverses two trends — low birthrates and meager economic growth — it faces a bleak future of rising domestic discontent and falling global power.

Not to worry! Gay marriage will cure what ails them.

< /sarcasm>

27 posted on 06/15/2005 10:17:44 AM PDT by JCEccles
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To: kipita

I disagree. The decline of Europe started about the same time as birth control, abortion and massive liberalism.


28 posted on 06/15/2005 10:20:23 AM PDT by Isabelle
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To: Eighth Square

Quite correct.

The same demographic problem that Europe faces is also faced by America. The native US population is below the replacement rate in fertility. For American whites, it is well below the replacement rate. This is true in all of the industrialized countries of the world, from Europe through Russia to Japan. There aren't any exceptions, and what it tells us is that there is something lethal about the structure of modern industrial economy for its native population.

Fertility below the replacement rate means that a nation will depopulate, and depopulation, once it begins, occurs at the same geometric proportions that growth does (and for the same reasons), unless something causes people to dramatically reverse the fertility decline and start having 4 children per couple on average (do please note that, since children come only in whole units, a replacement rate of 2.2 children per couple means that most couples have to have THREE children, not two, just to meet the replacement rate for the country. To reverse depopulation, many, many more people would have to start having FOUR or MORE children, and this is considered economically impossible to most middle class people across the industrialized world, the US included).

So, the whole industrialized world including the US is depopulating with regards to its native population. And yet a handful of those countries are increasing in population overally, specifically the US, France and the UK.

They do so through massive immigration.
In each case, the immigration brings with it new problems, in particular a problem of political stability and the preservation of the existing country.

In the United States, it is very difficult to see how a rapidly expanding Spanish-speaking population, tied culturally and by family and language to a neighboring nation that bears strong historical grievances against the US, will simply integrate as Italians and Germans once did.
It is far more likely that the rising Mexican minority, eventually will become a plurality and renegotiate the entire American social contract.

The same issue is at work in France, but with considerably less urgency, because the North African population in France is smaller as a proportion of the total, there is no land border, and France has become quite aggressive about stopping illegal immigration. Also, the French are much more willing to impose cultural norms on children in school, and to outright forbid the expression of ideas considered hostile to the Republic. In France, a movement of Arabs who vocally sought the conquest and conversion of France to Sharia would be prosecuted. In the US, there is a strong Reconquista movement that makes no bones about its intent to repopulate the American southwest with Mexicans, and to cause the primary loyalty of that region of the United States to formerly transfer back to Mexico.

Indeed, the eventual threat to the national TERRITORIAL integrity is considerably greater in the United States than in France, when all is considered. However, the degree to which there is a threat of actual national dismemberment is very much ignored by Americans at the present time.


29 posted on 06/15/2005 10:23:05 AM PDT by Vicomte13 (Et alors?)
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To: Millee

"Ever since 1498, after Vasco da Gama rounded the Cape of Good Hope"

I think one his descendants, Fiasco da Gama, is the captain of the good ship Europa.


30 posted on 06/15/2005 10:24:37 AM PDT by Mobties
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To: ClearCase_guy
Actually Western Europe recovered very nicely after WWII. In the early 70's their workforce was unbeatable and more productive than America.

Then, as my friend Klaus explained, the people wanted their "lives back" and the pols served up the social state. Today the piper must be paid.

With the election in the fall it is possible that Germany will gets it version of Maggie (what a wonderful women!) who will tell the children the truth and force them to take the painful medicine.

As I like to say, "Time will tell."
31 posted on 06/15/2005 10:29:31 AM PDT by lowbuck
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To: Mobties
I think one his descendants, Fiasco da Gama, is the captain of the good ship Europa.

Oh come now, don't start dragging the good name De Gama down. Why if Europe had the kind of leadership it used to, with its crusaders and explores, instead of the democratically elected mediocrities it has now, we would not be talking about any kind of western decline.

32 posted on 06/15/2005 10:36:12 AM PDT by Pelayo
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To: loreldan
Very good article. Amazing that this is in the Washington Post.

Old Europe's current crisis is a crisis of spirit and belief far more than it is a crisis of economy. I don't believe it's yet at the point where it's irreversible, but it's getting dangerously close. The next generation will be absolutely critical, but Europe has faced a crisis such as this in the distant past and recovered once before.

33 posted on 06/15/2005 10:37:53 AM PDT by jpl
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To: Isabelle
I disagree. The decline of Europe started about the same time as birth control, abortion and massive liberalism.

All possible because of a previous decline in religion.

34 posted on 06/15/2005 10:44:01 AM PDT by Pelayo
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To: softwarecreator

Yes, probably should have left it in the 'change is constant mode'.


35 posted on 06/15/2005 10:53:29 AM PDT by Eighth Square
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To: Malesherbes

"Italy permits dual citizenship."

Can you summarize the requirements?


36 posted on 06/15/2005 10:56:16 AM PDT by truth_seeker
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To: Eighth Square

You are correct. Europe has a head start on the fall.

The bright spot is that the illegal immigrants here are Hispanic Christians. In Europe they are Arab Muslims.


37 posted on 06/15/2005 11:06:42 AM PDT by redgolum ("God is dead" -- Nietzsche. "Nietzsche is dead" -- God.)
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To: quidnunc
One thing that most people don't realize is what a pain in the ass it is to live in most places besides the US and a few other countries.

In Japan, syndicates control prices of everything. Melons cost $40 or so, people live in tiny apartments, real estate is ridiculously expensive, and thus their standard of living, after looking at relative costs, is lower than that of the average American.

In Europe, things aren't as expensive as in Japan, but they're still more expensive than in the states. Gasoline costs over $5.00 per gallon. Real estate is, for the most part, more expensive. Taxes are higher. And then there's the little things. Store hours aren't as good, customer service isn't as good.

In Africa, life pretty much sucks for everyone, but not because of high prices. Latin America is a bit better, but not that much.

Australia looks decent, but I've never been there. Any country is probably fine if you're loaded, but I'm talking about if you're say at the 80th percentile. Would you really want to live anywhere except the US, except for a limited period of time?

38 posted on 06/15/2005 11:07:24 AM PDT by Koblenz (Holland: a very tolerant country. Until someone shoots you on a public street in broad daylight...)
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To: Vicomte13

Middle class families only have two children because they can only afford to send two to college. They have no desire to be put in the position of performing socioeconomic triage on their own children.


39 posted on 06/15/2005 1:04:27 PM PDT by Sam the Sham
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To: Sam the Sham

"Middle class families only have two children because they can only afford to send two to college. They have no desire to be put in the position of performing socioeconomic triage on their own children."

Right you are.
And when most people have only two children, a nation is in a demographic death spiral.

So, how can the middle classes be encouraged to have more children?

Assuming that college expense drives this in the US, three ways:
(1) Make college cheaper
(2) Allow people to keep more of their money, so that they could afford to send a third child to college.
(3) Make a college degree less important for hiring and high income jobs.

(1) can only be accomplished by the state shouldering some of the burden of college costs, since places like Harvard are not going to cut expenses, and landlords are not going to cut rents for college students.
(2) can only be accomplished by DRAMATICALLY cutting taxes, but that would entail a dramatic cut in what government does which may not be democratically sustainable.
(3) would require employers and holders of capital, who themselves are probably holders of degrees and advanced degrees, to hire outside of their own academic milieu, and trust their own abilities to train people without college educations to do what they want them to do.

(3) is by far the cleverest.


40 posted on 06/15/2005 2:06:34 PM PDT by Vicomte13 (Et alors?)
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To: Vicomte13

The wages of non-college educated workers relative to college educated workers have plummetted during the period in which (surprise!) middle class birth rates dropped. The glut of college graduates in the 60s reduced the value of a liberal arts degree to what had been that of a high school diploma a year before.

Another baleful result of such degree inflation is saddling young people with tens of thousands of dollars in debt when they could be starting families. Debts that will not be paid off until they start making real money in their thirties.

So we see two demographically destructive results of the demand for a college diploma for a good job.
1. Causing middle class families to limit the number of children they have to those they can afford to send to college.
2. Forcing young professionals to defer marriage and childrearing until they are out of debt and thus reducing their reproductive years to a brief 30-35 window.


41 posted on 06/15/2005 2:20:12 PM PDT by Sam the Sham
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To: quidnunc
MUSLIM BABY-BOOM IN FRANCE (Newsweek won't tell you this: one third of babies born in France are now muslims):
Bébé Boom: France has Europe's second highest birthrate
42 posted on 06/15/2005 3:59:06 PM PDT by thierrya
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To: Millee

Somewhat the same in Isreal. The "modern" jews don't want children and so are decreasing. The religious or "Hessitic" jews have huge families and so are growing VERY rapidly.


43 posted on 06/15/2005 4:57:22 PM PDT by onja ("The government of England is a limited mockery." (France is a complete mockery.))
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To: BenLurkin
"irrational backlash against globalization."

Typical lefty. Anyone who disagrees with their world view is 'irrational'.

Samuelson is quoting other pundits, but that view isn't his own.

Like most good economists, he's a libertarian.

44 posted on 06/15/2005 5:18:58 PM PDT by okie01 (The Mainstream Media: IGNORANCE ON PARADE)
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To: quidnunc

This is about 90 years too late. The end of Europe began in August 1914. In the ensuing 30 years of war, depression and war, the material and cultural resources assembled in the previous centuries were largely destroyed.

Oswald Spengler's "The Decline of the West" was published in 1922.

An excerpt --


The future of the West is not a limitless tending upwards and onwards for all time towards our presents ideals, but a single phenomenon of history, strictly limited and defined as to form and duration, which covers a few centuries nd can be viewed and, in essentials, calculated from available precedents. With this enters the age of gigantic conflicts, in which we find ourselves today. It is the transition from Napoleonism to Caesarism, a general phase of evolution, which occupies at least two centuries and can be shown to exist in all Cultures. The Chinese call it Shan-Kwo, the "period of the Contending States." In the Gracchan revolution, which was already [133 B.C.] heralded by a first Servile War, the younger Scipio was secretly murdered and C. Gracchus openly slain---the first who as Princeps and the first who as Tribune were political centers in themselves amidst a world become formless. When, in 104 B.C. the urban masses of Rome for the first time lawlessly and tumultuously invested a private person, Marius, with Imperium, the deeper importance of the drama then enacted is comparable with that of assumption of the mythic Emperor-title by the ruler of Ch'in in 288 B.C..

The place of the permanent armies as we know them will gradually be taken by professional forces of volunteer war-keen soldiers; and from millions we shall revert to hundreds of thousands. But ipso facto this second century will be one of actually Contending States. These armies are not substitutes for war---they are for war, and they want war. Within two generations it will be they whose will prevails over all the comfortables put together. In these wars of theirs for the heritage of the whole world, continents will be staked---India, China, South Africa, Russia, Islam called out, new technics and tactics played and counter-played.... The last race to keep its form, the last living tradition, the last leaders who have both at their back, will pass through and onward, victors.

The idealist of the early democracy regarded popular education as enlightenment pure and simple---but it is precisely this that smooths the path for the coming Caesars of the world. The last century [the 19th] was the winter of the West, the victory of materialism and scepticism, of socialism, parliamentarianism, and money. But in this century blood and instinct will regain their rights against the power of money and intellect. The era of individualism, liberalism and democracy, of humanitarianism and freedom, is nearing its end. The masses will accept with resignation the victory of the Caesars, the strong men, and will obey them. Life will descend to a level of general uniformity, a new kind of primitivism, and the world will be better for it.....


45 posted on 06/15/2005 7:21:21 PM PDT by Lessismore
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To: liberty2004
I don't seen many social programs being reduced anywhere in the world. I don't seen government being rolled back anywhere

That's just it. I can't name one place that isn't. Not one.

46 posted on 06/15/2005 7:23:45 PM PDT by riri
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To: Millee
They're done. The Muslim population that has infiltrated Europe has a very high birthrate and their Socialistic policies have killed innovation.

Interesting that you brought that up. I recently had a conversation with my son about WWII history and the current WOT. I told him that his great grandparents helped liberate Europe and I was very afraid his generation would be faced with liberating it again.

When he asked why, I told him that countries like France have allowed radical muslims to gain a foothold in their country and they are starting to get to a point where they will have representation in the national government. I told him when they out number the French natives, they will install shira law and become a nuclear power. A nuclear power that will want to dominate and blackmail the US and anyone who disagrees.

Provided Iran doesn't beat them to it....
47 posted on 06/15/2005 9:13:22 PM PDT by wasp69 ("You're done, Rather! No more 'Divine Right of Kings'!" - Oliver "Buckhead" Cromwell (sorta)
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To: SMARTY

Standing and cheering here in my underware ....


48 posted on 06/15/2005 9:16:08 PM PDT by hineybona
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