December 27, 2010

"There are two reasons: secularism and socialism (aka the welfare state)."

RealClearPolitics - Vitality Has Been Sucked Out of European Society:

...Outside of politics, sports, and popular entertainment, how many living Germans, or French, or Austrians, or even Brits can you name?

Even well-informed people who love art and literature and who follow developments in science and medicine would be hard pressed to come up with many, more often any, names. In terms of greatness in literature, art, music, the sciences, philosophy, and medical breakthroughs, Europe has virtually fallen off the radar screen.

This is particularly meaningful given how different the answer would have been had you asked anyone the same question between just 80 and 120 years ago...

[...]

...What has happened is that Europe, with a few exceptions, has lost its creativity, intellectual excitement, industrial innovation, and risk taking. Europe's creative energy has been sapped. There are many lovely Europeans; but there aren't many creative, dynamic, or entrepreneurial ones.

The issues that preoccupy most Europeans are overwhelmingly material ones: How many hours per week will I have to work? How much annual vacation time will I have? How many social benefits can I preserve (or increase)? How can my country avoid fighting against anyone or for anyone?

Why has this happened?

There are two reasons: secularism and socialism (aka the welfare state).

Either one alone sucks much of the life out of society. Together they are likely to be lethal....

If anyone out there doesn't like the term "lethal," feel free to make a counter-argument. Betcha can't, cowards.

Myself, I think that "secularism and socialism" are really surface manifestations of the real problem, which is nihilism. Nobody believes in secularism or socialism, no one will fight for them anymore. It is absurd to even imagine some Belgian or Spaniard fighting for........ anything! It don't happen. So they are dead. The corpse staggers along for a few more years, but its dead.

Posted by John Weidner at December 27, 2010 5:41 PM
Weblog by John Weidner