- Published on Monday, 28 May 2012 06:44
- Written by John Draper
- Hits: 947
The European union was founded with the thought (hope?) that they were one culture but they are not - not even close. They have some common geography and intertwined history but not much else. Yet they formed a Union. First, let's look at other countries - starting with Canada. For the last several decades we have lived under the threat of separation - many in Quebec and quite a number in Alberta want to be a separate country. Elsewhere, Scotland is talking of separating from England. Why? There are two reasons: 1) because they can now do that and survive and 2) the benefits of local control look enticing. Splitting countries is not impossible. Over the past several decades, breakup has actually happened in Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, USSR, Pakistan, Sudan and more. But there was one big exception going the other direction - many countries in Europe united - sort-of. It's a free trade association plus a single currency with no control at borders - once inside, you can travel anywhere. Sounds great. Except that there are many different cultures and they don't all have the same values and that does matter.
The north* - Scandinavia, plus Holland and Germany - value hard work and being debt free. The south, notably Greece, Italy and Spain -are more interested in a good life. In the case of Greece, they are also habitual tax avoiders. These cultures do not mix - they make it impossible for rules on currency, taxes and social benefits to be applied equally. Because of this, productivity in the North will be higher than the south and the standard of living will be better - unless the Governments borrow big time. If you borrow money, it's only the long term future that suffers. For the immediate future, you can live like you are highly productive and working hard even when you are not.
It would be neat if I could connect this kind of behaviour with religion but the only religions involved are Catholicism in the South and Protestantism in the North - oops, maybe there is a connection. The other impact of religion is that because of the open borders, Muslims can immigrate into Italy or Greece then just move to anywhere else they choose. A cynic would say - to wherever the social benefits are the most generous and lax - but that's human nature and not specific to Muslims. The problem is, when countries want to impose their own culture on the immigrants (like respect for women, respect for democracy, respect for the beliefs of others) - they run up against the molasses like rate of decision making of a multicultural European Government and the political correctness it imposes. They can't shut their borders - they can't do much at all.
When Governments do not look after the problems in society, you can get rebellion in the electorate. Make no mistake, there are problems - Muslims want incompatible things like Sharia law; and many mosques breed jihadists/terrorists (e.g. recent experience in France). The first thing that happens is that people vote for extreme parties like Geert Wilder's in Holland - I predict that more "extreme" parties on right and left will get elected in Europe over the next few years. Then people start to riot. They will blame Muslims - but why is Europe more of a problem than Canada or the U.S? Is it because we are more civilized? Probably not. Or because we are further from the source of the immigrants. Maybe. I think it's because people in Europe feel powerless on these issues. Europe needs to go back to a collection of small countries or perhaps have a federation with borders and more local management/ Government. Let Greece suffer for its bad habits and let Germany prosper for its good ones. Allow France and England to deport any Muslims that misbehave with the assurance that they will stay deported.
* Please excuse the sometimes unfair generalizations I have used - it makes the discussion shorter and simpler to talk about.