The first book I read about the myriad troubles of Europe was MENACE IN EUROPE, 2006 book by Claire Berlinsky. Berlinsky is an American journalist/novelist who divides her time between Paris and Istanbul. Her especial credibility is the circumstances of her birth. Her parents were among a lucky few European Jews who were able to flee the Nazis and get American visas before the USA entered the war. Most didn’t–see the depressing 1976 film, VOYAGE OF THE DAMNED.
Berlinsky’s focus is on rising Muslim demographics in Europe. She cites the familiar theme of rising immigration from North Africa and elsewhere and higher Muslim birthrates. Yet, as her solution, she has embraced American neo-conservativism. Neocons are notoriously indifferent to mass immigration in the USA–legal & illegal–and probably only worry about the effect a future ‘Eurabia’ will have on Israel.
Another Neocon, the always witty Mark Steyn, expands on the theme in his book AMERICA ALONE. The first couple chapters are the best dealing with demography and the like. But you can junk the rest. After going through a heavy duty anti-Islamic rant, he then calls for the ‘reform of Islam’ via the Bush Doctrine! Talk about NOT winning hearts & minds.
And being a Neocon, Steyn can’t resist zeroing in on the social democratic welfare state as the source of Europe’s troubles. But Neocon economics–called neo-liberalism outside the USA–have devastated European industry. Jobs and the tax base have been exported to the Third World. THAT’S why Europe has a financial crisis.
But Berlinsky and Steyn tout Margaret Thatcher as some kind of heroine; Berlinsky even wrote saying Thatcher was necessary. But when Thatcher took over, the UK was a net exporter of manufactured goods, now it must import. Plus, Thatcher IN PRACTICE was an exponent of the what can only be called the casino economy.
Plus the welfare state in Europe was both a partial conquest by the working class AND a system designed to buy off European workers and inoculate them against the Soviet threat. Now, no Soviet Union means no need for all that. And when you gut your tax base, where’s the money going to come from?
Which brings to mind my third villain of the day: Christopher Hitchens. Hitchens is the hard-drinking, renegade Trotskyoid who first climbed into bed with the Neocons by supporting the shameful US/NATO war against Yugoslavia. The goal–in which Germany had a particularly dirty role–was to dismantle Tito’s Yugoslavia. It meant demonizing the Serbs who had been American allies in World War II via Tito’s Partisans in favor of Bosnian Muslims and Albanians who were on the Axis side. Moreover, the Albanian ‘freedom fighters’, with their extensive drug-smuggling and prostitution racket, are more akin to the mafia than any liberation front worthy of the name. NATO ending up bombing Belgrade for the first time since the Nazis did it in WWII.
The Neocons, especially Berlinsky & Steyn, have no solution vis-a-vis the immigrants in Europe and their offspring. They know they’re not going anywhere. They have no proposals for evicting them. But the Neocons–as in America–do a lot of huffing and puffing, which poisons the atmosphere but nothing else.
Alternatives to the Neocons. The official Left is bought off. The Far Right is increasingly into devolution which is a retreat. Jean Thiriart has shown a way out. We’ll deal with it in our next blog.