Book Review: The End of Europe: Dictators, Demagogues, and the Coming Dark Age

16 Apr

-James Kirchick

TL:DR: a good overview of the problems facing Europe, but somewhat limited.

Reading this book, I cannot help but think of The Lost Continent, a book exploring the effects of the financial crisis on Europe. This book, in some ways, reads like an updated version. James Kirchick takes us on a tour of Europe, exploring the fault lines that are threatening to rip the European Union apart. He examines the threat posed by Putin and Russia, the rise of neo-fascist movements in parts of Europe and the political and social earthquakes triggered by mass immigration. It is, in many ways, a very interesting read.

Many of the problems he points to are serious threats to peace. Putin’s rise to power in Russia – and his tightening grip on the countries surrounding Russia, as well as his political influence in Europe – is a very real threat. Like most bullies, Putin is smart enough not to bite off more than he can chew – a combination of other threats and a genuine reluctance to go to war are enough to keep the West from doing anything solid about the threat. And, like most bullies, the only thing that will stop Putin is a creditable threat of force, a threat that no longer exists. Would NATO go to war to defend the Baltic States? There is a very strong possibility that the answer is no.

At the same time, Kirchick does not realise the true extent of the problems facing the European Union. It was suffering from a severe crisis of both legitimacy and credibility prior to the migrant crisis, a problem that has only gotten worse because the EU governments – mainly Germany and Sweden – have tried to hide the scale of the problem rather than come to terms with it. By attempting to marginalise anyone who spoke out against immigration (mainly by calling them racists), EU leaders made it impossible to have a real conversation about immigration. This ensured that voters would come to believe the worst. Accordingly, vast numbers of voters had no choice, but to turn to the far-right parties … the only ones pledging to do something about a serious problem.

Kirchick does acknowledge this as a problem – and even concedes that such voters have a point – but he doesn’t follow it to its logical conclusion. Perception plays a major role in determining how people feel about … well, anything. The perception that the truth is being hushed up, that those who speak out will be suppressed, that the politicians are idiotic or openly contemptuous or hostile to their own people, drives voters to the right. Sympathy – with refugees or foreigners in general – has its limits, particularly when people feel they’re being taken advantage of. Those who see themselves being forced to bear the burden of bad decision-making by governments – the migrant crisis, the Greek crisis, etc – think of themselves as victims. They think their interests have been marginalised to suit someone else.

The voters may be wrong to believe this. But telling them they’re wrong, without even giving them time to vent, is not helpful. And this goes double when the government’s credibility has been shot to hell.

Kirchick does not, in fact, touch upon the most important factor of all in Europe’s rise to power – the rule of law. The West developed a framework for ensuring that the law applied equally to all, regardless of their race, religion, gender, etc. Our ideal is that everyone is equal under the law. One may argue that this doesn’t work out that well in practice – that the rich and powerful can escape punishment for their crimes – but that is our ideal. The perception that certain segments of society can have their own laws, that their laws can supersede ours, that they can escape punishment for horrific crimes, that our governments and police forces are reluctant to investigate for fear of being called racists is undermining faith in the rule of law. And when the rule of law collapses, it is replaced by the rule of force.

This is the core of the problem facing the EU. No one has any real faith in it, no one feels any loyalty to it, save for the people who benefit from it. And why should they? It is a bureaucratic monstrosity that is fundamentally unaccountable and resistant to reform. The EU – and mainstream European politicians – have made so many mistakes that voters have no reason to trust them – and, again, why should they? The politicians are incredibly detached from reality. How many mistakes can they make before they lose everything?

Kirchick argues that the solution to Europe’s problem is greater unity. But this is fundamentally unworkable. One cannot fix an unfixable edifice, nor can one restore confidence simply by decreeing it so. Doubling down on failure is not a winning strategy, not when it will only further undermine the EU governments. The only way to begin restoring confidence is a through house-cleaning, the removal of politicians with no grasp at all of reality and a firm return to the rule of law. And, perhaps, a recognition that the push towards European unity has gone too far.

But I don’t think this will happen. The rot may already be too deep.

The EU’s creators saw fit to undermine nationalism – believing, perhaps correctly, that nationalism had played a major role in unleashing two world wars. But, in doing so, they undermined society itself. Too much nationalism is dangerous, but so too is too little nationalism. Those who have no loyalty towards society have no inclination to defend it, when another challenge comes along. But the credibility and trust gap led – inevitably – to a new form of nationalism, one that hated and feared the EU. Worse, perhaps, the new nationalism is potentially very dangerous because it cannot be easily shaped into well-worn channels. It is a form of incoherent rage that will not, that cannot, be safely targeted. Nor will it listen to reasoned agreements and honeyed words from those who have no credibility left.

The End of Europe is an interesting read. But it’s blithe faith in European unity – and the scorn it shows for those who do not appreciate the benefits of the EU – are symptomatic of a far wider problem: the simple failure of dreams and bureaucrats to understand that the real world does not kowtow on command. People vote in what they see as their own best interests, rather than the interests of the EU as a whole; people care more about themselves, their families and their countries more than anything else. There is no cold awareness of reality …

And reality does not go away when you close your eyes.

Advertisements

34 Responses to “Book Review: The End of Europe: Dictators, Demagogues, and the Coming Dark Age”

  1. Billy April 16, 2017 at 8:02 pm #

    I suppose it could be kind of like what Obama did in the USA.

    The main thing about Obama Care was that the government forced everyone to buy it or face heavy fines/penalties .

    The USA government had never done that before. People always bring up auto insurance.

    You don’t have to have a car. You can walk or ride a bike if you want. Without being forced to have auto insurance without a vehicle.

    If they had made it a choice. You can buy Obama Care or not buy it. Then everyone would not have been so upset.

    Of course, giving everyone a choice is not what modern Democrats do.
    (Hopefully the mid term elections drive them further out of power)

    On immigration Democrats are a bit insane also. Trump said * Let’s have a pause from certain countries for 90 days, so we can make sure who is coming into the country.

    Then Democrats went insane on that idea.

    I suppose it would be like the sheep herd welcoming starving wolves into the sheep pen. To save the wolves.

    Then when a wolf is eating a sheep, the other sheep say not to bother that wolf as he is busy eating. (Of course he wants to eat all the rest as well)

    Different Topic: I did see a protest in a country on the news, a while back.
    (I don’t know what country)

    Everyone was protesting wages. It looked like the only people protesting were teachers, police, fire fighters and government workers.

    That seemed to be the ONLY workers there were in the country. No farmers, no builders, no nothing. Just government workers.

    I may not be the smartest person around, but I don’t think that kind of economy will work.

  2. Johnz April 16, 2017 at 8:31 pm #

    They are a lot of people that are still Europe optimists. Americans have they american dream. Some Europeans still have dreams about unity, peace and prosperity.
    Maybe in your social circles in Britain you do not have people that think this way. But I can assure you, that optimists are still out there.
    I think it is good that Britain left. If you do not share the same values, dreams and vision of future, it is better to split.

    Stick to writing fantasy stories. The politics commenting is not your thing.

    • Didius April 17, 2017 at 4:53 am #

      Values and dreams that may well result in a sharia-driven state at some time in the not so distant future, Johnz. I disagree, especially with your last comment; to write viable fantasy calls for an accurate perception of the present reality. I think Chris shows that better than you do!

    • FarWalker April 17, 2017 at 5:50 am #

      actually, I think Chris does a very good job with his analysis of social and political issues. While I don’t always agree with his point of view they are well reasoned and thoughtful. And I do enjoy reading them. If you are so narrowminded perhaps the better solution is to read other blogs more in line with your worldview .

      • chrishanger April 17, 2017 at 2:46 pm #

        Thank you!

        Disagreement is welcome, but must be convincing

        Chris

    • chrishanger April 17, 2017 at 2:45 pm #

      The problem is that Europe does not share the same values – there is literally no such thing as a united Europe. Germany is not Poland, Hungary is not France, Norway is not Holland, etc. The only thing holding the EU together is a collection of bureaucrats who are unable or unwilling to face up to the problems they’re facing, thus undermining the EU still further.

      Chris

      • PhilippeO April 22, 2017 at 11:09 am #

        1) one could argue that London, North England, and Scotland didn’t share same values either.

        2) Remain got 48% of vote, its not just Bureaucrat who hold EU together.

        3) about values, Londoners, Parisians, Rhineians, Milanese share many similar values. One could make arguments that inhabitants of Metropolitan cities is more similar to each other than with their rural countrymen.

        4) Christendom is held together successfully by Latin speaking elites, while inhabitant of ‘pays’ barely understand ‘foreigner’ who live 50km away.

    • Kell Harris April 20, 2017 at 8:44 am #

      Politics are world issues that concern everybody. Why shouldn’t he share his views? Who is allowed to share their opinion then?

    • drackemoor May 4, 2017 at 9:59 pm #

      @Johnz
      Unity of what!? What have in common the English and the Bulgarians or the Portuguese and the Germans!? Their language, culture, and worldview are completely different.

      If you think that they can live together under one rule and law you are delusional!

      I don’t want to be a part of anything you are part of. So get lost with your EU!

      Trying to tell the author what to comment or not is a typical liberal attitude. This is the reason most people dislike you and going to the right.

  3. shrekgrinch April 16, 2017 at 9:29 pm #

    “Would NATO go to war to defend the Baltic States? There is a very strong possibility that the answer is no.”

    Which translates as: At least the French would vote not to invoke Article V. All it takes is one member to veto an Article V invocation and the Baltics are screwed.

    Which means that will be the moment NATO itself will die. The US will take its toys home and let the Europeans deal with subsequent Russian invasions of Norway and Poland, possibly threatening Germany too.

    • Anarchymedes April 17, 2017 at 2:05 am #

      Tried to post is as a general reply to the article, but it went MIA (or censored? 🙂 ), so here goes again:
      IMHO, the Europe’s – and the West’s – problem is that it has ‘developed a framework for ensuring that the law applied equally to all, regardless of their race, religion, gender, etc.,’ and then immediately proceeded twisting it to suit ‘the customer’ – to win votes. The lefties have twisted it in favour of the minorities, to the point where the weak began to oppress the strong; the far right twist it against anyone who’s different from them, and doesn’t fancy the return of the Middle Ages.
      On top of that, the fear of war has resulted in a hypocritical peace, not based on genuine mutual respect, but on suppressing one’s resentment because ‘that’s how it is these days.’ And I don’t just mean peace with the likes of Putin: even though there are plenty of ‘international’ marriages on the one hand, now and then I hear stories about the Brits (especially the older ones) who ‘just don’ t like’ the Germans, on principle.
      And even beside that, there are plain and simple greed and hedonism which, sugar-coated in the sweet songs of peace and love by The Beatles and co., justify the repeated betrayal of the very ideals the West claims to have developed and adopted (isn’t Ukraine the only country around Europe, really, who is well and truly fighting for them now, corrupt and weak as it is?)
      I’m no economist, and don’t qualify to render an opinion on the economic viability of EU and the Eurozone, or the advantages of unity vs. silos and partisanship. But I do know that people tend to become cynical around the preachers who don’t practice what they preach – especially when they preach different things, based on the latest newspolls and social media trends. And this, unfortunately, is the advantage our enemies, including the Islamists, can use to offset our superior technology: they fight, and die, for what they well and truly believe in. The last time the West did the same was during the WW2.

  4. Anarchymedes April 17, 2017 at 2:00 am #

    IMHO, the Europe’s – and the West’s – problem is that it has ‘developed a framework for ensuring that the law applied equally to all, regardless of their race, religion, gender, etc.,’ and then immediately proceeded twisting it to suit ‘the customer’ – to win votes. The lefties have twisted it in favour of the minorities, to the point where the weak began to oppress the strong; the far right twist it against anyone who’s different from them, and doesn’t fancy the return of the Middle Ages.
    On top of that, the fear of war has resulted in a hypocritical peace, not based on genuine mutual respect, but on suppressing one’s resentment because ‘that’s how it is these days.’ And I don’t just mean peace with the likes of Putin: even though there are plenty of ‘international’ marriages on the one hand, now and then I hear stories about the Brits (especially the older ones) who ‘just don’ t like’ the Germans, on principle.
    And even beside that, there are plain and simple greed and hedonism which, sugar-coated in the sweet songs of peace and love by The Beatles and co., justify the repeated betrayal of the very ideals the West claims to have developed and adopted (isn’t Ukraine the only country around Europe, really, who is well and truly fighting for them now, corrupt and weak as it is?)
    I’m no economist, and don’t qualify to render an opinion on the economic viability of EU and the Eurozone, or the advantages of unity vs. silos and partisanship. But I do know that people tend to become cynical around the preachers who don’t practice what they preach – especially when they preach different things, based on the latest newspolls and social media trends. And this, unfortunately, is the advantage our enemies, including the Islamists, can use to offset our superior technology: they fight, and die, for what they well and truly believe in. The last time the West did the same was during the WW2.

  5. Anarchymedes April 17, 2017 at 2:02 am #

    IMHO, the Europe’s – and the West’s – problem is that it has ‘developed a framework for ensuring that the law applied equally to all, regardless of their race, religion, gender, etc.,’ and then immediately proceeded twisting it to suit ‘the customer’ – to win votes. The lefties have twisted it in favour of the minorities, to the point where the weak began to oppress the strong; the far right twist it against anyone who’s different from them, and doesn’t fancy the return of the Middle Ages.
    On top of that, the fear of war has resulted in a hypocritical peace, not based on genuine mutual respect, but on suppressing one’s resentment because ‘that’s how it is these days.’ And I don’t just mean peace with the likes of Putin: even though there are plenty of ‘international’ marriages on the one hand, now and then I hear stories about the Brits (especially the older ones) who ‘just don’ t like’ the Germans, on principle.
    And even beside that, there are plain and simple greed and hedonism which, sugar-coated in the sweet songs of peace and love by The Beatles and co., justify the repeated betrayal of the very ideals the West claims to have developed and adopted (isn’t Ukraine the only country around Europe, really, who is well and truly fighting for them now, corrupt and weak as it is?)
    I’m no economist, and don’t qualify to render an opinion on the economic viability of EU and the Eurozone, or the advantages of unity vs. silos and partisanship. But I do know that people tend to become cynical around the preachers who don’t practice what they preach – especially when they preach different things, based on the latest newspolls and social media trends. And this, unfortunately, is the advantage our enemies, including the Islamists, can use to offset our superior technology: they fight, and die, for what they well and truly believe in. The last time the West did the same was during the WW2.

  6. PhilippeO April 17, 2017 at 4:39 pm #

    The problem is your analysis could be easily reversed :

    – Perception
    what would Algerian soldier in French army, or someone whose girlfriend come from Asia perception when politicians indulge in ‘Racist’ talks, they perceive themselves treated as second – class citizens, that their concern and fear ignored, that their contributions in tax, labour and obedience disregarded and discounted.

    – Rule of Law
    what would Blacks Londoners, Pakistani in Scotland, or Turks in Germany see Rule of Law when they see police regularly harass and beaten people like them, letting Whites wo do Drugs go while throw brown people to jail ? Rule of Law, must be applied equally, regardless of race and gender, to have people respect it.

    – Nationalism
    what would some englishmen who work in Paris, student who go universities in Germany, London business in the City who work with European everyday, or Scottish nationalist, or second-generation Indian immigrant feel any Loyalty and Nationalism toward UK, especially when they perceive movement of ‘new nationalism’ to be hostile to them, their friend and family, racist toward non-Whites and disregard rule of Law in favor of racial supremacy.

    in EU and Brexit matter you repeatedly fail to see o5her side point of view, you think other side ‘detached from reality’, but why you never seethe reverse ? Perhaps your side who cling to nostalgia of British Empire, and fail to see reality of trade, people movement, friendship and romance that happen in reality of Europe.

    a Virginian may have his dreams and reality, but that doesn’t meanhe can ignore an American or a West Virginian dreams and reality too. or closer to your place, dreams and reality of Black Londoners, Scottish, Sikhs soldier, or simply student who have friend and lover across english channel will not allow them to be ignored by your dreams and reality.

    • chrishanger April 17, 2017 at 9:05 pm #

      Hi
      Answering that would probably take a full essay – I’ll put it on the list of subjects to tackle when I feel like it .
      Short answer – yes, you could reasonably argue that the argument could be reversed. In an abstract discussion, I might even agree with you. Practically, there are certain points that cannot be compromised without compromising everything – the rule of law, for example. There’s also the issue that nationalists expect their governments to put their interests (or at least those of the native population) first. This may sound dickish, but they do have a point.
      I actually noted the REMAIN campaign making an issue of expat Brits in Spain. This wasn’t the smartest move – the general perception of expats is that they’re wealthy, that they moved to Spain to avoid tax, criminal charges, etc. This is not particularly accurate, but that didn’t stop REMAIN from shooting itself in the foot. (Not the biggest mistake they made, but perhaps one of the more tone-deaf ones.) The same could easily be said for most of your examples.
      I do understand the pro-EU agreements. But I don’t consider them to be convincing.
      Look at it this way. Someone goes on a Big Mac diet. They eat three a day. In a month, their health has been seriously damaged. Would you recommend continuing this diet?
      Chris

      • PhilippeO April 22, 2017 at 11:38 am #

        – Rule of Law would be jeopardized by prejudiced policing either.

        – But those Londoners, adopted Asian children, or second generation immigrants is also ‘Native Population’ isn’t it ? or we going to demand to prove ‘four grandparents’ rule to be considered natives ?
        to me one who children, spouse or parents of ‘native born’ is citizen enough ? American ‘jus soli’ is great achievement of New World.

        – in real-life almost nothing as clear cut or reversible as eating junk food.

        if you dislike hours of commuting, could you just say, ‘i return to my college jobs’ ? of course not. your family might need your current wages, place you previously work might already closed, you might already sell your old home, etc.

        is the woe of Brexiteers is actually because of EU or is it because cheap shipping enable chinese to compete with Manchester factory ? or because automatization of manufacturing ?

        can They solve their problem simply by quit EU ? or is it going to be worse ? pre-EU trade partners might not exist now, France is in EU, Canada has treaty with EU, India no longer in Empire.

        to me many Brexiteers is guided by EU fault, Childhood Nostalgia, and shark-reasoning. They fouldn’t argue ‘exiting EU’ by its own virtue. (shark-reasoning= we have shark attack during Democratic presidency, therefore if we have Republican president, shark would no longer attack).

        any action, including ‘do nothing’ or reversing current policy, is Always NEW action, and must be judged by its own virtue.

        reversing ‘join EU’ is not identical with ‘never join EU’. Britain after Brexit is not the same with Britain ‘pre-EU’ in 70s. its internal population and industry already changed, its trade partner is different, it would have suffer effect of Brexit itself. Divorce wouldn’t make people young virgin again.

    • Bewildered April 19, 2017 at 4:53 pm #

      What harassment of Blacks, Pakistanis or Turks? If stats show these classes of people are more likely to commit offences then obviously the police will lock up more of them, and will be more inclined to scrutinise them, unless of course they have a Rotterham culture. Frankly I’m more concerned by folk getting arrested because the ‘wrong type of folk’ have their feelings hurt than I am by unequal reporting rates.

      Why should Brits in Paris or Germany not feel loyalty to the UK, or are you suggesting they’ve already abandoned their country? Sure folk in London may work with Europeans everyday but does that negate their allegiance? Does being a Scottish nationalist preclude you from being pro-British? I accept a second generation Indian may feel no loyalty to the UK – many terrorists are second generation, but it doesn’t preclude being loyal. Sure the new nationalism may be hostile to some classes of people, but aren’t those the classes that are seeking to eliminate traditional Britain?

      Why must trade, people moving, friendships or romance change a person’s allegiance? Are you suggesting a person’s identity is so feeble that minor changes in their environment will radically reshape it?

      If you look at history you’ll see that British expats could live outside Britain for decades yet remain loyal. And in the colonies people lived and died without ever setting foot in the ‘motherland’ yet remained loyal British citizens. Interactions with other nations or cultures doesn’t void your allegiance, only time, isolation, and most importantly, personal choice, can do that. I’d suggest those questioning their loyalty to the UK, especially one that’s considering returning to its roots, are already disloyal so the question is what their allegiance is to. If it’s not to the UK then perhaps they should do everyone a favour and move to a state more compatible with their values – the EU, Pakistan, Turkey, North Korea etc.

      • PhilippeO April 22, 2017 at 11:58 am #

        Loyalty and Allegiance is never as clear or immutable as Nationalist think.

        loyalty to ‘Britain’ doesn’t always mean loyalty to ‘traditional Britain’ or 60s Britain or 80s Britain.

        people could be loyal to ‘Scottish Autonomy under UK inside EU’ or ‘British Democracy with suffrage to All citizens’ while hostile to ‘pre-Reform Act Britain’ or to ‘British Empire under WW’.

        trade, friendship and romance introduce people to other citizens, new idea, or higher loyalty. In 1770s people in Virginia, Massachusetts, or Maine consider themselves citizen of their states first, after 100 years, they become ‘American citizens’ and willing to fought civil war to prevent original state independence. it might be that decades in EU had generate enough interaction that could create ‘Troubles’ when Britain exit EU, just like Dublineers could no longer accept to be outside UK during Irish revolt.

  7. ChaosDancer April 19, 2017 at 9:52 am #

    I always scratch my head when people are talking about Putin and Russia threatening Europe, that war is around the corner and NATO is completely ineffectual. I am thinking that i have to be taking crazy pills but WHY THE FUCK WOULD RUSSIA GO TO WAR WITH FUCKING EUROPE.

    Russia due to a really fucking bad childhood have really serious fears about invasion, if this is true or not doesn’t matter, they fear that scenario above all others, we could all go discussing that they should go grow the fuck up but like Americans and their love of guns its such a part of their culture that i doubt it will ever change.

    Now the West has shown that they don’t trust Russia and Russia has taken steps to protect itself, in addition to that they have also taken some actions to show that they actually matter in the world stage because fuck who doesn’t have a little nationalism in their blood. But even with that why would Russia would need to invade Poland? why it would invade Germany or the Scandinavian countries, even the gains were out of this world the cost would be fucking astronomical. The US with the largest military on the planet, the strongest economy and a population who believe almost anything still had a TRILLION DOLLAR COST with the war in Iraq and Afghanistan and its still going.

    And lets say that they are that crazy, they have that kind of money and they are that kind of special moron and lets say also the rest of Europe stays in its ass and does nothing, the country being invaded either Germany, or France or Poland or whatever have Nuclear and if the don’t they are getting them now so MAD still counts. So again why would Russia invade Europe?

    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard April 19, 2017 at 1:55 pm #

      I’m not sure that Putin wants to “conquer” Europe.

      IMO what he wants is Russia to be “seen as a Power” not the “has-been” that some European Politicians & some American Politicians have viewed Russia as.

      Can Putin “get away with it”?

      Some of his actions in the Obama era showed him that he could and I’m not sure that the European politicians were much better than Obama.

      Does Russia have the military might to do more than it has?

      Well, when Germany “retook” the Rhineland, France had a larger army than Germany but did nothing.

      IE Military Might means little without the will to use it.

      Putin may believe that the EU/NATO doesn’t have the will (without US involvement) to stand against his actions.

      Now, the US has a new President so Putin will have to take that into consideration.

      Mind you, many in the US general public are wondering “why should the US care what happens in Europe if Europe isn’t willing to defend itself”.

      Maybe Europe is willing to defend itself, but Europe (the EU) has to “show us” that they are.

    • FarWalker April 19, 2017 at 2:13 pm #

      Your use of profanity does not advance your argument. Rather, it’s vulgar nature detracts from your argument and makes readers want to stop reading. But I guess it would fit in with the Walmart crowd.

    • shrekgrinch April 19, 2017 at 6:26 pm #

      1) I strongly suggest that you learn some geopolitics. That would answer why Russia would go to war with Europe.

      2) We haven’t been living in some glorious ‘post-history’ era. Rather, we live in the same old one but a lot of tensions were suppressed by US hegemony, which is being withdrawn. That is why people think that ‘trade’ is ‘too important’ than war. Same thing was said on the eve of WW1, btw. That is why it happened — elites didn’t think it could or would.

      • Drowe May 17, 2017 at 10:36 am #

        WW1 was not unexpected by anyone, it had been in the making for a long time. The Russians had mobilized their Army before a war was even declared on Serbia. Germany was expecting the war, and gave Austria a blanque cheque because they were spoiling for a war. Britain saw the Germans as a threat to the balance in Europe and saw a war with Germany as inevitable, so did France.

        But WW1 was different than any other war before it, long range artillery, sub marines, airplanes and chemical weapons employed on a large scale were unprecedented. Trench warfare was unheard of before, wars used to be decided on the battlefield, not by two forces hurling artillery shells at each other while the common soldier sat in a trench to avoid getting hit and prevent the enemy from attacking their artillery. War was always full of horror, but never to the same extent and with the same kind of numbers and casualties.

        WW2 was much more of a surprise, Britain and France could have stopped Hitler in his track in 1936, but they didn’t do more than protest a bit. They could have drawn a line when Hitler annexed the Sudetenland, but they waited until he threatened Poland. And by then, Hitler didn’t believe the UK would actually intervene on behalf of Poland. He didn’t want to fight Britain, he didn’t even really want to fight the French. His goal was in the east, not the west.

  8. Kell Harris April 20, 2017 at 8:42 am #

    I’ve been curious for a while now. How do a lot of Europeans view USA? It feels like sometimes were the world policemen and yet other times it feel like were just butting into conflicts that don’t concern us. I’m Army and I’ve been distressed about some of the common views that I have seen, regarding the conflict in the middle east. I lot of people don’t understand why we should even care about isis. Many were like who cares about syria and why do we have a thing against North Korea. Some just want us to pull out entirely. ANd don’t even get me started on Russia.

    • chrishanger April 23, 2017 at 6:52 pm #

      It depends who you ask – and why.

      There’s a lot of genuine liking for the US (and Americans as a people). There’s also a lot of concern (left over from the Cold War) that the US is a dangerous ally – one who might start a war somewhere else that would spill into Europe or one who might prove undependable when the going gets tough. And there’s a great deal of people who feel that the US took (and takes) shameless advantage of its post-WW2 position.

      I should write a monograph on this.

      Chris

      • FarWalker April 24, 2017 at 1:31 pm #

        Chris is right. It truly is a mixed bag. As an American, I have lived in a number of European countries over the years including France, Spain, Belgium, Germany and Switzerland. Unfortunately, many American tourists are arrogant, condensending know-it-All’s. That is what many Europeans see and react too. Other Europeans see Americans as strong allies and as good people. I think our image would be helped immensely if more Americans learned a second language and were more informed about European affairs, history and customs before visiting Europe. rural France and residents of some of the larger cities like Strasburg view Americans more favorably than Parisians Who seem to hate everything not Parisian. In general, the rural population of Europe view Americans more favorably than residents of the urban centers. Perhaps because they have less exposure to American tourists.

  9. Goldflabius April 29, 2017 at 7:52 am #

    My view of the current E.U. is that while definitely, corrupt and overly bureaucratic in it’s current form, it’s necessary to make Europe economically and politically relevant if not now then 30 years from now. The thing is we’re in a transitory period reverting back to an era of great powers. Give the Chinese 30 years and they can challenge U.S. Hegemony, give the Indians 50 and they can do the same and don’t forget about the Brazilians or the Russians if they both manage to sort their internal problems. And while Great Britain, Germany and France are by no means economically weak, they just don’t have the capacity to compete in terms of raw economic potential compared to those rising powers. The E.U. definitely needs reform and probably needs to be rebuilt from the ground up, the concept is sound and necessary in order for Europe to be able to stand on it’s own feet in the coming decades.

    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard April 29, 2017 at 3:39 pm #

      I remember the talk about Japan successfully “challenging” the US but it didn’t happen because Japan had major problems. Oh, there were SF stories about Japan literally owning the US.

      There is evidence that China is having major problems.

      No offense intended, but I generally laugh at people who predict the future.

      Now as an American, I agree that the US has had problems, does have problems and will have problems.

      But I’ve also heard too many predictions of the complete failure of the US that haven’t come to past.

      Still, you are admitting that the EU has to fix itself so that’s something. 😀

      • Goldflabius April 30, 2017 at 7:28 am #

        Define Japan challenging the U.S.. Post World War Two they had no reason to challenge the U.S., pre-world war two they were challenging western colonial hegemony not the economic and cultural hegemony seen today. Now, regarding the question of China’s problems. As long as the party doesn’t fracture and continues to grow the economy they should be able to maintain power. In regard to your question of whether the U.S. would fail or not, I never said it would. What I said was that the U.S. would not be able to maintain the current status quo indefinitely. The issue is not that the U.S. is getting weaker the problem is that countries like China and India are finally starting to getting to their full potential.
        P.S. I’m also American.

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard April 30, 2017 at 1:06 pm #

        No offence, but you must be a young American. 😉

        During the 1980s-1990s there was talk about Japan Inc.

        The combination of Government-Private Business in Japan that would out do the US.

        I still remember the “predictions” that Japan was the Coming Power during that time.

    • chrishanger April 30, 2017 at 7:48 am #

      The problem is that the EU elites won’t do the kind of reform they need – it would undermine their power.

      Chris

      • Goldflabius April 30, 2017 at 8:32 am #

        What I’m expecting is that it will reach a crisis point where the EU is either destroyed or coalesces into something more useful. I only see it working as a Federal system. Europe is too diverse to make it parliamentarian.

  10. drackemoor May 4, 2017 at 10:08 pm #

    Reblogged this on Drackemoor’s Blog.

  11. Vanessa May 13, 2017 at 5:14 am #

    I am glad that I found this site, precisely the right info that I was looking
    for!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: