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One wrote in 2013 about “Europe Going Down”, that ‘as Europe goes down we need to be prepared for consequences’. To quote: “The European economic and social crisis is becoming worse with each passing day”. One business channel asked one in 2008 as to how long it might take to recover and one responded saying 40 quarters — they never came back to interview any further. But now the forecast one makes that it might never recover. To recount, the argument stood as follows:
Sri Aurobindo seems to have said that India will rise on the ashes of western civilisation and it seems to be coming true. It is important to recognise that dominance of the West has been there only for last 200 odd years. According to Angus Maddison’s pioneering Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) study, India and China had nearly 50 per cent of global GDP as late as the 1820’s. Hence India and China are not emerging or rising powers. They are retrieving their original position. In 1990, the share of the G-7 in world GDP (on a purchasing power parity basis) was 51 per cent and that of emerging markets was 36 per cent. But in 2012, it is the reverse. So the dominant West is a myth.
Europe is facing three types of crises – economic, demographic, civilisational, and it is not in a position to come out of these. All the three crises are not recent ones; they had been developing over a period and are now culminating into a catastrophe.
The Debt to GDP ratio of most of Europe is at unsustainable levels, with our ‘own’ Britain having it above 500 per cent — our ‘own’ since we are going to have to help them run their country sooner than later. There are three major constituents of debt — government debt, corporate debt and household debt. Of the three, we find household debt has reached nearly 80 to 100 per cent of GDP in most of these countries. The reason is simple — unlike India, households in Europe and USA have forgotten one simple word — ‘savings’. They live on debt and are interned by debt.
The situation is made worse by the unemployment situation. Youth unemployment has reached 55 per cent in Spain and hovering above 30 per cent in most of the other countries. Youth is defined as being between the ages of 16 to 24, unlike in India where even a 43-year-old is a ‘youth icon’. The overall unemployment is at more than 25 per cent in most countries and it is creating social turmoil.
Along with this is the demographic crisis. Population of Europe during the First World War was nearly 25 per cent of total. Today it is around 11 per cent and it is expected to fall to three per cent in another 20 years. This is mainly due to low reproductive rates; in some countries is as low as 1.0 whereas 2.1 is considered as the equilibrating rate. Europe will disappear from the world map unless migrants from Africa and Asia take it over. That is why Europe is being referred to as Eurobia and London as Londonistan.
The root cause of the matter is the attempt in Europe to nationalise families and privatise business. Old age, health and child care issues are all normal family activities that have been taken over by the state and the state is broke. Funded security schemes are facing crisis since not enough numbers are getting in to the labour force due to low reproductive rates and unfunded security system is in difficulty since taxes are not adequate due to low population growth.
Coupled with economic and demographic crisis is the crisis of civilisation in Europe. It has renounced the Church and has become secular. Church attendance has fallen significantly and churches have become tourist attractions rather than places of worship.
Most of the migrants, particularly those doing ‘brown colour work’ – like garbage removal, cleaning plates in restaurant, porter jobs, and grape-picking — are people from Mauritania, Somalia, Algeria etc and most are Muslims by faith. Due to high degree of unemployment, there is resentment against migrants and this anger is turning into anger against Muslims. Added to this is the new front started by France in Mali to fight Islamic fundamentalists. Africa may become a new Vietnam for Europe.
Europe is sitting on a time bomb and any small spark could ignite it. Remember that all conflicts in the last 2000 years have started in Europe and became ‘world’ conflicts. India has already given $10 billion or Rs 56,000 crore – nearly one per cent of GDP - to help Europe. Not a single European paper or leader has thanked us openly. One can only hope that we need not give more of our GDP and neither become cannon fodder in Anglo-Saxon conflicts.
Come 2016 and the narrative turns, “How the idea of Europe is dead”, that ‘idea of Europe is dead’. The argument here stands as follows:
The Brussels Airport attacks by Jihadists again bring to life challenge faced by Europe as we know. Europe of Mozart and Goethe and Schopenhauer and Sartre and Beethoven is dead. The cultured European having his wine and enjoying concerts and Opera is passé. Today Every European walks with his eyes turned on his back and ears listening to any changes. In small towns new neighbours are looked at with suspicion and old neighbours are expected to behave. The sound of screeching cars at night makes them awake and sirens and cops are normal scene.
Radical Islam is not fighting Christianity – which anyhow is dead in Europe — but it is fighting the modernity. Islam is frightened of modernity destroying their religion and culture howsoever unacceptable it may be to European liberals. It is concerned about pre-marital sex, contraception, homosexuality, adultery, “unprotected” women etc.
Europe does not know how to handle it. The rise of right wing forces – Ms. Marine Le Pen’s National Front in France and the ‘PEGIDA’ anti-Islam movement in Germany - is going to light the fires of newer European conflicts. Europe thought – a la German Chancellor Ms. Merkel – that they could buy peace with radical Islam by “requesting” them to integrate. But integrate with what? Integrate with “immoral” Europe where women, in the words of an Australian Imam, are exhibited as “open meat” who are “poisonous”.
Europe has seen Crusades and 100 years wars between Christianity and Islam. But never had it seen a conflict of this nature between “modernity” and Islam. The ongoing tussle in Turkey enlarges the conflict in the underbelly of Europe. Already, Europe has 50 percent unemployment among youth groups, and everyday 10000 are entering in the name of refugees. To recall, some 200 years before, the entire Spain and upto the gates of Vienna it was the rule of the Andalusia Empire, when thousands of mosques were converted to churches after Europe was “cleansed” of Islam.
This time the Europe is facing a different crisis. It is not the pews and stained glasses but concert halls, swimming pools and whole night parties that the radicals oppose. The issue is regarding life style, and one likes it or not, radical Islam is a ‘global moral policeman’. He knows the place of women in society and also the place of Europeans.
Unfortunately, Europe has lost the will to fight and stand for whatever are its values. Its own idea of ‘freedom’ is going to devour it when it is offered to Radical Islamists. Europe as we know is dead. Amen!
Merkel did a major mistake in opening the doors for the ‘refugees’ and it is the same with the European Union (EU). The numbers are swelling and expectedly a million more are in waiting. One section of them would prefer to impose the Sharia and rule of Caliphate. Social tensions are increasing and the forces which are anti-immigrant – more particularly anti-Muslim - are on the rise. The new forces reject the current EU but may build a new EU based on different set of values. The meeting of all these forces like Le Pen, Greet Wilders and the nationalist ‘Alternative for Germany’ (AfD) Party meet at Koblenz in Germany – where MSM was not allowed- is a path breaking effort.
As Europe’s far-right parties meet after Trump inauguration Marine Le Pen claims, “Anglo Saxon world waking up”. ‘Yesterday, a new America. Today - a new Europe”, the anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders tells cheering crowds. The conflict has given rise to war clouds over Europe between the global moral policeman, ‘radical Islam’”, and ‘modern Europe’. This war is going to be catastrophic if Turkey falls to radical Islam.
Actually, the origins of the conflict can be traced to globalization which rejected the Westphalian idea of sovereignty of nations. Both radical Islam and global corporations, and hedge funds embraced this rejection. Local populations were against globalization which affected them. This we will can examine in another piece.
Implications for India
The impending social strife and civil war in Europe will lead to:-
1. The US will send troops to Europe to keep peace and arm twisting of India will start. Remember that India is largest contributor to global peace keeping role of the UN. But India is never consulted about the conflict zones or location and the need for peace keeping. India must not get involved in such “peace keeping” given its internal demographic composition. India must demand membership of UN Security Council before even considering any request.
2. Saudi Arabia wants to degrade Iran in the process and the US has been stupidly convinced that Iran was a major danger. Saudi Arabia is also a member of - believe it or not, the UN human rights council (!) - and a major financier of Amnesty International. Let India remember that civilisationally we have more in common with Iran than the Saudis or their accolade, the terror-centre of Pakistan.
3. India has opportunity to scrap Article 370 in J&K and allow all Indians to settle down in the Kashmir Valley. Each settler can be given Rs 50 lakh and a gun. Neither Trump nor Le Pen or Af-D is going to bother about it. Within India, except some TV warriors, few would oppose it.
4. Any war in the European theatre will create huge number of our own Indian refugees coming from from the Middle East and Europe into India. We need to be prepared for it
5. There would be attempts by the Daesh to recruit from India on a large scale by giving attractive stipends and insurance to their families. India must crush such attempts with all its might.
6. Indian businesses should be alert since most funds would pull out of India for war efforts in the European theatre. Those businesses which have export/import links with US and Europe will be most affected unless their export products are useful for war.
7. Of course, the Sensex and the Nifty will be affected since our markets are not linked to our economy but to that of the US and European situation - market movements are decided by Foreign funds.
8. India has to take a stand – howsoever painful — that this war - between desert cultures - can not be ‘our war’.
9. We have been sucked into First and Second World Wars due to colonialism. Even though the colonial genes are still strong in our body polity, we must not put the boots of our soldiers on European soil under any pretext.
10. It will not be a conventional war but a war between terrorists, snipers, belt bombers and right wing militiamen of Europe and US.
11. Left liberals, as usual, will be with the belt bombers, but alas, they will be the first one to be swallowed by radical Islam.
‘Break-India’ forces can be crushed due to evolving global situation. Are we ready? Do we have a plan?