Europe on the brink of catastrophe 0

Germany and France drove the creation of the European Union (EU). Both wanted to be part of a vaster, more powerful political entity: Germany in order, forlornly, to dissolve its national guilt in it; and France, pathetically, to rival the power of the United States with it. Neither hope has been fulfilled. The EU is a failure.

What is the EU? It’s a conglomerate of disparate nations, run by unelected bureaucrats. It has a parliament with no power worth having.

How could it have been expected to succeed? It doesn’t even have a common language. Every document “of major public importance or interest” has to be translated into every one of its 23 official languages.

Imagine the cost of that alone. Bill Bryson wrote (in his book Mother Tongue) that way back in 1987, when the inchoate union was called the European Economic Community (EEC) –

An internal survey found that it was costing $25 a word, $500 dollars a page, to translate all its documents. One in every three employees of the European Community is engaged in translating papers and speeches. A third of all administrative costs – $700 million in 1987 – was taken up with paying for translators and interpreters. Every time a member is added [to the original 6], as most recently with Greece, Spain, and Portugal, the translation problems multiply exponentially.

There are now 27 member states, prices have risen steeply, and in any case no one knows how much the EU pays for anything. Its costs are never accurately calculated.

Because it is irredeemably corrupt, its accounts cannot be cleared. Despairing auditors who turned whistle-blower have been sacked and abused. Officials riding the  gravy-train grow rich on fraud.

Now its nemesis has caught up with it. The 16 member states that adopted the euro as their currency  are not at ease with one another. Their socialist policies are bankrupting them as they were bound to do. Greece has been temporarily saved from economic death by the rest of the EU (and also by the IMF, to which American tax-payers contribute the most). But the peoples, especially the Germans who’ve been made to fork out the bulk of the EU contribution, resent having to do it. (Recent elections in Germany’s most populous state of North Rhine-Westphalia indicate that voters are angry with the federal government’s decision to help Greece and “defend the Euro”.)

The dream of a United States of Europe was always an impossible one. The attempt to realize it is a nightmare.

George Will writes:

The EU has a flag no one salutes, an anthem no one sings, a president no one can name, a parliament (in Strasbourg) no one other than its members wants to have power (which must subtract from the powers of national legislatures), a capital (Brussels) of coagulated bureaucracy no one admires or controls, a currency that presupposes what neither does nor should nor soon will exist (a European central government), and rules of fiscal behavior that no member has been penalized for ignoring. The euro currency both presupposes and promotes a fiction — that “Europe” has somehow become, against the wishes of most Europeans, a political rather than a merely geographic expression.

The designs of the paper euros, introduced in 2002, proclaim a utopian aspiration… The bills depict nonexistent windows, gateways and bridges. They are from … nowhere, which is what “utopia” means… [The euro] is an attempt to erase nationalities and subsume politics in economics in order to escape from European history.

The euro pleases dispirited people for whom European history is not Chartres and Shakespeare but the Holocaust and the Somme. The euro expresses cultural despair.

It also presupposes something else nonexistent. The word “democracy” incorporates the Greek demos — people. As the recent rampages of Greece’s demos, and the reciprocated disdain of Germany’s demos, demonstrate, Europe remains a continent of distinct and unaffectionate peoples. There is no “European people” united by common mores.

Even the Financial Times – which is pink in color politically as well as literally – warned on May 14 that “displays of anger” in the member states may “become more widespread”,  and that “a Europe hounded [sic] by market forces has acted too late” with sudden desperate programs of austerity to save itself from economic catastrophe.

The Euro will fall further. The EU itself may fall apart. That at least, to our mind, is an eventuality devoutly to be wished.

A vision of pure meaninglessness 7

The Canadian journalist Diane Francis has written an article in the Financial Post, expressing the opinion that the whole world should adopt China’s one-child-only policy in order to reduce the world’s population.

The environmentalists hold to the view, as little fact-based as all their views tend to be, that over-population is a threat, when in fact most countries, notably all of Europe and Japan, have precisely the opposite problem: birth-rates so low that the Italians, the Irish, the Spanish, the Portuguese (all predominantly Catholic countries, note) as well as the British, the Scandinavians, the Russians, the Japanese are literally dying out.

The environmentalist view is that human beings are messy creatures, doing more harm than good to the planet. The Green vision is of a clean, nay a pure planet. In truth, their ideal could only be realized by the total elimination of the filthy human species.

Here’s what Diane Francis has to say:

The “inconvenient truth” overhanging the UN’s Copenhagen conference is not that the climate is warming or cooling, but that humans are overpopulating the world.

A planetary law, such as China’s one-child policy, is the only way to reverse the disastrous global birthrate currently, which is one million births every four days.

The world’s other species, vegetation, resources, oceans, arable land, water supplies and atmosphere are being destroyed and pushed out of existence as a result of humanity’s soaring reproduction rate. [This is the sheerest nonsense – JB]

Ironically, China, despite its dirty coal plants, is the world’s leader in terms of fashioning policy to combat environmental degradation, thanks to its one-child-only edict.

The intelligence behind this is the following:

-If only one child per female was born as of now, the world’s population would drop from its current 6.5 billion to 5.5 billion by 2050, according to a study done for scientific academy Vienna Institute of Demography.

-By 2075, there would be 3.43 billion humans on the planet. This would have immediate positive effects on the world’s forests, other species, the oceans, atmospheric quality and living standards.

-Doing nothing, by contrast, will result in an unsustainable population of nine billion by 2050.

Humans are the only rational animals but have yet to prove it. Medical and other scientific advances have benefited by delivering lower infant mortality rates as well as longevity. Both are welcome, but humankind has not yet recalibrated its behavior to account for the fact that especially if billions get indoor plumbing and cars.

The fix is simple. It’s dramatic. And yet the world’s leaders don’t even have this on their agenda in Copenhagen. Instead there will be photo ops, posturing, optics, blah-blah-blah about climate science and climate fraud, announcements of giant wind farms, then cap-and-trade subsidies.

None will work unless a China one-child policy is imposed. Unfortunately, there are powerful opponents. Leaders of the world’s big fundamentalist religions preach in favor of procreation and fiercely oppose birth control. And most political leaders in emerging economies perpetuate a disastrous Catch-22: Many children (i. e. sons) stave off hardship in the absence of a social safety net or economic development, which, in turn, prevents protections or development.

China has proven that birth restriction is smart policy. Its middle class grows, all its citizens have housing, health care, education and food [this has long been a popular myth on the Left – JB], and the one out of five human beings who live there are not overpopulating the planet. [What sense can be made of this statement? – JB]

For those who balk at the notion that governments should control family sizes, just wait until the growing human population turns twice as much pastureland into desert as is now the case, or when the Amazon is gone, the elephants disappear for good and wars erupt over water, scarce resources and spatial needs.

The point is that Copenhagen’s talking points are beside the point.

The only fix is if all countries drastically reduce their populations, clean up their messes and impose mandatory conservation measures.

Impose, impose, impose. And because ‘over-population’ is a world problem, there must be a World Authority with the power to impose its will on every single one of us. Totalitarianism on a scale that Lenin could only have dreamed of.

This is neo-Malthusianism. Human beings are not as Malthus or this lady imagines them.

Diane Francis’s article is typical of the thinking of the Left. It is sociological. Sociology is a collectivist idea, a way of seeing people merely as units of a species.

The sociological, leftist, Green view is anti-human, chiming harmoniously with the view of the Communist Chinese government that Diane Francis praises. The naturally dictatorial Greens (including Barack Obama’s adviser, Cass Sunstein) are all for forced sterilization and forced abortion to solve a non-existent problem of over-population. They surely have no objection to another Communist Chinese method of keeping the population down: the murder, usually by exposure and neglect, of millions of babies born alive, most of them girls.

It should never be forgotten that every human being is a repository of meaning, the only meaning there is in the known universe. Every human being is a world. No two are the same.

A critical mass of humanity is needed before you get your innovators, your geniuses, and all of us, even the foolish and the mad among us, can make our contributions.