I had written in 2013 about “Europe Going Down” in my blog, from which I am quoting a few sections below:
The European economic and social crisis is becoming worse with each passing day. One business channel asked me in 2008 how long it might take to recover and I responded saying 40 quarters — they never came back to interview. But now I forecast it may never recover.
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 the dominance of the West has been there only for last 200 odd years. According to Angus Maddison’s pioneering OECD study, India and China had nearly 50 per cent of global GDP as late as the 1820s. 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, 36 per cent. But in 2012, it is the reverse. So the dominant west is a myth.
Europe is facing three types of crisis – economic, demographic, civilisational and it is not in a position to come out of these. All three are not recent ones; they were 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 above 500 per cent — I say 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. The population of Europe during the First World War was nearly 25 per cent. Today it is around 11 per cent and is expected to become 3 per cent in another 20 years. This is mainly due to low reproductive rates and in some countries is as low as 1 when 2.1 is considered as 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 issue is the attempt in Europe to nationalise families and privatise business. Old age issue/ health issues/ 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 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 a 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 or become cannon fodder in Anglo-Saxon conflicts.
I wrote about this again in 2016 when the attack on Brussels airport happened, titled The idea of Europe is dead from which I am quoting a few passages:
“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.
The 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 how so ever 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 rightwing forces –le Pen in France and PEGIDA in Germany-is going to lit the fires of newer European conflicts. Europe thought– a la Merkel– that they can buy peace with radical Islam by “requesting” them to integrate. But integrate with what? Integrate with “immoral” Europe where women are exhibited as “open meat” [in the words of the Australian Imam] who are “poisonous”
Europe has seen Crusades and 100 years wars-between Christianity and Islam. But never has it had 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% unemployment among youth groups and everyday 10000 are marching in the name of refugees. Remember some 200 years before entire Spain and up to the gates of Vienna it was Andalusia Empire and thousands of mosques were converted to Churches after Europe was “cleansed” of Islam.
This time the Europe which is facing crisis is different. It is not the Pews and Stained glasses but concert halls and swimming pools and whole night parties opposed by Radicals.
The issue is regarding life style and one likes it or not radical Islam is “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 same with EU. The numbers are swelling and expectedly a million more waiting. One section of them would prefer Sharia and rule of Caliphate. Social tensions 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/ Geert Wilders/ AfD at Koblenz in Germany –where MSM was not allowed- is a path breaking effort.
India must not get involved in “peace keeping” given its internal demographic composition. India must demand membership of UNSC before even considering any request.
Marine Le Pen claims Anglo Saxon world is waking up as Europe’s far-right parties meet after Trump inauguration. ‘Yesterday, a new America. Today – a new Europe,’ anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders tells cheering crowds.
The conflict has given rise to war clouds over Europe between 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 Westphalian idea of sovereignty of nations. Both Radical Islam and Global Corporations/ Hedge funds embraced this rejection. Local populations were against globalization which affected them. This we will see in another article.
This impending social strife and civil war in Europe will have implications for India.
- 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 UN.
But India is never consulted about the conflict zones or location & the need for peace keeping. India must not get involved in “peace keeping” given its internal demographic composition. India must demand membership of UNSC before even considering any request.
- Saudi wants to finish Iran in the process and USA has been stupidly convinced that Iran is a major danger. Saudi is also member of -believe me- UN human rights council- and a major financier of Amnesty International. Let India remember that civilisationally we have more in common with Iran than Saudis or their poodle terror central Pakistan.
- India has opportunity to scrap article 370 in J&K and allow all Indians to settle down in the valley. Each settler can be given Rs.50 lakhs and a gun. Neither Trump nor Le Pen or AfD is going to bother about it. Within India except some TV warriors none would oppose it.
- Any war in European theatre will create huge number of our own Indian-refugees from ME and Europe into India. We need to be prepared for it
- There would be attempts by ISIs 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.
- Indian businesses should be alert since most funds would pull out of India for war efforts in European theatre. Those businesses which have export/import links with US/Europe will be maximum affected unless their export products are useful for war.
- Of course Sensex and Nifty will be affected since our markets are not linked to our economy but to US and Europe situation since market movements are decided by Foreign funds.
- India has to take a stand –howsoever painful—that this war is not our war but between desert cultures.
- We have been sucked into 1st and 2nd world war 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.
- It will not be a conventional war but a war between terrorists/snipers/belt bombers and right wing militia men of Europe and US.
- Left-liberals as usual will be with belt bombers but alas they will be the first one to be swallowed by the Radical Islam.
Breaking India forces can be crushed due to evolving global situation. Are we ready and do we have a plan?
1. Text in Blue points to additional data on the topic.
2. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.
Cho S Ramaswamy Visiting Chair Professor of Public policy[CRVCPPP]
An expert in Finance and a two times Fulbright Scholar, Prof. R Vaidyanathan is a much sought after author, speaker and TV commentator on all items related to Money and Finance.