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The Decline of Europe - makenews/opinion

post #1 of 159
Thread Starter 
George Will Opinion

Some select bites from George Will, one of my favorites.

There is no entitlement for France, Germany, Russia and the U.N. They did all in their power to keep Saddam Hussein in power, which makes them accessories to tyranny and war crimes. All Iraq's debts incurred to Russia, France, Germany -- U.S. officials at the U.N. say Germany was even more troublesome than France "in the corridors," meaning in the prewar politics outside the Security Council -- during Saddam's regime should be canceled.

Americans who are apt to argue that U.S. foreign policy needs constant infusions of legitimacy from the approbation of European governments are also apt to deplore, in the domestic culture wars, Eurocentrism in academic curricula. Such Americans resist the cultural products of Europe's centuries of vitality, but defer to the politics of Europe in its decadence.

Why? Perhaps because yesterday's European culture helped make America what it is, and today's European politics expresses resentment and distrust of what America is. Both sensibilities arise from the distaste of some Americans for America.


George makes a pretty good case about the hypocracy and irony occuring among Europeans and also anti-war advocates. I know it is an opinion piece and I treat it accordingly. He argues that the very same progressive elements that declare Europe must validate our actions via the U.N. are also those that would decry their entire history here at home(Why teach dead white men, etc.)

Likewise Europe no longer has a credibe military. Many of their economies are mired in recession or at minimum stagnant growth. Lastly, demographically they are moving toward irrelevence because their birth rate is so low, they will not be able to replace their current population and instead will suffer population declines.

Let me be the first though to say that I gladly pounce on people who espouse problems or answers based on exponential trends. (imagine if X grew at 15% for the next 10 years...type stuff) However I don't consider birthrate to be this type of issue. However I will acknowledge up front that all Europeans could begin copulating furiously and have 8 children a piece starting... oh now....

What do you think? Opinions? Is Europe irrelevent?

Nick

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #2 of 159
Not even with a 10-foot pole.
proud resident of a failed state
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post #3 of 159
Quote:
Americans who are apt to argue that U.S. foreign policy needs constant infusions of legitimacy from the approbation of European governments are also apt to deplore, in the domestic culture wars, Eurocentrism in academic curricula. Such Americans resist the cultural products of Europe's centuries of vitality, but defer to the politics of Europe in its decadence.


straw men take cover!
post #4 of 159
Wow, I knew Will was an ideologue knee-jerk . . . but I had no idea he was such a terrible writer as well

what a mess
a buncha generalities whose sole intent seems to be to pat the like-minded on the back, congratulating them for thinking the same thing . . . and what that is is pretty difficult to unearth from his hackneyed prose . . .except for maybe that he says: "liberals who want International Law from the UN also want to expand the Cannon of culture beyond the fixed set of white 'authorities', they seem to be contradicting their own ure to transcend 'European culture'"

if it were that simple, wouldn't the world be a nice place?!?!?

Thse stupid Liberal pinko scum . . . there they go again . . . habitually anti-American...what a buncha dummies
"They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we."
--George W Bush

"Narrative is what starts to happen after eight minutes
--Franklin Miller.

"Nothing...

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"They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we."
--George W Bush

"Narrative is what starts to happen after eight minutes
--Franklin Miller.

"Nothing...

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post #5 of 159
The weather is really nice out.
post #6 of 159
I don't know, giant. That's a pretty cool, easy-to-understand statement.

You've got a mindset - represented by various groups and figureheads - who seem to want to downplay or replace Europe, its history and influence, its great citizens, explorers, politicians, scientists, etc. in schools, in favor of other, trendier "feel good" avenues. That same group might then, suddenly, look at - and point to - Europe as a model that the U.S. should model itself after a bit more in certain areas. Kinda playing the whole "ding it when it doesn't fit your agenda, embrace it when it does..." sort of thing.



That's what I took from it and I think it has some truth to it. But maybe I should read it a couple of more times to make really sure.

But the simple fact that the holy trinity of ShawnPatrick, pfflam and giant are all in "aggreeance" (thanks, Fred!) on this kinda points the way and tells me that I MUST'VE read and understood it correctly. Where's bunge?



I kid because I love. Or the other way around. Something like that...
post #7 of 159
Pfflam, it might behove you to post in English when accusing others of being difficult to parse.

post #8 of 159
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by pfflam
Wow, I knew Will was an ideologue knee-jerk . . . but I had no idea he was such a terrible writer as well

what a mess
a buncha generalities whose sole intent seems to be to pat the like-minded on the back, congratulating them for thinking the same thing . . . and what that is is pretty difficult to unearth from his hackneyed prose . . .except for maybe that he says: "liberals who want International Law from the UN also want to expand the Cannon of culture beyond the fixed set of white 'authorities', they seem to be contradicting their own ure to transcend 'European culture'"

if it were that simple, wouldn't the world be a nice place?!?!?

Thse stupid Liberal pinko scum . . . there they go again . . . habitually anti-American...what a buncha dummies

Using a few generalities yourself I see, but that is okay. They go well when decorating the room with straw men.

Of course he is going to generalize a bit. It is a newspaper column, not a book, or doctoral dissertation. The length by that nature limits how much support he can write down for his claims since they have to be what...800 words maximum?

Since you are blessed with so much more space, perhaps you would like to add a bit more than your own hackneyed misrepresentations of small minded conservatives.

Nick

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #9 of 159
Quote:
Originally posted by trumptman
. . . small minded conservatives.

Nick

Well, at least we agree on one thing . . .


As far as the English of my post . . . is it a tad difficult mr. mrmister?!?!
I guess it was the misspelling of 'urge' that threw you off . .

and then this:
Quote:
holy trinity of ShawnPatrick, pfflam and giant

you folks are fond of finding evil in triads . . . shouldn't we be the 'Unholly Axis' ?!?!
"They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we."
--George W Bush

"Narrative is what starts to happen after eight minutes
--Franklin Miller.

"Nothing...

Reply
"They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we."
--George W Bush

"Narrative is what starts to happen after eight minutes
--Franklin Miller.

"Nothing...

Reply
post #10 of 159
Holly?

Hey, I never ONCE mentioned "evil" in regards to you guys. You just seem to agree and travel together (philosophically, at least) on these boards, hence my cute little description.

Wrong doesn't equal evil.

post #11 of 159
Quote:
Originally posted by pscates

You've got a mindset - represented by various groups and figureheads - who seem to want to downplay or replace Europe, its history and influence, its great citizens, explorers, politicians, scientists, etc. in schools, in favor of other, trendier "feel good" avenues. That same group might then, suddenly, look at - and point to - Europe as a model that the U.S. should model itself after a bit more in certain areas. Kinda playing the whole "ding it when it doesn't fit your agenda, embrace it when it does..." sort of thing.

and they usually have the name george or lary or sue, but not rick, and they wear either boot-cut or relaxed fit jeans.
post #12 of 159
What are you even talking about?

At least ShawnPatrick, wacky as he can be, can write posts I can understand. I don't agree with him at all, but I can understand the guy.
post #13 of 159
I'll throw this log on the fire. Should keep some warm.



Lest We Forget

France and Belgium pay the price for backing Saddam.

BY MICHAEL GONZALEZ
Saturday, April 12, 2003 12:01 a.m. EDT
Quote:
BRUSSELS--"How did we get here?" asked a former French minister in a newspaper column recently. "Here" is a situation in which French Jews are being beaten up in the streets of Paris and in which President Jacques Chirac has to write to Queen Elizabeth to apologize for the desecration of British tombs in France, and in which one-third of the French have been pulling for Saddam Hussein to win.


...
post #14 of 159
Quote:
Originally posted by pscates
What are you even talking about?

you are just making it all up
post #15 of 159
Quote:
Originally posted by Scott
I'll throw this log on the fire. Should keep some warm.

Here is another.

What a wonderful world this could be....
"Hearing a corrupt CEO like Cheney denigrate Edwards for being a trial lawyer is like hearing a child molester complain how Larry Flint is a pervert." -johnq
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"Hearing a corrupt CEO like Cheney denigrate Edwards for being a trial lawyer is like hearing a child molester complain how Larry Flint is a pervert." -johnq
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post #16 of 159
Quote:
Originally posted by pscates
Where's bunge?

Just warming up my keyboard.

"Hearing a corrupt CEO like Cheney denigrate Edwards for being a trial lawyer is like hearing a child molester complain how Larry Flint is a pervert." -johnq
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"Hearing a corrupt CEO like Cheney denigrate Edwards for being a trial lawyer is like hearing a child molester complain how Larry Flint is a pervert." -johnq
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post #17 of 159
Thread Starter 
Are we through playing the "I know what you think but what am I" game?

Anyone actually care to take a shot at the title of the thread?

Nick

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #18 of 159
Actually it was this run-on sentence, which actually makes it read rather George Will-ish:

"what a mess
a buncha generalities whose sole intent seems to be to pat the like-minded on the back, congratulating them for thinking the same thing . . . and what that is is pretty difficult to unearth from his hackneyed prose . . .except for maybe that he says: "liberals who want International Law from the UN also want to expand the Cannon of culture beyond the fixed set of white 'authorities', they seem to be contradicting their own ure to transcend 'European culture'"

if it were that simple, wouldn't the world be a nice place?!?!?"

post #19 of 159
Will is alright---I think he is keen to point out that, in the postmodern landscape, we borrow heavily from each other's pluralism---which can be hypocritical, to say the least.

On Europe, yes, for maybe a little while---IF the EU pans out (and it really looks like it will.)

On the population/copulation issue the problem is that they have a negative birth rate---a fact that really stands a lot of economic models on their head. I think Japan is finding this out the hard way.
post #20 of 159
George Will always makes a good case. Whether you like him or not, No journalist I can think of is so solid and nearly irrefutable.

When the tax base bottoms out, Western Europe will collapse, and we'll be there to save their butts again. That's why they annoy me so much, cultured europeans with their cocks of righteousness. They whine about us non stop and I can guarantee we'll bail em out again.

Nothing would tickle me more than for Poland, Romania, Ukraine, etc to join NAFTA. And that's not so far from happening.
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post #21 of 159
George Will....oh dear me.

The decline of Europe.... Hmmm.... The EU is about to add another 9 or 10 nations to its membership. As a result the European market will be some 400 million people....some 120 million more than the U.S. The Euro continues to strengthen against the US dollar. And...the Euro is making inroads into the $'s territory as the international oil trading currency...this is a huge threat to the US economy. Iraq changed over to the Euro fairly recently....ooops
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"We've never made the case, or argued the case that somehow Osama bin Laden was directly involved in 9/11. That evidence has never been forthcoming". VP Cheney, 3/29/2006. Interview by Tony Snow
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post #22 of 159
Ahhh where do I begin....

First while I am very much a conservative and like conservative commentary for some reason I have never once cared for the opinions of George Will. One reason I dislike him I suspect is that he employs some of the same tactics of critical review as far too many liberals do themselves. He is far too "into" himself or "full" of himself and tends to have this steep view of himself as an un-touchable academic type. I do not like people with condescending attitudes or comments.

I think it is poison to speak badly of Europe or America. I give great credit to Tony Blair of the UK for time after time after time trying to bridge the differences of Europe and America. If you ask me that is a real leader worthy of praise.

To close and mention once more my feelings of George Will I will simply say I do not bother with his hot air.

Fellowship
May the peace of the Lord be with you always

Share your smile, Have respect for others, and be loving to all peoples

Paul in Athens: Acts 17 : 16-34
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May the peace of the Lord be with you always

Share your smile, Have respect for others, and be loving to all peoples

Paul in Athens: Acts 17 : 16-34
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post #23 of 159
Quote:
Originally posted by giant
you are just making it all up

Ah yes...but of course. GREAT post. Use a smiley next time, otherwise we'll all just think you're being a horse's butt on purpose.
post #24 of 159
Quote:
Originally posted by Splinemodel
George Will always makes a good case. Whether you like him or not, No journalist I can think of is so solid and nearly irrefutable.

Read: I agree with him, so I find it very hard to disagree with him.

post #25 of 159
Quote:
Originally posted by ShawnPatrickJoyce
Read: I agree with him, so I find it very hard to disagree with him.


Read: I've had a stint at journalism, read a lot, and I am from in DC so political talk is everywhere -- and it is ubiquitous in inteligent pop culture there. Only naive liberals discredit George Will. Smart ones just don't like him. I know people that disagree with him, but when you have to come up with the facts to measure your word against his, he'll beat you every time. Remember that he does this for a living AND is probably the best in the world at what he does. . . or at least the most widely sydicated, televised, and published.

Anyway, you can disagree with him, but if he got you in a debate, goodbye SPJ. Watch him on TV among a bunch of liberals sometime. It's a truly stupifying experience. He's a shark with a silly haircut.
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post #26 of 159
Quote:
Originally posted by FellowshipChurch iBook
Ahhh where do I begin....
I think it is poison to speak badly of Europe or America.

May I ask why? I know that it's a taboo to judge another man in terms of strict Christian doctrine, but personally I don't find judging to be wrong so long is it doesn't impair your ability to forgive.

I find socialism to be morally wrong (deemphasizes the disadvatages of sloth) as well as economically ineffective (I think this is obvious). So in my eyes it's a bad choice whether you care more about the proverbial City of Man or more about the City of God.

There, I spoke badly of socialist regimes, and hence most of Europe. Yet I would love to see that continent turn around and finally get out of the feudal era.
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post #27 of 159
Quote:
Originally posted by Splinemodel
Read: I've had a stint at journalism, read a lot, and I am from in DC so political talk is everywhere -- and it is ubiquitous in inteligent pop culture there. Only naive liberals discredit George Will. Smart ones just don't like him. I know people that disagree with him, but when you have to come up with the facts to measure your word against his, he'll beat you every time. Remember that he does this for a living AND is probably the best in the world at what he does. . . or at least the most widely sydicated, televised, and published.

Anyway, you can disagree with him, but if he got you in a debate, goodbye SPJ. Watch him on TV among a bunch of liberals sometime. It's a truly stupifying experience. He's a shark with a silly haircut.

That's interesting.

I bet Noam Chomsky would tear him to shreds.
post #28 of 159
I read the whole article. This article was about the decline of Europe.
What was the points :
- failure of franco-germany foreign policy
- europe army is irrelevant (and canada too)
- the birth ratio natality is too low in europe.

first point: resuming a complex situation to a single statement like Germany and France want to hold a tyrant in power is over-simplistic. Foreign policy is based upon geopolitic and geostrategic issues melded with inside politic. There where plenty of threads dealing this issues in AO, we should relate to this various threads if we are interested by this debate.

Second point : European army. Army is build upon 15 nations and soon 25. There is strong armies, like UK, and in a lesser extent France and others countries which have a weaker one. There is so real problem there, but not sufficiant to make sink the boat europe.

Third point and the more important. The decline of natality. Like every occidental countrie, there is a large decline in natality. Europe need immigration. Welfare and inside politic has nothing to do with this. Decrease of natality has more to do with the occidental way of life and especially the culture of spare time . Having 5 childs have a negative impact for spare time especially for ladies : it's a choice of life.
post #29 of 159
Quote:
Originally posted by Splinemodel


Yet I would love to see that continent turn around and finally get out of the feudal era.

I suggest you to choose your words with more accuracy. Feudal relate to a precise system of governement, who disapeared in Europe more than a millenium ago, hundreds years before three boats crossed the sea.
post #30 of 159
I admit I didn't read all the replies to this thead but..... I don't think it's a decline of Europe.... it's an attempt by Europe to compete with the United States..... (European Union)................anyone?
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post #31 of 159
Quote:
Originally posted by Splinemodel
May I ask why? I know that it's a taboo to judge another man in terms of strict Christian doctrine, but personally I don't find judging to be wrong so long is it doesn't impair your ability to forgive.

I find socialism to be morally wrong (deemphasizes the disadvatages of sloth) as well as economically ineffective (I think this is obvious). So in my eyes it's a bad choice whether you care more about the proverbial City of Man or more about the City of God.

There, I spoke badly of socialist regimes, and hence most of Europe. Yet I would love to see that continent turn around and finally get out of the feudal era.

Here we go again

1) There is not a single socialist country in europe (can´t count the times I have had to make this point on AI)

2) If there were: Would it be moral wrong for the people to have chosen a socialist state system? Even if people actually vote here?
post #32 of 159
As much as i don't want to perpetuate this because it seems to turn into one man's word against another's, I will explain my opinion more thoroughly, backed up with some evidence. Basically a feat that seems to be met by only a select few on AI.

Powerdoc: I know what feudalism is, entirely, in history and in concept. Do you? It's my beleief that Europe has never spiritually left the feudal system, since head's of state and government regimes are too eagerly protected, and in many nations there are still monarchies, even though they may be passively so. I know that Europe is not hugely feudal at this point, but I don't think it's completly free of feudalism either. (See also reply to Anders about EU subsidies) The fact that there's any motive to take on responsibilities "for Queen and Country" is a throwback to a feudal culture. Also as evidence I'll mention the recent debacle around an American newspaper's insult to the president of France. Basically, any government where power, authority, and freedom of expression can be skewed around a leading figure has some degree of feudalism in it.

Also, history indicates that by 1492 and even by 1622 there were still generally feudal institutions in Europe. There were monarchies in England and -grumble- a blatantly feudal system in France. Plus, the Catholic Church was pretty feudal.


Anders: In a similar argument, what is the tax rate of Denmark? It's pretty high. That money goes towards a lot of public service and wealth distribution. PLUS, the EU finds it appropriate to heavily subsidize dozens of industries (farming, Airbus, to list 2) and then make classically foolish ecenomic decisions in order to protect otherwise faulty industries (like building surpluses and then throwing them away). That's a healthy dose of socialism, if you ask me. I consider America to be slightly socialist, but europe is definitely closer to socialism than capitalism in most respects, so it fits to consider it socialist.

Choosing socialism is morally wrong if sloth is against your moral code. Otherwise, I guess not.


SPJ: You can think what you want, but Chomsky is primarily a linguist. If the argument is on public policy, Will is much better informed on the matter. I have no idea what would amount, though.
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post #33 of 159
I wonder if some of our more articulate European friends would be so kind as to articulate the case that Europe is not in decline or even that Europe is becoming stronger as a power broker right now, or over the forthcoming time period of say the next 50 years or so. It would be interesting to see how much support can be made for the reverse proposition.
post #34 of 159
Splinemodel:
Socialism:

"systems of social organization in which the means of producing and distributing goods is owned collectively or by a centralized government that often plans and controls the economy."

There would be no such thing as taxes because there would be no private property to tax. Under capitalist economies the state take away part of your income. Under socialist it gives you "pocket money". Its not being more or less socialist or capitalist but how the fundament of your system works. In a capitalist system the government is the leech. Under socialism your the leech.

Our constitution gives us the right to private property. Without a fundamental change to that socialism could never become the model.
post #35 of 159
Quote:
Originally posted by Splinemodel
Powerdoc: I know what feudalism is, entirely, in history and in concept. Do you? It's my beleief that Europe has never spiritually left the feudal system, since head's of state and government regimes are too eagerly protected, and in many nations there are still monarchies, even though they may be passively so. I know that Europe is not hugely feudal at this point, but I don't think it's completly free of feudalism either. (See also reply to Anders about EU subsidies) The fact that there's any motive to take on responsibilities "for Queen and Country" is a throwback to a feudal culture. Also as evidence I'll mention the recent debacle around an American newspaper's insult to the president of France. Basically, any government where power, authority, and freedom of expression can be skewed around a leading figure has some degree of feudalism in it.

Also, history indicates that by 1492 and even by 1622 there were still generally feudal institutions in Europe. There were monarchies in England and -grumble- a blatantly feudal system in France. Plus, the Catholic Church was pretty feudal.

So, if you know what feudalism is, I guess you'll agree that SLAVERY is one of its nastier incarnations? And it didn't stop in 1865. If you've read up a bit in Afro-American studies, you'll know that many Blacks lived in semi-slavery (full-blown feudalism if you will) up to the 1950s.
post #36 of 159
Quote:
Originally posted by Splinemodel
PLUS, the EU finds it appropriate to heavily subsidize dozens of industries (farming, Airbus, to list 2) and then make classically foolish ecenomic decisions in order to protect otherwise faulty industries (like building surpluses and then throwing them away).

1) US is guilty of the first on other areas (like steel production). Perhaps we are a bit worse but there is a general consensus that this have to end (especially in the agrocultural area) that I don´t see in US (perhaps because we are poorly informed about the internal industry-politics in US)

2) The surplusses is a thing of the past. It was a 80s and early 90s phenomen.
post #37 of 159
Your definition of socialism is absolute. In absolute capitalism, the government is not the leech because there is no government. I consider Denmark to be socialist because more than half of the country's GNP goes through the government (let me check that fact, though). That means that as far as economic freedom is concerned, you're more than half impaired.

I think you can forget the definition this time and understand the concept involved.
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post #38 of 159
Quote:
Originally posted by Splinemodel


Powerdoc: I know what feudalism is, entirely, in history and in concept. Do you? It's my beleief that Europe has never spiritually left the feudal system, since head's of state and government regimes are too eagerly protected, and in many nations there are still monarchies, even though they may be passively so. I know that Europe is not hugely feudal at this point, but I don't think it's completly free of feudalism either. (See also reply to Anders about EU subsidies) The fact that there's any motive to take on responsibilities "for Queen and Country" is a throwback to a feudal culture. Also as evidence I'll mention the recent debacle around an American newspaper's insult to the president of France. Basically, any government where power, authority, and freedom of expression can be skewed around a leading figure has some degree of feudalism in it.

Also, history indicates that by 1492 and even by 1622 there were still generally feudal institutions in Europe. There were monarchies in England and -grumble- a blatantly feudal system in France. Plus, the Catholic Church was pretty feudal.



According to the Larrousse dictionnarie about feudalism : group of law and habits who rule the social and political order of a part of europe, from the end of the carolingian aera to the end of Middle age (dark age) and who imply :
- the preemenency of a social class of warrior
- links of dependances from man to man. (slavery is one of them, even if it was not called this way at this time).

Monarchy of this period, even an absolute way ( a la Louix XIV) is not feudal.


Parlemantary monarchy are not feudal (do you see any reference to a social class of warrior and a line in the constitution of such countries saying that some citizens are more important than others ? ). I think that you miss-umploy the word feudal, you should better use the word Jacobinism which refer to a very centralize governement system. A concept that should fit with many europeans countries, even if this system tends to disappear in France (the decentralisation).
Same apply for the catholic church, it's a centralized and hierarchised organisation, but not a feudal one.

I know what you try to meant , but the word Feudal is not the good one.
post #39 of 159
Quote:
Originally posted by ColanderOfDeath
I wonder if some of our more articulate European friends would be so kind as to articulate the case that Europe is not in decline or even that Europe is becoming stronger as a power broker right now, or over the forthcoming time period of say the next 50 years or so. It would be interesting to see how much support can be made for the reverse proposition.

Europe is still one of the richest group of democratic countrie of the world. Considering that there is only a minority of democratia in the world, and that european countries are rich countries, i don't see the decline yet.
The major change in world wide politic of the last twenty years, was the end of the cold war. Something that changes the international relations.
post #40 of 159
Quote:
Originally posted by ColanderOfDeath
I wonder if some of our more articulate European friends would be so kind as to articulate the case that Europe is not in decline or even that Europe is becoming stronger as a power broker right now, or over the forthcoming time period of say the next 50 years or so. It would be interesting to see how much support can be made for the reverse proposition.

I may not be too articulate but I will have a go ...

1) The economies of Europe are growing not declining.

That'll do for now.
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