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Letters by a modern St. Ferdinand III about cults

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Plenty of cults exist - every cult has its 'religious dogma', its idols, its 'prophets', its 'science', its 'proof' and its intolerant liturgy of demands.  Cults everywhere:  Corona, 'The Science' or Scientism, Islam, the State, the cult of Gender Fascism, Marxism, Darwin and Evolution, Globaloneywarming, Changing Climate, Abortion...

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Friday, December 17, 2004

EU vs. USA - Socialists Unite in their Fantasy

by StFerdIII

Jeremy Rifkin another tired, academic snob, and anti-capitalist crank, has produced another eyelid dropping sleeping pill named ‘The European Dream’. To state that the book is a meandering fantastical production of whimsy, arrogance and mendacity is to give it too much credit. Yet bookstores and the anti-American reading public will buy the book in numbers that would make Michael Moore smile. It is hard to read this book without wanting to toss it in with the firewood and burn it.

In previous fantasy fictions Rifkin famously asserted the following; consuming meat causes domestic violence; men use meat to enslave women; biotechnology will lead to a holocaust; gene-spliced soil bacterium experiments will change weather patterns and air-travel. Now Rifkin adds to his legacy of fantasy novels by promulgating the tired idea that a socialist, unified, old aged, militarily irrelevant, economically weak
Europe is the master political creation outstripping America and destined to enlighten us all with its technocratic, elitist brilliance.

Rifkin maintains that the obese, over-worked, stressed, greedy, materialistic, environmentally destroying Americans will be forced to move towards the kind, caring, under-worked, non-wealth focused, vacationing, happy, cramped living in less square footage than the average poor American, cultured, opera loving, well dressed, baguette chomping European. Nothing in this thesis makes any sense. By every imaginable objective standard the EU is in dire financial straits, its population has less wealth per capita, less living space per capita, less to retire upon, with non-existent productivity rates, ageing populations, over-regulated markets and virulent anti-semiticism and on a GDP basis, dirtier countries.
How big is the gap between the EU and the
USA in the real, non-Rifkin world ? A recent 2004 study by the Swedish Institute Timbro found the following:
- Except for
Luxembourg all EU states are below the US average in GDP per capita
- US GDP per capita is 32 % above the EU average
- Americans spend U$9.700 more on items than Europeans
- American poverty rate is 12 % down from 22 % in 1959. 25 % of US households are considered ‘low income’ with household incomes below U$25.000 per annum. In
Europe about 40 % of the population would be thus ‘low income’.
- US poor live in more square footage [1200 sq ft] than the AVERAGE EU citizen [1000 sq ft]
- EU tax revenues are on average @ 45 % of GDP vs 31 % in the USA

The authors of the study state that, “The expansion of the public sector into overripe welfare states in large parts of Europe is and remains the best guess as to why our continent cannot measure up to the our neighbor in the West.” This is indeed part of the problem. The EU’s common market policy is very, very selective. For those of us who have lived, worked, traveled and politicked inside
Europe, we all know that Big Government, Big Business and Big Labor rule the land. The selective liberalization of the EU economy only accords itself to these vested interests. There exist huge obstacles to the concept of ‘liberalized’ trade within the EU. Economically the EU is lagging the US and the gap is only growing.

Rifkin, fantasists and socialists, including many in the media and in the ‘soi-disant’ intellectual elite, will sniff that
Europe has many cultural amenities, historical legacies, longer vacations and a higher quality of life. These ‘soft’ advantages do not hold up to scrutiny. Sure the EU has a vast array of wonderful artifacts, historical monuments and complex thought provoking artisans, and intertwined historical legacies. But for every Goethe there is a Hitler. For every Bizet and Delcroix there exists a Louis XV, Napoleon or Chirac. For such men as Pushkin or Tchaikovsky there is manufactured a Stalin or a Putin. For a Garibaldi or a Da Vinci there is a Pope Alexander, a Borgias or a Mussolini. European culture and history oscillate between extremes and antitheses. This dichotomy, in good and bad, evil and saintly, pure and rotten, permeates itself through the social-political and economic framework of Old Europe. There does not exist in reality a European cultural superiority or ‘goodness’. One only has to study the illiberal history of France to understand that Europeans are not by nature democrats, kind, caring or vanilla white moralists. European snobbery about their superiority is intellectual and moral blindness.

Older cities and a more complex set of historical themes do not make a culture superior. Neither does fantasizing about supposed environmental friendliness. In tales reminiscent of how natural the North AmerIndians were [when in fact they were not that eco-friendly], the EU-philes invoke the green movement to exemplify their intellectual superiority over les nouveaux-arrives from
Canada and the USA. But on closer scrutiny that too fails to pass the reality test. The EU is far less efficient in the use of energy and the production of pollution on a per GDP and per capita basis, than North America.

The following are the main reasons:
- EU plants and industrial units are on average far older than those in the
- The US has more energy efficient industries using newer technologies.
- Higher energy taxes in the EU are counter-productive – limiting the capital available to buy new plant and technology, extending the use thereby of old assets including cars.
- The
US with 4 % of the planet’s population emits 20 % of Greenhouse gases. It is the 3rd cleanest economy in the world with Germany first and Japan second. Other EU countries lag behind the US. Germany is first due to its reliance on nuclear energy something the eco-fascist movement in North America wants to eliminate.
- The US and
Canada are the world’s cleanest countries when you measure emissions per unit of GDP for the area of each country. [Larger nations have more transport and far flung road and rail networks].
Canada and the US are more efficient in the management of their transport networks than EU countries by almost 40 %.

Europe does however have its charms. Wonderful and diverse cities, regions, cultures and a variety of sensory pleasures populate the EU. Cities and regions that produce vital product and services, diverse economically vibrant areas, competitive businesses headed by well educated handsome well dressed men and women are as much a part of Europe as government corruption, fraud, welfare, liberally taxed prostitution, easy drugs, and short work weeks.

The Europeans truly believe in the superior morality of massive government interference. They or at least their political elite, have devised a 6 layered Super-State system that is cumbersome, over-bearing and inefficient. It is hard to argue using empirical evidence that such a super-structure will succeed. Europeans are not Europeans first, but nationalists and regionalists. There is no common culture, language or history that binds such a group together. There is nothing in common between
Gdansk and Greece, or Ibiza and Ireland. Such differences coupled with government power, technocratic solutions, a non-existent military, corrupt use of the United Nations, bizarre rules, an ageing population, Muslim immigration and its attendant problems, heavy handed and discriminatory taxation and financial duress all conspire against the idea of a EU super state that is expanding eastwards and taking on 10 far poorer countries. How will such a group survive? The answer lies in social peace, but at what cost? What lower level of living standards is acceptable to the average European vs. the average Canadian or American, to maintain social peace so that a 6 layered bureaucracy can foment more rules and more taxes? What price freedom?

Socialism has never succeeded and unless the EU adopts many of the
US’ more liberal concepts it will fail. Canada should take notice of that fact. In other words – Rifkin’s theory is precisely backwards and Canadians should stop the march towards EU styled statism.

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