Austria. Once the heart of a great Empire, now a small land-locked nation in the middle of Europe. The country inhabits around 8.8 million citizens. The population is growing, mostly due to the inflow of migrants. How will the demographic future of Austria look?
Today, Europe is driven more than ever before by a sense of apathy shared by the masses. In the past, old men may have become apathetic towards life, as their time on earth was coming to an end. Their youthful vigor had been replaced by a tiresome tolerance. As the average age in Europe has steadily climbed, so too has the overall sense of apathy constantly increased. Porn has been on the rise, while masculinity declined.
Many children, myself included, become disinterested in art during their time in high school. I recall my teacher being ecstatic about a new work done by Damien Hirst – he had implanted a skull with diamonds and it had sold for millions. The urinal made by Duchamp was praised, and when pupils in the classroom raised their hands to ask questions about this supposed work of art, the teacher’s reply was a mere ‘Who are we to deny that this is art?’
The downfall of Icarus, his wings melted as he came too close to the sun. A reminder that we must know our limits.
Belgium is best known for its waffles and for hosting the capital of the European Union. The capital, Brussels, hosts both the national as well as the European government. It is an odd country due to it consisting of two distinctive parts. The northern region, Flanders, and the southern region, Wallonia. In the north, it is bordered by the Netherlands. In the south, it is bordered by France. And in the east is Germany.
This is the title of an article published in a Dutch national newspaper. The article discusses the demographic shift with Eric Kauffmann. He published a book titled ‘Whiteshift’, on the demographic change that Europe is facing.
A small country in north-western Europe, the Netherlands officially gained its independence in 1648. It is a country that gained its identity by its constant battle against the sea, and it is a battle they have won. Now, the Netherlands face a brand new challenge. Waves of migrants are flooding the country, but a debate on the consequences is rare. As in the rest of the West, migration started after the last world war. Temporary labour migrants came to fill the jobs ”the Dutch did not want to do”. These Turkish and Moroccan migrants turned out to be permanent rather than temporary. Quite the opposite to leaving happened – they brought over their families. Adding onto this first wave of migrants were those from the old colonies.
The Dutch have their own colonial guilt, having had colonies in Suriname, Indonesia and several island in the Caribbean. They did have other colonies, but those were taken over by the English, such as New York and South Africa. To go back to our point – migrants from these old colonies of course came to live in the Netherlands. The same has happened in the United Kingdom and France.
Now, they are experiencing their third wave of migrants. The odd combination of refugees as well as Africans that will supposedly fund the pensions and fill the gap left by low fertility rates. What will the future hold for this country?
Since the end of World War II, the world has known two powers. The United States and the Soviet Union. Since the 1990’s only the United States was left. People started to argue and philosophize how long this monopoly on power would hold. The US has been policing the world for decades, they have truly been a global power.
Geographically, the US is positioned perfectly for isolationism. Unsurprisingly, this is exactly what the USA did initially. With reluctance it joined the first World War, only to attempt to withdraw after the war finished – they never joined the League of Nations. Their global role only took hold when they opposed the Soviet Union for dominance after the second World War.
A desire for oil, that most important industrial commodity, has kept them interested in the rest of the world. But that might change.
Orpheus and Eurydice – Can the EU lead Eastern Europe out of darkness?
The End of Communism – a New Era
Several decades ago, Eastern Europe was covered by communism. Until suddenly, communism ended. Factories, mines and land, formerly owned by the state, were sold to those with the closest ties to power. Of course there was corruption, it was not a smooth transition. It probably never is a smooth transition from communism to a free market.
The point here is that their economies were in shambles. For decades, entrepreneurship did not exist. The institutions supporting a free market did not exist. Nonetheless, in due time the economy will grow and it will change. However…