Continent in Crisis
Europe’s Wheel of Fortune Turns

Like it or not, change is coming to European institutions. The only question is what kind of change.

Appeared in: Volume 13, Number 4 | Published on: December 4, 2017
Michael Cotey Morgan is assistant professor of history at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and author of The Final Act: The Helsinki Accords and the Transformation of the Cold War (Princeton University Press, forthcoming).
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  • QET

    They regard themselves as wealthy, technologically sophisticated, and influential. They believe that they stand on the cutting edge of civilization, and always will. In reality, however, Europe’s per capita income is only two-thirds that of the United States and will fall further behind as time goes on. In the race to develop new technologies, American and Asian companies are running circles around their European competitors. Spending cuts have hollowed out the military capacity of even the strongest countries, which can barely mount overseas operations without American support. The Continent is on the fast track to economic torpor, social degradation, and geopolitical irrelevance.

    Europeans can save themselves from this fate, and Merritt wants to show them how. By contrast with the populist firebrands who present the European Union as the source of the Continent’s problems, Merritt sees the European Union as the solution. Europe’s “salvation lies in economic and political integration,” he argues, but instead of a “master plan” he calls for piecemeal initiatives: invest in infrastructure; expand social programs; spend more on scientific research; work harder to coordinate members’ foreign policies; empower the European Union to tax citizens directly; make EU institutions more transparent.

    In the trade I believe this is what is known as ignoratio elenchi (a/k/a irrelevant conclusion). Probably the bulk of Europe’s problems can be laid at the door of people who think like Merritt.

    • Trajan Fanzine

      AKA in its pedestrian vernacular as; ‘more of the same’…

  • Angel Martin

    “Like it or not, change is coming to European institutions. The only question is what kind of change.”

    This kind of change.

  • Boritz

    In Germany Merkel is attempting to form a government by reconstituting the so-called Grand Coalition by joining with the party that lost the most ground in the election. In other words she’s trying to preserve what voters rejected. If the Republicans were trying to do this in the United States it would be labeled reactionary, but Euro sophisticates are immune from such labeling.

  • Trajan Fanzine

    “European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker summed up the problem:
    “We all know what to do. What we don’t know is how to be re-elected
    when we’ve done it.”

    What a staggering self-indictment of moral and intellectual bankruptcy………

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