The E.U. Experiment Has Failed | Hoover Institution: "National pride and amour propre were not eliminated by the E.U. and the ideology of its bureaucratic elites, only driven underground for a while. With Christianity moribund, and patriotism stigmatized as neo-fascist, it is unsurprising that Europe has failed to find a unifying principle beyond mere material comfort, resulting in the continent-wide malaise that manifests itself in the various failed policies threatening the E.U. project today, what Pope Francis last November called “a general impression of weariness and aging, of a Europe which is now a ‘grandmother,’ no longer fertile and vibrant”—a culture “weary with disorientation.”
We American should not indulge the schadenfreude aroused by watching our sometimes-condescending older cousins slip farther and farther behind us in global importance and power. Europe is still collectively the world’s largest economy, and its travails will impact the whole globe. More importantly, many of the trends weakening Europe today are active in our own country. The scorning of national pride and American exceptionalism, the decline of Christianity in the public square, multiculturalism and its ethnic separatism and divisive identity politics, and the preference of many Americans for greater social welfare spending, redistribution of wealth, and dirigiste economic policies all point us to a fate like Europe’s.
Self-doubt about the goodness of one’s way of life and living just for today’s pleasures are luxuries a great power cannot afford. In a world of violent ideologies and aggressive autocrats, a free people must have something beyond this world that they believe is worth killing and dying for. Europe seemingly has lost those ideals and beliefs that made it the nurse of freedom, democracy, and human rights. America has taken on that global role, but if we go the way of Europe, if we too no longer know what we believe, who will take our place?
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