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The misleading calm arising from taboo questions

Published at: 16-05-2021

Posted on: May 16th, 2021 by RaduC No Comments

Europe was taken aback by a recent letter signed by 1,000 French military, including some 20 generals, retired or on active duty. Another one followed, this time anonymous. Though for some the warnings of a possible civil war in France or the references to ‚the hordes of the banlieue’ of a certain religion may seem crude exaggerations, it would be a big mistake to ignore the alarm that they sound about a mood that is gaining ground.

Their message is that the cultural and social divide brought about by large communities that are unintegrated and unable to get integrated leads to increasing frustrations across the Western world. They go on to explain that these developments are irremediable and that nations play but a marginal role in the decisions governments make.

Let it not fool us. The failure to discuss vital topics in the public arena for politically correct or pure economic reasons causes a misleading calm, which is short-term and about to be disrupted by an explosive reaction. It may be a rapid rise of the far-right, a EU-exit and God forbid, clashes between communities.

The fact that mainstream parties obstinately avoid themes that are of major concern to the public is regrettable. Meanwhile, the far-right is the only one that takes them on and discusses them along other utopic or downright unethical themes and exaggerations.

Here is a fragment from a post from 2015, entitled “The taboo topics for Europe “.


Budgetary, economic, administrative policies that any one government applies can be easily reversed by the next government with opposite economic views.  The implications of pro-immigration policies which result in the arrival of millions of people over many years cannot however, be reversed and will be extremely hard to stop. Those people are here to stay.

Can anyone seriously image a scene where thousands of migrants are being forcefully repatriated? So the taboo, unaskable question is whether such a decision with long-term irreversible impact, should be taken by a term-limited government or whether it should be the remit of the sovereign will of the people since ultimately it is the people that would have to deal with the ensuing cultural shock.

For such a referendum to take place, the public needs to understand the other available options with their cons and pros. At the end of the day, some of them may even prefer the downside of negative demographics over the unknowns of integrating such a huge number of aliens. In other words, choosing what seems to be the lesser evil. The ‚taboo’ question that is not put to them is straightforward: “Would you prefer stagnation or even the prospect of lower pensions over a policy in favor of massive immigration with all the risks that integration poses?”

Would such an immigration policy balance the age pyramid or just postpone the inevitable? And here we have a broader discussion where we run into another taboo topic.

In the last 200 years, the value system and way of life in the European civilization went through a series of deep changes which has fundamentally altered the previous family, traditional model. All parameters that may define it are included here: age to get married, number of salaried partners, their personal priorities and so on. Any way we look at it, one major outcome of these developments is that the rate of natural increase in Europe has become negative, although people live longer.

At the same time, other less developed societies have continued to have a positive rate of natural increase by fostering the same traditional family model and opposing those changes that may alter the model at the risk of sometimes restricting individual freedoms. The implication is that the countries advocating different cultural models to that in Europe have younger populations and thus become an immigration pool to aging Europe. And here comes the interesting pitfall.

If indeed, Europe ushers in migrants from different cultures for the sake of positive rates of natural increase, it should assist them in preserving the values that encouraged them to have many children in the first place and therefore, a positive rate of natural increase. But by doing that, their offspring are likely to increasingly carry on their family values and cultural model which has nothing to do with that of their host country resulting in an even wider gap.

On the other hand, the ambition of having all these minorities integrated means that they need to be brought to the common denominator of the Western family model ultimately putting an end to their positive contribution to population growth and requiring new waves of migrants. So there is a price to pay whatever the choice. The issue is trickier than politicians claiming a fast solution to the problem would have us think.

To sum up, migrants may help boost population growth in Europe if they are not forced into culturally integrating and are left in the cultural environment that helps keep their home countries young. This, however, risks deepening the cultural divide across Europe and may even result in social tensions.

That said, a forceful integration of new-comers will gradually have them settle into the Western family model with significantly lower birth rates. The upward demographic trend will have been short-lived and a new influx of migrants will be needed to pay the pensions of migrants with fewer children. The inevitable will simply be postponed.

Can economic growth be upended over the long term by lower birth rates which would result not in a drop but in an increase in rates by incentivizing and not constraining individuals? Can a civilization, warned that the current path leads to irrelevance, change course and re-invent itself? These should be the choices to be discussed by a declining civilization, such as that of Europe.

These are not simple decisions. There are few people wishing to embrace the family model from 200 years back. Few are those wishing that in 40 years’ time they live in a Europe where they feel like aliens and which has become backwards in many ways.

But are there any leaders left in Europe who can start and manage a debate whose importance cannot be understated when it comes to the future of Europe? A leader who can lay down the pros and cons of the current model and help them make an informed decision? Or does the topic continue to remain taboo and we would rather scramble to fight each crisis as it comes and ignore the implications of the ‚solutions’ that have been found?

As Europeans we are entitled to ask and get answers. Is the only ‚way’ to save the European civilization to make it less European?

Have a nice weekend!

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