Despite the celebratory mood of Mr. Douthat’s premature obituary on Europe, in his essay of June 1, 2013 and it’s weak argument: the ‘welfare state’ as the motor of it’s decline. Decline, the idea fixe of Conservatism across time and place, we might just bring the political conversation down to the terrestrial plain. Not withstanding the quote from Francis Fukuyama on the Hegelian delusion of the ‘End of History’, as interpreted by a student of the Strauss/Ravelstein school of philosophical pretension: thinking of this skein of argument as so many polemical hot air balloons.
We come to face the fact of America’s institutionalization of the Free Market in the Financial Reform of 1999 and the economic rise of the ‘derivative’ and the institutional betting against their customer’s bets by investment houses, who commingled banking and investments. The demise of Glass-Steagall was a portent of economic disaster.
Just one example of the Greek government’s colluding with Goldman Sacks to hide the true extent of it’s debt is published by Spiegel International: Greek Debt Crisis: How Goldman Sachs Helped Greece to Mask its True Debt by Beat Balzli
For an updated report on the Cypress scam perpetrated by the banks see Yves Smith’s More trumped- up charges against Cyprus at her blog site.
Instead of an eye opening but unpleasant reminder of the collusion of the nations that make up the European Union and a banking industry corrupted by it’s own greed, Mr. Douthat carefully constructs a tale of the decline of the European ‘welfare state’ and the failing project of European integration,as part of the same political melodrama. Garnished by the soothing chatter about an argued fact ,of the not yet of radicalization of the ‘Left’ and ‘Right’ in Europe. The rise of Golden Dawn in Greece is the most inconvenient, contradictory fact to subvert Mr. Douthat’s argument of that not yet.
Mr. Douthat is hostile to the idea of government and especially the government of Europe steeped in the tradition of Schumann and Monnet, as the social engineers, the architects of the Union, who most exemplify the subversive notion of European Socialism, and the ever present danger of powerful, unaccountable bureaucrats in the American Conservative Mythology. Note Mr. D.’s use of the pejorative terms ‘elite misgovernment’ and ‘political elites’ as indicative of his use of the contemporary vocabulary of political nihilism.