Two events on April 10, 2006 pushed continental Europe closer to the irreversible extinction of their civilization.
In France, a very modest law to let employers terminate underperforming employees before the age of 26 was scrapped after socialists rioted in protest. This could have been the first step in halting France's slide down the economic and demographic slippery slope they are on, but rioting socialists proved they can intimidate the government. No business started in France in the last 40 years is among France's 25 largest corporations. A culture of low birth rates, aspirations of mediocrity, and segregation of angry Islamic immigrants spells disaster for France before 2020.
In Italy, one of the last staunchly pro-US leaders in Europe, Silvio Berlusconi, may lose his bid for re-election. Italy, like France, also has a sluggish economy and birth rates far below replacement levels. His opponent, Romano Prodi, is bound to continue and even increase socialist practices such as 4-day workweeks.
The leftward shifts follow in the footsteps of Spain, which, in reaction to the March 11, 2004 Madrid Train Bombings, chose appeasement over counterattack, and voted out a pro-American government in favor of an anti-American socialist government. Predictably, Spain also has a sluggish economy, anti-business labor laws, and a severe shortage of new children being produced.
There are still small pockets of hope in Europe. Germany voted out anti-American Gerhard Schroeder and voted in pro-American reformist Angela Merkel. Denmark stood firm in the cartoon controversy. But these events, unless they cascade into much larger movements, are not enough to shift the center of gravity of European culture away from the path to demise. The hope some had for Europe to fight for their future fell into the abyss on April 10, 2006.
Remarkably, for the high opinions that many Europeans have of their culture, they have little interest in continuing that culture through producing new Europeans. When many Europeans are asked about this, they don't even want to think about it. Try a small experiment the next time you get a chance to ask this of anyone from continental Western Europe.
"In Europe, far fewer children are being produced to replace the existing population of Europeans, even while immigrant Muslims have many children. How can European civilization continue, under these circumstances?"
Try it, and see what happens. Notice how their answer will avoid the question posed and somehow deviate into a criticism of America. Anti-Americanism is not merely their fashion, but now a drug that they use to distract them from their self-inflicted troubles. The European Union, formed to be an economic couterweight to the US, still produces just half of the new wealth that the US produces, and has a growth rate much lower than the world average. By 2020, the EU will not even be a counterweight to China or India, let alone the US.
It is sad when a civilization with a rich history and culture stops making an effort to build a future. Perhaps, in a Darwinian sense, we are seeing evolution and extinction at work, where societies than can't adapt to new realities are unable to take action to continue their survival.