Monday, December 07, 2009

Europe's Good Life

In a long article that should, in fact, be two articles - it has two quite distinct themes - Jared Diamond remarks:
'Western Europeans have lower per-capita consumption rates than Americans, but enjoy a higher standards of living as measured by access to medical care, financial security after retirement, infant mortality, life expectancy, literacy and public transport.'
This is all true and makes me drift vaguely to the left. But then I drift equally vaguely to the right when I remember that Europeans enjoy this standard of living at least in part because America has paid for her defence for the past 65 years. Finally, I drift vaguely towards Machiavelli. Politics is politics. Europeans took America's defence gold and built herself a better life. Europe 1, America 0.
This will end, however, and so, drifting vaguely towards the future, I find Europe needs a new trick.

6 comments:

  1. I dunno: the trick of enmeshing everyone, successive ex-neighbours included, in a bland materialism based on a free trade area and payment transfers has life in it yet. The next trick will be to persuade the Russians it's worth forgoing their great power attachments for some sort of dilute formula of same. I'd guess it would take one or two decades.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I prefer not to think too much about France and Germany in terms of their attitude to the Anglosphere in last 65 years.

    Especially the Gauls. It galls.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks for the link; Diamond's a real thinker.

    And good take, until this: Finally, I drift vaguely towards Machiavelli. Politics is politics. Europeans took America's defence gold and built herself a better life. Europe 1, America 0. Surely, you don't think the guys with the guns just let themselves get taken. That price was quite unevenly shared in America.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oops, thought you said it needs a new dick.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Its not a new trick that is needed its new people, the existing ones are getting on a bit and need their backsides wiping, who pays goodness knows.

    Just go down to your local Morrison's for a breakfast and see how many sitting around you are under 30

    ReplyDelete
  6. There are no new tricks, but if you are serious about Machiavelli, may I recommend Edward Pearce's 'Machiavelli's Children'. If I haven't before. If interested, and you should be, I'll send it down.

    ReplyDelete