Dan O’Brien in The Irish Times on the ECB’s and EU’s desperate firefighting attempts to hold the Euro (and European union) together (again).
With each passing week it seems increasingly clear that Europe is coming to a fork in the road: one route leads to deeper integration, with very considerable political implications; the other leads down into the dark valley of disorderly disintegration. The decision on which way to go will be among the most important collective choices taken by Europeans in the post-second World War era.
In the bigger global picture, is this all part of the wider decline of Europe and America in the face of the rise of China, India and the developing world and increasingly scarce global resources like oil?
I’m no economist, but it sure looks like a historic power shift to me when it is China (the lender) telling the US (the borrower) to get its financial house in order.
Big and probably unanswerable questions. And big ’emotions’ at play – fear, uncertainty, worry, anger, helplessness to name but a few.
What’s your feeling about the crisis of confidence in the West?
The late 20th century Western lifestyle has been built around numerous assumptions including – continual growth, stability, progress, ‘the West being best’ and, fairly recently, an unbounded no-limits ‘turbo-capitalism’ being the means to fast-track even more prosperity without damaging side-effects.
And, as Michael Kruse is often pointing out, Western capitalism has delivered an astonishing success story.
But it seems to me that modernist assumptions of endless progress are now looking profoundly shakey. And I wonder if those assumptions have shaped the western mindset so deeply that we Westerners are struggling to contemplate a new global order? Are we living through a paradigm shift? Where we are being reminded that there is no guarantee that the West is the default ‘normal’ way life ‘should be’ and ‘always will be’.
And more personally, what does it mean to have faith in God in the face of unemployment, an unpayable mortgage and deep insecurity?
As the bard said a while ago, the times they are a changin.