by Sid Lukkassen. Lukkassen holds an MA in history and philosophy, is a Ph.D candidate and city councillor in the Netherlands (VVD). Autumn 2014, he publishes his book Avondland en Identiteit (Occident and Identity). This article was originally published in Dutch on De Dagelijkse Standaard, 28.07.2014.
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Geopolitics has fully returned. August 2014 – exactly one hundred years after the breakout of the First World War – the world is burning once again.
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West-European democracies aim primarily at the expansion of personal wealth and at living convenient, relaxed lives. Exactly because we are so comfortable – even those who visit the food banks are rich compared to many inhabitants of Earth – the vastness of the abyss that the European peoples are marching towards hardly gets through to us. Europe discovers itself in a violent world – a world, it cannot understand or analyse. Half a century of feminised thinking is at the root of this.
Across the world the seeds of conflict are growing, as states seek to expand their power and influence. In the East stands Vladimir Putin. His endgame is to make Russia again into the superpower that it was during the era of the Soviet Union . In the South looms Turkey, where Recep Tayyip Erdoğan considers having himself appointed as the new president. Turkey is a nation of many conflicts; with of Kurds, Armenians and Cypriots, to name but a few. Under the guidance of Atatürk and his legacy the culture of state has been secular for some decades. Now Turkey slowly slides towards Islamism . The conflicts fuel a call for authority, for a strong hand that can maintain order and expand power. Further towards the Middle East are ISIS, Hamas, Hezbollah, the Muslim Brotherhood and comparable Islamic (paramilitary) organisations. I could also address the recent clashes between pro-Palestine demonstrators and the police that have taken place in major European cities (for example: Sam Schechner, “Pro-Palestinian Protesters Clash With Paris Police Following Ban on Rally“, The Wall Street Journal, 17.07.2014). About China, which forms a new industrial power and where a structural shortage of women exists, I have not yet uttered a word.
The central problem is that we can no longer comprehend the mindset of our enemies and their motives. Palestinians and Israelis fight one another because of a territorial conflict underlain by ethnic and religious dividing lines. Postmodern Europeans cannot remotely fathom what this means. We have resided in the naive supposition – a mirage thrown up by the success of democracies after World War Two – that mankind was growing ever closer to unity and brotherhood. This happy conviction of the generation ’68 was strengthened by the writings of Loe de Jong, a Dutch historian who took on the role of judge over history: minorities were sacred by definition, authoritarian regimes were tainted per se.
But the fall of Srebrenica – where the politically-correct governing elite was proven outmatched by the brutality of the East-European warriors – brought fractures in this image (cf.: Laura Smith-Spark, “Dutch state found liable in deaths of more than 300 men in Srebrenica massacre“, CNN, 16.07.2014). Recently, Syria followed, where the Islamist rebels, possibly, represent a greater evil than the secular dictator Bashar al-Assad. The West hesitated, unable to decide who embodied good here and who evil; Putin made use of that confusion to outmanoeuvre the United States. Now a passenger airplane has been brought down above Ukraine and the bitch that is reality smacks us in the face. The RMS Lusitania of the twenty-first century?
Four years ago, I attended a working conference of European Liberals. It was a debate about the formation of a European army. Once all participants had had their say, a German took the floor. He caught the whole of it in crystal clear language: “We like to see ourselves as the keepers of order and peacebringers of the world. But what we speak of here is building weapons, while the European population ages. This means in practice that we must go tell people that we can no longer take their parents into retirement homes because there is no money for it. Why? Because we spent that money bombing banana republics. People will never agree to purchase weapons if there is simultaneously a growing demand for care.” That brought the discussion to an abrupt end.
Europe is weak. Europe stands divided. Europe is economically a superpower, the biggest player on Earth. Still there is no capability to translate this power into geopolitical results. “Liberty Hall, live and let live, human beings are inherently good – let us prioritize free trade and economic integration, then world peace will follow by itself”, thus the motto of the sixty-eighters. “Feminised Europe”, I call this. West-European men are raised by a generation of women. Women who found violence, but nasty and vile. Any decent feminist would not allow her sons to play soldier outside: that would only lead to masculine stereotypes and macho behaviour. Soon, the last handful of machos the Netherlands has, will stand unarmed in Ukraine. Russia can bomb Rotterdam – annihilate it on a whim. Just to show the magnitudes.
“Why weapons and armies? Nurseries and care homes we need!” – a statement that captures feminised Europe in a nutshell. With as its end result a fertility rate of the German woman of 1,3 (2,1 is required to maintain an equal population; see Camilia Bruil, Patrick van Schie and Mark van de Velde, “The Dynamics of Demographic Decline“, The Hague 2011, 73). For Europeans, soldiers are increasingly scarce and thus costly and precious .
At this moment I feel little trust in the future of our democracy. Last week, I had a conversation with a political scouting committee. “You have all the facts and know them very well,” I was told, “but when you get engaged in discussions of this kind, it becomes too technical. The average viewer cannot understand this. You must summarize your goal and your result in a single fat headline, or the voter will skip to the next channel. Journalists will walk away and make a story of their own. Politics is no longer about contemplating fundamentals. You must accept this or go do something else.” Because I refuse to bow down to this, I aim this treatise directly at you. I think that the circumstances necessitate a broader discussion about the geopolitical long term strategy of the Western civilization . The way the balance of powers is currently shifting, the West-European and East-European peoples may very well have dire need of each other in the future.
Let us hope that all of this dies down quietly and that we can avert a larger conflict between East and West. We will then be able to concentrate on the greater challenge: the geopolitical decay of the European peoples and the rise of new powers.
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 “Above all, we should acknowledge that the collapse of the Soviet Union was a major geopolitical disaster of the century. As for the Russian nation, it became a genuine drama. Tens of millions of our co-citizens and compatriots found themselves outside Russian territory. Moreover, the epidemic of disintegration infected Russia itself.” — Vladimir Putin in his Annual Address to the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, April 25, 2005.
 Here I refer to a larger gradual process, symptoms of which include: trials against military personnel, the return of Islamic symbols within Turkey’s culture of state, imprisoning of secular lawyers, inciting speeches by Erdogan about integration to Turks living abroad, the sentence against Fazıl Say for his tweets about Islam.
 Initially, many in the U.S. wished to intervene in the Syrian civil war on behalf of the rebels. Russia, however, suggested the destruction of any chemical weapons owned by the regime of Assad. The U.S. accepted and a larger intervention in the conflict by the U.S. was thus prevented. For more information, see: Karen DeYoung, “How the United States, Russia arrived at deal on Syria’s chemical weapons“, The Washington Post, 16.09.2013.
 “Initially, the Netherlands and Australia had contemplated sending an armed mission to secure the wreckage of the Malaysian airliner and retrieve human remains that have not yet been recovered. But Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte called off the idea of an armed mission after a ceasefire negotiated with the rebels around the crash site fell through.” — Spencer Kimball, “International mission to secure MH17 site fraught with risks“, The Transatlantic Observer, 28.07.2014.
 “Gut möglich, dass in zehn Jahren – Staatsschulden und demografischer Wandel grüßen – wieder vom kranken Mann Europas die Rede ist. Deutschland wird aber bis 2050 mehr als 1/4 seiner Bevölkerung verlieren.” — Felix Seidler, “Hegemon auf Zeit: Deutschland braucht eine Geostrategie“, Seidler’s Sicherheitspolitik, 14.06.2013.
 “Folglich wird Deutschland eine Kultur geostrategischen Denkens entwickeln müssen, will es langfristig Erfolg haben und Europa erfolgreich machen. Wir brauchen einen nationalen geostrategischen Konsens. Das heißt: Welche Räume sind uns wichtig? Zu welchem Grad? Welche Mittel wollen wir wo und wie einsetzen? Von den politischen Parteien darf man dabei leider nichts erwarten; vllt. mit Ausnahme von kleinen Teilen der Union. Außen- und Sicherheitspolitik bleibt ein Karrierekiller. Strategisches Denken lernt man in der Parteipolitik nur im Hinblick auf Karriereplanung, nicht in internationalen Fragen.” — Felix Seidler, “Hegemon auf Zeit: Deutschland braucht eine Geostrategie“, Seidler’s Sicherheitspolitik, 14.06.2013.