Thursday, 10 February 2011

Resource-free environments don’t moderate as they age

Many political scientists have tended to think of Europe’s population as likely to become more politically moderate as it ages because they believe that Europeans with a median age of fifty or more will possess more knowledge and insight which could counter the tendency to take up such extreme views.

However, the way in which the working classes of Greece in particular have responded to the current financial crises seems to indicate that, as Time is showing here, in fact Europe’s population, although its median age has increased since the 1950s from twenty-five to forty, has not moderated politically at all.

Time in this issue shows that in traditional socialist and anarchist hotbeds of Italy, Spain and Greece, violence by groups describing themselves as “far left” or “anarchist” (in the traditional, syndicalist sense) has risen by forty-three percent. although these groups do not have clear policies, they are at war with government cuts and wish for the wealthy of these nations to have to pay for the economic costs they have created. They are also angry in many cases at the way Italy, Spain and especially Greece have joined the European Union and believe that they should be much more independent of that group. Political scientists also say that the small new European generation is nonetheless activist in tone and urban guerillas (don’t confuse this word with “gorilla”!) are becoming increasingly frequent.

What this comes down to is the fact that Europe, as a result of the devaluing of its one natural resource - its young and uniquely (in geological terms) fertile soils - due to the opening up of the geologically normal soils of Australia and Africa for extensive farming means that its population is left without a single valuable resource to base its economy on. The result is extremely intense competition for the production of technologically advanced goods, and a situation where competition for the few goods these countries are at least disadvantage in producing (tourism, electronics) becomes very intense. Although the resulting poor conditions at the beginning of the devaluation of their soil resources is generally though to be the source of the working class militancy for which these countries are known, the fact that it is continuing and looks likely to continue must make one look seriously at why these nations look to take not from those nations with a monopoly on industrial resources (of course very, very difficult without a global direct democracy) or see the benefits of a less selfish and materialistic society.

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