Uncertainties surround the origin and even the ambit of Europe.
Greek mythology wants Europe to be the daughter of Agemone, King of Phoenicia, who was abducted by Zeus who – for that purpose – turned into a white bull. Minos, King of Crete, would have been born from their marriage.
From a geographical point of view, the rather few references at that time of early Greece refer to it as the land of the northern side of Mediterranean, without a clear definition of its boundaries.
Europe belongs to the Euro Asian continent, but in spite of that it is generally considered an autonomous continent for cultural and geopolitical reasons.
The theatre of many immortal civilizations, Europe has also been the theatre of big wars through the centuries.
From the Roman conquests to the Barbarian invasions, from the Eastern Roman Empire to the Ottoman invasions of Europe, from the Frankish Kingdom to the Austrian Hungarian Empire, from the Arab invasion of Spain and Sicily to the strategies of the Byzantine empire, from the siege of Malta to the battle of Lepanto, from the Spanish hegemony to Napoleon’s exploits and then to the last two World Wars.
From Alexander the Great’s empire down to Marco Polo’s exploits and to the commercial empire of Venice with the East, one arrives at the discovery of America.
From the commercial point of view, the decline of Europe may have started from the results of Christopher Columbus’s discovery which slowly but definitely moved the trade and financial center to the United States.
In spite of this downgrade from a business point of view, Europe kept a leadership from the cultural point of view not only because of its inheritance of a glorious past, but also and mainly because of the deepness and brilliance of its thinking, even if since the Nineteenth Century it had no more a nearly exclusive position in this area.
From the end of the second World War, Central and Western Europe ceased to be a military power. One might say that it has avoided a military invasion thanks to the more or less cold war between the United States and Russia, a power which has been European only from some, but not from all, points of view.
Europe has then placed itself under the military protection of the United States, participating through the OTAN to the shield against Russia.
Europeans must have realized by then that Europe had lost the leadership from a military and a business point of view. However, the general feeling seems to have been that from a cultural point of view, as well as to the level of life, it was ahead of nearly all the other countries.
A feeling which does not allow to protect freedom.
History is unfortunately rich in examples of a country which had been subjugated by a less “civilized” one.
The Barbarian invasions, the fall of the Eastern Roman empire, the conquest of Greece by the Turks, are bitter confirmations of this effect.
It then seems natural to wonder whether Europe –not protected by what more than a European Union is a Disunited Union – only kept together by the advantages of a common market, is facing a serious risk of being – soon or later – militarily occupied by someone else.
In spite of all that, the high well-being of which Europe still benefits on the whole compared to various surrounding countries (and which is causing its pacific invasion by thousands of people from such other countries) has made a large majority of its citizens be dominated by materialism and selfishness rather than European feelings.
The technical and now information technology revolution and the lowering of standards of society have replaced spiritual values and the spirit of service.
In order to be very active, one needs to believe in something, since it is this belief which will push him/her to take action.
Honestly the impression is that it is not easy to find in what the great majority of Europeans and Europe now believe, except from their well-being.
The chaotic rhythm and the lack of spiritual yearning seem to have produced the result that a much too large share of the Europeans is absorbed by day to day life and does not realize that, not only from a military and business point of view, but now also from a spiritual and cultural point of view, the decline of Europe has reached a very high level.
If a military defeat does not appear – for the time being – at the door, a major collapse may indeed occur from some major point of view.
From caput mundi at the times of Rome and later also for Europe, Europe is now quickly becoming a consumers’ market led from outside from many points of view. One may then – with deep regret – have to accept that Europe has surrendered from a spiritual point of view.