By David Murrin | 16 November 2015
David Murrin is the author of Breaking the Code of History, the culmination of decades of personal research across a wide range of disciplines. David compellingly argues that human behaviour is not random, but determined by specific, quantifiable and predictable patterns fuelled by our need to survive and prosper. He has called this cycle The Five Stages of Empire, which due to its fractal nature is applicable to empires, all the way down to the cycle of the individual. According to David, to resolve the issues confronting us today we cannot merely study the past. The human race will need to understand this precise algorithm of behaviour that has caused us to re-enact the same destructive cycles in ever-greater magnitudes, in order to change our future.
Invasion by demographics
Part I: The clash of super empires
Immigration is a very emotive topic within European society and as such I feel it is perhaps best understood objectively using the dynamic social principals of the five stages of the empire model.
By applying this methodology, we create a big picture view of Europe and the Middle East. We have on the one side Europe, which has to be viewed as the old Super Western Christian Empire, which has been in a legacy state since 1945. During this period, it has managed to exist due to the nuclear umbrella of NATO whilst simultaneously trying to reinvent itself through the formation of the EU. To achieve this, Europe has been created through an unnatural regional formation, rather than through the natural process of demographic expansion and agglomeration that is the historical norm (reference to other blogs of the topic, e.g., Europe post a Greek deal and 11 Predictions for the next 10 years: Part II The European project will fracture and break up).
Consequently, Europe is very vulnerable to external forces. To be blunt, it is half pregnant, a union without political unity and the demographics required to create the economic success that then draws the constituent nations together in a common cause. Thus, when challenged by an external event, the risk is that it will in all probability behave according to its constituent national interests creating the political forces that could potentially fracture the union. The immigration crisis is one such external challenge to the EU that has manifested from the process of Middle East expansion.
However, one should not focus on just the symptoms, but rather the underlying cause. In this case, it is quite clear that the Super Islamic Empire is on the rise, bonded by the Islamic meme that allows it to spread far beyond the land of the Arabs. The common thread is that the Islamic nations of the world have all simultaneously undergone a massive demographic expansion that is consistent with regionalisation. Thus, the wars in the Middle East and across the region should all be viewed as a civil war that defines the very nature of the region’s future leadership. ISIL certainly have that vision and are extending their power outside the Middle East, having created a local state power base. Like in every similar phase of empire, regional civil wars militarise the society within which they are fought and prepare the dominant party for military expansion once the war is complete. However, in this case, ISIL have started early, partly to gain what they think is the high ground in their leadership challenge and partly because the West is deeply opposed to their existence and hence, they seek revenge to polarise further local support in their favour.
Thus, we are now seeing a historical pattern of an old, wealthy, once powerful empire in legacy, that has become complacent on its borders and defence. Conversely, it faces a young expansive, aggressive rising power on its doorstep. The Romans succumbed to such a threat and were washed away in the West. Later, the Ottoman Empire suffered the same fate at the hands of the Christian powers. So the question has to be: What will Europe do to change this pattern? The one thing that Europeans should be clear about is that placing its head in the sand is not an option as it will not save it from recurrent attacks like in Paris. The underlying cause of the massive demographic expansion in the Middle East one way or another will continue to apply enormous pressure to the EU. The best outcome we can aim towards is the removal of the direct threat from ISIL or the organisation that might follow it, and at the same time help to shape the Middle East into a region that shares similar democratic values as Europe. However, we must not underestimate how difficult such a path will be and that Islamic democracy will not necessarily look like Western democracy for many, many decades.
Meanwhile, the limited integrity of the EU’s external borders and to-date weak internal border controls between its constituent nations has made the EU a porous system. This combined with the forced migration of refugees from the Middle Eastern war zone has created a humanitarian and political crisis that seems to become worse day by day. So what are the short- and long-term challenges? In part II we will look at the short-term challenges ahead.
Part II: The short-term challenge to Europe
The immediate challenge for Europe has been caused by the relentless flow of refugees that initially presented itself as a humanitarian disaster which Europe quite rightly tried to respond to as best as it was able. However, cloaked behind the immediate horrendous human suffering are conditions that will inevitably allow the ingress of trained Islamic militants whose increasing numbers will flood our security protocols and inevitably lead to the risk of more Paris-like attacks. In that regard once more the English Channel will prove to be a great British asset in natural border protection. As the French security services have found to their cost, they cannot monitor and track some 10,000 suspects. A situation that we have to believe will only become worse with time.
The only real solution is to go to the source and engage the twin issues of Syria and ISIL in the country with the maximum resources at our disposal, both politically and militarily. However, this will require a dramatic shift in the European mindset. During the cold war, although the leading European powers were reliant on US power to ensure that Nato had defensive credibility, they maintained relatively powerful armed forces and the political determination to use them. Then, after 1990 the immediate threat of invasion by the USSR receded and European nations not only reduced their defence expenditure, but politically became overconfident and dangerously complacent in their security planning relying on America as the global policeman. However, over the past eight years under the Obama administration, America has been withdrawing from its global role as policeman and yet the EU has failed to respond by taking greater responsibility for its defence and regional foreign policy. The exception to this has been France’s intervention in Mali and France and Britain’s involvement with Libya, where they were both instrumental in the removal of Gadaffi, but like America they completely failed in supporting the transition to a stable new leadership. These half-hearted interventions are more damaging than not engaging at all, and it is vital that Europe learns to manifest decisive and committed action which will inevitably mean deploying significant ground forces. Our current half-hearted attempts at destroying ISIL have only inflamed the enemy and not eradicated it as we would have been capable of doing if we had put our hearts to the task. After all, the collective resources of a European/American alliance could easily eradicate the ISIL and reoccupy the land as a first step to reducing them from a state to a resistance movement.
For Europe to survive the array of challenges now facing it in the world of a declining America, it must take a leaf out of Japan’s playbook, who has responded to the projected weakening of American power by stepping up to the plate themselves in every aspect of regional power projection, in an attempt to compensate.
Meanwhile, its seems that inevitably Europe will be forced to close its borders to the flow of migrants and for its security forces to be expanded and to remain in a perpetual state of vigilance at a time when we have to content with both Russian and Chinese ambitions. However, the two silver linings might be if Europe and America could mend its differences in the face of the common threat provided by ISIL. In this picture, the game is making Russia an ally and so remove a clear and present threat, and more importantly draw them away from the growing alliance with China back into the European fold. An opportunity that Western diplomats should not miss, especially with Russia’s economy in such a poor state.
Secondly, if Europe is ever to overcome its internal differences it is most likely to do so in the face of a common threat that causes it to unite for common purposes. One can only hope that this is such an occasion, though we should not hold our breath.
In part III we will look at the demographic long-term challenge from within.
Part III: The long-term demographic challenge from within
The long-term challenge from immigration is the occupation from within. The remnants of the old Super Western Christian Empire in the form of the EU now has a very low birth rate. Opening its borders to the refugees and immigrants from a younger Middle Eastern ascending Super Empire with expansive demographics will inevitably lead to a power shift within Europe. Furthermore, without the essential energy provided by expanding demographics, the European system is just not competitive globally, and without economic success, it cannot generate a desire within the new Islamic immigrant population to integrate with the European values. Instead, there is a significant risk that they will remain apart and disenfranchised within the social fabric and over time grow significantly larger as a population until one day they will be the dominant demographic within a democratic system, which will mean they will inevitably hold the reins of power.
Looking at America as an example, during its initial 19th-century expansion through immigration, America benefited from colonisation from Europe as the immigrants became Americans first and at the same time they came from a culture in their European homelands that expounded similar values. In essence, they all came from the same Super Western Christian Empire with a common Christian meme. However, the current immigration situation in Europe is not dissimilar to the rise of the black and Hispanic electorates in America who, once they had reached a critical percentage of the population, were key in the support for Obama and his presidency, casting aside the old white power base. However, the difference is that both the blacks and Hispanics share common religious values through Christianity, which bound all parties in common beliefs and spiritual grounds.
In the case of the Islamic migration into Europe that derives from the Middle Eastern Super Empire, it seems very unlikely that the immigrants will integrate successfully with the older less dynamic remnants of the Eastern Christian Empire and as such, this will lead to ongoing and prolonged social conflicts within the European societies. The only way this situation might be mitigated is if the underlying European economy were growing rapidly, allowing the new immigrants to start at the bottom of the employment ladder and to gain through hard work wealth and standing. This process was apparent in the mass migration to America where immigrants, who were industrious, became wealthy and cornerstones of the expanding society.
The future is fraught with hazard. With the limited prospects for European indigenous population growth and a policy that continues to open its doors to refugees from the Middle East, Europe risks long-term social changes and disenfranchisement of the indigenous populations in the decades ahead and most worryingly, will move away from our much valued vision of a diverse, yet integrated, secular, democratic and tolerant society.
There seems to be only few potential remedies to this situation. The first is the creation of increased levels of national identity and definition of the values of citizenship. These for example would include secularism, tolerance, fairness and democracy. Whilst all citizens should be expected to expound these core principals, immigrants especially would have to embrace these values and continue to adhere to them. The idea that Sharia law should have any validity within a nation, should not be tolerated at any level.
Furthermore, the assimilation process of new immigrants should be expected to take at least two generations and as such the process of immigration growth must be gradual to allow for this process to prevent quantum changes to the underlying national culture.
Meanwhile, the only long-term potential remedy to this situation and the economic malaise is for the European states to both close its doors to immigration and instead expand its population organically. The only way to begin to catalyse this would be to provide powerful social and financial incentives for families to have three and four children. Encouraging a rapid demographic expansion would create the natural conditions that drive regionalisation and provide a natural demographic immunity to the long-term challenges facing Europe. However, such a strategy would require a strategic vision, that sadly seems absent to European leadership today, and the courage to mount a campaign to address this extremely sensitive political issue.
Reprinted with permission from the author.
David Murrin, a former oil company geologist, has spent the past 25 years in the world of financial markets. He is CEO of London-based Emergent Asset Management, a company he co-founded in 1997. Emergent’s investments are driven by David’s views as outlined in his book Breaking the Code of History, which focuses on his theory of historical cycles. He speaks widely on the topics of his book, appearing regularly as a keynote speaker on television and company boards. We would encourage people to join his site at www.davidmurrin.co.uk/blog as there are many articles which are outside our remit.
David Murrin – Trailer
David Murrin – ‘Breaking the code of history’ Part 1
David Murrin – ‘Breaking the code of history’ Part 2
David Murrin – ‘Breaking the code of history’ Part 3
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