Welfarism is the motor of Western Europe’s decline

The obsession with social security, writes Dalrymple,

has created rigid social and economic systems that are extremely resistant to change.

The fixation on state handouts

is in turn connected with a fear of the future: for the future has brought catastrophe and relative decline for more than a century.

A vicious circle

What is it that Western Europeans fear?

An open economy holds out more threat to them than promise: they believe that the outside world will bring them not trade and wealth, but unemployment and a loss of comfort. They are inclined to retire into their shell and succumb to protectionist temptation, internally with regard to the job market and externally with regard to other nations. The more those other nations advance, the more necessary does protection seem to them.

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