Sun Tzu's strategy is all about positioning for the future. It is largely a matter of understand how one position leads naturally to the next. Peter Drucker, the guru of modern management, said that there are two ways of perfectly predicting the future. First, you can forecast based upon the natural progress of time. For example, without knowing anything about you, dear reader, I can predict you will be a year older on March 1st, 2006. The second way of predicting the future is a little more tricky. It requires knowing what you can do and then doing it. For example, I can absolutely predict that there will be a sentence after this because I plan to write it. See? I was write. I knew I could do it and I did. Sun Tzu's strategy is about using both types of prediction correctly to pick the right path to the future.
This brings us to Europe. I can predict, with certainty, that Europeans are getting older. They are reproducing a below replacement rates for their populations. Since much of their welfare states system are built on the assumption(like our Social Security system) that there will be more workers in the future than there are today, those systems are doomed. Their demographic timebomb is something like the reverse of Malthusian predictions of an overpopulated future.
What can Europeans do to prevent this? They can't stop aging. They seem unlikely to start having more babies. Instead, they will have to change their social system. France has already started doing this, abandoning the 35-hour work week
that was suppose to solve their unemployment problem. Europe has made themselves into a laboratory testing socialist ideas to see if they really work. So far, it seems pretty clear that these theories do not work.
For example, we have a basic contradiction of a contracting labor supply and high unemployment rates. How can we explain record levels of German unemployment
despite the fact that their populations are shrinking? Negative economic growth is part of the explanation, but social services that encourage long-term unemployment and discourage new businesses are the real problem. But there is also an influx of workers into Europe from surrounding poorer regions. The fact is that child poverty is rising
in Germany. The fct is that despite high unemployment rates, Europeans are important record numbers of workers from the Muslim world to do the jobs that young people always do in society.
Will they integrate these immigrants into their Western culture? Europe's problem here is their philosophical positions. The European elites are postmodern to the core and choose not to recognize the core values that has led to the success of the West in general. If only because the epitome of those values is America. Instead, they--like American college campuses, will embrace "diversity" and watch their society slide into chaos. These Western values are based largely on Christianity, which all postmoderns abhor. However, strategically nothing never beats something. The fact that Europeans elites choose to believe nothing basically disarms them in dealing with Muslim fundamentlism.
Europe has a long tradition of getting into deep trouble, destroying itself, and then rebuilding itself from the ashes. It doesn't usually recognize the error of its ways until it is too late. In the past, their preferred form of destruction was war. Now, they seem to be choosing social anarchy.
It sometimes seems like Europe only exists to provide a good example for the rest of the world about what NOT to do. Countries that emulate Europe's social systems (as Japan did during WWII) always regret it. Eastern Europe will reject Western Europe's creeping socialism and bureaucracy, having had enough of the real thing to recognize it for what it is. Without a foundation of shared philosophy, the concept of a "united" Europe is a myth. Reducing trade barriers will work for awhile, but the difference between the free economies in the region and the socialistic ones will begin to tell. People will vote with their feet if they are given the freedom to do so.