This phrase I have come across on a number of occassions. I first came across the phrase in this article in the Atlantic, by Charles Kupchan. I can’t remember now but I did come across the phrase again in another article, and now in this article in the Guardian, used in a different context.
Martin Jacques believes that the end of the west will come with the birth of Asia as the center of population, economy and power in the future. Kupchan used the phrase to talk about a future war between Europe and America, the results being the same as Jacques’ prediction.
President Chirac demonstrated how much Europe can matter when he stood up to the Americans over Iraq with a courage and foresight that helped to set clear limits to the exercise of US power. But it remains that Europe is – and will increasingly become – a secondary stage in world affairs, to be displaced by the US and east Asia, which, of course, above all means China.
He has a point. Europe’s population continues to decline, but I still think Kupchan’s scenario of a greater EU being strong enough to fight the US at least in a cold war is possible; leaving Asia pretty much to its own devices.
If not, Asia will still outstrip Europe anyway, especially India and China, in the future. But what can Europe do?
The taking in of Turkey is inevitable, their population is crucial to stabilising population, as are perhaps further former Soviet countries like the Ukraine, Belarus etc., but in the end the ancient Greeks/Athenians, I do believe, faced similar problems with declining population and never reached a solution, that was until they were invaded…