For 300 years, Europeans crossed the Atlantic in search of freedom. By and large, they found what they were searching for, and they and their offspring prospered. In time, those offspring, calling themselves Americans, returned to Europe to fight two wars and endure a long, war-like standoff, to give that unhappy continent a chance at freedom. By and large, they achieved it: but their offspring seem unwilling to sustain this great achievement.
Europe is drifting gently toward unfreedom. This will not take place in any radical or violent form: totalitarian revolts are a young man’s game, requiring too much energy from the European Union’s graying and balding populations. If adolescence can be said to thrive there, it’s in the self-centered immaturity of aging Euro-Boomers in every aspect of life: the home, the workplace, the political forum.
Unfreedom, as De Tocqueville predicted, will come when Europeans surrender unconditionally to government as to a kind schoolmaster, which will regulate their behavior perfectly, according to some postmodern standard of infinite tolerance.
What of those Europeans who still crave freedom? If this article in The American Enterprise Online is correct, they will cross the Atlantic, and come to America. They resume an old trend, and remind us of our own beginnings; but they are also evidence that freedom, once won, must be battled for again in every generation. Indifference can destroy it as effectively as violence.