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Europe's place in the world

Category: Europe (page 1 of 7)

The Decline & Fall of Western Art

The Last Day of Pompeii - Karl Briullov. The painting is depicted on the cover of the book.

Becoming Disillusioned with Art

Many children, myself included, become disinterested in art during their time in high school. I recall my teacher being ecstatic about a new work done by Damien Hirst – he had implanted a skull with diamonds and it had sold for millions. The urinal made by Duchamp was praised, and when pupils in the classroom raised their hands to ask questions about this supposed work of art, the teacher’s reply was a mere ‘Who are we to deny that this is art?’

On a school trip we visited two different museums, one was the Stedelijk Museum, focused on modern art, and one was the Rijksmuseum, which hosts classics such as Rembrandt’s ‘The Nightwatch’. The modern art museum had a room full of drawings of penises, as a temporary exhibition. In the Rijksmuseum, I came face to face with many works carefully created by the many painters active during the Dutch ‘Golden Age’. I realized I did like some art, simply not the modern art that was pushed on me by my teacher.

The Decline & Fall of Western Art

All of this happened many years ago, but last week I read a book by Brendan M.P. Heard, called ‘The Decline & Fall of Western Art’. From the start, the book was more gripping than any art class in school had ever been, and for a very obvious reason. Heard is not content with the current status quo in art, where modern art reigns supreme, and he goes into great depth in explaining why.

From the start, Heard looks back in time, towards the start of Western civilization. He discusses the ancient statues, the Platonic forms that gave an ideal to strive towards, unattainable as it may be. Beauty is not random, but adheres to strict rules – it takes training and practice before anyone becomes able to create a true piece of art. A stark contrast to today’s belief that anything can be art (even some splattered paint), and it is all in the eye of the beholder and the feelings it triggers.

We are taken through a historical timeline of how art develops, up to the point of modernism. According to Heard modernism and post-modernism are really the same, and the terminological difference was only created to make it sound as if art was still moving in a certain direction instead of stagnant. The real modernism is about abstract expressionism, and Art Nouveau and Art Deco should not be included under that same name.

People have lost touch with modern art, it has become detached from society. Many tourists still visit Florence every year, to see the beautiful buildings and take a picture of the magnificent Duomo. Nobody takes joy in seeing the bland modern architecture, which is an extension of modern art.

The Western World is Dying

Heard is clearly passionate about this loss, and sees the lack of beauty in art as either a cause or a symptom for a falling Western society. The latter part of the book focuses on the lack of vigor in the Western world. If the lack of real art is the cause, then how can it be healed? Heard dives into a traditionalist way of thinking, what is it that we lost along the way that we need to bring back to see a return to standards of beauty in art?

Perhaps, I would say, such rigorous intervention and backwards vision is not a necessity. The international world of art is controlled by a small clique, and the only people that express their contentment towards it are pretentious high school art teachers – and the pupils they manage to indoctrinate. Most normal people still recognize beauty, and while people briskly move through the aisles of the modern art museum, the Nightwatch has a constant crowd admiring the skill that was required to paint it.

I don’t believe that our society has lost its sense of beauty. I believe that this group that pushes modern art onto the masses, with every chance it gets, needs to be broken and their influence reduced. A good start would be to make this book mandatory reading for all art classes – a first line of defense to keep our minds sane, and above all, to keep our appreciation of what art really is.

The Demographic Changes of Belgium

The downfall of Icarus

The downfall of Icarus, his wings melted as he came too close to the sun. A reminder that we must know our limits.


Belgium is best known for its waffles and for hosting the capital of the European Union. The capital, Brussels, hosts both the national as well as the European government. It is an odd country due to it consisting of two distinctive parts. The northern region, Flanders, and the southern region, Wallonia. In the north, it is bordered by the Netherlands. In the south, it is bordered by France. And in the east is Germany.

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Get Used To It: White Majority Disappears in Melting Pot Europe

The blended future of Europe

The blended future of Europe

Get Used To It

This is the title of an article published in a Dutch national newspaper. The article discusses the demographic shift with Eric Kauffmann. He published a book titled ‘Whiteshift’, on the demographic change that Europe is facing.

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The Demographic Wave Flooding the Netherlands

The Milkmaid, by Vermeer

The Milkmaid, by Vermeer

The Netherlands, a Demographic Wave

A small country in north-western Europe, the Netherlands officially gained its independence in 1648. It is a country that gained its identity by its constant battle against the sea, and it is a battle they have won. Now, the Netherlands face a brand new challenge. Waves of migrants are flooding the country, but a debate on the consequences is rare. As in the rest of the West, migration started after the last world war. Temporary labour migrants came to fill the jobs ”the Dutch did not want to do”. These Turkish and Moroccan migrants turned out to be permanent rather than temporary. Quite the opposite to leaving happened – they brought over their families. Adding onto this first wave of migrants were those from the old colonies.

The Dutch have their own colonial guilt, having had colonies in Suriname, Indonesia and several island in the Caribbean. They did have other colonies, but those were taken over by the English, such as New York and South Africa. To go back to our point – migrants from these old colonies of course came to live in the Netherlands. The same has happened in the United Kingdom and France.

Now, they are experiencing their third wave of migrants. The odd combination of refugees as well as Africans that will supposedly fund the pensions and fill the gap left by low fertility rates. What will the future hold for this country?

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The US Withdrawal and Upcoming Power Vacuum

The United States of America, an isolated state

The United States of America, an isolated state

The United States – Rise to a Global Power

Since the end of World War II, the world has known two powers. The United States and the Soviet Union. Since the 1990’s only the United States was left. People started to argue and philosophize how long this monopoly on power would hold. The US has been policing the world for decades, they have truly been a global power.

Geographically, the US is positioned perfectly for isolationism. Unsurprisingly, this is exactly what the USA did initially. With reluctance it joined the first World War, only to attempt to withdraw after the war finished – they never joined the League of Nations. Their global role only took hold when they opposed the Soviet Union for dominance after the second World War.

A desire for oil, that most important industrial commodity, has kept them interested in the rest of the world. But that might change.

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How Good is the EU for Eastern Europe?

Orpheus and Eurydice - Can the EU lead Eastern Europe out of darkness?

Orpheus and Eurydice – Can the EU lead Eastern Europe out of darkness?

The End of Communism – a New Era

Several decades ago, Eastern Europe was covered by communism. Until suddenly, communism ended. Factories, mines and land, formerly owned by the state, were sold to those with the closest ties to power. Of course there was corruption, it was not a smooth transition. It probably never is a smooth transition from communism to a free market.

The point here is that their economies were in shambles. For decades, entrepreneurship did not exist. The institutions supporting a free market did not exist. Nonetheless, in due time the economy will grow and it will change. However…

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United Kingdom – The Vanishing White Briton

The Great Britain that accomplished so much is vanishing

The Great Britain that accomplished so much is vanishing

The Empire Where the Sun Never Sets

The United Kingdom, once it held the seat of a global empire. The union of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern-Ireland was a multicultural union in its own right. Regardless, most of of the Irish remained in Ireland. Most of the Welsh remained in Wales, and most of the Scottish remained in Scotland. England was by far a majority of English people.

All elements of the union thus kept their distinct cultures, and even today Scotland has a different feel to it than England. This is changing though. Parts of England no longer feel very English at all. It is a trend that started after World War II and has only become more apparent in recent years.

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Russian Population Replacement in the Ukraine – Holodomor

Ukraine, empty fields. Holodomor and population replacement.

Ukraine, empty fields

The Rise of the Soviet Union

In 1917, in the middle of the First World War, the Soviets seized control of Russia. They killed Czar Nicolas, as well as the rest of his family, and started the communist revolution. We may know that communism does not work, that the economic system is a failure, and that the cars in communist Russia were horrible. Yet, there is a part of history far worse than that. The Holodomor.

In the 1930’s the Soviets committed genocide. They tried to eradicate the Ukrainian people, so that they could replace them by ethnic Russians. The event would become known as the Holodomor. It is another instance where a government tries to change the ethnic make up of a country in order to increase its control. The strategy is similar to what the Chinese are doing in Tibet, but what the Soviets did was far more cruel.

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