Caplan bets Europe will survive

Bryan Caplan has bet $300 that Europe, and every state of Europe, will survive to 2020. I don’t make these kind of bets, because outcomes tend to be ill defined. What constitutes surviving? But I expect that around 2040, people will look back to around 2020, and say that some substantial portion of Europe, fell back then.

The nation state derives its cohesion from the nation, and the nation is not a patch of land but a people, united by something – perhaps an ideology of governance, economics, and law, but more commonly race and culture, or religion, or some such.

Nation means, still today means, a mutually supporting group of people, not a territory – a people united by culture, or by language dialect, or by race, or by ideology, or religion, or some such. Jews are a nation, Israel a nation state, Kurds are a nation, but Kurdistan is not (yet) a nation state. Iraq is a state, but evidently not yet a nation.

If a state is united by race or religion, the nation state has a disturbing tendency to commit mass murder. Even before the rise of the nation state, even back in the days when nations seldom corresponded to states, the nation was an important and vital part of Europe’s history, leading to lots of disturbingly efficient slaughter – and not just the easy slaughter of disarmed obedient sheeple that we saw so much of during the twentieth century, but the highly successful mass slaughter of armed and united peoples.

Thus a nation state inherently derives its cohesion, its strength, its military prowess from what is now called ethnocentrism, or racism, or bigotry, or ignorant superstition or capitalism/imperialism/exploitation etc.

The transnational progressives are attempting to use the power of the state to suppress that which gives the state cohesion, sawing off the branch on which they stand.

And because they have in substantial part succeeded, Europe suffers from extraordinary military weakness. Europe could not defeat the Serbs, could not defeat the Taliban. The British could not hold the most crucial oil port in the world against Sadr’s forces.

Hence the inclination on the right to predict the collapse of the EU or some of its component states. The prediction seems absurd. The states of Europe have police, tanks, bombers and an immense budget, whereas the various threats to their existence are tiny and have nothing much – but the threats have internal cohesion, and the states of Europe do not.

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28 Responses to “Caplan bets Europe will survive”

  1. Europeans in 2040 will look back to 2015 as the beginning of the end. First, Houllebecq’s Submission was published in 2015. Second, the fall of the

    The basic idea of the Schengen Treaty used to be that if internal borders become non-existent, external borders have to be guarded that much stronger, because if a shipment of contraband crosses the external border, there is nothing else to stop it. And the same with people. It was understood nobody wants undocumented illegal immigrants roaming randomly around. Cross the external border, either your papers are in order, or you have to fill an asylum request right there, stay in that country until the case is decided, if caught somewhere else, get sent back to that country, and so on. The key point was fingerprinting and registration right at crossing the EU border. Not some time later.

    When people arrive into a harbor or airport, it is easy enough to register them right here. What happens when they cross a land border on foot in large numbers? The only way to fulfill the regulation is to build a fence with a bunch of gates in it, and people coming through the gates get registered. So that was what Orban did. Just the obvious way to uphold the DR.

    And the EU elites instead of applauding it, were shitting bricks. Mainly because the whole thing looked too harsh and inhumane. Lots of criticism of the “a fence is no solution” type. What is the solution for upholding the DR then, to chase down randomly roaming migrants with fingerprint kits and registration forms? The point is, they obviously did not want to uphold the DR. It was not politically correct anymore.

    So that was a big change. Not quite in essence – there have been enormous amounts of third-worlders living in Europe anyway. But at least up that point there was the pretense that they are legals, because immigration is controlled. In 2015 the EU elites have informally formally given up the idea that borders are to be controlled.

    Controlling borders is an essential aspect of sovereignty. The EU was understood as nations kind of pooling their sovereignty and exercising it collectively. This isn’t in itself an entirely crazy idea, like, when Italy was unified, former states like the Grand Duchy of Florence were pooling their sovereignty. Same thing with the 13 US states. Multinational empires are a valid form of statehood, albeit they require emperors, not bureaucrats. When exercised collectively, the sovereignty can be argued to still exist. When the EU has given up on exercising it in 2015 and tried their best stopping member states from taking it back and exercising it, something essential was indeed lost.

  2. Oliver Cromwell says:

    The tags are somehow more interesting than the post, which is not uninteresting:

    “Tags: america alone, fall of europe, nation, nation state, nationalism, state”

    Perhaps today one would write:

    “Tags: europe alone, fall of america, nation, nation state…”

    What was missed?

  3. jim says:

    If people feel that they are a nation, they are a nation.

    The problem is that the Cathedral is nervous about nationalism, so discourages it, especially among near.

    So no one feels they are a nation.

    For nationalism, need a state church that celebrates national identity. Need to manufacture the feeling of being a nation. We have the reverse.

    Europeans don’t think they have fallen, and anyone would say that Caplan has won his bet. I would say Caplan has won his bet.

    But I think that in 2040 or so, we will have a different concept of what it means for a state to fall, because we will have seen many falls recognized only in retrospect, and in 2040, historians will be less inclined to say that Caplan has won his bet. Large areas of the states of Europe have fallen out of state control.

    • Oscar_Cc says:

      Looks like that, yes. I am from the north of Spain, but learnt Catalan on my own, just out of curiosity.

      The TL;DR for the whole conflict is that both sides are right and have valid arguments. Both sides underscore the historical events that interest them and further cement their case.

      [If by chance you want to know more I can send you some trustworthy stuff in English. Small repay for your advice :)]

      French author Guillaume Durocher paints a quite grim but plausible picture here for the European South:

      A fellow left-wing friend of mine usually says that the fact that Spain underperforms economically is good to some degree, since it means less immigrants.

      • jim says:

        > The TL;DR for the whole conflict is that both sides are right and have valid arguments. Both sides underscore the historical events that interest them and further cement their case.

        No they don’t

        The commie analysis rests on several big big lies: Labor as value or the source of value, reification of economic classes, history as conflict between economic classes, and capitalism as recent. Capitalism goes all the way back to at least the fall of Bronze age civilization, and probably all the way back to the end of the Y chromosome bottleneck. Marxists know that Marxist economics is a lie, and it is a lie they tell because they intend to enslave the proletariat. They hate the proletariat.

        The commie analysis of the conflict within Lutheranism projects upon the participants a class consciousness that they patently failed to share. It is deceptive and manipulative, a lie told with the intent to harm the readers, by getting them to outgroup their friends and ingroup their enemies. The essence of communism is encapsulated by Trotsky’s claim to be a peasant, when he was an urban Jewish failed moneylender who pissed away his capital, and after he pronounced himself a fellow peasant, murdering his fellow peasants. Communism is lies told to enemies to get them to ingroup the communist so that he can murder them. Communists have murdered over a hundred million, and nearly everyone that they murdered, they told “Hail friend and ally, let us join together against the evil rightists/landlords/capitalists/Wall Street.

        Nazis kill their enemies, commies kill their friends.

        Wake up! They have murdered over a hundred million, and if they get a chance they will murder you. Everything a commie says about anything carries a payload of lies intended to get the reader to ingroup his enemies who intend to enslave or kill the reader. Commies hate, commies enslave, commies kill, and the communism is an idea system intended to manipulate you into ingrouping your enemies and outgrouping your friends. The reason the article you linked to was out of contact with reality is that it was weighed down by that payload of manipulative lies. Trotsky told the peasant he was a fellow peasant, he was their friend, and the peasant with two cows was the enemy of the peasant with one cow. The peasant with two cows had supposedly been given those cows by Wall Street, and supposedly was a minion of Wall Street. Then Trotsky killed the cows of the peasant with two cows, then he killed the cow of the peasant with one cow, then he killed the peasant.

        Any time you read anything commie, notice that what they are saying makes you their friend and ally, or presupposes that you are their friend and ally and be mindful that they have killed well over a hundred million of those that are supposedly their friends and allies. Any time you read anything by a commie, you need to ask yourself “How does this help him get into a position where he can flay me with red hot irons?”, just as when you read an advertisement, you ask yourself “How does this help him get me to give him money?”

        The Marxist analysis of the connection between Lutheranism and Nazism had much truth in it, but the truth was distorted by a payload of lies intended to get you enslaved, impoverished, isolated, alone, and very likely dead, just as when a salesman talks to a client, everything he says has payload in it to make a sale. But since the salesman’s product is likely to be actually useful to the client, the salesman needs to rely on lies and false framing less. Everything a communist says is loaded down by a salespitch intended to destroy the reader, so necessarily has less connection to reality.

        • Tom Hart says:

          Oscar_Cc agrees with the neo-reactionary position. If he didn’t, he wouldn’t be talking to you; he’d have had reaction formation that screamed: “Nazi”, and he’d be long gone. He keeps talking to you because he admires you and he’s hungry for more truth; however, he still has a social module in his mind that tells him these views are low status to hold in public. To resolve the cognitive dissonance, he’s engaged in a faux critique. This allows him to engage with what he knows to be true while still being a “good” person. This is not cynical, he just wants to maintain his long-established self-conceptualisation as a good person and not get thrown out of the tribe to starve for being deviant–the consequence evolution formed him to avoid.

          • jim says:

            His tribe is not going to give him a home with a woman in it. And it is not going to allow him to act in ways that will get him a woman or allow him to keep her. Sucks to be a member of his tribe, because his tribe is run by people who hate their own tribe and hate themselves and each other.

          • Oscar_Cc says:

            Intriguing analysis, I am somewhat flattered. I simply look for truth, no holds barred.

            What I still don’t see is how NRx could impose itself without a massive disruptive event leading to a Mad Max of sorts.

            Somebody like Putin could enact it, but I doubt Trump can.

            • jim says:

              > What I still don’t see is how NRx could impose itself without a massive disruptive event leading to a Mad Max of sorts.

              So, yes, this is an Orwellian moment. It’s not a moment of reform but of a revolutionary break, sustained in part by much of the liberal Establishment.”

              The left gets ever lefter, ever faster. It has been getting ever lefter, ever faster for two centuries. Straightforward extrapolation is infinite leftism in finite time, which is how holiness spirals usually go. There is your massive disruptive event looming. The time approaches.

              If Biden is elected, there will be a democidal purge, starting with television show trials and forced confessions, while he sleeps in the Oval Office and his rapidly accelerating Alzheimer takes away what remains of his power of speech. Trump and his family will have to flee the country, or be arrested and eventually executed, soon followed by very large numbers of other people

              If Trump is elected, or the election is postponed, something like that is still going to happen, and Trump is going to have to do something about it, or die.

              If Trump takes power, we tell him: “Your state religion is hostile. You need a new state religion.”

              If Trump fails, we wait for a Stalin or a Napoleon will eventually take power. We tell him (from a safe distance) “You cannot stabilize leftism. If you stop a shark from swimming, it will die, as Soviet Communism died when Stalin stabilized it. You need a new state religion.” If Stalin does not listen, which he probably will not, we wait for a Putin or a Charles the Second.

              • Eli says:

                It is becoming ever more clear that Trump won’t take the power. He is looking more and more like a tired old man. It is good that he still has some stamina and his wits about him, but he is not the man to become Sulla/Caesar/Cromwell/Stalin/Napoleon. Further, I’d draw the line: if he doesn’t take power by the end of this year, he will not take power, ever.

                • jim says:

                  Tired or not, he is going to have to take power or die. The tide of history has him in its grasp.

                  The prospect of being hanged wonderfully concentrates your mind. I was much impressed that he saw yet another Maidan Massacre coming, and had countersnipers in place to stop it. If he saw the next Maidan Massacre coming, he sees what I see.

                  Perhaps he seems tired when campaigning because he knows that this election, voting is unlikely to effect the outcome. Who counts is going to matter far more than what is counted.

        • Oscar_Cc says:

          Oh, I meant that both sides were “right” in the Spanish-Catalan conflict. That both the preservation of Spain as it is or the secession of Catalonia can be justified with historical or political arguments.

          Sorry if my writing implied otherwise.

          However, since you argued about Marxism, I would not call myself a Marxist, I just think the materialistic approach to world history makes more sense to me.

          Anyways I still have to read lots of neoreaction. I will keep your warning into account.

          • jim says:

            I would be interested to see you reply to

            While hating the rich, like hating “pedophiles” is a holy sacrament, you just don’t see anyone get very upset about Trump’s flying palace with gold plated toilets.

            The wealthy are resented for power and status, not wealth. People want their stuff, but are not angry about their stuff. People are not bothered by his gold plated flying toilets, because they already have a toilet. They feel it is appropriate for men with power to have nice stuff. They resent capitalists having stuff because capitalists are powerless, not because capitalists are powerful. People with priestly status resent the status, rather than the wealth, of people with business status.

            • Oscar_Cc says:

              Ah yes sorry, I missed that answer of yours in the other post.

              I just don’t know what to make of the virgin question.

              Personally I have never cared about getting a virgin girlfriend, and I have paid for sex with pros without the fact that they have slept with hundreds of guys bothering me in the least (as long as they had no STDs). I have never got this type of schizophrenia so common between men of calling girls ‘sluts’ while desiring those same sluts with a passion.

              On the other hand, I also don’t buy feminist delusions about girls’ partner count being “irrelevant”. It makes perfect sense that if you have had multiple partners you might tend to compare you current one with past ones. The woman I slept with for a couple of months this year could not stop talking about her ex, she was obviously still not over him. My mom did not have other boyfriends other than my dad and I never feared a separation. It is anecdotal, but that has been my experience.

              Another important thing: I also have always felt attracted by horny/trashy bimbos like Courtney Stodden rather than submissive Asian girls or wholesome plain janes like many others are in the manosphere…

              It is probably porn-induced, which I think is one of the worst effects it does have: it presents you with the hottest, fittest and most fertile females in existance, your brain gets used to it, and then disappointment ensues when you can not get that IRL.

              So many males are unhappy because of porn/media and not being able to get the sex that you supposedly deserve. Sexual frustation would be way more tolerable before mass media I think.

              Therefore, for your “virgins-for-productive-men” plan to work, you need to ban porn or even romantic cinema. I recall reading a while ago that hypergamy started its rise the moment country girls starting going to the movies and seeing Clark Gable there, and then comparing it to their not-so-handsome husbands.

              • jim says:

                That is both an indicator that you are depressed because defeated, and a cause of your sense of defeat.

                A rotating collection of sluts is big improvement over beating off to porn, but it is pretty sad and self destructive.

                What is best in life is to own a women (and also bang a few unowned women). Well actually what is better is to own several women, but that is hard to manage.

                Roosh Vorek eventually realized this, but came to the wrong conclusion. He went purple pilled tradcuck. Wrong.

                Heartiste is great, and everyone should read him from beginning to end, for he speaks the truth, unlike his master, Satan. But he reluctantly and sadly accepts defect/defect equilibrium “watching the decline from poolside”.

                For the lucky and the brave there is a better solution, and even though I am not really qualified to post on game, I am going to post another game post.

                Watch this spot. Game post coming up!

              • Tom Hart says:

                “Personally I have never cared about getting a virgin girlfriend…”

                I asked a girlfriend how many guys she had slept with; “36,” she replied. Not being as straightforward as I am now, I was polite and maintained a non-committal attitude; but inside a little voice went “ugck” and my heart sank. I split up with her about four months later. That wasn’t the conscious reason, but it was ticking away in the subconscious.

                With another girl I asked, a little later, she gave a reply in the mid-20s and then looked a little sad and said, “Unfortunately.” I asked why and she said, “It’s slutty.” Tried to be reassuring, didn’t really work.

                Men and women care about the count. Men are actually better at rationalising and not caring than women, the real slut shamers are women—shame is a female ethical response to a situation. In the olden days, it was spinster aunts and grandmothers who policed younger women; they reported what the young harlots had been doing back to the fathers—the policing is still going on, in a dysfunctional way. So it’s women who care most about the count (and sabotage each other with it); men also care, but less passionately (because sometimes just glad to get laid, overlook it)—and so men come up with foolish statements about it, possibly thinking it’s the kind or noble thing to do.

                Saying you don’t really care about the count is mainly just because that is the polite thing people do; nobody believes that in private, if they trust you or they’re drunk they don’t talk like that. Saying you don’t care about the count is also made out to be high status in most media and fictional portrayals of relationships; so people say it doesn’t matter in order to look high status and sophisticated.

                You pay too much attention to the media and not enough to your own feelings, thoughts, and experience.

                • Anonymous 2 says:

                  I do care about the count and would have preferred to marry a virgin. Too difficult, alas, for all the reasons we know.

                  I would never marry a girl with a high N — greater than … 10? or 5 if I’m honest — nor (personal quirk?) a girl who had been the girlfriend or been screwed by one of my friends. Black flag, immediate disqualification.

                • jim says:

                  The problem always is: Has she fucked someone more manly than you. In which case she is not going to let go of him. And you cannot ask, of course, since that would betray that you doubted that you were the manliest man in all creation, under God.

                  You are always performing for her, but you can never let her know.

                • Interestingly, it never occured to me to ask that number. I mean, the first time in my life I even heard about that women know that number (they remember what they did when drunk? I certainly don’t! ) and men sometimes ask it when I have read about it on Reddit around more than a decade ago and I was already like 30-35 back then. Nobody ever in my corner of Europe talked about that.

                  It does not mean I was okay or my friends were okay with sluts, it just means I was judging women to be sluts or not simply by how they dressed. And everybody was doing the same. Well, not only just dressed, but looked. More make-up = more slutty. Dyed hair, especially blonde = even more likely.

                  It is hard to tell whether this was rational or not. Everybody did this here. I suppose in a place where people are fashion-conscious and put a lot of effort into signalling something with their clothes, this might be somewhat rational. Short but not tight skirts showing legs were moderate slut signs, tight skirts or hot pants showing ass were a strong slut sign, but the strongest slut sign was wearing the kind of tops their tits were almost popping out of. Every man in my circles would have been ashamed to be seen with a girl like that.

                • Oscar_Cc says:

                  Perhaps you are right, although I consume little mainstream media and have not done so for years.

                  It might also have to do with my personality, which is highly transactional, “do ut des” type, in which sex is a sort of service or reciprocal activity. A higher T friend of mine says he is curious about hookers but the fact they are public women is off-putting to him.

                  My point is, if the sexual marketplace was balanced in terms of male and female libidos and male inceldom did not exist, I think I would be ok hooking up with girls regardless of their n-count. Kinda like gay men I suppose, with some caution about STDs.

                  While painfully aware of the detrimental social consequences of sluttiness for years now, I don’t think sluttiness is a sin in itself .

                  That might be the key element in telling apart the real reactionary from the instrumental one.

                  Just like some white nationalists want to preserve whites for their own sake, while others merely out of eugenic/civilizational reasons.

                  I forgot to mention it before, but a psychologist I visited run some tests on me and said that I had a schizoid personality disorder:


                  He went as far as to say that I was a textbook example of it. To be honest, I do recognize myself in a lot of those traits. Psychology is of course a very soft science, so I am not that obsessed with the label.

                • jim says:

                  Sex is not a reciprocal activity. Men conquer, woman surrender, but men perform and woman choose. I am preparing a post on game, that you might find useful.

                  You are not familiar with the mating dance, for it has not been accurately depicted in media since the sixties. (Though it is still accurately depicted in Communist Chinese media, but the Chinese are too alien, too different.)

                  If you don’t perform the mating dance correctly, will get nowhere fast. The dance is complimentary but asymmetric.

                  Women want to be commanded, want to serve, want to surrender, want to be valuable to a strong man, want to make him a sandwich, want to bear him children and warm his bed. But they want a strong man, preferably in a strong tribe, and their perception of strength is primitive compared to that of males. And they will never stop testing you for strength.

            • Oscar_Cc says:

              Regarding housing projects, they are hard to avoid if you adopt a Christian traditionalist moral in which large families are encouraged.

              I say this because Francoist Spain did also built a lot of hideous project housing blocks, for example these ones near Barcelona:


              You would have to institute a policy forcing people to stay in the countryside. One of the tragic failures of Francoism was precisely its hastening of the demise of the old rural Castile, which had been solidly loyal to the Nationalists.

              • jim says:


                Maybe you initially start building housing projects for a group because you love that group, but if you continue to build housing projects after things go the way they always do go, it means you hate that group and intend to eliminate them by destroying their capability to reproduce.

          • jim says:

            There is nothing materialistic about the Marxist approach to world history. It is Jewish eschatology transliterated to this world, with “History” replacing the Jewish God, and the vanguard of the proletariat replacing the Jewish people.

            Further it is flagrantly false to the material facts of history. Feudalism ended in the fourteen hundreds or so, as stability and law and order under the Norman feudalism restored the money economy (capitalism, though not corporate capitalism, thrived under the stable feudalism of the Norman conquest) which led to warriors being paid in money, rather than in land, ending feudalism. Aristocratic power, however, did not end till 1860 or so. Kings continued to rule until 1820 in England, and in most of Europe until World War I. They assassinated the Arch Duke and murdered the Czar, not the president.

            We have always had capitalism, except that during frequent periods of feudal anarchy property rights were too insecure to permit substantial merchant class wealth. Corporate capitalism became wealthy and powerful immediately after King Charles the second took power in 1660, and promptly gave the East India Company the power to make war and peace in distant lands. Feudalism ended long before industrialization, Aristocracy long after. Until 1860 or so the successful industrialist hoped that if he played his cards right, he could buy a manor in the countryside and marry his eldest daughter into the aristocracy.

          • Dave says:

            Oscar, many believe that the Spanish Anarchists represented a viable third way between Communism and Capitalism, a myth that is thoroughly debunked here:


  4. Oscar_Cc says:

    Well, Caplan won in the end. I pretty much agree with your analysis here. Just out of curiosity, are the Catalans and the Basques nations to you?

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