Historian Paul Johnson cites three reasons for Europe's current malaise and apparent decline. First are the resentments it harbors to the United States, second is its refusal to jettison socialist economic policies and the onerous welfare systems it has evolved, and third is its rejection of its own historic past.
Europe, Johnson writes, was essentially a creation of the marriage between Greco-Roman culture and Christianity. Brussels has, in effect, repudiated both. There was no mention of Europe's Christian origins in the ill-fated Constitution, and Europe's Strasbourg Parliament has insisted that a practicing Catholic cannot hold office as the EU Justice Commissioner. He goes on to say that:
Well, of course. Secular socialism fails everywhere it's tried. It offers its citizens no lofty purpose. It possesses nothing with which to inspire. It offers people no meaning, no rationale for shared sacrifice, no justification for striving for greatness. Indeed, it cannot even define what national greatness would consist in. Most of all it ignores a fundamental truth about human nature captured in a statement of Jesus (Mat. 4:4):
Secular socialism seeks to manage the masses of people like zookeepers manage animals in a zoo. Feed and shelter them and they'll remain docile, pliable, and live out their lives in relative passivity. But men are more than animals. Render achievement and individual greatness impossible, as socialism does, and you deaden the human spirit. Rip the spiritual out of a nation, as secularism does, and you may as well tear its heart out also. Bereft of an animating faith in transcendence, men have nothing left to make all their strivings worthwhile. They have nothing left to make their lives satisfying and purposeful. Nations filled with such men find their collective will to survive oozing out of them like blood from an open wound.