Fractus Europa by Peter Heather
English | 2020 | General Fiction/Classics | ePUB | 3.0 MB
TAKE A THRILL RIDE INTO THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW THROUGH A EUROPE FRACTURED BY SEISMIC CHANGE.
An American journalist in Moscow uncovers a startling twist in American/Russian relations. A health care administrator struggles to keep medical services afloat amid a crumbling NHS in post-Brexit England. A Ukrainian soldier struggles to reconcile his pre- and post-war identities.
This collection of short stories and beautifully rendered maps takes readers where academics and think tank philosophers dare not tread. Written by journalists and experts in regions with geopolitical unrest who have witnessed periods of great upheaval and threats both foreign and domestic, these fictionalized accounts depict the all-too-real failings of ideology and idealism in a Eurozone dystopia that has already arrived.
Edited by the late Eric C. Anderson, former US Intelligence officer and author of several thrillers including the more recent “New Caliphate” trilogy–Osiris, Anubis, and Horus and the cyber thriller Byte and co-edited by Adam Dunn, author of the “More” series–Rivers of Gold, The Big Dogs, and Saint Underground–the collection features works by Conrad Zielan, Constantine Bouchagiar, Preston Smith, Peter Galuszka, David J. Doesser, Daria Sapenko, Graham Thomas, Fergal Parkinson, Nick Eaden, and Peter Heather.
All of which explains why it is currently in so much trouble. The most discussed challenge to cohesion is immigration from Europe’s old imperial territories and beyond. This began as deliberate policy: to fill gaps in the post-war European labor market. That gap widened subsequently, because one direct effect of all the new health and pension spending since 1945 was to increase longevity and lower birth rates. As a result, European dependency ratios—the number of non-producers to workers—has skyrocketed, with migration filling the subsequent gap, sometimes in very specific ways. Most Western health care systems avoid the costs of training sufficient professionals by sucking in the already-trained from the developing world. Europe actually now depends on a flow of migration, but it has disrupted the cultural cohesion produced by the mass educational structures of the nation-state.
The current pushback against migration has still deeper roots, however, in a much more fundamental problem: deindustrialization. This gathered pace in the 1980s, in the Reagan-Thatcher era, when the liberalization of financial controls allowed Western corporations to outsource production to the developing world, where labor costs were much lower. This kept asset values and corporate revenues high, as well as, in the short term, reinvigorating governmental tax revenues to maintain and even increase levels of social spending in the 1990s. The European middle class remained gainfully employed managing and administering the new processes, but, as has now become clear, the working class was left behind and has become increasingly desperate, with social cohesion taking a huge hit. If a large portion of the European population is being offered an effective choice between working at McDonald’s or living on benefits, there is a serious problem—especially as benefit levels have been declining and, for one fundamental reason, are likely to face continued downward pressure.
For if certain Western interests initiated the shift of manufacturing, the developing world is increasingly taking over the process. The rise of China, India, and so many others cannot be easily reversed; America can’t just be made great again, because the fundamental building blocks of global wealth and power have shifted. Since the great crash of 2008, the West’s control of world GDP has slipped by a quarter (from 80 percent to 60 percent) and that trend will continue as developing economies continue to expand.