Julius Caesar famously said that Gaul was divided into three parts, for a territory covering then most of France and Belgium today. Were he to visit us in our century, Caesar would find that even flyspecks are now divided into an infinite number of fiefdoms. The fake "capital" of Europe is one example. It has not one mayor, like Washington DC, Berlin, Vienna, or The Hague. It has not two, nor ten: it has no less than nineteen mayors, all complete with "Cabinet Directors", if not even "Chiefs of Protocol" or "Directors of Foreign Relations".
They all play would-be international statesmen, without any of the qualities which the job would require. They all "twin" their decrepit boroughs with exotic places, preferably with sunny beaches, five-stars hotels and easy flight connections. Nineteen potentates of micro-communes are thus busy touring the world as if they had anything to say, and as if anyone would take them seriously. Indeed, in the waiting room of the mayors of Senegal or Rwanda, one can be sure to meet one of the 19 Brussels' mayors, twiddling his thumbs, while one of his many compadres vainly tries to be taken seriously by his African "twin".
While their 19 mayors make themselves pathetic buffoons on the world stage, the inhabitants of Brussels have plunged far into Dante's hell. It is today more anarchic than a Brazilian favela, poorer than a Congolese shantytown, dirtier than a Cairo dump, and more dangerous than the gangsters' fiefdoms of Ciudad Juarez. Its infrastructure is literally crumbling down. Nightlife has vanished. Reputed restaurants close their doors one after the other, letting smelly Turkish, African or Arab fast food joints occupy the space. It is not a "hellhole", like President Trump recently said: it is Hell itself.
Not that 19 mayors of the 19 boroughs of Hell come for the price of one. For their combined salaries only, they siphon off together 2 million euros a year, for a job that the single mayors of The Hague, Vienna or Berlin do far better, and for a quarter of a million. The manna of 2 million a year is only for the mayors themselves. Besides their "chiefs of protocol", they also entertain one thousand counsellors ("échevins"). Naturally, the entire circus needs to be coiffed by a "parliament", a "government", a "federation", and a multitude of institutions created for the sole purpose of draining their victims' wallets. New York, for its 8 million inhabitants, has 150 counsellors. If the officials of the Big Apple would be as predatory and corrupted as the ones in Brussels, and if we kept the proportion (Brussels has 1,1 million), the New Yorkers would have to fork out the salaries and assorted perks of ... eight thousand counsellors! The municipal meetings could not even be held in the Radio City Music Hall, too small for the venue!
Theft is not limited to salaries. The Brussels water company is nothing but a fat cash-cow for the public purse (and for the private purses of party stalwarts). It needs 100 "directors", all without any competences in engineering, management, accounting, or even law. By comparison, Washington Water has 10 directors, all with degrees or experience in matters closely related with water distribution. Needless to say, Belgian incompetence and corruption translates into poor service and predatory prices: water can cost more than three times the Washington price, and Brussels delivers only a third of the volume of its DC counterpart; for a similar number of connections. Brussels extortions and contortions are all in the name of a fake "social" justice: an Arab family of four will pay less than its single neighbour: the Company has invented "personal quotas" and "solidarity tariffs".
The problem begins thus with the piling up of "elected" officials. In reality, in the absurd country that Belgium has morphed into, "elected" means "co-opted by party-comrades" to occupy fancy but useless jobs in public or semi-public outfits, and extract from the public more than what the public can afford. The beneficiaries do not even attempt to hide their theft. The mayor of "Brussels-central" gave himself and his paramour salaries bigger than the one allocated to the President of the United States. For each one of the pair. And for "managing" an assistance programme to the poor, invented by them, and duplicating existing institutions in each of the 19 fiefdoms.
Elections do not serve any more purpose than a Venetian mask: pretty, even showy, but useless, and thrown in the garbage after the carnival. For the last ten years, the spoils did not go to the winners, but to the losers. With 589 days (a world record!) without government after elections in 2010, an agreement was finally concluded by the parties who had ... lost the largest number of voters.
Elections we have nonetheless. Voting is even ... mandatory. With a "logical" consequence. "Logical" meaning "absurd" in Belgian politics, the penalty is... the withdrawal of the right to vote! Voting is thus not a right, but an obligation, under the penalty of law and the threat of sanctions. The country has invented what an indigenous journalist has termed, admirably, and without realizing the absurdity of his statement: "the mandatory right to vote"!
This sets the scene for the next disaster, extending far beyond Belgium: the mutation of the entire city into a giant Molenbeek. The next "communes" contaminated by the pest cultivated in Molenbeek will be, in all probability, the ones adjacent to the commune. Molenbeek is now known the world over for the pandemics of Islam (radical or not), huge unemployment (up to 60% amongst young "Belgians" of foreign origins, mostly from failed states), dismal educational scores in international rankings, and crime (organised or not). In reality, Molenbeek has left Belgium long ago, in the sense that it feels more like Ramallah than Bruges. It "celebrates" Islamist massacres as victories over the miscreants, and terrorists as "freedom fighters". Cars are burned in the streets and shops looted, after each soccer match.
The current mayor has attempted to clean up the chaos left by her predecessor. She has received the support, and is under the supervision, of the federal government, a première in a discombobulated country. The previous mayor, a scheming socialist, had closed both eyes to the deliquescence while he stayed in power for several mandates. Not only was he looking the other way for electoral purposes, touring the mosques, courting the imams, offering useless public jobs to a cohort of Arabs without qualifications or even the desire to work. Most of the Molenbek terrorists who murdered and maimed innocent passers-by in Brussels, Paris, and other places, had received public "support" of one kind or another. "Social" housing, subsidized utilities, public sinecures in the administration, aid to the "creation of enterprises". The brother of three of authors of the Paris slaughters had a job in the "communal" bureaucracy. He later masterminded a hold-up of the same administration. The parents of that wonderful family lived in subsidized housing owned by the commune.
The former Molenbeekian mayor had allowed the peril to grow for lowly pecuniary motives: mayors' salaries are related to the number of inhabitants. Under that rule, invented by the beneficiaries themselves for their own profit, Molenbeek grew to become a favela of 100.000 people. After the world's spotlight revealed the commune as a nest of terrorism, Molenbeek is now supervised by the "federal" authorities. Under that supervision, the commune has ejected thousands of illegal residents. Naturally, an "order to leave the territory" may only mean that the persons concerned will seek refuges in their communities established in France or elsewhere. Many were "registering" only to extract from Belgium various social perks, while living in what all Moslems call "their country". They soon will reappear, and claim resources in another European country.
Kicking an anthill does not suffice. The result is even worse than the situation before the kick. After a wave of "controls" in Molenbeek, the surrounding communes have seen their Arab population surge rapidly. With the consequences one could have expected. Replacement of grocery stores by "halal" franchises, controlled (and taxed) by the imams, is only one aspect. Shops which still flourished not long ago, but are not part of the Moslem way of life, have totally disappeared. Not long ago, in my immediate surroundings, I had access to no less than six newspapers stores. The last one of the six has closed, after an attack (with an hammer...) of the owner. The attackers were, according to the language now mandatory, young from milieus "défavorisés" or "difficult".
Bakeries, clothes' shops, interior decorators, dry cleaners have all closed, and so have restaurants and flower shops, leaving in their wake fruit stalls, or decaying buildings and boarded façades. To mask the misery, public funding (the last cents extorted by the impoverished taxpayers who have not yet fled) have been lavished on the creation of enterprises by the new population. Needless to say, bureaucrats choosing the beneficiaries of their largesse are less attentive to the use of taxpayer's money than to the exact duration of their union-negotiated coffee pause. In 2011, in Liège, a decaying socialist slum in eastern Belgium, a lone killer gunned down 7 innocent passers-by and wounded more than 100 persons on a Christmas market. All that carnage was made possible by automatic weapons and grenades acquired with public funds obtained for "enterprise-creation". The terrorist's other occupation, a quasi professional production of marijuana, was also made possible by public funding reserved for entrepreneurs from milieus "défavorisés".
If the money wasted on "enterprise creation" remains modest, the growing expenses to offer "free" education is far more substantial. "Communes" surrounding the powder keg of Molenbeek have been forced to extort ever more money from aging retirees to pay for frenetically erecting schools in every available corner of their territory. There are hardly any children of Belgian extraction, culture or language(s) in these new schools (and in the old ones). The Belgians who are still young enough to have children have to pay twice. First, to educate Africans in third-world schools, for which taxes are extorted. And second, to plead with the last remaining private schools, to have their own children admitted in the few surviving enclaves of European education.
The pressure wil continue to mount until the Apocalypse. After shops and schools, the new population uses all means to push existing residents out of their home. All houses put on the market are bought by Arabs. But the market (and the exasperating longevity of the true Belgians) does not respond fast enough to the pressure of invaders. Life-expectancy on one side collides with fertility on the other. Intimidation, and even force, must accelerate the "cleaning" process.
After complaining of an Arab child banging for hours on my wall with a football, his parents did not teach him the civilised manners of the Occident, but the brutal customs of the uneducated Maghreb. His mother encouraged him to hit more and more, screamed and yelled that it was her country as well as mine (a common mantra of newcomers from Africa) and his father shouted threateningly that he will buy my "barrack", when I sell it, out of despair and fear.
"Small brooks make great rivers", as the saying goes. In Flemish, a "brook" is a "beek". Once joined, all the Molenbeeks in Brussels will make "rivers of blood", to use the title of a famous - and prescient- 1968 speech by Enoch Powell. In the middle of the carnage, politicians do not care: as long as they can loot the Belgians, and delay for another election the day of reckoning, the politicians will divide the spoils, regardless of voters' opinions and anger.
Before drafting his project of Constitution, James Madison carefully studied all major constitutional arrangements, in the Antiquity or in force at the time of his analysis. Amongst all of the fundamental laws he reviewed, he choose what was then called "The Etats-Belgique" as a counter-example. The Treaty governing the "Etats-belgique" at that time was exactly what was to be avoided. And that is why the US Constitution is still alive today, and Belgium is a failed state. Thomas Jefferson famously condemned Belgium to failure even before it was invented as an "Etat-tampon" by the British, who were eager, after Waterloo, to avoid all further Napoleonic pilfering, murder and destructions. Jefferson correctly identified the cause of the Belgian failure: he wrote that the various components of the "Etats-Belgique" will never vote in the general interest of the whole. In fact, in Belgium, there is no "whole".
And that is why the country is an interesting testing ground for a complete renewal, redirecting, and reconstructing of Europe. The continent has erred far from its single objective of its founding in 1957 ("the constant improvement of the living and working conditions of their peoples"). The comparison with most countries in Asia, South America, and, of course, the United States, shows the slow decay of these "living and working" conditions since the turn of the century. And, to hide the disaster, the officials and politicians have chosen the usual tactics: divert the attention from their failures. They have imposed an objective totally absent from the Treaty creating European institutions. They now extend their mandates not to "their" peoples, but to "all" peoples, welcoming massively the victims of other failed states. It is far easier to treat the symptoms (immigration) than to resolve once and for all the causes (corruption, incompetence, autocracy, etc..) in the countries of origin. Just as it was easier for the Roman Emperors in the fourth century AD to surrender to the barbarians, and to allow then into the Empire than to fight the invaders, or extend the rule of law to the barbarian territories.
Answers found to revert the decay and decomposition of Europe, and its flooding by uncontrollable and growing waves of migrants may come too late, and find no proper structures to implement them. Failing an answer, specks with flimsy historical claims to self-determination will push to hasten the destruction. Catalonia, Scotland and, of course, the Flanders are all candidates to give a try at "independence". A bit like Icarus, trying to fly too high, too close to the sun, just to see his wings melt, and crash into the sea.
Answers and solutions will not be local, or national, but collective. Unfortunately, Europe does not rise to the challenge. Perhaps eurocrats are too busy issuing rules on the curves of bananas or pocketing fines on monopolies, real and imagined. Or perhaps are they mesmerized by the tsunami threatening to destroy Europe and its civilization.
Unfortunately, reasons to hope are few. Europe is a cacophony, compared with the force of persuasion (or the threats) of the United States, China, or Russia. In a foreign country, the voice of America, through a single ambassador, or a presidential morning tweet from Washington, will be heard, loud and clear. The voices of 28 ambassadors, or ministers, or even presidents, contradicting each other and the bureaucratic Hydra of Brussels, make Europe totally powerless, ridiculous, and irrelevant.
Europe has always been weak, spineless and even cowardly. In Jefferson's time, the gang chiefs of what was then known as "The Barbary coast" (Algeria, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia) had two sources of revenue. The first was piracy. They captured merchant vessels, demanded ransoms, and, if not paid, sold crews and passengers as slaves. The second source was the amounts paid on a regular basis by the weak states of Europe, to obtain "free" passage, and avoid capture, a sort of "flat ransom". Jefferson would have none of it. Despite his aversion for "standing armies", he created the first "Navy", and sent the ships with the mission to blast the pirates' nests (Tripoli, Algiers, etc) out of existence. Piracy and extortion ceased.
Where is that courage today? Where is the European Jefferson? And how long will the Europeans pay the price for the cowardice of their governments and the paralysis of Europe, in the face of a mortal threat?