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Then they should be more favorable than the US to immigration of young people from at least somewhere to support them. And yet they are not. A puzzle.

We are trying to organize intellectual opposition to the current trend, but the only thing we receive as an answer is: 'what?! You hate the poor/the sick/the elderly/etc.'

I would say that sheer ideology is a bigger explanation than the hypothesis you created. (But that's just personal interpretation of the same relevant facts.)

Dare I say no Fox News?

Doesn't Greece have an outsized and heavily unionized "public sector," which might explain why there's not a move to create a tea party? Has there ever been a Greek follower (or equivalent) of Ron Paul?
Another post like this and #28 might vault into the top 20. Just in time for March madness.

Dan Hannan of the UK is involved with a Tea Party over there. Ironic, since the original "tea parties" involved the destruction of British property.

There is little understanding of economic ideas in Europe. I think that is the principle problem.

Europe (above all non-ex-Communist, continental Europe, a.k.a. "old Europe") just doesn't have that anti-statist strain in its political culture, which is much more communitarian than in the US.

The "inverse frontier" of immigration might yet change that, but those things take a long time.

The mindset/social norms (culture, political ideology, lack of understanding of basic economic principles, belief in the omnipotence of government, laziness &waiting for government handouts &privileges for certain groups (i.e. Greek protesters)) are the key factor behind this - not the demographics (which also matter but not as much).

Look at it this way too: the social welfare state crowds out both private and voluntary (NGO, charity, think-tanks) activity...

&Greece is 1 of the worst as they went through civil war &were romancing with communism (they DEMANDED communism, unlike eastern european states that had it imposed upon them).. PIGS (portugal, italy, greece, spain) as far as I'm concerned should not be bailed out but left to rot until they realize what must be done to turn their fate in the direction of less government and more freedom

I think that the way that history is taught at schools in each country influence the size of a liberty movement.
America's historical recount is always made from a libertarian point of view, the original Boston Tea Party, characters like Jefferson, Franklin, etc. On the other side most of other countries' history is taught as if the were defending government, and not fighting for free-markets, as if they really were.
(At least this is my theory for Argentina's lack of this kind of groups, not sure if it could be applied in Europe

Jonah -- you clearly haven't been in a classroom in decades.

Greg -- Or maybe I'm not American and my presumption was wrong. Maybe I should spend less time reading libertarian sites, and start reading more mainstream websites.

"Interestingly, though, in Greece, the protests are by current beneficiaries who do not want to see cuts"

As I said earlier I think the main problem is education in Economics.

It's worth mentioning also that anyone who is rich in Greece has probably got that way through corruption and nepotism. In some way I have sympathy with those protesting. It is a campaign by everyday welfare scroungers against high-class welfare scroungers. In a corrupt capitalist society socialism is an understandable reaction.

The same forces are at work in Ireland. The NAMA bailout scheme is a thinly disguised means by which the government are paying of their allies and financiers in the construction industry.

Jonah -- after I posted that it occurred to me that you might not be American ...

What my niece was taught in elementary school was that white people murdered every last "native American" -- at least that is what she was taught as she remembers it. And that is what she believed, until her grandmother informed my niece that actually there are "native Americans" still alive in America .. which rather surprised my niece, as she thought all native Americans had been killed.

As a Spaniard, I attribute the lack of anti-big-government protests in Europe to a difference in culture. While Americans still generally look back to an era of relatively small government and freedom, few Europeans have such a history to look back to or provide precedence. For example, Spain's history can really be traced as one long period of dictatorship (whether by a king, a "president", or an actual dictator; note, when I say "president" I am referring to the Second Republic, not Spain's modern democracy).

But, from my experience in Spain I think that there will be a surge in classical liberalism. For example, in Spain more and more people are becoming disgruntled, and while some are only looking for a change of party, many are looking to a reduction in government. It is becoming more and more obvious that big government is just not fiscally viable.

So, I hope that the European culture I refer to changes over the coming years, as the crisis of interventionism fully unravels itself.


I am surprised about your quite mechanistic argument. For instance, you say nothing about productivity growth. The cake can be bigger and taxes could be paid, even if population decreases. The case of the Greek crisis hints to the real problem of the Old World: we don't have to make more babys, but stop socializing Europe.

Maybe because Europeans dont have global empire and do not need "to support the troops".

More seriously, the political system is much more varied, most countries have 3+ parties in Parliament so voters have more (illusory) choice to switch to another policy.


I've been to Spain, I think it's a bit of a special case. Most of the other countries in Europe have had long periods without dictatorial rule.


I've seen several Americans claim that there is no tea party movement in Europe. I don't know where this information comes from, but I've personally been invited a few times to join the European tea party movement. I doubt it is anything big (at all); probably just a few libertarians trying to do what has been done here in the US. But it still makes the claim that there are no tea parties in Europe false.


Just a couple of quick replies.

1. I put forward one possible explanation for the (relative) lack of tea parties in Europe, but I hardly meant it to be exclusive. Most of the alternative hypotheses people have offered seem sensible to me.

2. It was actually as much a hypothesis about the make-up of the Tea Parties in the US as anything else. It would be interesting to see if they are disproportionately folks with larger families.

3. And yes, I realize there are tiny Tea Party movements in Europe, but my use of "no" was to suggest that they haven't made any sort of splash in the way the US ones have.

In response to the discussion of Greg and Jonah, I am an American graduate student whose entire education occurred in at least the last 15 years, so I can speak for the fact that I was not taught in school many of the intensely "progressive" historical views mentioned(though I knew of them from popular media), and that from a mix of public and private institutions.

I think the explanation for my education contrasted with that of Greg's niece is something that fits nicely with Prof. Horwitz's hypothesis: I grew up in rural, conservative, highly religious areas. Even then, I rebelled a bit in embracing libertarianism instead of the conservative philosophy handed me.

There's also, while purely anecdotal, the possibility that even if Tea Partiers are more likely to have kids, that's not a definite reason for their Tea Party beliefs, since it might simply be that conservatives are more likely to have children and grandchildren. As such, it could be their conservative belief structure that influences their decision to have a family and support the Tea Party, not their children that spur the other two-just a variable that would need to be addressed (if even possible), but this is interesting stuff.

Does not a "tea party" involve "socializing"?

Most people seem to be unaware of some of the causes of the economic crises that spurred the creation of the Tea Parties. It would be extremely helpful if there were discussion about these causes.



And since they love Sarah P., I guess that includes those death panels that she facebooked about supposedly coming with health care reform, donchaknow?

Jonathan - a neat irony that Spain gave us the word "liberal" - and two hundred years ago this month I believe!

Economic literacy (or rather lack thereof) is a big problem, I agree with Current.

Multi-party systems also make people feel they can probably get change through the ballot box.

Certainly compared with the UK, your US war of southern secession is still a living memory - and even if much watered down you still have proud state sovereignty traditions. Nothing much has happened to the UK for three hundred years - except limited devolution to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland but nothing even to the extent of the "autonomy" your states have even now.

In the UK at least our "cradle to grave" state of welfare has now been going for what, four generations. There is no concept that it might be in financial danger - we blame the politicos for mismanagement but not the system itself. This crisis has been firmly blamed on the banks and global capital.

As above - we are several generations ahead of you When I read things like "Our Enemy the State" and "The Man Versus The State" we can see this has been the pattern for a century. And both Spencer and Nock noted in their postscripts that they didn't expect their warnings to lead to change, until and unless the state became wholly all-encompassing and collapsed on itself.

You might say that our "tea party" moment was 1979 (without the tea, or the parties) but with the vote for a change in paradigm in the political sphere. That new, neo-liberal crony-capital paradigm is getting the blame and the reaction is the other way - back to a bigger state!

Depressing, depressing, depressing! But there is a real feeling that either this is not an epoch changing event or that any such thing is imminent.

Europeans are more educated than their American counterparts and most governments in Europe look out for the welfare of the majority instead of corporations and the wealthy. Europeans have been subjected to the horrors of war firsthand and consequently do not squander valuable resources on a bloated military establishment. The fact that a moronic bimbo like Sarah Palin can garner so much support indicates just how sad the American 'education system' is.

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