Europe on the cusp of crisis.
The United States has abrogated its 100 year role as the global arbiter and judge of freedom and democracy. The internet has brought ready social comparisons to the gaze of every cell phone – we know who is better off, healthier, happier and we can monitor every feeble tweet and phrase from every feeble politician. Unsurprisingly those suffering most are looking hardest for someone to blame, for culprits, a way to focus the bitterness and resentment they feel at their failures.
Europe is the epicentre of this.
Angela Merkel’s 2015 decision to take the pious moral high ground and welcome the hundreds of thousands of immigrants from North Africa now looks like the crass naivety it truly was. And it has polarised the already dangerous tinder box of extreme feeling in the Union.
Immigration is a long term challenge. It demands an equivalent long term strategic response. Short term fixes just do not cut it and every watcher knows this. Already the knock on implications of poverty, recessions, emerging bankruptcies and youth unemployment are evident as the harbingers of the European crisis.
In the coming months expect:
– an uptick in polarised and populist nationalism as in Hungary First, Italy First etc.
– an increase in national fragmentation and challenge to the rule of law – East European countries are already becoming more depotic, ante democratic and ante EU – just look at Hungary, Austria and Poland.
– increasing separatist activity and civil unrest. Watch the growth of AfD the right wing party in Eastern German elections this weekend, the move towards Scottish independence in the UK, and the tensions between north and south throughout the region.
– an erosion of traditional political, democratic and sustainable values and ways of doing things. Look no further than Britain, Brexit and the new Prime Minister there.
Europe matters. Its population (520 million) is far greater than ours in the US (320 million). It has suffered too much, too long from a century of death and destruction. It is steadily decomposing and will continue to do so unless and until a new leadership is discovered, and someone holds out a helping and steadying hand.
Sell Europe and have a good day, James