Tag Archives: Europe

Reflections On The French Elections

Writing between the first and second rounds of the French presidential elections, some comment on the performance of Marine Le Pen and the FN are in order. Although the FN is running its strongest candidate ever, Le Pen has somewhat underperformed the polls in the first round and seems destined to lose in the second round. Although it would seem to be a contrast between with Brexit and the election of Trump, it is actually not so – for a reason. Le Pen, like Trump, has already sidelined the traditional right and left from the election. The establishment has already thrown all its eggs into one candidate, Macron, whose presidency is doomed to fail. It has become clear who the real opposition is.

It is in June’s legislative elections that the establishment parties will be more divided and the FN’s breakthrough will truly be, a breakthrough that will have the power to stand in the way of Macron’s agenda. After the failure of Macron will be the time for the FN to truly rise.

Brexit – The First Crack In The Edifice

June 23, 2016 will be a day that will go down in history as the day when the downfall of of the post WWII liberal order in the Western world was set in motion.  The departure of Britain from the EU will the first domino in the fall of liberal internationalism as the fall of the Berlin Wall began the fall of the Soviet system, even if in this case the process may take longer.  Britain may have seemed an unlikely place for it all to begin, but nevertheless that is where it happened, and the damage has occurred in a particularly sensitive spot.

Britain’s history as the country that successfully colonized North America and defeated its rivals gave it a link to the New World that other European countries don’t have.  Indeed, it was Britain’s former colonies that would later form the United States.  This fact is well known, but it provides some background for position Britain plays in world politics today.  After the dissolution of the British Empire, that role was largely as a mediation between the US and Western Europe, and later the between the US and the EU.  Britain was in the unique position of sharing a common historical connection to both America and continental Europe.  By helping to keep the liberal internationalists on both sides of the Atlantic on roughly the same page, Britain continued to play a role that was disproportionate to her size.

Britain’s withdrawal from the EU significantly damages that link.  In effect, it threatens to cut the forces of global liberalism in two.  Rather than increasing US influence in Europe, it will actually reduce it.  A house divided against itself ultimately will not stand.  This is not only good news for people, wherever they may be, who are unhappy about the way the US is influencing world politics, but also Americans who are unhappy with the direction they have seen their county move in recent years.  It weakens the powers that be in Washington, and focuses the spotlight on their failures at home.  The New World Order, which hasn’t won a major victory since the fall of South Africa, is now receding.  The wheels of history grind slow but exceedingly fine.  They a turning a different way now.

Syrian Fallout

For the past three months, Europe, particularly Germany, has been inundated with immigration, from a number of places, but most of it purporting to be fleeing from the civil war in Syria.  Third World immigration to Europe has been going on for decades, but it is now that the limits of immigration policy are being put to the test.

The history of this type of immigration has clearly shown to Europe that the world’s people are not interchangeable, that this type of foreign migration means foreign colonies forming on European soil.  We have already seen, looking at the Middle East, the type of societies they created.  Few Europeans of any political persuasion prefer that to the culture they live in.  The crisis itself was brought about due to Washington’s idea that Arabs will become Westerners simply by imposing a Westen form of government on them.  The saw what happened to such a government when it was first put to the test.  In contrast, Russia is showing a more realistic approach in working with existing forces of stability.

It is a deadly time for Europe, as it threatens a demographic shift that will quite literally mean the death of Europe if it not stopped.  It means the replacement of Europeans with Arabs and Africans in their own countries.  Fortunately, we see some European governments, particulary those formerly on the east side of the Iron Curtain, moving to resist it.  There are few countries in Europe these days, east of west, where popular opposition to immigration hasn’t become a major force.  Every election they seem to get stronger.  The FN in France this month saw its support uo in the high twenties, and even in Germany, for the first time in post-war history, the CDU is facing challenge from a party on its right.

This type of ideological upheaval is certainly going to shake Europe to its core, and could well split apart the EU.  Schengen is for all practical purposes already dead.  Western Europe already seems to be experiencing its own 1989.  It is only a question of what will emerge when the dust clears.

Greece’s Default

On the first day of this month of July, the government of Greece allowed the deadline do pass on the payment of its EU debt.

This event opens the way for the Greece to be the first country to leave the Eurozone, which will open up the way for others, in particular the Mediterranean countries and possibly Ireland, to follow.  It may also influence the question of the UK’s possible withdrawal from the EU.

The imposition of a single currency across countries at different levels of economic development, as is the case between the northern and southern European countries, never made economic sense.  Likewise, the imposition of the massive superstate that is the EU across the European continent made little political sense.  What we could be witnessing here the first crack in the edifice that holds the EU together.

Who could have imagined, when the Berlin Wall came down and free travel was permitted between the two Germanys, that a political chain reaction would be set off that would lead to the collapse of the entire Soviet system within two years?  The EU serves as the mechanism to keep the nations of Europe in ideological subjection to modern liberalism just as the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact did for communism in the previous century.  Whether Greece’s exit from the Euro would bring the EU down as fast as the the fall of the Berlin wall brought down the Soviet Union, I cannot say.  Actually, it probably won’t.  It will, however the beginning of the end of the political order imposed on Europe in 1945, and open the door for genuine European sovereignty.

I’ll add a brief comment on the results of next Sunday’s referendum on whether Greece should accept the EU’s proposed bailout package.  The polls seem to show it will be very close…

Well Greece has rejected the austerity measures.  Either Greece is getting out of the Euro or the Euro is in for a world of hurt.  Possibly both.