Saturday, June 25, 2016


Remember Francis Fukuyama's "The End of History and the Last Man", (1992)?
The accumulative force of events then led to the prominence of the American model idea, which swept away any other alternative. It felt as if history had run its course. Globalization ruled under the stewardship of international watchdogs controlled by the US. The EU and the Asian "tigers" were then the indispensable partners pulling the "uniformity" forward.

The Utopia worked for awhile. Russia was promised a lot but ended up having to swallow broken promises. The greed overcame politeness. The " US hubris" ruled until the second Iraq war, which became the burial ground for the pax Americana.

The Iraq debacle metastasized and the so-called new world order crumbled under the weight of the rubble. America came to be seen as another dysfunctional power.  Europe always needed an American steward. Since the model is being questioned now, the US leverage is diminished. Hence Obama, liked in the UK, could nevertheless no longer weigh in on the Brexit debate. The short-lived uni-polar world has become definitively multi-polar again.

The Leave vote will have serious consequences, both in the United Kingdom and at large. The survival of the UK in its present form is shaky, at least. Populism is staining Europe's fundamentals, rebuilt after World War II. The Bretton Woods machinery is under pressure. The Helsinki Agreement might as well be forgotten since Putin is the master undertaker!  Nationalism and provincialism might  expand. A "free for all ", in the UK and on the continent, is coming home to roost.
In the United States, a hybrid is now considered a possible presidential candidate! It remains to be seen if he can benefit from the overall anti-establishment tailwinds which prevail today.

The Brexit saga will be considered a historic watershed. When a former major country chooses to be a small island again, folklore and nativist tendencies might  well prevail over enlightenment. We all know from history where this may lead.
Nevertheless, self-confidence should not be that fundamentally shaken. Where are the statesmen and diplomats with creativity and vision? The bad situation should not be allowed to become worse because of some other lazy bureaucratic comatose mindset.

The West must regroup and choose leaders who are inspirational. The "impasse" both in the US and in Europe has to be reigned in. A sober assessment of the added value of free trade, global markets and managed immigration must be conveyed by leaders other than Mr. Juncker and his sad  lot. This is the time for firefighters if we do not want to give the arsonists a free pass.

No comments:

Post a Comment