"The tectonic plates of the Western world have started to slip, and many people have been slow to realize the potential consequences. After the UK’s Brexit referendum, we now know better.”
This year and the next, Western voters will be voting to make decisions that could fundamentally change Western civilization as we know it. One, for example, has already occurred: Brexit. Meanwhile, Donald Trump and Marine Le Pen could very well win their countries’ respective presidential elections. A year ago, this would have seemed absurd. Today, it seems possible. Internally, nationalism has been gaining strength in nearly all EU member states while Russia plays great-power politics and pushing for a “Eurasian Union.” Both of these situations threaten the EU’s structure; seeing as the EU is the linchpin of European-Western integration, so weakening it could cause an Eastern reorientation. If the UK and US turn to neo-isolationism, and if France abandons the EU and heads towards nationalism, Europe will descend into chaos indefinitely. In this situation, we would expect to look towards Germany. Because of this, its geopolitical orientation will be a central issue in next year’s general election. The future of Europe and the West may depend upon it.