History is not just on the move again, it is at a gallop.
Since the seismic political shocks of 2014-2016, we have become desensitised to the regular occurrence of epochal events that, in other times, would have prompted deep debates and soul-searching across society – let alone serious solutions from responsible statesmen.
In retrospect, the three main upheavals that began a decade ago fractured the post-1945 international system, as well as the domestic political settlement, at the very heart of the West – in the UK and US – inaugurating a new cycle in human affairs.
We are only now beginning to truly feel the effects of this transformational forcefield rippling through the world and it will likely outlive all of us reading this today.
The first shock that shook the world was Russia’s seizure of Crimea in March 2014 and the subsequent “hybrid” (ie unacknowledged) invasion of Ukraine via the Donbas.
Arising from the murky circumstances of the Maidan Revolution in Kyiv in late 2013, which appears to have been influenced by Europe and the US, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to intervene into what had become a Ukrainian civil war between pro-Western and pro-Russian forces largely in Donbas set the scene for the war that only expanded in February 2022.
This was the first return of large-scale conventional warfare in Europe since 1945 and the first outright territorial annexation of another country’s sovereign territory since at least the Helsinki Final Act of 1975. It re-opened the Pandora’s box of land-grabs by force – and we may never be able to close it again.
The second blow came in the form of the great European migrant crisis of 2015, with its unbelievable scenes of masses of so-called “refugees” and other benefits-seekers and advantage-takers from faraway lands, snaking their way across the face of Europe.
In the most staggering display of political delusion and stupidity – words are not enough to describe this criminal political folly – then-German chancellor Angela Merkel, Europe’s single most catastrophic and damaging politician of the post-war era, unilaterally decided to “embrace” the Turkish-pumped inflows of migrants and open Germany’s doors to over 1 million of these opportunists (just to start with).
Merkel’s iconic Wir schaffen das (“we can manage this”), waving-through this permanent and indiscriminate importation of endless third-world human “capital”, will remain through the ages a towering statement of our ruling elite’s contempt towards their own people: the European citizens living in their forefathers’ countries, who would have to forever bear the price – culturally, socially and economically – of this kind of unrequited, ideological, bleeding-heart liberal “generosity”.
Against this background there occurred, in the world’s two most advanced and exemplary democracies, what the European mandarins and “polite society” subsequently termed annus horribilis.
The year 2016 caused a psychological breakdown across swathes of Liberal opinion – to the delight of Conservatives – as Britain finally declared its independence from the European Union through the “Brexit” referendum, while the good citizens of the US turned to then-president Donald Trump to save them from the impending nightmare of an anti-“deplorables” Hillary Clinton presidency.
Both events triggered four years of vicious establishment counter-mobilisation and reactionary fight-back against the democratic will of the people, breaching untold numbers of democratic conventions and norms but also laws in the process.
This was all done with the connivance of the “mainstream” media, which happily boosted all the fake witch-hunts such as the Russia Hoax or, in the UK, the insulting narrative that voters did not know what they voted for with Brexit.
In the US, federal agencies such as the FBI and high-level bureaucrats broke all protocols and turned against their president and commander-in-chief Trump in desperate attempts to destabilise his presidency.
Read the rest at Brussels Signal.
Gabriel Eleftieru is a Fellow at Yorktown Institute.