I think the principal governing historical fact about Europe is that it committed suicide during WW1 ahd WW2.
Up until that point Europe had been the economic and military and political centre of the world for 400 years. It was the place from which Portuguese mariners first explored the world, and from which Spanish conquistadors conquered much of it. It was the headquarters of the British Empire and the French Empire and the Dutch Empire and the Belgian Empire. Between them, these empires had carved up much of the rest of the world.
And then, starting in August 1914, it proceeded to completely and comprehensively demolish itself.
And it has never recovered since. The mantle of world leadership was passed on to others, and never returned. The centres of cultural and economic and military and political power moved elsewhere.
The modern political edifice of the European Union is a sort of shanty town that has sprung up among the ruins of the old Europe after its catastrophic self-destruction, like in Rome after its fall, when they could no longer afford to maintain its marble palaces. Post-war Europe is like a little flotilla of the Titanic’s lifeboats, bobbing together on the ocean, waiting for rescue after the great ship had sunk.
Its leaders still have occasional delusions of grandeur:
With that, Merkel explicitly made a bid to give Germany more international prominence, and set her country—in the absence of US international leadership—as the leader of the so-called “free world” ahead of its United Nations Security Council chair, starting Jan. 1, 2019.
For there’s a deep hankering in Europe after the power and prestige that had been lost. Europeans had all become nobodies, who wanted to be somebodies again. And so, having lost all their empires, the European states came up with the idea of forming a complete new empire within the boundaries of Europe, rather than one that was scattered all over the world. If they could no longer have colonies abroad, they could at least have colonies at home. And so the European Union is the colonisation of Europe. What else were the old colonialists to do? They had to colonise somebody, so they colonised their own people.
After all, when in 1945 the self-destruction of Europe was complete, and many of its old colonialists had come back from their foreign colonies, Europe remained dominated by imperialists and colonists whose only experience had ever been of colonial life in one empire or other. So when they started thinking how Europe might be rebuilt, it was only natural to come up with the idea of a new empire made up of a new set of colonies. Only this time the colonies would be inhabited by European natives rather than African or Indian or American natives.
And what we’re now seeing in Europe is a native revolt. It’s a Zulu uprising. Or an Indian mutiny. Because the new European imperialists are as equally careless of the customs and habits of European natives as they were of the customs and habits of the Bantu or the Punjabis. And now the natives are revolting. And many people are “going native.”
Britain’s current attempt to leave the EU is the attempt by one of Europe’s colonies to escape from this new European empire, in exactly the same way as American colonists attempted to escape from the British Empire.
Britain is going to be severely punished by the masters of the European Empire, just like the Americans were punished. Economic logic may demand that trade between Europe and Britain should remain as unfettered as it was before Brexit, but political logic demands that Britain must be punished. For all the other colonies in Europe must be shown what happens when when any of them try to escape: Britain must be made an example of.
And that’s why, having returned to Brussels to seek a new Brexit deal, Prime Minister Theresa May has been met with blank stares and closed doors. The EU has no more intention of negotiating with her than George III’s government with upstart Americans:
On this day in 1774, the First Continental Congress sends a respectful petition to King George III to inform his majesty that if it had not been for the acts of oppression forced upon the colonies by the British Parliament, the American people would be standing behind British rule.
What Britain faces over the next few years, if the desperate Remainers in Parliament can’t prevent Brexit from happening, will be something like what Britain faced after Dunkirk in 1940: complete isolation from Europe, and the danger of imminent invasion by it. It will be next to impossible to get hold of any Camembert cheese, or Italian pasta, or German sausage, or Spanish tomatoes. We will have to Dig For Victory, and eat potatoes.
And as then, Britain will have to rely on the USA and its former colonies for trade and supplies. And in this respect Britain will probably have the complete and unquestioning support of the current anglophile US President, Donald Trump, who is probably the world’s greatest believer in Brexit. It wouldn’t have got that sort of support from any other recent US president, and certainly not Hillary Clinton.
And it’s far from certain that Donald Trump will remain president after 2020. So we may only get strong support from the USA for a couple more years. And after that?
But the native revolt in Europe looks set to fill the EU Parliament in May this year with nationalists and populists from everywhere in Europe – where they will find that they are as equally dismissed and ignored as Theresa May is presently ignored and dismissed. For despite its democratically elected “parliament” the EU is an unelected oligarchy filled with political appointees. And if necessary they’ll build a wall around their Brussels’ palaces to keep the natives at bay. These people don’t do negotiation, as they have made clear for the 2½ years since the Brexit referendum. And they have no intention of negotiating with the Salvinis and Le Pens and Orbans within Europe either. For, pace Merkel, they now see themselves as “leaders of the Free World”, even though they have imposed the most illiberal smoking bans on almost every country in Europe. So perhaps they really see themselves as leaders of the smoke-free world. For theirs is an inverted idea of freedom.
P.S. Copy of the letter sent by Sir Richard Dearlove, a former head of MI6, on 29 Nov 2018 (from the Country Squire)makes the same ‘colonial’ point as my post above: