The West is convulsing as a new world order struggles to be born. Nowhere is that convulsion currently proving more agonizing and potentially catastrophic than in the United Kingdom.
The fundamental division is between, on the one hand, nationalists who want to defend the nation and its core values and, on the other, those who believe these must be superseded by trans-national institutions and laws.
In the first camp are millions of ordinary people throughout the West in revolt against the steady undermining of their countries and cultures, alongside the nations of Eastern Europe, Israel, and Donald Trump’s America.
In the opposing camp are the intelligentsia who loathe and despise the ordinary people, alongside Western Europe’s political establishment, the radical Islamic world, and all who want to destroy Donald Trump’s vision for America.
In Britain, this titanic civilizational battle has produced a political and constitutional crisis over Brexit that threatens to break the country apart.
Theresa May’s Conservative government is at odds with Parliament. The majority of MPs want Britain to remain in the European Union and so are at odds with their Brexit-majority voters. And virtually the entire country is in a state of war with itself.
Both “Remainers” and “Brexiteers,” however, are united on one thing: opposition to the faux-Brexit deal Mrs. May has struck with the EU. This would leave the UK still under the thumb of the EU but worse off even than now.
Not only would Britain still be bound by EU rules, it might only be able to leave the EU henceforth if the EU allowed it to do so – which it would obviously never do.
If Parliament rejects this travesty, the prospect looms of no-deal – or leaving the EU without agreeing the terms. No-deal is routinely described as “going off the edge of the cliff,” and is accompanied by apocalyptic warnings of planes falling out of the sky, supplies of medicines drying up and the country starving to death.
These and corresponding predictions of economic Armageddon are ludicrously exaggerated and make zero allowance for a crucial factor: the need for EU nations to make an accommodation with the UK, issue by issue, in order to avoid the enormous damage to their own economies that would otherwise result.
The suspicion is running high that the invidious choice with which Britain is accordingly being presented – catastrophic deal or apocalypse now from no-deal – has been engineered to terrify people into a second referendum, on the hallowed EU principle that if the people don’t deliver the correct result the first time they must vote again until they do.
The country is set to stumble yet further into chaos and uncharted constitutional territory. None of the further possible scenarios – Parliament votes for the deal, it votes against the deal, Mrs. May resigns, she does not resign, there is a general election, an attempted renegotiation or a second referendum – offers any prospect of resolving the issue.
The impasse and its roiling passions threaten to break British politics apart. If Brexit is betrayed, millions of British voters will never trust the democratic process again.
It is the greatest political and constitutional crisis in living memory. And although many Remainers are motivated not by ideology but more prosaically by fear of the costs of leaving the EU, the issue at its core is whether Britain should become again an independent, self-governing nation.
Across the English Channel, France’s President Emmanuel Macron has made plain what he thinks of that concept. With almost sociopathic disdain for the supreme sacrifice made by free nations during the two world wars, he chose the anniversary of the 1918 armistice to condemn nationalism for being a “betrayal of patriotism” because it held “our interests first. Who cares about the others?”
This was not only incoherent but a travesty of nationalism – which is merely to feel part of a shared national project based on a common culture and bounded by a territorial border.
But then, according to his own estimation, Macron is no less than a combination of Napoleon and Jupiter, and clearly regards the trans-national EU as the instrument of his imperial and godly ambitions.
Meanwhile, the people of his own country have been rioting against his ruinous policies. Both Macron and Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has come to grief over her promotion of uncontrolled immigration, have displayed contempt not only for their own citizens but also for life and liberty abroad.
For both Germany and France are leading the EU’s attempt to circumvent America’s renewed sanctions against Iran and thus continue to further fund and empower the terrorist and genocidal Iranian regime.
This is not just due to greed over trade. It also results from a deeply amoral way of thinking: that other nations possess neither intrinsic value nor demerits and deserve neither respect nor resistance but are merely to be used as instruments of cynical self-interest.
Macron was taking issue with President Trump’s remarks a few weeks previously when, declaring himself to be a nationalist, he said: “A globalist is a person that wants the globe to do well, frankly not caring about our country so much. And you know what? We can’t have that.”
Cue hysteria against Trump, matched only by hysteria over Brexit.
Trump is in fact trying to forge a new world order based on what was once accepted wisdom – the defense of the West and the nation-state that embodies its values. Israel is a vital component of this emerging order as the paradigm nation-state totally committed to its defense and survival.
Some in this new alliance make uncomfortable bedfellows: Hungary’s President Viktor Orbán with his “illiberal democracy,” or the “modernizing” Saudi crown prince whose reputation has been stained by the Khashoggi murder.
The key strategy, however, is to identify correctly the principal threats to life and liberty at any one time and defeat rather than appease them. That is to put your own nation and its values first and to ally with those who share the same perception of the enemy.
But many in the West no longer believe in putting their own nation first. Hence the current turmoil. And Britain, the ancient national cradle of political liberty, is experiencing the worst turmoil of all.
The Brexit vote put rocket fuel behind the fight against cultural suicide in both America and Europe. If Brexit is reversed, the damage done to this defense of the culture will be incalculable.
Which is why everyone who cares about the survival of Western civilization should view the political meltdown currently taking place in Britain with the greatest possible concern.