They Shall Not Cleave

TimeWatch Editorial
April 04, 2017

According to the Free Encyclopedia, National Review (NR) is a semi-monthly magazine founded by author William F. Buckley Jr. in 1955. William Francis Buckley; November 24, 1925 – February 27, 2008) was an American conservative author. He founded National Review magazine in 1955, which had a major impact in stimulating the conservative movement; hosted 1,429 episodes of the television show Firing Line. On March 11, 2017, Brian Stewart published an article on The National Review Magazine entitled “The Beginning of Democratic Nationalism — or the End of Europe.” Brian Stewart’s article is motivated by a book published on March 7, 2017. The author of that book is James Kirchick; the name of the book is “The End of Europe: Dictators, Demagogues, and the Coming Dark Age.” Here is how Brian Stewart begins his article:

“It is tempting, especially for those in thrall to notions of American exceptionalism, to regard the election of Donald Trump as a singular episode in the history of our times. It is more properly viewed as the traumatic continuation of a populist trend that has been detectable across the democratic world for some time. A quarter-century after being formally established by the 1992 Maastricht Treaty, the European Union is in deep trouble. The economic and political institutions erected after World War II to foster European integration have yielded diminishing returns as the circle of nations in their orbit has grown.” Brian Stewart, “The Beginning of Democratic Nationalism — or the End of Europe” National Review Magazine, March 11, 2017

The undoing of Europe appears to be something that has become fairly obvious to those who have spent a considerable time investigation the circumstances that how exist. Perhaps in the United States where attention has been focused elsewhere, there were many who remained unaware of the difficulties that have made themselves known in the European Union. As Brian Stewart puts it:

“In recent years, the disappointments of European federalism have eroded the credibility of its swollen political establishment and empowered rabble-rousers on both the far left and the far right (or some combination of both). In country after country, crises have converged. Separately and together, they portend a rising of the drawbridges not merely on Europe’s depressed periphery but also in the EU-15, the core nations of Western Europe. At stake is not merely the rickety “European model” of governance but the entire project since the fall of the Berlin Wall of a Europe “whole, free and at peace.” Brian Stewart, “The Beginning of Democratic Nationalism — or the End of Europe” National Review Magazine, March 11, 2017

James Kirchick’s book reveals a level of research and investigation that brings together the process of European Unity beginning before the Maastricht Treaty. As Brian Stewart puts it, Kirchick’s treatment is unique in many ways.

“Few have shed more light on this phenomenon than James Kirchick, an American journalist who has done yeoman’s work covering Europe from a variety of vantage points. In The End of Europe: Dictators, Demagogues, and the Coming Dark Age, he analyzes the forces that have put the continent on a razor’s edge, and what is at stake in putting it back on solid ground. Kirchick’s book is preceded in the declinist oeuvre by Walter Laqueur’s The Last Days of Europe (2007) and Christopher Caldwell’s Reflections on the Revolution in Europe (2009). In contrast to those earlier works, however, The End of Europe is not even remotely Euro-skeptic.” Brian Stewart, “The Beginning of Democratic Nationalism — or the End of Europe” National Review Magazine, March 11, 2017

Of course there are Americans who care little about the possible dissolving of the European Union. Some of the leadership of the United States views the social structure of European countries, as a demonstration of weakness. Listen to how James Kirchick describes the American point of view.

“There is a tendency among American policy makers and pundits, particularly those on the right, to hold up their collective nose at Europe, “They shudder at Europeans’ deference to the state, their willingness to turn over so much of their incomes to the government, their limits on free speech, and their reluctance to pay for militaries, never mind use them. So widespread and deeply held is this conception in some quarters that ‘Europe’ has become a dirty word in American political discourse, shorthand for a sort of feeble collectivist impulse. Americans complain that Europeans are ‘free-riders’ whose lavish social programs are possible only through the defense umbrella thanklessly subsidized by American taxpayers.” James Kirchick, “The End of Europe: Dictators, Demagogues, and the Coming Dark Age.”

Not everyone agrees with Mr. Kirchick however. Mark Hemmingway in his review of Kirchick’s “The End of Europe: Dictators, Demagogues, and the Coming Dark Age” tells us thatIn 2005, the director of the European Council on Foreign Relations, Mark Leonard, “boasted that ‘Europe, quietly, has rediscovered within its foundations a revolutionary model for the future and an alternative to American hard power’ in the unfortunately titled Why Europe Will Run the 21st Century.”

There will be much observation that will continue in the next few months and years, as elections are held in some of the contributing nations. One of those nations is described by Brian Stewart as “indispensible.” Listen to this.

“In the midst of this political fragmentation, Europe’s key pillars have begun to teeter. It is a rich irony that Europe’s default power, the country most integral to continental cohesion, is also the one most responsible for nourishing its ascendant populism. I speak of the magnanimous welcome mat laid down by German chancellor Angela Merkel to accommodate (and, inadvertently, to accelerate) the vast migratory wave from North Africa and the Near East in the summer of 2015. Germany is certainly Europe’s “indispensable nation,” but many progressive observers have nominated Merkel as “the last hope of the West,” or “the true heiress of the Atlantic Charter,” to borrow the descriptions of Ian Buruma. The Economist, a representative voice of the European establishment (albeit in a British accent), called Merkel “the indispensable European.” Brian Stewart, “The Beginning of Democratic Nationalism — or the End of Europe” National Review Magazine, March 11, 2017

One cannot therefore help but be reminded f Daniel chapter 2, verses 42 and 43, that describes the European Countries that resulted from the breakup of the Roman Empire into the nations that we are now familiar with.

Daniel 2:42 - And [as] the toes of the feet [were] part of iron, and part of clay, [so] the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken. 

Daniel 2:43 - and whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay.

They are surely not cleaving together.

Cameron A. Bowen

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