When Donald Trump shocked the world with an upset victory in the U.S. presidential election this month, much of Europe was aghast. But in at least one critical sense, the result couldn’t have been more European: Across the continent, parties of the center-left that have dominated politics for decades — and that have given Europe its reputation for generous social welfare systems — now find themselves beaten, divided and directionless. Hillary Clinton and the Democrats are just the latest members of a beleaguered club.
In Germany and Britain, once-mighty center-left parties have been badly diminished, locked out of their nations’ top jobs for the foreseeable future. In Spain and Greece, they have been usurped by newer, more radical alternatives. And in France and Italy, they’re still governing — but their days in power may be numbered. The rout of the center-left has even extended deep into Scandinavia, perhaps the world’s premier bastion of social democracy.
Overall, the total vote share for the continent’s traditional center-left parties is now at its lowest level since at least World War II. Like the Democrats, these parties have been marginalized, with little influence over policy as the right prepares to place its stamp on the Western world in a way that could endure for decades.
“If the left and the center-left don’t get their act together, then we’re looking at a period of very unstable right-wing hegemony,” said Alex Callinicos, a European studies professor at King’s College London.
Good. The cultural Marxist threat I outlined in my recent bestseller, The Devil’s Pleasure Palace — on sale at the link this Black Friday weekend! — has at last begun to recede; now the challenge is to restore Western civilization’s cultural confidence again in the primacy if its message: political freedom, artistic creation, technological advancement, radiant spirituality for all who welcome it. The culture of death and decay — quintessentially satanic — is being roundly rejected around the precincts of goodness.
As recently as a decade ago, the picture was very different. Britain’s Tony Blair was at the vanguard of a generation of European center-left leaders who had emulated Bill Clinton’s pragmatic Third Way politics and seemed poised to ride their marriage of social democracy with market liberalization to an unlimited future of electoral success.
But the Great Recession — and the bumpy, deeply unequal recovery that followed — fundamentally changed that.
“With the economic crisis, and the negative effects of globalization, the socialists couldn’t convince the populations in their respective countries that the future lies in a liberal Europe,” said Gérard Grunberg, a historian of socialism at Sciences Po in Paris. “This is the end of the European utopia.”
Even better. The “European utopia” was always a daemonic fantasy, born of bloodshed, guilt, mass murder, and displacement, and protected by the American nuclear umbrella.
That “utopia” emerged in the aftermath of 1945, when politicians across war-torn Europe banded together to build a new continent that would never repeat the grave mistakes of the recent past. This was the genesis of the European Union: an economic union that was meant to become, at least in theory,committed to the common cause of social justice, largely a leftist ideal.
The real “leftist ideal” was the European superstate known as the EU, a more benign form of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics that collapsed in 1989 with the fall of the Berlin Wall. Although the Washington Post quoted here doesn’t see it that way, everything since then has been a gradual dissolution, as the Americans — and now, the somnambulist Europeans — have awakened to find a void at the center of their existence.
Let’s just hope it’s not too late.