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Farewell Aquarius

Angela Merkel finally said it: the status quo ante is over. "German Chancellor Angela Merkel told an election rally in Munich that Europe 'must take its fate into its own hands,' pointing to potential differences of opinion with the United States and Great Britain, following the Group of Seven summit in Italy."

"The times when we could completely count on others, they are over to a certain extent," Merkel said on Sunday. "I have experienced this in the last few days. And that is why I can only say that we Europeans must really take our fate into our own hands."

Merkel affirmed her country's friendship with the U.S. and the United Kingdom, but suggested that Europeans should fight for their own destiny.

Ironically the European Union facilitated the very thing it was designed to prevent. "The eurozone and the euro were created not for profound economic reasons but to assuage France‚Äôs perennial fear of German power." Now Germany will lead Europe to its fate. All over the world, an immense tectonic shift is taking shape and it's increasingly hard to imagine reverting to the earlier version. One can either think Trump caused the shift in 5 months or it was a long time coming. It was probably a long time coming.

At any rate, anyone who still believes in an open-border, multiculti world that can be set back upon the rails without more than minor delay must have had his faith shaken to the core. The idea, articulated by Der Spiegel, that if only the establishment could be rid of Trump all would be well, is unrealistic. As Merkel said, the Brexit and Trump have Humpty-Dumptied the status quo ante, cracked it up. It might still patch itself up, but it will no longer be its old self.

In some respects, Merkel is the realist reaction to globalism's downfall. By contrast, Corbyn, Sanders and Hillary are the fantasy alternative. They are still waiting for the Mother Ship to come. The bad dream will go away if only they can shout "noooo" long enough. The Germans know better; the flying saucer is as delayed as General Steiner's attack. "That is why I can only say that we Europeans must really take our fate into our own hands."

In stark juxtaposition is New York Magazine's long feature on the "surreal post-election life of" Hillary Clinton, "the woman who would have been president". It paints the picture of someone who can reel off all the little reasons she lost but not the big one. That time had passed her by. Not just Hillary but Corbyn and Sanders. Vaudeville ain't coming back, but its fading stars don't know it yet.

Merkel knows it's time to ring down the curtain and start the next act. Considered another way, the time has finally come to create a post post-war world. The crisis at hand could be an opportunity inside an apparent disaster. Technology means some form of the global economy/order will survive but perhaps it is better loosely coupled rather than monolithic. It could be many things, not a single PC ideology. Borders and cultures might once again function as interfaces to hide the bewildering complexity of the interior components of nations. There may be lots of dislocation and time spent in adjustment but perhaps less pain than holding a doomed course.

All in all, getting rid of surplus complexity ain't so bad. Everyone will get his country back - except Macron. Just kidding.

As we look back, we must accept that change is sometimes inevitable. For all its defects, we will miss the liberal era: its certitudes, laff tracks and cues. But that is the way of things. Goodbye Aquarius, we lost the moon but there's earth - big beautiful and blue - welcoming us home.

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For a list of books most frequently purchased by readers, visit my homepage.


Support the Belmont Club by purchasing from Amazon through the links below.

Books:

The Strange Death of Europe: Immigration, Identity, Islam, This book by Douglas Murray is not only an analysis of demographic and political realities, but also an eyewitness account of a continent in self-destruct mode. Declining birth-rates, mass immigration and cultivated self-distrust and self-hatred have come together to make Europeans unable to argue for themselves and incapable of resisting their own comprehensive change as a society. Murray includes reporting from across the entire continent, from the places where migrants land to the places they end up, from the people who appear to welcome them in to the places which cannot accept them.

Atlas Obscura: An Explorer's Guide to the World's Hidden Wonders, by Joshua Foer, Dylan Thuras and Ella Morton. Every page shows how strange and marvelous the world really is. With compelling descriptions, hundreds of photographs, charts, and maps for every region of the world. Tagged as addictive by readers.

The Patron's Payoff: Conspicuous Commissions in Italian Renaissance Art, by Jonathan K. Nelson and Richard Zeckhauser. In highly accessible prose, the book applies the methods of information economics to the study of art during the Renaissance. Building on three economic concepts - signaling, signposting, and stretching - Zeckhauser and Nelson develop the first systematic methodology for assessing the meaning of art patronage that is relevant to contemporary society. Readers are able to explore the relationships among the main players in the commissioning game - patrons, artists, and audience - and understand how commissioned art transmits information to society.

For a list of books most frequently purchased by readers, visit my homepage.


Did you know that you can purchase some of these books and pamphlets by Richard Fernandez and share them with your friends? They will receive a link in their email and it will automatically give them access to a Kindle reader on their smartphone, computer or even as a web-readable document.

The War of the Words, Understanding the crisis of the early 21st century in terms of information corruption in the financial, security and political spheres

Rebranding Christianity, or why the truth shall make you free

The Three Conjectures, reflections on terrorism and the nuclear age

Storming the Castle, why government should get small

No Way In at Amazon Kindle. Fiction. A flight into peril, flashbacks to underground action.

Storm Over the South China Sea, how China is restarting history in the Pacific

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