ZEROHEDGE – There’s a cold war raging. No, not the one between the US and Russia. That’s old news. We’re talking about the NEW cold war: the one for the soul of the West.
On one corner we have the globalists, basically political and financial elites who after the disasters of World War II decided that eliminating borders was the way to ensure a peaceful future. Increasingly diverse (multicultural) societies would now be governed by supranational institutions, the only way to confront problems that are global in nature: environmentalism, terrorism, epidemics, consumerism and so forth. And much of this has become mainstream, with the powerful backing of the liberal media, the entertainment industry, much of academia and influential think tanks.
While people from all political persuasions support this ideology, it appears to be more closely associated with the political left, sometimes from the hard left even, as shown by the picture above taken in a very progressive US neighborhood.
On the other corner we have the nationalists (also known as patriots, populists, and deplorables). They took a good look at the downsides of that brave new (open) world and said to heck with its ongoing destruction of national identities, borders, traditional cultures and religion, and constant foreign military interventions especially when they are incapable of protecting their own borders from mass immigration.
There is no question that 2016 was a pivotal year in this struggle, which is now playing out in the open.
First the British voted to pull out of the European Union, against all odds. Then the Americans elected a brash Republican outsider for President, also against all odds.
After ceding cultural and political terrain for decades, the nationalists seem to be making a comeback. And now the cracks within Western countries are visible for anyone to see.
Take the United States, the leader of the Free World. Here is a recent survey of the approval ratings of that outsider, President Donald Trump:
Notice the huge disparity between Republicans and Democrats. It could not be any more striking than this – and just a few weeks after Trump’s inauguration.
This reflects of what is going on across much of the US, down to family and friends. It is clearly not confined to just “millennial snowflakes”, although these tend to be the loudest. Try walking in that very progressive US neighborhood wearing a ‘Make America Great Again’ cap and see how that cold war can turn hot very quickly.
The two sides no longer seem to agree on what a country is: if it should have borders, who has the rights and obligations in their societies and what it should stand for. Those are pretty basic – and fundamental – differences that look more and more irreconcilable by the day. Heck, there isn’t even an agreement on who is a woman and who is a man.
So what can be done about this?
Well, since everyone seems so keen in implementing a two-state solution in the Israel-Palestine conflict, why not do the same across the West?
With one key difference: these two “states” would remain formally linked through a very limited federal/national government. Mainland Chinese public officials even have a name for it: one country, two systems.
If people in New York, Massachusetts, Illinois, Oregon and California want to become openly multicultural and consistently vote accordingly, why stop them? Let them welcome anybody they want and implement whatever education system, gender identifications and values they desire. Good for them. Provided of course that all this should be funded strictly by their own state and local taxes, which is only fair (no doubt very rich globalists like George Soros, Bill Gates and Richard Branson will gladly pitch in).
On the other hand, if Texas and all others in flyover country believe they are entitled to bear arms, speak however they like in one language only, promote their values and culture and fully decide on who can live in their communities, what’s wrong with that? If you long to hear church bells on Sunday morning, sing the national anthem and use gender-segregated bathrooms you can always visit or move to those communities.
And that arrangement can be fined tuned further by going down to the county level, such that the views of local communities would be more accurately represented. In that case the map shown above provides an indication of how a two-state US could look like, with red being a proxy for the nationalist counties (i.e. majority Republican voters in the 2016 Presidential election).
Similarly, the same concept could be implemented across the European Union. If Germans, Swedes, French and the Dutch want their countries or municipalities to go full multicultural, good for them. What they shouldn’t do is impose their vision of the world through the supranational mechanisms of the European Union on the Poles, Hungarians, Finns and many others who do vigorously want to retain their culture and identities.
And that’s what we have in every election cycle, with one party seeking to push its values onto the rest of society, which is increasingly divided and at odds with each other. So the pushback from either side is predictable. New “populist” movements across Europe already threaten the very existence of that federal government (except that in Europe’s case it is anything but limited), and they will not go away any time soon.
This two-state system might be a seemingly fair way to achieve the best of both worlds, allowing both ideologies to coexist within a common governmental framework. A large scale version of Belgium if you like. But the reality is not so simple (just look at Belgium!)
First, Western nations for the most have accumulated debts at the supra-regional level so large that apportioning them between the two “states” is likely to be extremely contentious. With their sustainability already dubious in many cases, and without even considering all the crushing healthcare and retirement contingent liabilities, any division would be really problematic. As such the federal/national government would likely continue to be much larger than what would be desirable to disentangle differing political views.
Second, transitioning into a multicultural society can be very problematic, as evidenced by the debate on Sweden’s immigration policies that has now gone viral, at least until a consensual set of rules and behaviors can be forged. The inherent security risks could force some parts of the other “states” to curtail the free flow of people. This is already happening in many parts of Europe as a result of the recent refugee crisis.
Third, Western alliances would likely have to be redrawn along this split in Western aspirations. Donald Trump has more in common with Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán than Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, who will likely never welcome him in his city despite the special relationship between his country and the US.
Indeed, Trump proposes core nationalistic values not too dissimilar from his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin (a key reason why the globalist media and intelligence are so keen to demonstrate a formal connection between the two). On the other hand, German Chancellor Angela Merkel – a hardcore globalist – could not be farther apart from either one.
Fourth, how can each “state” coordinate on international commercial policies with the other one, as many companies have extensive operations across the two? This cold war is now spreading to the corporate sector, with some employees feeling alienated and consumers on each side threatening boycotts and sanctions. It has come to that.
And finally, a divided West is a weak West. China is not worried about any of these existential social issues. Neither is Russia, Turkey or Iran. There aren’t any mainstream cultural hesitations in any of these countries (although each has its own fairly large share of dissidents, with good reason). As such, this split is a sure way to accelerate the erosion of the West’s standing in global affairs, although the current state of affairs is not exactly helpful in that regard either.
Let’s have no illusions: this is a deep division and it’s unlikely that we will ever return to a level of unity and understanding in Western societies like we had in the recent past. We’re at a major crossroads in History.
Will we be able to live together even if our backs are turned against each other, or will one side try to impose its will on the other with backlashes turning more violent each time? This will not be solved with simple calls for unity since the two sides are so far apart at this point.
More importantly, which “state” will YOU choose?