Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Aftermath of Europe's Disintegration

Dear Readers,

I apologise for my long absence from the blog. I've been busy, but I've also been holding back and feeling out the European situation before I wanted to say anything definitive about it.

As the European Debt Crisis worsens, we are starting to see the fault lines in the "Blocanization" of Europe grow wider and deeper. The core EU is torn between total control of its periphery, and jettisoning it completely. The former Soviet bloc countries continue to huddle together, waiting to ride out the eurozone storm and hold the Russians at bay when they come to capitalize on the fracturing of the Eurozone. Turkey's previous desperate love affair with the EU has become nearly a joke.

In the end, we're seeing Europe, as a concept, fall apart. The EU still exists, but it may dissolve in the next few years. If Greece or Italy leave, it will set a precedent that countries like the Czech republic, Poland, and the United Kingdom (all of whom have grown massively Euroskeptical) may take on and jump ship. This will happen, without a doubt, before any of these countries allow themselves to be pulled down by the Eurozone's debt crisis.

Even if these countries don't leave, they'll weaken the EU and make sure they are not as dependent on the fiscal responsibility of periphery countries in the region. Nationalism is coming back in Europe, and with ferocity. This nationalism, which many thought was being eroded away by Pan-Europeanism, will lead to European countries acting, once again, as independent entities, rather than a united force.

Geopolitically, it eliminates Europe from contestants for the role of 21st century hegemony. Despite its national pessimism, the United States is once again the front-runner--it remains the center of gravity of world trade and commands the seas. A growing Russia may be able to challenge the United States over the next 50 years. China continues to focus inwardly, and risks its own end similar to the "Japanese Miracle" if it cannot navigate its way out of the toughest bubbles in world history.

Look for surges in activity and influence-building from all three of these nations in the next decade or so, as they try to feel out what the new geopolitical system is going to look like.