With Greece on the precipice of default, and Portugal and Italy approaching the ledge, the European monetary union appears in peril.
Should it collapse, the European Union itself could be in danger, for economic nationalism is rising in Europe. Which raises a larger question.
Is the New World Order, the great 20th century project of Western transnational elites, unraveling?
The NWO dates back as far as Woodrow Wilson’s League of Nations, which a Republican Senate refused to enter. FDR, seeking to succeed where his mentor had failed, oversaw the creation of a United Nations, an International Monetary Fund and a World Bank.
In 1951 came the European Coal and Steel Community, love child of Jean Monnet, which evolved into the European Economic Community, the European Community and the European Union. A European Central Bank and a new currency, the euro, followed.
The hidden ultimate goal of economic union was political union — a United States of Europe as model and core of the 21st century world government.
With the disintegration of the Soviet Union, the EU expanded to the east. And the New World Order, formally proclaimed by George H.W. Bush in 1991, was out in the open and seemingly the wave of the future.
Progress was swift.
A North American Free Trade Agreement, bringing the United States, Mexico and Canada into a common market that George W. Bush predicted would encompass the hemisphere from Patagonia to Prudhoe Bay, was signed in 1993.
A World Trade Organization was born in 1994. U.S. sovereignty was surrendered to a global body where America had the same single vote as Azerbaijan.
The Kyoto Protocol, brought home by Vice President Al Gore, set up a regime to control the worldwide emission of greenhouse gases.
An International Criminal Court, a permanent Nuremberg Tribunal to prosecute war crimes and crimes against humanity, was created.
A doctrine of limited sovereignty had been asserted. Elites claimed a higher law than national sovereignty, “a responsibility to protect,” enabled them to intervene in countries where human rights violations were egregious.
Serbia, bombed by Bill Clinton for 78 days for fighting to hold its ancient province of Kosovo, was the first victim.
Suddenly, however, the progression has stalled. Indeed, the New World Order seems to be unraveling.
Emerging powers like China, India and Brazil are demanding they be exempt from restrictions that developed countries seek to impose. The follow-up summits to Kyoto — Copenhagen in 2009, Cancun in 2010 — ended in failure. The Doha round of world trade negotiations ended in failure.
China refuses to let her currency float lest she lose the trade surpluses that have enabled her to amass $3 trillion in cash reserves.
Protectionism is rising. Americans chaff at a new world economic order that has led to deindustrialization of their country. Congress is talking of defunding the U.N. as anti-Western and anti-Israel.
Why is the New World Order suddenly going in reverse?
A primary reason is the resurgence of nationalism. Nations are putting national interests ahead of any perceived global interests.
A second reason is the decline of a West whose project this was. We no longer dictate to the world, and the world no longer marches to our tune. The deficits and indebtedness of Western nations preclude more of the big wealth transfers in foreign aid that once bought us influence.
A third reason is demography. Not one European nation has a birth rate sufficient to replace its population. Europe’s nations are aging, shrinking, dying. A depopulating Germany cannot carry forever the deficit-debtor nations of Club Med. The oldest nation, Japan, is on schedule to lose 25 million people by 2050, as is neighbor Russia.
Militarily, America remains the most powerful nation. But Iraq and Afghanistan have bled the country and left us without the certain attainment of our goals. Old allies like Turkey go their separate ways.
Ethno-nationalism also explains a disintegrating world order. Aspiring nations like Scotland, Catalonia, Padania, Flanders, Ingushetia, Dagestan, East Turkestan, Kurdistan and Baluchistan seek a place in the sun, free of the cloying embrace of the mother country.
The desire of peoples for nations all their own, where their own language, faith and culture predominate and their own kind rule to the exclusion of all others, is everywhere winning out over multiculturalism and transnationalism.
Through history there have been attempts to unite the world.
The Roman Empire. Catholicism. Islam. The West that ruled much of mankind from Columbus to the mid-20th century. Communism, which conquered half of Europe and Asia but arose and fell in a single century.
With the death of communism and the decline of the West — in relative population and power — Islam has become the largest religion, China the world’s emerging superpower, and Asia the continent of the future.
Could this still be the Second American Century?
Not the way we are going.