2016; what a year.
It is one that a lot of us will struggle to forget. First we had #Brexit, which signified that the European project is doomed to fail soon. And now, we have witnessed the election of Donald Trump against impossible odds. But these results portray something more profound; the beginning of the end of the old order.
Brexit was only the beginning
Francis Fukuyama wrote in 1989 that the collapse of the Berlin Wall represented 'the end of history.' Globalisation and free markets triumphed against communism. And it seemed like that every country would adopt the democratic model. The world seemed full of hope at this point. But now, we have entered a new period where people have decided they want something better.
Despite many millennials claiming that Brexit is an expression of racism and betrayal towards the EU, what it actually represented was a desire to make globalisation work better for Britain. When John Major signed the Maastricht Treaty in 1992, it was seen as 'politically incorrect' to oppose the European bloc.
But over time, it became clear many Brits grew tired of European integration. They resented European laws superceding British ones, the European Commission's democratic deficit, the poverty the Euro brought to Mediterranean countries post-2008 despite being sold as a gateway to prosperity in the 1990s. After the 2008 Recession, it became clear that the EU was a protectionist bloc destroying people's livelihoods. And so emerged the first movement against the old order in June 2016; Brexit. We had grown tired of walking the path heading towards a United States of Europe that caused the cost of living to skyrocket before them in the meantime.
No one thought Brexit would happen, not even some Vote Leave campaigners. Now this Conservative #Government has the opportunity to ensure globalisation works for us. Countries are queuing up for trade deals, including the United States now. Yet the forces of the establishment and bitter Remainers are rallying to hinder this event by devaluing the pound, fighting a High Court challenge, rallies in the street from millennials pleading for a second referendum and empty threats on social media of moving to Europe.
Trump's victory in the United States has lived up to the promise of being 'Brexit ten times over.' European leaders fear their dreaded TTIP is finished. They know Britain now has a strong ally. He will not pander to them in the same way Obama did.
Yet Trump's election represents that the United States has had too much globalisation. Voters resented, much like in Britain, uncontrolled immigration, a deteriorating economy, a corrupt establishment and trade deals that need to be revisited due to the damage they caused to the United States' industrial heartlands. Drawing parallels with Britain, this result suggests globalisation needs to work more effectively for Americans. Instead of condemning huge portions of the country as 'xenophobic' or 'racist', look at why they voted for the American billionaire first.
What about the rest of the EU?
Nonetheless, anything seems possible now. The mainstream media are silent about the upcoming referendum on Italy's constitutional reforms that could result in their departure from the EU and the Euro. This should cause the markets to panic.
Undoubtedly, Marine Le Pen is celebrating Trump's victory. Her election as President of France next year seems imminent. Here is a country that has experienced similar problems to Britain in regards to immigration and the EU, particularly as they have adopted the free movement of people from the Schengen Agreement. Germany could face similar problems as well with their elections next year. This is a domino effect not seen since the collapse of the Soviet Union in the 1980s and 1990s.
The best advice the liberal-left should accept now is to consider that maybe they brought about the end of the old order themselves. 2016 is the new 1989. #American Election