The Corner

Europe: A Warning from a Friend

Toward the end of my latest Q&A, I make an observation about Jean-François Revel: One of the reasons he wrote his books was to wake people up — to warn them, before it was too late. I believe there is something of that about James Kirchick’s new book, The End of Europe: Dictators, Demagogues, and the Coming Dark Age.

Kirchick is my guest on this Q&A. We go from one European country to another: France, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Greece, the Baltics. Does Ukraine qualify? Oh, my gosh: That is a “fighting question,” to coin a phrase (I believe).

So, our discussion includes Le Pen (the whole family), the “Freedom” party in Austria, Orbán in Hungary, and, of course, Vladimir Putin, the “pope” of the new nationalist-authoritarian global movement.

Recently, Putin and Orbán huddled in Budapest, after which Orbán said, “We all sense — it’s in the air — that the world is in the process of a substantial realignment.” That is what Kirchick is talking about.

Kirchick may be wrong that a dark age is shadowing Europe. He may be right. But I recommend that he be heard out. Also, he reminds us that America has enemies, which do not include a free press.

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