The Many Fault Lines of Europe

Peter Turchin


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One hardly ever sees news from Austria or Czechia* in the American press. Yet recent developments in these two small European countries have big implications for the continuing viability of the European integration process.

The Austrian People’s Party poster: Kurz: Now. Or never! Source

In Austrian elections a week ago the greatest gainers were the Austrian People’s Party and the Freedom Party of Austria. Both parties can be described as right-wing, populist, and anti-immigration, and the Freedom Party is, in addition, Eurosceptic (which means that want to reverse European integration). If they form a governing coalition, as seems likely, this would result in a significant rebellion against the EU governing elites.

Czechs had their own elections last weekend, and the resulting ruling coalition is also likely to be right-wing, populist, anti-immigration, and Eurosceptic (Euroscepticism is particularly strong in Czechia). Now keep in mind that the current governments of Poland and Hungary are already governed by similarly Eurosceptic leaders. In other words, there is a rebellion in the middle of the European Union, and it’s growing.

I’ve written extensively about the disintegrative processes gaining momentum in the EU over the past few years:

Is this the Beginning of the End for the European Union?

Visualizing Values Mismatch in the European Union

Will the European Union Survive its 60th Anniversary?

The Deep Historical Roots of the European Crisis

Catalonia Independence Drive: a Case-Study in Applied Cultural Evolution).

The surge of right-wing populism, which resulted in a formation of a group of European countries whose political trajectory increasingly diverges from that prescribed from Brussels, Berlin, and Paris, thus, is only the latest sign of how far disintegration of the EU has gone. In fact, it’s remarkable how many various fault lines there are, which increasingly divide Europe.

One of the most important is, obviously, Brexit, which should end with the UK leaving the EU. Then we have the Greek crisis that could end in Greece leaving the Eurozone. Although this seems to be off the table at this moment, the fundamental problems that resulted in the crisis haven’t been addressed.

In addition to fault lines between the EU center and constituent nation-states, there are a number of problems within the states. Catalonia is number one, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the ham-fisted tactics of Madrid eventually lead to a violent conflict between the Catalonian secessionists and the Spanish unionists.

The independence movement is also very strong in Scotland. In Belgium secessionists essentially won, because the Flemish and the Walloons cannot any longer agree on living in a common state. The only thing that keeps them from declaring two newly independent states is the question of how to divide up Brussels. It’s rather ironic that Brussels is both the capital of the EU, and of Belgium, a failed state.

Last weekend also saw “nonbinding” referenda in which over 90 percent voted for greater autonomy in Veneto and Lombardia. In short, wherever you look in Europe, the signs of impending fragmentation abound. And I have probably missed some in this sad list.

*Czechia is how the Czechs now want their country to be referred to. See ‘Nobody calls it Czechia’: Czech Republic’s new name fails to catch on



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Richard Illyes

An amazing and easily overlooked aspect to this is the ease with which we can follow the local news in these countries and get a sense of the issues important to local populations via the Internet, with Google waiting to translate anything and everything.

The messages are all very similar: We want to live among people like ourselves and we want to be left alone.

The elites seem unable to believe this simple message. Is there such a thing as Elite Panic when they sense a future where there is nothing for them to do, possibly leading to serious unemployment and an uncertain financial situation. Are the safe Spaces demanded by a segment of our students a manifestation of Elite Panic?

The Bernie Socialism being demanded by a large segment of the higher ed establishment may be just a search for financial protection, there are no discussions of the classical meaning where the government takes over the means of production. There are almost no discussions of any practical program details at all from that group.


How can we explain the disintegrative phase of eastern europe country, because if we look at economic performance (unemployement) and income inequality they seem by far the best place to live in europe at this time?

Vladimir Dinets

Everything appears on Reddit World News page, just go to “new” instead of “hot”.

steven johnson

The maxim is, divide et impera. Whether you see the “EU” as the Fourth Reich, or the Franco-German Condominium, it is not at all clear to me that with a little reforming the EU center wouldn’t find it easier to deal with Catalunya, Vascongadas, Galicia and Castile than Spain. Or with Veneto, Lombardia and the rump, than Italy. Brussels as EU capital will be more a creature of Flanders and Wallonia, two very small nations at loggerheads, or will Brussels be the fulcrum? So far as Euroskepticism goes, it is not at all clear that the rulers of the small nations have any reasonable expectation of actually improving their lot. This is why all the secessionists are pro-EU.

Obviously the great exception is Brexit. The thing is, so far as great power politics is concerned, that reduced the EU from UK/Germany/France to Germany/France. Which is more stable, for the EU?

J. Daniel

I wonder to what degree francophone and anglophone Canada share a sense of metaethnic identity. And to what degree the structural-demographic disintegration of the US and Europe has taken hold in Canada. Canada could break up depending on the answers to such questions. I was thinking of retiring in Canada to be in a better environment, but that might not be such a great idea after all.

Peter van den Engel

Yes, interesting. This is all part of economic evolution.
The rapid expansion of Europe has everything to do with the introduction of the euro single currency.
This is based on the strong value of central members currency, like Germans mark. It would create a bigger export potential/ in return for financial support.
That’s why all new member states loved it.
The result however did not lead to stronger ecnomies/ but debt states. Hence the European financial crisis in the aftermath of the real estate crisis created by Alan Greenspan in the US.
England has never been part of euro, so it was easier to part.

The dreadlock is that smaller countries due to more integrated economic efficiency have lost their economic independence to some extend and face higher unemployment/ while in the aftermath of colonisation and financial support after that, immigrants are now flowing into Europe, because they have not been able to create their own economies, precisely at the wrong time. Therefore the back reaction to strangers coming in ‘eating’ social benefits one needs themselve the most.

So, if countries would become independ they loose the strong currency/ and core states their export market, besides getting more vulnerable in a military sense (Greece/ Turky fi). So it is very much political shadow fighting.

Very often seperation means criticizing the core governing state, which paradoxly they are now also part of themselves.
Being smaller creates the argument of being trashed by the big ones, which in an economic sense is even true now.
This then creates the arguments cultural differences have always been impossible to overcome, but the real reason is economic efficiency making the difference/ although I agree Europe has always done very little stimulating cultural integration, because it only thought of economy, under the cover of preventing another worldwar.

al loomis

bureaucracy is the modern form of aristocracy, and is equally class-conscious. if you are not in government, you are not a citizen, merely a civilian. no sense of community in dealing with bureaucracy.
so you are left with a cultural identity unconnected to the political structure. the swiss democacy is not as strong as it was, but it remains responsive- three referenda days each year. so even with four languages, the citizen is connected to the state. and they are citizens, not civilians. demos not hoipolloi.
and these movements for independence are left-wing, not right. people, left, versus the state, right.


To call Belgium a “failed state” is an unnecessary exaggeration. It might become one, but why overstate matters?


It’s still a bit of an exaggeration. I mean, you can define “failed state” however you want, but there are plenty of non-failed states who function much worse than Belgium.

Also, plenty of countries have coordination problems between different levels/types of government. Just look at the US.


Perhaps there is a difference between a failed state and a failed society. Sometimes you get both, other times just the one. Belgians still cooperate with each other and manage to run businesses, and keep the lights on, but when it comes to the institutions of government they decide they cannot support it. Failed societies are no doubt even more damaging than a failed state.


Peter, what you write about Belgium is not nearly enough to be classified a failed state. It’s a gross overstatement, something a politician or columnist might say for rhetorical effect.

Peter van den Engel

In a poitical sense Belgium is a failed state, considering the break up, regarding its previous intensions. I agree with Peter. This however does not mean social cultural life in Belgium is in total disorder. Besides political elites are just about failing everywhere, so it should not be read like an insult.


¿So are we back to a medieval Europe, with small competing states and no central authority other than the American army in foreign policy? ¿How long do you think it will take to get there, Peter?

Loren Petrich

As to Belgium, a way of solving the Brussels problem would be to make it an independent city-state. It can then be a special district in the European Union, something like Washington DC, Brasilia, and Canberra (Australia). Also, if Flanders and Wallonia become independent, will Holland want Flanders and will France want Wallonia?

The issue of European fault lines was brought up by journalist Colin Woodard in his blog. He spent a lot of time in Europe, and in Poland, he noticed differences between former German, former Austrian, and former Russian areas. He didn’t go into a lot of detail about that, however.

He then went on to write two books about United States regional differences, “American Nations” and “American Character”. The former book is about how different groups of European settlers created a sort of cultural patchwork in the US and Canada. The latter book is about individual liberty vs. common good and how it’s played out in the US. CW described Communism as having taken common-good concern to grotesque extremes, and he proposed the antebellum US South as having taken individual liberty to extremes — with the result that only certain people had much individual liberty.

Peter van den Engel

That might be, but Brussels is not the real problem. Apart from two languages there has been a seperate economic evolution in the past, when french speaking walonians controled the then most succesfull coal and steel industry, before England and Germany, while flemish were the lower class/ now that situation has reversed into the flemish being the economicly superrior class, with fiscal responsibilities to walonians, they don’t feel much like.
So the situation is not a status quo. It will result in lower social conditions in the south. So potentially a failed social state as well.
The chance Holland and flanders uniting is slim, while Antwerp is succesfully competing with
Rotterdam as a main harbor with lower prices and the flemish will not want to give that up. The chance France will want wallonia being economicly weak and having enough problems of its own, also are slim.


“I wouldn’t be surprised if the ham-fisted tactics of Madrid eventually lead to a violent conflict between the Catalonian secessionists and the Spanish unionists.”

Peter, I am still awaiting for your answer to my comment en your previous post about the Catalonian conflict. I did not insist, but since you keep mentioning it, I will ask your opinion again. You seem to blame the Spanish government in the previous paragraph, and I agree it made mistakes, but I would say the root of the violent conflich is in the Catalonian secessionist.

I already provided some examples in the previous comment, but I will add a few more here to help you to have a more informed opinion and avoid the risk of failing at virtue signaling by talking about something you did not study thoroughly:

““en la clase una profesora empezó a hablar de la independencia y que los que hablan castellano son unos maleducados y barriobajeros”. En la escuela Reina Violant, en Barcelona, una madre adjunta el acta de la reunión del AMPA (Asociación de Madres y Padres de Alumnos) que incluye un párrafo “donde se habla de niños castigados por hablar en castellano en el aula”.

la maestra les explicó “que España roba a Cataluña y eso está muy mal”, además de fabricar urnas de papel y enseñar “a todos los niños a votar sí”.

There are many more examples which could not be published because the parents were afraid of further abuses by the teachers towards their children. Imagine anyone would do that to your children, do you think you would do nothing? Do you condone this violations of the human rights of children by the Catalan secessionists, Peter?


Absolutely agree with that, Peter. It is criminal for either side and the Catalan secessionists have been doing for the last thirty years, since the education laws passed by the former president of the Generalitat, Jordi Pujol, who forced to move to Spain to more than 10000 teachers who did not want to abuse children’s human rights by forcing them to speak only Catalan under heavy punishment in many cases.

“A partir de la primera ley de política lingüística, de 1983, el Gobierno de Jordi Pujol comenzó una purga de maestros castellanohablantes. Se obligó a todos los maestros con plaza a reciclarse para poder seguir ejerciendo. En aquel entonces la Secundaria no se tocó. La consecuencia fue el éxodo de 14.000 maestros,”

This has been a purposeful policy to create two sides when there was only one by them (other than a few Terra Lliure terrorist) by adoctrinating young and innocent children into an imperialistic and hateful political doctrine. The objective is painting Spanish and the Spaniards as inferior and despicable people in the minds of Catalan children, even if their mother tongue is Spanish. I agree that both Socialist and PPs governments in the whole of Spain did nothing to stop that for short term political expediency, but they did not start or promote that kind of people-hate policy, so the onus is clearly on the Catalan secessionists (unless you think that if there is a murder the main blame is on the police for not avoiding it and not in the murderer him/herself).

Interestingly, the spiritual father of this Catalan secessionist movement is a very corrupt politician that I have already mentioned, Jordi Pujol. He is a corrupt Catalan politician who has been involved in money laundering for many years and also in creating hate within the Catalan society to justify an imperialistic project: the Catalan Countries.

In fact, all this havoc has been already predicted two years ago by the scarce independent Catalan journalists (most of them are in the Generalitat pockets or had to leave this Spanish region) who knew the problems the Pujol family was having with their money laundering, even attracting the attention of the United States government for financing drug dealers.

“estamos ante el caso de corrupción más grande y más escandaloso que se ha visto en Europa desde el final de la II Guerra Mundial.

Ya no son sólo las montañas de dinero, de origen ilícito, que se movieron a través de las cuentas andorranas de los miembros de esta familia durante los últimos 30 años. Por lo que se está descubriendo, a partir de la documentación entregada por las autoridades judiciales andorranas, Jordi Pujol Ferrusola construyó, en paralelo, una sofisticada red internacional de evasión y blanqueo de dinero negro que puso al servicio de la gran delincuencia organizada. Esta es la traca final del caso Pujol que, como es obvio, comportará durísimas penas de prisión para todos los implicados.

Esto ya no va sólo de “mordidas” y de comisiones por la adjudicación de contratos públicos de la Generalitat y de los ayuntamientos convergentes. Estamos hablando de una dimensión estratosférica que conecta con el crimen internacional. Por eso el departamento del Tesoro de los Estados Unidos dio órdenes de desguazar la Banca Privada d’Andorra (BPA), la plataforma desde la cual operaban los Pujol después de que el Andbank se asustara ante la magnitud del dinero que manejaban.

Me sabe mal decirlo, pero Oriol Junqueras, Raül Romeva, Carme Forcadell, Muriel Casals, Lluís Llach…, son los cómplices necesarios –aunque ellos no sean conscientes- de esta burda y monstruosa maniobra que intenta utilizar el espantajo de la bandera “estelada” para negociar la liquidación del sueño independentista a cambio del archivo de las diligencias judiciales emprendidas contra esta trama colosal de evasión fiscal y blanqueo de dinero que tiene el epicentro en el hijo mayor del ex presidente de la Generalitat.

Ni UDEF, ni CNI, ni Guardia Civil. El dossierPujol- Andorra está en manos del FBI, la DEA y la CIA. Es tan gordo lo que ha pasado durante estos últimos 30 años que la única “salida” del clan es dar una patada a la mesa del tablero político español, europeo e internacional con la proclamación unilateral de la independencia de Catalunya… y que sea lo que Dios quiera.”

And about the Pujol imperialistic movement:

“La situació va canviar durant als anys setanta, quan una part del sardisme evolucionà cap a posicions independentistes. En un context completament diferent, la nova generació d‘algueresistes, inspirats per les idees anticolonialistes i antimperialistes, e influenciats per la figura de Simon Mossa, eren a les hores militants per la llengua catalana i independentistes sards. Una figura com Rafael Caria va utilitzar, per primera vegada, el català de l’alguer com una eina política, dins del consistori alguerès, on seia com regidor. Aquest grup, en el qual militava també Carles Sechi, estaven en contacte amb els nacionalistes i independentistes corsos, bascos i catalans, amb els quals es consideraven ficats en una mateixa lluita, i fou llavors que els algueresos començaren a considerar seriosament la idea d’uns Països Catalans. No es casual que el més conegut d’aquest intel·lectuals i militants, Caria, amb el recolzament de Josep Lluís Carod Rovira, fundava als anys `90 la Revista de l’Alguer: periòdic dels Països Catalans. ”

They intend to annex eventually the whole, including Valencia, Balearic Islands and parts of France and Italy, although occasionally they will lie through the teeth due to short term political reasons.

I do not think that using force as a last resort to stop a Catalan imperialistic political movement that is also violating human rights is something to be condemned, unles you believe that both the French and British governments did the right thing in Munich in 1938. By their very nature, these kinds of political movements will not stop on their own.

Also, you say you do not take sides. I have already shown you the human rights violations by the Catalan side. Do you think is ethical not to take sides in this kind of situation? Do you think it would have been ethical not to take sides in 1938 onwards, Peter?


Francisco, you are presenting the case for the Spanish side but surely a Catalan would come to you with another list of grievances?

For example, they feel strongly that they should be allowed to speak Catalan, which is something the central government at Madrid would probably try to eliminate if they could.

Put yourself in their shoes. They feel their people and culture are under attack from a group that does not want them, that can use their money to violate their free will.

I’m sure Catalan criminals hitch along for the ride.

Quite probably they get near or to the top because they take risks others are not prepared to make and do nasty things.

They exploit an existing situation rather than create it all on their own – and Spain has these people too. All governments/states do.

Perhaps a Catalan state would be better at fighting it. Or maybe they think that if those bastards are going to exist they’d better be Catalan bastards not Castilian.

No side can point to history and claim they stand on a moral high ground which justifies violence. Those who can’t compromise are as fundamentalist and as intolerant as anyone.

I’d be happy for Scotland to leave the United Kingdom, even though I live in England am part Scottish but they wouldn’t give me a passport, so would gain nothing from it happening.

I understand that London does not meet the wants and desires of the Scottish people. Why are the Catalans not deserving of at least the same level of own rule as the Scots in Britain?


Edward, you are seeing Spain as it was 50 years ago. The Catalan-speaking Catalans (remember, half of them are Spanish-speaking) have been allowed to speak their language since 1979, with the regime change.

Regarding the language, the problem here is not that the Catalan is forbidden, it is exactly the other way around: Castillian Spanish is forbidden (remember the mother tongue of half the Catalan population). Kindergarten children are punished for speaking Spanish at the school, during breaktimes! And shops have to suffer heavy fines for putting their banners in Spanish imposed by the local Catalan government!

Where is the freedom there? Now it is the other way around, the Catalan speakers and discriminating and hurting Spanish-speaking human beings!

By the way, I do not care in this matter about history, I care about stopping current discriminating behaviour against everyone, including children, and an imperialist political movement which is breaking human rights and probably is going to create even more human suffering in the near future.

Lastly, Edward, anyone can come up with a list of grievances, but that does not mean much on its own. Some of them can be complete lies (like the one about the Catalan language nowadays) or unjustified (“I think the world is unfair because I do not have a Ferrari”). It is up to you, the reader, to analyze them with a scientific point of view to find out which ones are justified and which ones not, if any. Should you want to learn more about this topic so you can have a more informed opinion I will be glad to give you some assistance. Remember, it is usually better to make your own decisions and not to let the media to decide what is good or bad for you, and that implies some work to have the more useful information possible.


Francisco, living in Italy, a country with indipendence mouvement in Piemonte, Lombardia, Veneto, Friuli, Sud Tirolo, Sicilia and sardinia i understand your position, i ask to myself if this happen in Veneto what i think. in Italy seem to me that indipendence demand peak on 1997: this is a home made tank in Venice may 1997!/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/detail_558/image.jpg
after losing momentum, but this can change soon or later.

both pro indipendence leader and Rajoy seem to me crazy: The first declare indipendence when 50% want to stay, the latter use force when 50% want to leave.
but don’t recognise to the other side same reason, is exactly what risk to lead to a war: if there is one or more death that became a simbol for one or both side is this wath happen:

an example: in february 2006 Roberto Calderoli (italian minister) go on tv with a t-shirt that for muslim are offensive. same days later, 17 feb 2006, in a protest in Bengazi, in front of italian consulate, libian police open fire and 11 libian death. 5 years later, the “day of Rage”, 17 Feb 2011, to remember the 11 death of 2006, sign the start of libian civil war

so how many death are acceptable for you to keep Catalogna?


Paolo, I did said nothing about deaths, I wrote about using force as a last resort. Governments do this all the time, sometimes justified, sometimes not. Even the Catalan secessionist government knows, as the Catalan police itself has many times used extreme force against demonstrators when it was deemed necessary, including wounding people and leaving them blind (losing one eye) in addition to beating up and killing people during their police work, both everyday and stoping demonstrators. Of course they have also beaten journalists with all their identifications during demonstrations without no qualms (remember, this is the Catalan secessionist movement you are defending).

If you want to learn more so you can give a more informed opinion, you can read about it in this link (from 2015, well before of all the current political troubles).

A government without being able to use the force takes you to anarchy, first, and ultimately to mafia bandit boss rule. As an Italian, I would guess you might know more than I do about that.

One last question, Paolo. ¿How many deaths are acceptable for you to stop a imperialistic political movement which is using excessive police force, beating up journalists and breaking human rights and also intends to annex parts of other countries currently in peace?

Ross Hartshorn

I think that the breakup of the EU and the secessionist movements are connected, but not perhaps in the way others think. The Scottish secessionist movement probably has hit its high water mark; Brexit makes a departure from the UK much more economically damaging than it would have been while the UK was still in the EU.

Similarly, if the rest of the EU had not told Catalonia that they will not support their membership as an EU state, I wonder if Spain would have started movements to leave the EU. Catalonia no doubt would deny it, but I think if forced to choose between being economically integrated with the rest of the EU and being economically integrated with the rest of Spain, the latter is more important, because that is where their economic ties are strongest currently (similar to Scotland and the UK).

In fact, the EU took over many functions of the nation-state, and now any region which wishes for statehood as a matter of cultural pride, sees almost no reason not to. NATO guarantees security and the EU defines the economic zone (and often the currency), so what’s lost by breaking off?

But, the EU never did quite get to nationhood, because true nationhood involves letting people move around to wherever the jobs are. People moved from Michigan to California, and then to Texas, and so Detroit is a fraction of its former size. But the Greeks cannot move to Germany en masse, both because the Greeks don’t want them to and because the Germans don’t want them to. So they can’t get all the way to nationhood, and thus it’s more or less inevitable that they will slide backwards as one nation after another realizes that they have to the leave the EU, or else crumble into pieces themselves.

steven johnson

If the EU central were to openly favor a secessionist group, that would claim the power to redraw the borders of sovereign states. The economic restrictions are specified, but this would be novel. It is not clear the EU central’s power to do this is democracy of any kind, even if the claim any unilateral secession is democracy, disregarding all issues of majority rule, is granted. I understand the Madrid government has been officially required to cut the budget, meaning they have no carrots to offer Barcelona. That may be support in Lenin’s version. On the other hand if there have been any quiet meetings with banking representatives from the EU with Catalans pointing out that the EU will not promote international banking in euros for a new Catalan state?

Richard Illyes

Muslim immigration is a huge catalyst for opposition to the EU as shown by this in Hungary: Mr Orban accuses Budapest-born Mr Soros of buying influence in the European Union and pressing it to admit millions of mostly Muslim immigrants, whom the Hungarian leader describes as a deadly danger to the bloc’s security and identity.

Richard Illyes

Interesting observations on the effect of the UE on cultural groups. Another factor which may overwhelm the UE is the amount of debt in Spain, Italy, and Greece. The debt is owned by somebody, who will be severely damaged if it becomes worthless. The old method of inflating away debt by small states with their own currencies is no longer available. Many things that can’t go on forever are to be found in the EU. Maybe the model will be that of a lot of small states such as Luxembourg. There is a model in Switzerland of cultural groups uniting successfully. The EU elites smother everything with their clueless bureaucracy.and disconnect from their subjects.

Peter van den Engel

Yes, these financial debts create the obligation to keep countries in, because it is related to banks in the core group. The central bank plays a big role in that by providing financial assistance/ although Germany does not favor creating more debt. This is an internal dispute.
In reaction artificial inflation is now being created, fi by raising lowest incomes because this should restore interest rates and pension funds ability accumulating money. Rising interest rates though will trash the inflated real estate market, as before, so it is a classic economical mistake and higher wages will not grow the economy/ but create a more inefficient labor market, as it is now. It is a closed circuit.

There are several examples of individual countries being relative independend. Norway and Switserland are independend because of their resources in oil and money in Switserland. These are primary economic reasons which lead to greater freedom choosing your own politics/ the inverted reason why other countries have chosen to be in the eu, for economic reasons, because they were more dependend.

Poland and Hungary are in the eu, but not following all orders. So it is not primarily necessary to leave the eu for independence.

The core reason why we don’t agree with politics is because politicians usually try to solve problems by calming them down, ignoring them if you like/ while we are pointing them down. This is the psychology of democracy, creating its own problems. When you are not a majority you have no right/ and when you are you’re a populist. A cultural misinterpretation of reality, which is quite common for human kind.

The uderlying problem is economic evolution gettig more efficient and therefore creating jobloss in areas; the whole textile industry fi moved to Asia; which is not a cultural problem/ but is reflecting in cultures trying to seperate themselves from the problem, which of course is no soluton.
The primary problem is the financial system; which is now global; misinterpretating natural fysics laws, like believing labor equals consumption, which is a false energy equation; creating an inverted evolution regarding its efficiency.
Now for instance we are talking about the next decade in political social terms, but the fact the financial fiscal system is creating a blockade of energy renewal, will surely result in the next worldwar for resources before 2050, which worries me even more.

Richard Illyes

Interesting information developed from social media

revisit Huntington’s thesis using hundreds of millions of anonymized email and Twitter communications among tens of millions of worldwide users to map the global alignment of interpersonal relations. Contrary to the supposedly borderless world of cyberspace, a bottom-up analysis confirms the persistence of the eight culturally differentiated civilizations posited by Huntington,


1) Lombardia and Veneto referendum: i think that this is more a intra-elite conflict inside Lega Nord (right-wing, populist, anti-immigration, and Eurosceptic) between the “old guard” of founders that start even asking indipendence of Padania (italy north of Po river) and the new leaders that hoping merging with others far-right supporter even south of Po, abandon the indipendence question. the governor of Lombardia and Veneto are both founding fathers . yesterday the party change name: now is Lega, and the “old” start to call Mr Salvini (new leader) traitor. about popular support on referendum i think that is more a “tax revolt” than a indipendece/autonomy demand.
2) intra-elite conflict are common in all party in Italy, a trouble that became more serius every day: this is more evident on the left: we have and maybe i miss sameone, 25 party/mouvement declaring “real left” that keep 2% of vote combined: all general without army. PD (moderate-left) in the last 5 years experienced 5 minor or biggest scissions, and now is more a personal party around Mr Renzi than other. on the right Berlusconi work very well to push internal contenders outside.
3) if belgium is a “failed state” italy what is (i a little kidding here but what you find after is all true)? last week parlament approve the 3 uncostitutional electoral law in a row, so, as the supreme court need 6 month to deliberate, the next was the 3 parlament in a row elected against the costitution and this time PD arrive to the point to declare the new law identical to electoral laws in most of european country: well can you find for me a state in the world where one candidate can present in 5 different disctrict and choice where is elected after? or a country in the world where you vote for a men and your vote elect a candidate in a near district and you don’t know the name in advance?


Why did you end your post with the words “And I have probably missed some in this sad list.”?
Why do think the list is sad?

If I understand correctly, you seem to consider the various secession movements to weaken the EU. Why? Secession movements first and foremost weaken the member state with the secessionists. Scotland, Catalania, etc. do not want to leave the EU. They just want to have their own states within the EU.

I’d argue that anything that weakens the member states naturally strengthens the EU as it makes ruling over a weakened member state easier. Only a strong state has the option of defying the EU.

Jan Krupička

I would leave speculation about the future to people who understands that there is no “similar Euroscepticism” between Kurz and Babiš on one Hand and Orbán and Kaczynski on the other. And who do try to misuse the term “failed state”.

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