“Europe is at the abyss.” When the highly esteemed Robert Samuelson writes it, we should all be worried.
Samuelson, economics writer for the Washington Post, has been dispassionate and logical in his coverage of the Eurozone crisis. He doesn’t have an axe to grind or a position to promote. And he is writing things like “There is no solution,” and “…the creation of the euro was a huge blunder.”
What will sound sensational but I believe is true is that we are about to witness a huge political transformation in Europe when the Eurozone falls. (And yes, it is going to fall. There aren’t enough trillions to save it.) It will be an historical pivot point perhaps as big as 1914 or 1939.
When Greece leaves the Eurozone, I predict that a huge coalition of NGOs or a United Nations multinational force will be needed to feed people and maintain order. Greece will be flattened economically. Food, medicine, and energy will be scarce.
Greece’s Minister of Citizen Protection has warned that "What will prevail are armed gangs with Kalashnikovs (assault rifles) and which one has the greatest number of Kalashnikovs will count … we will end up in civil war."
There’s no need for a long historical dissertation to explain why Europe could plunge into political upheaval. Europe was very rich. Soon a lot of it will be very poor. National economies could fall like dominoes, from Athens to Madrid, from Rome to Paris (yes, Paris).
Remember the violent riots in Europe over welfare cutbacks? You haven’t seen anything yet. A seething populace will hang the economic debacle around the necks of the elite class that ran the euro show, and they’ll offer the keys to their governments to the group that appeals to their hopes and their anger and their grievances.
A positive result would be that Europe finally discards the false promises of socialism and rediscovers limited government, faith, and personal responsibility. But that looks like a silly pipe dream.
What is more likely is that a toxic, vengeful political environment will become sectarian and violent; the next ugly episode in European history.