For thousands of years, Europeans have killed each other with gusto, for alternately noble, greedy, and stupid reasons. They’ve traded with each other, enslaved each other, migrated and invaded this way and that way. Rarely unified, a prolonged period of peace across the entire continent has never been normal.
Part of the unsuccessful propaganda of World War I was that it was a war to end all wars. World War II might not have been a war to end all wars, but it did end wars between major powers on the continent. The external enemy of the USSR helped to push a unification of Western Europe into a bloc of third-way type countries unified by NATO.
Since the collapse of the external enemy of the USSR, the American foreign policy establishment has tried a variety of boogeymen: namely Islam and Putin. Neither of them are especially fulfilling enemies, particularly because the same multicultural doctrine that makes the global cuddle pile of world peace also makes it impossible to effectively oppose Islam.
It’s also difficult for Europe to unify to oppose Russia because of basic economic issues: since Europeans like warm homes during the winter, and because liquid natural gas from America isn’t particularly economical to import, it’s challenging to encourage a mostly disarmed Europe to march off to an apocalyptic war with Russia. The only people dumb enough to go for it were in Ukraine — and apart from an exciting short TV show about an exploded airplane, no one cared enough to volunteer to get exploded in the lands to the east.
Because the external enemies are either unappealing or impossible to fight, the states and ruling elites of the Western world turn to enemies that they can actually fight effectively: internal wreckers of the grand plan. At the same time as these rulers unite with each other to crush recalcitrant wreckers, plenty of the people in the wrecker class are eager to surrender in advance, or otherwise to eagerly advertise that they’re wreckers who deserve to be purged (a wonderful side benefit of permitting free speech).
What we’re approaching are the limits to peace. Peace means compromise and the promotion of odious regimes for far longer than they might be able to survive otherwise. Excessive cooperation rather than the grasping for advantage has made it so that the entire Western bloc has lashed itself together, so that when one of them falls, they all fall. When one of them makes a spectacular error, they all suffer (best demonstrated by Germany’s mass importation of Middle Eastern indigents within an open border zone).
Expanding the international zone of friendship is often portrayed as an overarching capitalistic goal, but what it’s always meant in practice is political compromise on a fundamental level — everyone has to adapt their systems to the lowest common denominator citizen, and everyone must enjoy the same rights of citizenship per global standards of human rights.
This means that there’s less competition in the realm of law and culture — and that homogenization is what has defined the emergence of America on the world stage. It’s not just that America has changed her subjects — America has been far more profoundly changed, in itself, so much so that the cowboy stereotype is no longer salient, unless that cowboy loves tacos and burritos.
Quibbling about the terms that the grand cuddle pile ought to be run on is fundamentally a waste of time. The cuddle pile is itself the existential threat — it makes the entire bloc of countries extraordinarily vulnerable, the longer that it goes on. It generates a profound fragility that will only return to the past levels of resilience with a return to regular internal conflict.
The best way to describe international relations within the West at this time is this:
Participants are often in a state of cuddle intoxication at this point, and feeling a sense of connection with the group that they never would have anticipated at the beginning of the event.
We should say the same about global leaders — they’re in a ‘profound state of cuddle intoxication,’ and anyone who might not want to pile on is an unthinkable alien.