by George Weigel
"The political and economic system created by the United States and its allies after World War II—a system built around common defense measures and free trade—rescued Europe from the self-inflicted catastrophe of 1914-1945, prevented nuclear war, preserved the peace until the collapse of the Soviet empire, and allowed once-captive nations to reclaim their liberties. It didn’t do too badly by the rest of the world, either. Over the past several decades, more than a billion people lifted themselves out of abject poverty by becoming participants in a system of free trade and the free movement of capital and labor—even as those economic successes helped create conditions for the possibility of free and decent governance in places like Taiwan, South Korea, Chile, and India.
So might it not be the case that the “liberal world order” needs fixing rather than dismantling, as some “populists” propose today? Surely those dismantlers don’t propose a return to the beggar-thy-neighbor economic autarky and myopic nationalism that intensified the Great Depression and helped bring on World War II. As for the security side of the equation, doesn’t the catastrophic condition of the Middle East, after eight years of an American-led withdrawal of western power from the region, demonstrate what happens when those committed to a “liberal world order” retreat from history in history’s most volatile regions? Given Vladimir Putin’s evident determination to reverse history’s verdict in the Cold War, would order be maintained in Europe over the next decade absent a robust NATO?"
Very good, though I think Weigel's criticisms of the EU are a little unfair.