New World Disorder

The Berlin wall may not be the only casualty of the Soviet Union's disintegration. Recent elections in several European states have given evidence that nationalism is reemerging as the dominant political force in the West. Of course, "nationalism," which in the broadest sense includes any assertion of tribal or national identity, is already the spark for revolution and civil conflict all over the Third World and more recently in the former dominions of the Soviet Union, but Western Europeans thought that they had gone beyond all that and that they could indulge a smile for the few fanatics in lederhosen who danced strange dances and gabbled ancient songs in dialects that had not been spoken for centuries. Only a dinosaur like Mrs. Thatcher would oppose Britain's full participation in the European Community, and little was to be feared from a few dozen Cornish-speakers who entertained the tourists with their fantasies of independence.

However, recent events in Britain, Sweden, Germany, France, and Italy suggest that the snake is only Scotched (whatever that means), not killed. I say Scotched advisedly, since the Scots may play a key role in determining the future of the United Kingdom.

Nobody except John Major thought he was going to win an election on his own, and the head of the Liberal Democrats (the United Kingdom's third largest party) was already demanding proportional representation as the price...

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