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The Book

Liberal Quicksand

According to a fairy tale, after World War II, Europe rejected nationalism and started the European project, which brought uninterrupted peace from 1945 on. In Liberal Quicksand, this version of history is unmasked.

First, Europe did not desert nor transcend nationalism after 1945. On the contrary, since 1800, the nationalist program has been implemented continuously. The nearly full implementation of the nationalist program is the basis of the lasting peace in Europe since 1945.

Second, nationalism is a strong emancipatory force that is intrinsically connected with the liberal evolutions at the end of the eighteenth and the midst of the nineteenth century. A correct appreciation of the emancipatory role of nationalism and of the contribution of nationalism to the current structure of Europe is a necessity to be able to deal adequately with the issues the modern world is thrusting upon Europe and to assess the form of political entity Europe might take.

The European experience raises the question whether another path is possible. Throughout its history, the USA has followed the European path and has remained fundamentally Anglo-Saxon until 1965. Since then, the USA is struggling how to deal with its multicultural and multilingual reality and hesitates between an English-only mode, following the European model or something else not yet clearly defined.

What are the implications of Europe’s history when applied to the Middle East or multinational states like China? Can they democratize without falling apart?