Last Friday the world changed. It wasn’t an earth-shattering change, a rain of fire or tidal wave, but it was a change which will be felt for years to come just the same.
The decision by voters in Britain to leave the European Union has enormous consequences for both the world economy and global stability.
One gets the sense it is but the first domino to fall. The E.U. itself may now be doomed; the world’s greatest experiment in pan-national unity and economics coming to an end. Greece may be the next to leave. Followed by Germany if Angela Merkel loses the next election. Should either Germany or France vote to leave, with Britain now exiting, there won’t be much left to salvage.
The fallout from this Brexit decision is not a flash in the pan—here today, gone tomorrow — it is a crack in the foundation of the world order itself.
If Britain is divisible from the E.U., then why isn’t Scotland divisible from the United Kingdom? That question was already being openly asked on Friday just moments after the Brexit vote. If all things are divisible, why not Quebec from Canada? Why not the United States from NAFTA? Why not all from everything else throughout the mainstays and institutions which have maintained world order since the end of the Second World War?
We will get through this time of trial which lies ahead. We always have. But what will be the shape of the new world order to come? With voices of ultra-nationalism and neo-fascism on the rise? No longer merely festering in the dark corners, but bubbling viciously through the mainstream? One can hear the sounds of marching boots echoing in the distance as the darker nature of humanity once more ascends.
Who among us will rise to meet this darkness?
There are hard truths we must all face. There is no going back from this. No burying our heads in the sand.
We have set ourselves on a dangerous road going into the future, and Brexit is only the beginning of many more difficult things to come.