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Welcome to The Low Country. Postcards from Amsterdam.
We start with an eclectic mixture of (mostly) Dutch-related news and analysis in English. I am an American who has lived some forty years in Amsterdam. I am both rather fond of the place but not entirely uncritical. I take lots of photos, so some posts will basically be excuses to share a nice pic.
A major focus in the coming decade will be the collapse of the European Union. Though that moment seems as yet still away, the process is inevitable, and the task at hand is to analyze the situation and look for the moment where, as they say in dialectical materialism, the quantitative changes becomes a qualitative one. The European Community I come live in the 1980s — essentially a trade block of equal sovereign nations with benefits — has given way to a perniciously anti-democratic authoritarian supranational state, which through its blatant power-grabs, such those during the pandemic and the Ukraine crisis, is hastening the internal contractions, and hence that inexorable qualitative change.
The story is, in fact, bigger than that. At the time of writing (April 2022), we have reached a high-point or a nadir — depending on your point of view — of the trans-Atlantic alliance. The US/UK neocons provoked the utterly gratuitous conflict between Russian and Ukraine, and in doing so firmly dragged the feckless Europeans, most notably the Germans, on the verge of certifying Nord Stream II, thereby cementing its economic relationship with (hence dependency on) Russia, back into the toxic embrace of the Washington-London oligarchic axis. At this low point, we can nonetheless be certain that it is Phyrric victory; that Eurasian integration will eventually and inexorably resume. The future is in the East; whether the resumption of process takes five years to regain momentum or twenty, it will be the most important story of our time. The Lisbon to Vladivostok Free Trade Zone will come to be, sooner or later.
We are living in an epochal moment, as the centuries-old Western-dominated world order collapses and is replaced by the emerging Multipolar one. For my part, the sooner the better. It is of these and other topics that I address myself to you, dear reader.