Perry Anderson, 2 December 2021
Financial instability, immigrant pressure and proximate war are not the only subterranean shocks to unsettle the European Union. There are two others, of potentially comparable magnitude. One is the deep change that the passage of generations is likely to bring, as a youth no longer haunted by memories of the Cold War, or buoyed by the illusions that followed it, develops a new agenda of social equality and care for the natural environment. The other is the deterioration of the physical climate that threatens life everywhere. The two intersect in a growing passion among the young for a cause that scarcely had any popular traction in the 20th century, the preservation of the planet. Gradual changes like these have already started to act as counterforces to the follies of unbridled speculation, fears of uncontrolled immigration and contagions of civil war. For Stella Ghervas, balance of power principles, and the needs of military defence, retain their validity against any would-be empire. But the gains of the lasting peace Europe has achieved should not be compromised by them.