The worldwide short-term detrimental economic impact of the United--perhaps soon not to be united--Kingdom referendum, resulting in a majority vote to leave the European Union, is already obvious. A tidal wave of economists, businessmen and journalists from either end of the ideological spectrum are reporting the numerous significant negative economic effects of this vote.
There has been little discourse, however, on another very important consequence of the weakening or potential demise of the EU. For millennia, European nations waged war with one another. In the last century, two world wars occurred in Europe costing millions of lives and untold destruction. The seeds of these wars were, more often than not, the out-growth of nationalism. At the end of World War II, the Marshall Plan—a post-war doctrine unique in its approach to the defeated--salvaged the ruins of Europe for both the victors and the vanquished. The resurrection/resurgence of Europe resulted in diminished radical nationalism and greatly improved international cooperation, resulting in over 70 years of peace in Western Europe.
The Brexit vote is at least, in part, an outcome based in nationalism—nationalism being nurtured by politicians whose voices are reminiscent of Nazism’s rise to power. As such, one may expect a rise in jingoism, xenophobia and militarism.
With the forum for diplomacy and common interest potentially lost by the crumbling of the EU, the social cancer of rabid nationalism has an increased chance to metastasize.
Nostalgia for the past…let’s make Europe great again??? Hopefully not as it was before the EU…