The Threat of Threats
Not long ago, the EU was a model of reconciliation, peace, and prosperity; today, it is a model of fear – and it is scaring others. If Europeans cannot develop – with lucidity, firmness, and dedication – enlightened solutions to the threats they face, who can?
PARIS – “Tell me what you fear and I will tell you what has happened to you,” the psychologist D.W. Winnicott wrote in the early twentieth century. It sounds straightforward, until one considers how much has happened – and how much there is to fear.
The sheer diversity of the threats facing the world today evokes the tragic farces of Luigi Pirandello. In the West, some focus on religious extremism – in particular, the terrorism supposedly being carried out in the name of Islam.
Others point to Russia, warning of a new cold war, already apparent in Eastern Europe and the cyber realm. Still others, highlighting the rise of virulent right-wing populism in the United States and parts of Europe, declare that the real danger lies within.