National Review has developed a stable of the most insightful writers of the conservative movement. I have long been a fan of Jonah Goldberg, Kevin Williamson and Charles Cooke,  David French has joined this elite group in my view.

David French

David French at National Review writes Brexit and the End of International Progressive Inevitability

I’m old enough to remember when history had a side. History, you see, had chosen to progress toward an international order that de-emphasized international sovereignty, elevated a bureaucratic and technocratic elite, and sought to solve international conflict through a combination of moral and economic pressure. Nations caused wars, so nationalism (and even patriotism) had to be set aside. Democracy unleashed bigotry, so “the people” mattered mainly when they agreed with the elite.  

It was a system that worked remarkably well for the international upper class. Men and women dedicated to commerce enjoyed unprecedented access to international markets. Activists dedicated to social justice could engineer their societies without ever truly facing the accountability of the ballot box. The logic of the system was self-proving. It would triumph through the sheer force of its virtue.

Unable to grasp the extent to which the new international order had endured and prospered not so much through its self-evident goodness but through the protection of American arms, it proved completely incapable of meeting the challenge when America chose to retreat. Vladimir Putin wanted no part of a system that sidelined Russia and viewed it as just one more economic and bureaucratic entity in a global superstate and decided to exert raw power to shape the world. He put boots on the ground in Crimea, and he dared the world to move him. He exerted his will in Syria, and he dared the world to stop him.

Is it any wonder that citizens of one of the greatest and strongest nations in human history would recoil from an international order that was proving mainly that it could enrich an elite without seeming to lift a finger to preserve the nation’s core values and traditions — the very things that had made it great and strong? Is it any wonder that citizens of other great countries are —wondering what loyalty they owe to that same elite?

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