In an earlier issue lamenting Europe’s severe crisis of confidence, I noted the premise outlined by George Weigel’s great book, The Cube and the Cathedral, which is that, ultimately, the underlying constitutional debate in Europe must answer the following question: Is it possible to construct and sustain a democratic political community absent the transcendental moral reference points for ordering public life that Christianity has historically provided? In other words, who are we? Well, the recent German elections gave us clear new evidence that this debate has barely been engaged, much less headed toward resolution. The muddled electoral outcome that resulted in a left-right stalemate shows that Germany is, as Jim Hoagland remarked, “a country that fears the future, or at least the painful choices that the future will bring”, and “reinforces a general weakening of parties and politicians across Europe that surfaced in the French and Dutch rejection of the European Union constitution earlier this year”. It goes without saying that, when such a traditional linchpin in the crucible of Western culture and thought is so fearful of the future and so thoroughly confused about who they are, this does not bode well for Europe, the U. S., or the world.
You are here: / / Whither Europe? II: “The Cube” Revisited in Germany