In his magisterial six-volume history of World War II, Winston Churchill wrote of the building crisis that would lead to war in his first volume, The Gathering Storm. For today's England and the West in general, there are two storms building. The first, obviously, is the war that appears to be coming -- and won't end in our lifetimes -- between the West and Islam writ large. If Egypt ends up radicalized; if Iran nuclearizes; if Pakistan goes rogue; if Afghanistan goes South; if Libya now goes from stable dictatorship (the Devil we know); if, if, if.... the storm that is gathering will break in thunder and gale-force winds.
The second storm gathering is the civil wars that could happen between irate public employee unions, upset that their gravy train is grinding, has to grind to a halt; and the rest of us. We saw the possibility of violence in Madison, Wisconsin last month, but America's left is still in the play-acting phase -- the young people chanting in Madison seemed like they were doing it, in part, for fun, because pretending to be revolutionary felt romantic, felt like they were doing something "meaningful" and "transgressive." In England, where 500,000 marched and rioted yesterday, the reality of anarchy may be here.
People think that Western society can't fall apart. They're wrong. It's fragile, and it can all go away. We've had Dark Ages before; we can have them again.
Sorry for being so doom and gloom. But this sort of thing makes me fear the future.