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> Authoritarianism is rife in much of the rest of Europe, and the rest of the world, for that matter.

Europe's recent trend towards democracy was never really more than a trend. Democracy requires peace to flourish, without it people are going to value strongman leadership. Europe has only very recently shook off the threat of war. Nobody expects another great war, but it still takes a few hundred years before democratic institutions become robust enough to resist all the different ways the area can slide back into tyranny. Europe is not yet one polity, but they're moving in that direction.

Once people start thinking of themselves as European first, and French / German / Italian / etc. second, that's when you know Europe is really ready for democracy. It takes a while. It wasn't that long ago that United States citizens thought of themselves as citizens of their state first, then of the Union, the civil war cured us of that defect.

Perhaps Europe needs one more war to draw them together. Maybe a few of them. With luck those wars won't have to be martial in nature.

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