Safe bets are not easy to come by in politics. The future remains open. Even though there appears to be broad agreement among citizens throughout the West that we live in a dystopian age and that things need to change pronto if we are to avoid a cataclysm, the power of money is so dominant that entrenched interests continue to set the agenda long past their sell date.
One such safe bet though is that the refugee crisis presently convulsing Europe will destroy the European Union.
The refugee crisis is blow back from the nihilistic campaign of the West, along with its autocratic monarchical allies of the Gulf Cooperation Council, to rid Syria of its Baathist leadership. Turkey has control of the spigot, both of foreign mercenary jihadists entering Syria to wage war, and war-torn refugees fleeing the region to the safe, social-democratic European north.
As long as there is war in Syria and Iraq, and the U.S. and its allies continue to play the double game of bad jihadist terrorists (ISIS) vs. good jihadist terrorists (Ahrar al-Sham), instead of sitting down and negotiating peace with Assad, Iran, Russia and Iraq, the outpouring of Europe-bound refugees will continue.
And as long as the refugees pour into Europe, voters in France, Britain, Germany, Hungary, and all other EU-member nations will increasingly opt for politicians of an ultra-nationalist, anti-immigrant, anti-EU stripe. Marine Le Pen is surging in France for instance. For those on the left who would never vote for a hard-right politician, there is a renascence of the radical left, which, while not axiomatically anti-EU, is more a threat to the neoliberal status quo because of its anti-imperalism.
Under these conditions, the date to look at is the spring of 2017; that is when the French presidential election takes place. Marine Le Pen has promised to take France out of the EU. Cameron, who promised a referendum on EU membership if elected, as he was this past spring, confidently talked about moving that vote up to next year as opposed to waiting until 2017, the date originally promised for the referendum. He might be re-thinking that now.
The European power brokers see what is happening. Their plan to deal with it is to basically capitulate to Turkey; pay it billions of euros to warehouse the refugees and block them from entering Europe. Another demand of Turkey is membership in the European Union, something Germany's Angela Merkel has long opposed. My sense is that Merkel, the Queen of Europe, might not grant de jure recognition of Turkey's membership in the EU but rather de facto membership in the form of visa-free travel in Europe for Turkish citizens.
In either case, the European Union will not survive. Politicians like Marine Le Pen and UKIP's Nigel Farage will see their popularity soar.
The only thing that might switch up this outcome is if peace were quickly settled. But with weapons arriving in even great numbers once Russia began bombing jihadists, war and more refugees are all that we can be sure of. And we haven't even mentioned Afghanistan and Yemen.