A commitment to democracy, human rights and the rule of law was Europe’s answer to fascism. The loss of this European memory presents real dangers amid a resurgent populism.
Memories of total war, and the deprivations wrought by a far right in full military mode have faded. This is the danger he argues.
As a baby- boomer I have no personal knowledge of this damaging blanket of conflict too, but my existence has been fully shaped and tempered by the ’45’ generation, to whom European solidarity and inter-nation co-operation and human rights had been so important.
The leaders of this generation deepened integration through the completion of the common market, the opening of intra-European borders with the Schengen agreement, the creation of the euro and the empowerment of the European Parliament.
Anecdotally, there are plenty of millennials in the media who seem to intuitively feel this shift, but do not, as yet, declare their allegiance to Europe to be against the rise of Fascism.
However, it is not the unspoken feelings of the liberal left that may triumph. It is the stentorian call of the a resurgent, militarised right that may shatter the old certainties.