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The Gates of Europe

By Guy Rundle


The people of France went to the polls in 2017, narrowly avoiding elevating President Le Pen, a year after ‘Brexit’ and Trump had stood the world on its ear. In Brussels, the EU’s leaders consign Greece to despair, pure colonial repression. In Scandinavia, nativist parties take the place social democrats once staked out, post-liberal governments ride to power as ‘illiberal democracies’ in the East, and the steady wave of migrants from the South is taken as pretext to abandon modernity altogether. What happened to the home of ‘the West’?

In The Gates of Europe, Guy Rundle travels through Europe reporting, reflecting, and theorising from the deep forests of France, the shattered northern cities of England, the eerie post-histoire of Germany, the toytowns of Brussels, and the Venice Biennale. He asks the key question of our era: Has the deep drive back to the ethnos come about because Europe’s elites have pushed through an arrogant, neoliberal version of the republic? Or does it tell us another tale, quite the opposite: that even the most tentative attempts to create a universal republic will founder on the deep human need for concrete cultural grounding, for something certain and particular to belong to?

About the Author

Guy Rundle is the correspondent-at-large for Crikey, Australia’s independent online daily, and a regular contributor to The Saturday Paper and other publications. For many years he was an editor of Arena Magazine. He has written four stage shows for the satirist and actor Max Gillies and worked as a TV writer and producer for ten years. His books include Down to the Crossroads: On the Trail of the 2008 US Presidential Election (Penguin), A Revolution in the Making: 3-D Printing, Robots, and the Future (Affirm), and Inland Empire: America at the End of the Obama Era (Crikey).

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