The New Totalitarian Temptation

The ‘European project’ is unraveling—not a moment too soon—because its soft authoritarianism is becoming too obvious to disguise or ignore. Todd Huizinga demonstrates how the European Union’s multiplying misadventures are reminding us of what EU elites want us to forget: the indissoluble link between rights-based selfgovernment and the nation-state, which is not an anachronism after all.


If the European Union prefigures one possible future of the global order, as Todd Huizinga argues, globally concerned citizens cannot afford to ignore the questions he raises in this book. Wise in tone and even prophetic, it is seasoned with personal experience and shows a solid grasp of practical policies as well as ideas. This is essential reading for all who care about the course on which humanity is sailing.”.

–OS GUINNESS , author of The Global Public Square

 This is the best book ever written about the European Union. Having spent years in Brussels as an American diplomat, Huizinga knows European politics and culture as few statesmen or scholars do. He deftly dissects the powerful vision of global governance behind the endless directives of the EU bureaucracy. This lucidly argued text is indispensable to understanding Europe’s current crises—of democracy and sovereignty, immigration and national identity—as well as America’s relationship with Europe.” 

–John Fonte , director of the Center for American Common Culture at the Hudson Institute, author of Sovereignty or Submission: Will Americans Rule Themselves or Be Ruled by Others?

This brilliant book is the single best volume on the European Union from a conservative viewpoint that I have read. The insights sparkle on every page. What makes it so compelling is that Huizinga understands both the American society and the European project from personal and professional experience. He offers a lucid perspective on the friction between Europe’s relativistic postmodernism and the strong fiber of Christia conviction that runs through American culture and democracy.

–David Aikman, award-winning journalist, author of The Mirage of Peace: Understanding the Never-Ending Conflict in the Middle East


The New Totalitarian Temptation: Global Governance and the Crisis of Democracy in Europe contends that the European Union’s radically secularist commitment to supranational governance, overriding the sovereignty of its member states, is eroding democracy in Europe, threatening human rights and putting the EU on a collision course with the United States. The following, which will appear in the Spring 2016 edition of European Conservative and which is made up largely of excerpts from the book, recapitulates its main arguments.

Before the summer is out, Britain might decide to leave the EU. Greece has become a protectorate of the IMF, the European Commission and the European Central Bank. Schengen is in danger of being abolished. Devastating terrorist attacks have occurred regularly since the 2004 Madrid train bombings, and the threat of jihadist terrorism remains palpable throughout Europe.

Nevertheless, the European dream is alive. Today as ever, the European Union, having risen from the ruins of two devastating world wars, embodies an enduring longing for a peaceful and stable world. It is more than a customs union or an international organization through which the member states pursue their national interests. It is meant to herald a new era, in which a cosmopolitan and harmonious Europe pro­vides the model for a worldwide system of supranational gover­nance. In this new world order, power is to be wielded not primarily by national governments on behalf of national electorates, but by an ever-thickening web of international organizations administer­ing a growing body of international law and regulation, purport­edly in the interests of a global citizenry.

The EU is nothing if not ambitious. It is in essence a utopia – albeit a soft, squishy, do-gooders’ utopia — a political construct that seeks humankind’s ultimate purpose in a better-than-possible world created by politics. It puts politics before people, as it seeks to remake human beings in the service of its political project rather than to adapt the project to people as they are.

But as John Fonte wrote recently, ideologies have consequences. It is not by chance that the EU’s soft utopia has been buffeted by crises. The going price for the European Union’s pursuit of its globalist dream is severe economic suffering, the migrant crisis and the increased risk of terrorist attacks in Europe, the destabilization of domestic politics in the EU member states, and possibly Britain’s withdrawal.