In 2001 I came back to live in Europe after having spent 15 years in Asia. The shocking contrast between a sclerotic Europe overtaken by what I labelled the “civilization of entitlements” , refusing to face reality, led by a sub-par political class - on one side - and a dynamic and pragmatic Far East on the other side, prompted me to undertake a journey of exploration and to write my first book, “The Decline and Fall of Europe”, which was published in 2012. Major, game-changing, mostly unexpected and unpredicted events from the refugee crisis to Brexit to the swift rise of "alternative politics" took place in Europe in the few years following the publication of my first book. This reality and the complexity of the new challenges facing Europe compelled me to write a sequel,"Europe and the End of the Age of Innocence".
The "West" in general - and Europe in particular - seems to have lost its sense of direction and of what it stands for. As ideology increasingly replaces common sense and pragmatism, problems get compounded, societies become increasingly divided and extreme polarization over issues becomes the norm. Ideologically-biased decisions taken by a mediocre political class often turn problems into intractable challenges. Ordinary Europeans are increasingly aware that their cherished way of life is under threat and that the survival of their open societies is by no means a given. Against this backdrop, information is increasingly and brazenly manipulated by governments, the media and other actors driven by their own agendas and ideologies. Hence the need to find out what is really going on and where it could take us. I am no historian, academic or politician nor do I harbour ambitions to become any of these. I am just a concerned European who, prompted by alarming trends affecting the continent, decided twice to undertake a journey of personal discovery in order to gain a better understanding of where we are heading. The conclusions I reached were worrisome enough to compel me to share my findings with other people, hence these books.
As an author, I personally carry out my research, select the issues to focus on and do my own writing. Any shortcomings are thus my own. Through my research I endeavour to seek the truth beyond the biased lenses of ideology, “conventional wisdom” and “political correctness”. Conventional wisdom is too often more conventional than wise and political correctness has shown a tendency to turn into a new form of social tyranny. In my journeys of exploration I endeavour to base my writings on facts in order to provide a (hopefully) balanced and informative view, mostly leaving conclusions to the reader.
Francesco M. Bongiovanni