Yellow Vest protesters clashed with the police in Paris on Saturday. Veronique De Viguerie/Getty Images France is pivotal in holding the European Union together. By Thomas L. Friedman, The New York Times, 12/18/2018
PARIS — Ever since World War II, the liberal global order that has spread more freedom and prosperity around the world than at any other time in history has been held up by two pillars: the United States of America and the United Nations of Europe, now known as the European Union.
Both of these centers of free markets, free people and free ideas are being shaken today by rural and beyond-the-suburbs insurgencies of largely white working-poor and anxious middle classes, which have not generally benefited from the surges in globalization, immigration and technology that have lifted superstar cities like London, Paris and San Francisco and their multicultural populations.