The End of the European Dream Europe's better times were meant to be ahead of it. Not so long ago, the European dream was believed to have provided the best vision of the future; Europe was going to run the twenty-first century, having created an entirely new species of human organization, the likes of which the world has never seen. If the West – and most of the world – was American in the twentieth century, the twenty-first century was going to be European. Europe was going to lead the world by example; do it gently. "Soft power Europe" would rule without anyone noticing but everyone benefiting. All these assumptions proved hubristic: Europe's turn of fortune is humbling, humiliating and, perhaps, irreversible.