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.