As europeans attempt to deal with the coming and arguably inevitable GREXIT, some notes on europe and why it’s such a catastrophe. George Friedman has an interesting view here. Understanding it requires more background on the whole european integration project now coming off the rails…
First off – this isn’t new, other than to those who failed history…
Europeans CANNOT get along & NEVER stop fighting with one another. Ever since the Goths (proto-Germans) overthrew the Roman Empire (circa AD 479) these people have stopped warring with one another ONLY when sandwiched between NATO & Warsaw Pact; 45 years out of 2,000, or 2.25% of their existence. As soon as the Warsaw Pact imploded, they started killing each other again in Yugoslavia.
Those who yammer about europe being pacifist have no grasp of pre-war europe, all the way back to the Goth overthrow of Rome.
Europeans look at the current rise of political parties that coalesce around the rights – first – of their own citizens and react with horror, confusing nationalism with NAZIsm. It isn’t NATIONALISM that’s bad, it’s what’s DONE with it. This is a fundamental (ignorant) confusion of means & ends. This confusion is driving seriously dumb ideas – like the EU and the euro.
Post-War, the losers (all of europe; America & Russia defeated Germany, not the other european countries) decided that the best way forward was to join-up to prevent another NAZI Germany (mixing means & ends) from rising yet again (so they included Germany…). But by then the boogeyman was the USSR. They also joined the UN to bolster democracies (oops) and contain dictatorship (ditto). And they joined NATO, the purpose of which is to “keep the Russians out, the Americans in and the Germans down,” and is only a fig leaf allowing the ignorant in europe the fantasy that they remain militarily potent. Nothing about helping europe itself…
Post-war european elites decided that europe needed to band together economically (supranationalsim) to return to prosperity and compete evenly in the political sphere in a world dominated by American trade & manufactures (as the only great power not bombed to bits…) and, hence, politics. ECSC begat EEC begat European Community.
By this time their inferiority complex said they had to be an economic unit big enough to beat the USA. (Why? Like all adolescent-initiated ventures: because…) Individual european countries were doing fine, but the elites had this need to out-compete America, and for no particularly good reason. It’s almost as though “Continentalism-good; nationalism-bad.” Philosophically, however, if the European Union were one political unit, wouldn’t that just be – gasp – nationalism?
They were angry that they had had to rely on us to save their butts – twice – in 40 years – and still must rely on us to defend them. They could fix this, of course, but would rather whine about it.
The elites (on a continent on which representative democracy has never taken a beachhead, and which is quite totalitarian in nature – ESPECIALLY the Germans) voted each other into the EU and created the euro. When voters in each nation were allowed/told to vote for the European Constitution, they didn’t. If you read-up on the history of that (abandoned) Constitution, several countries voted for it, some voted against it; it required unanimity. The response of the elites? Vote again ‘until you get it right‘ (see what I mean about totalitarianism?) until they got laughed out after a few of these. So they have this unit of currency – but no political agreement/consistency/plan to back it up.
It’s almost like they think money is REAL and not PHILOSOPHICAL… (and they decry American education).
They created the euro. A single currency unit reduces trade friction, helping the economies. Better economies can better compete – with the US… The citizens of approximately … NOT ONE … country that was allowed to vote on the euro accepted this destruction of a primary symbol of sovereignty. The euro was imposed from above by the elites having this (insane) idea that giving Greeks the same unit of currency as Germans would make them work as hard as Germans. Idiots.
Currency reflects, not drives, a culture. And removing the ability of a nation to adjust its currency to deal with its culture (inflation/deflation/corruption, etc) is just nuts. But, hey, the elites knew best….
(Are American Leftists learning from this? Nope.)
And now the euro is crashing down impoverishing tens of millions of people never allowed to vote on it…
Will they go to war? With what? Germany’s army, europe’s largest at 60,562 soldiers on active service, is not even twice the size of the NYPD (34,000). There are no kids to go fight. No one knows how to use the guns that have been banned since 1945… (In 1941, Germany’s army was 3 million.)
Likely the elites will be allowed to screw-up some more, and more people will have their lives ruined. But these people vote for their domestic politicians, who vote for or appoint the EU pols… Sucks to be them…
I have no idea how it’ll play out… Muslim immigration/terrorism/sharia… 50% of able-bodied people not working… generational corruption… negative fertility…
Looks to me like they’re all just fatalists…. not having kids, waiting to die & so not worrying about it at all. There’s really nothing they can do to fix it, and with their negative fertility it’s past obvious they don’t care enough to try.
Have some coffee. Drink some wine. Sit back. Talk about the non-Future of the European Past as represented by long-dead Europeans in philosophy, the Louvre, The British Museum, libraries, democracy and the Rule of Law around the world. Back when care about europe was not feigned.
Pretend – but not too forcefully – that you have a future…
May I heat up your coffee? Bring you more wine?
Re-arrange your chairs?