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Friday 21 December 2001

United States of Europe

More valid concerns about the viability and wisdom of the European Union.

What nobody talks about, though, are the cultural differences. When push really comes to shove, are the French really going to sacrifice to help the Germans? (Substitute your favorite pair of mutually-loathing European cultures here.) When the United States faced the same question, in 1860, the result was one of the nastiest wars in history. And that was between two small groups of people, largely of the same ethnic origin and political heritage, largely of the same religious outlook, speaking the same language, and with all of 100 years of history in their cultures.

The fact is that the EU is a much more ambitious undertaking than the United States was. The original intent of the USA was for states to bind together as a unit largely for common defense and trade; regulatory functions of government were largely left to the states — while the EU is meant to duplicate the functions that the U.S. federal government is bodging up today. The USA was guaranteed economic growth — a growth curve we’re still on — because nearly all of the resources of North America were as yet unexploited. Europe’s only guaranteed economic growth is in the East, where enormous sums are being and will need to be spent to renovate decrepit Communist enterprises and practices. And the federal government in the United States in 1860 was far, far more representative of the people than the European Parliament is. The EP has about one member for every 603,000 Europeans — about the same rate of representation as you see for U.S. Congressmen today, who most Americans feel are controlled largely by lobbyists instead of by the people they’re supposed to represent. (See here for more on this.)

I cannot see the EU working in the long term. The United States, which was much better poised to manufacture a super-state than are the Europeans, barely managed to hold it together. My prediction is that, within 50 years, the EU will disappear either peacefully or (more likely) in war, or the central government will become tyrannical.

Posted by tino at 10:40 21.12.01
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