Monday, April 30, 2007

Was Bismarck the Father of the EU?

In the comments on Fjordman’s recent post, mistkerl asked some questions about the EU:

I know that overall, the EU is despised. But, as an outsider, I see two things:

1. The combined EU economies are substantially better now than when I lived here in the pre-EU early 90s. This is clearly a result of their Euro currency. My US dollar isn’t worth crapola anymore in Europe!
2. Even though countries are in the EU, they all retain their individuality. There is no question when you are in Germany, everything is still very German. The same for France, etc…

So, given those 2 observations, is the EU really as oppressive and terrible as we generally perceive? What am I missing? Arguably, I’m such a cynic that I don’t think non-elites really have any influence on politics anyways so maybe that’s why I am not seeing it.

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Otto Von BismarckI kind of relate it to what it must have been like way back in the day. Take Germany for example, which was (I think) something like 300 separate mini-states before being brought together [by Otto Von Bismarck].

Each of those states had self identities and all had the same fears of homogenizing, but I think history shows that a combined Germany is far stronger, and the individual customs of each mini state are still alive and well.

So, in my mind, even if there was some vast conspiracy to combine Canada, USA, and Mexico into one larger group, I still don’t see the danger in it. People are still vastly loyal to their individual states (ahem! Texans) even when those states are part of a greater whole.

I mean, its not like the US isn’t already overrun by immigrants from both countries. How could it get any worse?

I just see it as the next iteration and larger group. The eventual far future goal is one united world right? Then we can go conquer other planets and start the segregation process all over, :) (Sorry, this is my homage to the NWO conspiracy where this AMERO conspiracy originally developed, although ironically it appealed to the other side of the political sphere then!)

Archonix — who is British — responded as follows:

The EUSSRFirst, the EU economies are not substantially better than they were in the 90s. Many are at the same level, others are worse. Ask any Italian what he thinks of the economy at the moment and if you’re lucky he’ll just shout at you for a few hours. The only reason your dollars don’t seem to go far any more is because the dollar has fallen significantly, not because the euro has risen. The euro is placing a massive inflationary burden on the EU economies, which no longer have the mechanism of altering interest rates in order t control inflation. Further, there is no mechanism for national debt transfer, as exists in the US, which places further inflationary pressure on individual member states. This pressure is compounded by inflation in members states that are net recipients of EU funding (Spain and Ireland as examples) who are able to cut taxes to miniscule amounts because they’re getting funded by the other EU member states. All of this is combining to produce an inflationary economy with no control mechanism. Unemployment has risen constantly within the euro zone since the euro was introduced, and productivity has fallen just as constantly. National debts are going up, taxes are rising, GDP is falling.

Secondly, it is interesting that you mention Bismarck’s German unification, as it has bearings which I will get to in a moment. First, let me say that much of what you perceived is, again, an illusion. Individual nations are slowly losing their national customs as laws and regulations are ‘unified’ across the continent. National institutions might appear unchanged, which might then present an image that the nations in question are unchanged, but this is simply a signature of how the EU functions. Those national institutions have been hollowed out from the inside and replaced with EU functionaries and apparatchiks. The EU bypasses national legislatures and operates through the implementation of an ever more powerful unelected bureaucracy of civil servants and managers. Thus normality appears to remain. However, in my country, the traditional and ancient freedoms of common law are being slowly abrogated by the implementation of bureaucratic systems. Habeas corpus is being erased, the right to travel within the borders of this country are being erased, the freedom of the individual is being erased. In fact, this country no longer officially exists. Look at any EU-approved map and you’ll notice that, while the UK is marked clearly, its constituent parts are not England, Ireland Scotland and Wales, but Scotland, Wales, northern Ireland, The North West, The North East, The Midlands, the south east, the south west and greater London. My country is gone.
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Your revolutionary war was started with the cry of “no taxation without representation”. Well, I am definitely no longer represented in the government that runs my country. In all but a few areas, the laws that are implemented through Parliament are defined by the EU. The elected government of this country now only has the freedom to legislate in a few areas; foreign policy, health and education being the main. Agriculture and environmental policy, transport, internal affairs of various sorts, prisons policy, immigration, these are all legislated by the EU, with barely a nod to the national legislature. MPs will get perhaps 12 hours to examine a draft law in these areas before putting it to vote — which will generally be ignored anyway — and these drafts will often run to 30 pages. An MP will get several of these drafts every single day, dozens in a week. And this is just the legislation that is passed through Parliament. The EU can simply define legislation as an administrative or technical regulation and bypass the elected legislature entirely.

All of this from an organisation that was sold to us on a lie. The EEC was put across as a free trade zone. I never voted for the creation of a supranational, unaccountable government that does not submit to the will of the people via an election. In fact, I did not vote at all. I have never had a say on whether I want my country — which no longer exists — to be a part of this. The EU has no mandate and never has.

Now, Germany is a more apt comparison than you might realise. Bismarck conceived the unification of Germany as a means to prevent the German kingdoms from fighting each other. He began to implement it when those same kingdoms were on the verge of signing an unprecedented peace treaty; his manipulations caused a war that gave him the pretext to simply conquer those other kingdoms, or trick them in to treaties that irrevocably tied them to his Imperial Germany.

He began with a customs union.

The EU has not resorted to wars to implement itself, but it began in the same way, and with the same aims. The EU was conceived as a means to prevent another war like the Great War, but it was interrupted by the Second World War. By the close of that war the political landscape had so changed that the concept of the EU was obsolete before the first treaties were even signed. It is consequently an institution looking for a role, and it has since found that role by re-positioning itself as a counter to American ‘hegemony’, a second pole against the US’s presence in the world as a super-power. This is in itself a foolish proposition; historically it is more foolish still, because history demonstrates that it will cause more trouble than its worth.

Bismarck’s united Germany did become peaceful for a while, but that peace didn’t last long. The internal fractures of the new Imperial Germany soon started to cause strife and resentment amongst the people of that country. A solution was found in the redirection of the national angst toward external enemies. The eventual result was the great war. The result of that was World War 2.

The ‘unification’ of the nations of Europe is the same thing on a much larger scale. It is perhaps no coincidence that incidents of anti-Americanism have risen sharply since the signing of Maastricht.

The EU has placed itself in opposition to the United States. It has inveigled itself so deeply in to the lives of its ‘citizens’, so deeply embedded itself in to every aspect of life, that everything a person does is regulated in some way by the EU. As examples; In order to install an electrical socket in my kitchen I must comply with at least eleven separate regulations. Some are sensible, governing the type of wire to use and the general direction that wire should go in. Others are nonsense; in order to comply I have to place my sockets a certain distance from the floor no matter what their purpose. EU regulations now mandate by law the kind of taps I’m allowed to use in my bathroom. They mandate the height of my door, the height of the gap between the door and the ceiling and the angle of my stairs, to millimetre precisions.

Every day I break about 30 laws whilst engaged in what were previously lawful activities. Most of these laws are EU-inspired regulations prescribing the details of how activities are to be carried out. My computer does not comply with regulations on lead content, electrical output or anything else, despite being perfectly safe. The lights in my house will soon be made illegal.

None of this was done with the consent of Parliament. None was done with the consent of the people of this nation. These are just little things, little examples of how the EU interferes in every-day life. They are a tiny fraction of the laws and regulations that are implemented by the EU; thousands each year, each one limiting the freedom of people just that little bit more. Sooner or later the sheer volume of regulations will start to affect people culturally. Our culture is slowly being eroded and destroyed by this vile institution, our national identities removed, our freedoms erased, and the end result? Inevitably, it will be war, but before that will be a morass of dull, lifeless existence for millions of people shorn of everything that once made their nations great.

What price the ability to spend the same coin in 20 countries?

As a Bloody Yank, I lack standing to comment on these issues. European readers, both inside and outside the EU, are invited to add their two centimes’ worth.


Apropos of the EU, everyone should read Fjordman’s latest: Towards a Totalitarian Europe.

14 comments:

Archonix said...

I should stress that I don't think for a moment the germans were soley to blame for world war 1. However, were it not for the presence of imperial germany then it's likely the war would probably have been of a much smaller scale. There would have been no treaty of versailles, no humilliation of the german people and no reason for Hitler to rise to power.

It's worth noting that Bismark's germany was definitely more democratic than the EU, no matter how one tries to spin otherwise. I can't fault him that. Yet that democracy didn't prevent the wars that followed.

turn said...

But but but

There will always be an England, won't there?

El Jefe Maximo said...

Bismarck was the father of the EU. What a concept ! That analogy perhaps illustrates what is wrong with the EU.

Bismarck created the German Empire...but the whole enterprize, as far as Bismarck took it, amounted to making the other German states, in steps, the sock-puppet of Prussia. On the whole, the people of these states probably gained, but Prussia was most definitely first among equals.

I also think, though, German unification was inevitable, once the French were definitely not coming back to the lower Rhine (the situation after 1814) and were thus out of Germany for good. I think it almost had to be either a Prussian or an Austrian project.

I'd argue the EU is really a big scam to let the French and Germans punch out of their weight and create a "continental" center of power opposed to the dominance of the Anglo Saxons without having more Russian involvment than they'd like. Once the Cold War was over, I think this, also, was inevitable.

In modern times, the strongest player, or players, in the European house have ALWAYS tried to enlist or co-opt the others -- only to be blocked by the flanking powers. Napoleon I tried it -- English and Russians stopped him. The Germans tried it -- stopped twice. But all the flanking powers, now, are out of the running . . .

mistkerl said...

Excellent response Archonix.

I wonder how much of the economic woes are a combination of the EU startup costs + the oppressive socialist states that the EU consists of, rather than the EU itself.

Oh, and one other thing: how long was the formation of the EU a big secret? I mean, people knew it was coming way before it actually appeared, by years and years right?

If so, then like the current jihad, we in the US can see our future just by gauging how far behind Europe we are.

gun-totin-wacko said...

Well I just feel like I have to comment, even though I'm just one of them there 'Mericans. Jefe made a couple comments that caught my eye.

Does anyone here subscribe to Stratfor.com? It's a private intelligence company in the US, that is very good. They provide all kinds of information to their subscribers, and I can't recommend them enough. I bring it up because they frequently mention the EU. One of the points they made is that it is, at least in the post-war version, a French invention. It was formed, according to them, in order to allow France to have a means to lead the entire continent, which is of course their Right and Destiny, no?

And of course, it would allow them to stick it to the US, which is also their right.

The fact that Germany was divided and occupied made it easier, since in the eyes of Stratfor, Germany is the logical "leader" of Europe, due to geography, size, population and economy.

So it can be argued that France created the EU as a clever way to create a new "empire" in Europe, with rules in place (for agriculture, as I recall) that would bring money into France from their neighbors. Sadly, now that Eastern Europe is coming into the club, they don't pay France the "proper" heed, and have ideas of their own- not least of them being that the US is Good.

Also, Jefe says "In modern times, the strongest player, or players, in the European house have ALWAYS tried to enlist or co-opt the others -- only to be blocked by the flanking powers."

This is the original concept of "balance of power", when it was created in the 18th century. You had a multi-polar system- France, Prussia, Austria, England, Russia, etc. The idea was that alliances would shift around within the group, to ensure nobody got too big, and thus provide a measure of deterrence. So, to give an example, if France and Prussia allied, then the others would sign treaties to ensure that they weren't able to cause too much trouble. And of course, if the resulting wars resulted in too many gains for, say, Austria, then everybody would shift around to balance out the new conditions.

Didn't work terribly well of course, but they tried it. There were still a lot of wars, but it was only the little guys, like the German principalities that got pounded. And since they were little, they didn't really matter.

At least that's the way my History Professors explained it back in the day.

turn said...

O/T

Tomorrow is MAY DAY. Workers unite! Hispanic invaders unite!

I'm sure it's worth a post

OregonGuy said...

I was in Milan, Budapest, Vienna preceding the transition to the Euro.

That is to say...they had the prices marked in Euros, but were still accepting lira, forint and the schilling. The markup was unbelievable. Ratcheting is not available on the net. Get a book.

I knew that I couldn't take a trip until the "boom" had crashed. It will happen. A 300,000 lira meal in Milan is not worth $300.00. It is worth $75.00.

Time will tell. Socialism covers its faults.

Archonix said...

Misterkerl, you're assuming that it was started with good intentions. You're also misatking the signing of maastricht, which created the EU in its current form, with the start of the project. The project started with the coal and steel union, ostensibly a merging of coal and steel distribution and production between France and Germany, but the treaties that created that union contained the same language that ever subsequent treaty has contained, and laid out quite clearly that the C&SU was aimed at 'ever closer union'.

You also seem to assume that it was created as a free-market project. It wasn't. It was designed from teh ground up to remove the national bounadaries of europe, which the project's progenitors saw as the cause of wars in europe. It was designed to destroy the nations that joined and replace them with smaller, centrally administered units.

On those same EU approved maps, national borders are generally drawn out faintly, and the borders of the EU administrative regions are almost as strongly defined as the national ones.

The point is, the ultimate goals of the EU were never a secret. They were written down right from the start. People simply didn't want to see them.

Michiel said...

Two cents from Amsterdam,

Bismarck united a people who spoke the same language, that is, the 'same' as in Holland where a Frisian talks gibberish for a Limburger and vice versa, 'Never mind the full stops' (BBC) shows similar in Britain. It's a common joke but all these sausages ate bratwurst, sauerkraut and kartoffeln, flushed away with Pilsner. There was al lot of shared history, culture and religion. And, as already has been remarked, one culture dominated for some time. We may wonder how things would have developed if Prussia wasn't effectively dissolved after WOII. The East-West controversy as a result of fifty years of different development in divided Germany, still divides Germany to some degree. Does the fact that Prussia was part of the East, has something to do with it? Perhaps some German cents in this debate can shed some light.

The countries of the EU, share history, culture and religion. They all share some decades experience with democracy. Some a few more decades, some with interruptions. We should however not forget that the shared histories, were often one of war against each other. Culture, or more commonly religion, were causes for war. Succession, due to the incestuous Royals everywhere, was another. Royals have no longer much influence and Christians of whatever colour, are talking, not fighting. The EU could work if Brussels stops behaving like our former Royals. In the end it's always power, and money, that corrupts. Blue blooded or otherwise. Therefore the structure of power, in Brussels, ought to be revised to a more democratic, less beaurocratic and above all more transparent one. The French government, more than former Empire Britain‘s government, ought to behave less Imperialistic in Brussels. Then, in principle, we all can prosper. There is no animosity anymore between Europe’s common people. Jokes apart about sausages, garlic, dikes and haggis, not really. Of course this doesn’t solve the problem of Islam, partly caused by Brussels’ behaviour.

Michiel Mans

Archonix said...

Michiel, what you're describing is all well and good, but none of that requires any sort of central government to be achieved.

Paardestaart said...

The EU could work if Brussels stops behaving like our former Royals

The EU wìll behave like our former royals..Worse, even.
It's the last stand of self-proclaimed elitists who know far better than the common rabble what's good for them. The EU will be the death of us, and the people will surely revolt once they find out that they were betrayed, and that our elected governments have just annihilated our countries and gave away our freedom and our souvereignty

Paardestaart said...

Oh - and by the way, Mistkerl: you're right of course. We did know the the EU was coming.
But in all fairness it must be said that we've never had the chance to speak our mind on how we thought Europe should be implemented and what form it should take. Our politicians have only been signing treaties and agreements all over the place, all the time waving us away saying: We will warn you when anything important is going to be done - these are all minor steps, don't worry, for when we are actually deciding on real changes in the political status of the european countries a referendum will be held, and thèn we'll ask you.
Of course we'll let you, the people decide..!
But by the time they wère sort of asking we found that we are practically signed-away already..
And the politicians were só disappointed and crestfallen at being 'let down' and made to look a fool by their own unruly mob that they vowed never to hold an election again
Just imagine: the Germans never even got to vote on the EU - probably because they were the bad guys in the last war - as if that is any guarantee they will give up and roll over once they realise that their government has signed their country away; has even been plotting with the arabs to make sure Europe changes into Eurabia!
I totally agree with Archonix. And with Fjordman, of course
The EU must be destroyed - the sooner the better.

cerebrate said...

I'm from England.

Very glad to have got the hell out for sunnier climes (Kansas, as it happens) when the going was good.

I've a great affection for English culture as it used to be, but it'll be a cold day in hell before anyone gets me to go back.

Josh said...

I see that there's already a link to the EUReferendum blog in the side bar. That site is is probably the most informative place to visit regularly wrt all things EU-related and the insidiously erosive effect that totalitarian construct is having on European countries and their societies and cultures.