Monday, June 16, 2008

European Civil War

About a million years ago in a European Government class I took, I wrote that the EU, as it was then designed, could never effectively work.

They had no executive and every decision had to be made by consensus and eventually the transnational goals of an EU would conflict with the national goals of a small nation such as Denmark or Lithuania (who was not yet a member state, I don’t think) and the whole thing would blow up in their face.  It just didn’t make any sense to this American based on the way the original Confederation of American States blew up prior to the US Constitution’s writing.


10 years later, the EU is still rolling right along.  Maybe I was wrong.


But this new reform package that the Irish voted down seems to address a lot of those concerns by strengthening the executive and actually giving authority for a beefier foreign service and a bunch of other stuff.  Although, just as Maine caused the downfall of the original American Confederation, so too might Ireland cause a serious rethinking of the current Euro Confederacy.  Just think about it, the Irish are thwarting the collective political wills of France and Germany!  Maybe it’s not such a bad plan after all…


All the same, I don’t know as much about the Euro makeup as I did 10 years ago when I was actively studying the imminent downfall of the Euro Confederacy, but I can’t currently say I’m not a fan.  I like what they’re trying to do in establishing what appears to be a perfectly political union that draws in financial (and eventually military?) power into a central collective.


I no longer think the Confederacy will blow up in their faces, though, with one nation wanting out and deciding it won’t go along with Brussels any longer.  I think it’ll blow up in their face when a nation wants in, is denied admission, and takes up arms to FORCE the EU to let them in.  That will be interesting to see, indeed.  Something of a backwards civil war—not a war of succession, but a war of ACCESSION.  Odd, yes.  (This is where you add “leave it to the euros to screw up a war.”)  But there is a tremendous amount of benefit to be gained from subjugating your national sovereignty to the EU and not much to be gained from standing on the outside looking in—unless you’re England with regards to the Euro.  Desperate nations do desperate things, and attacking the EU just might be the only desperate thing they can think of doing.


After all, out of desperation the barbarians did the unthinkable and sacked Rome.  Who’s to say that modern day Goths won’t do the modern day equivalent of sacking the modern day equivalent of the Roman Empire?


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