The EU

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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Europe in History

Europe was created by history.   America was created by philosophy.
Lady Margaret Thatcher
I saw this in response to a link to Professor Victor David Hanson's recent piece on "The New Old Europe".
Like clockwork every few decades, some self-described European "visionaries" swear that the continent can either live in peace under utopian protocols or, more darkly, be united under one grand -- and undemocratic -- system, willingly or not.  But for all the noble pretensions of the Congress of Vienna or the European Union -- or the nightmarish spread of Napoleon's Continental System and the Third Reich -- and for all the promises of European-born fascism, communism and socialism, the result is always the same:  disunion, acrimony and infighting.

That schizophrenia is what we should expect from dozens of cultures and histories squeezed into too small a continent full of lots of bright -- and quite proud -- people.  Every new Europe always ends up as old Europe.
I like the way Professor draws an equivalence between Bonaparte's Continental System and the Third Reich.  Bonaparte had a better PR Firm.

Regards  —  Cliff

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

And not to be overlooked is the lesson for America learned and relearned by Europe. The failures of socialism, communism, and fascism in Europe is not the result of nationalistic rejection, although in a macro sense it is. It is instead the fact that PEOPLE by their very nature desire to be free and reject the efforts of others to impose what they feel is unfair control over their individual lives. That the "isms" seem to work is only because folks tend to "go along with" the program in the name of nationalism....until it no longer works the way they want.

Proof of the posit is found in any neighborhood of kids. In a group, there will always be an emergent leader and that leader will do well.......until he or she overplays his or her hand......and in a flash..the subjects vanish as subjects....and choose a different, better leader.