Thursday, 25 April 2013

The EU Is Only Half Finished

As Richard North observes, that the pro-EU Guardian has featured prominently on its front page a Eurobarometer survey which is telling us that public confidence in the European Union has fallen to historically low levels, is of significance.

Not surprisingly there is much hand wringing within that publication of the "fundamental questions of the EU's democratic legitimacy" and what to do about it. But as any serious student of the EU knows democratic legitimacy was never on the table; removing democracy (or preventing "populism" if we are to use the negative redefinition of the term democracy) was always the intention of Jean Monnet - a man who was never elected to public office. The Guardian is thus discovering that the lack of public mandate - or populism - is coming back to haunt the EU in spades.

Conversely though, despite that the EU is not democratic in the sense its Monnet-inspired bureaucrats are not elected, it does not tell member states what to do. As a consequence I'm often dismayed by a significant part of the Eurosceptic movement in their arguments. EU member states choose to belong, they choose to participate, obey and they can choose to leave. That it is the "4th Reich" and the "EUSSR" are easy, lazy and inaccurate criticisms - the truth is the EU cannot force a nation state to do anything; the UK has not been reduced to pleading "please Sir can I have some more?", instead the UK chooses to be in this position. 

And one of the fundamental reasons that the EU cannot force the UK, or any other member state, what to do is that it is not yet, as a project, complete. While the EU has steadily hollowed out member states' institutions, it has not yet fully grasped the baton of power itself to the extent in most cases that there is no-one in charge and no-one in overall control. It's still in a transitional phase, a halfway house where international and supranational EU bodies are at odds with each other, neither one nor the other. Nation state governments have been undermined, yet there is nothing functional to replace it. It's a theme I've touched on before.

One is reminded of Christopher Booker from 2009 when writing about the flaws of the theory of evolution. I don't intend in this piece to either agree or disagree with evolution but merely to highlight that this paragraph from Booker's article which makes for a perfect metaphor of the current state of the EU:
Years ago, a good illustration of this was Attenborough himself claiming to 'prove’ Darwin’s theory by showing us a mouse and a bat, explaining how one evolved into the other. He seemed oblivious to the obvious point that, as the mouse’s forelegs evolved by minute variations to wings, there must have been a long period when the creature, no longer with properly functioning legs but as yet unable to fly, was much less 'adapted to survive’ than it had been before.
It makes for a wonderful analogy that can be applied to the progress of the EU; a project that has removed the "properly functioning legs" from its member states but as yet has not acquired the wings to enable it to fly, making it less adapted to survive. Nothing illustrates this better than the farce that is the Euro - a currency that needs political union to succeed but is unable to complete that very objective thus leaving it in limbo.

Such a mess arises from the strategy of integration by salami tactics and stealth - the implementation of the Monnet method - a tacit admission from Monnet himself that the project was always flawed. The creation of the European Council in 1974 was another admission of failure. Monnet's frustration by the unwillingness of sovereign nations in giving up their power led to the establishment of the European Council as a mechanism to help "Europe through the difficult transition from national to collective sovereignty" - a process that was understood to be one way only. A process that is still ongoing albeit in fits and starts. Yet by trying to force onto a people an artificial system of government without taking them with you in terms of approval was always going to end in tears.

Ironically this "difficult transition" has led to precisely the kind of disorganization that Monnet hated. Early on in his biography he said:
[My father's] view of mankind was optimistic, but I have not inherited it completely. Quite early in life, events taught me that human nature is weak and unpredictable without rules and institutions.
So it's not suprising he concluded his biograghy thus:
"The sovereign nations of the past can no longer solve the problems of the present: they cannot ensure their own progress or control their own future. And the Community itself is only a stage on the way to the organised world of tomorrow."
So it comes to pass that Monnet who abhorred the concept of the nation state will, via his "pet project", inadvertently reinvigorate nationalism across the EU and who, abhorred the natural somewhat chaotic democratic functions of every day life, will end up leaving behind a complete mess.  If it wasn't so serious, one would be highly amused by the irony.


  1. I hope that the nation state is reinvigorated. My greatest wish then is for all the traitors to be punished. It's a pity that M. Monnet isn't around to face the consequences of his warped plan for Europe. A plan based on hate will always fail, thank God. Just as islam will find out sooner or later.

    1. It is a pity I agree, though Monnet did question his life's work towards the end of his life arguing that "American presence mattered more to European peace than his project".

      He didn't live long enough to see his legacy in full flow...I only hope that you and I do - in the sense we leave.

  2. Embrace and respect the differences between cultures, understand that the National Culturalist movement can help Britain make sense of herself again.

  3. Embrace the may just astonish us......

    watched Farage last night on QT, the other muppets were appalling.....he (Farage) does do good facial expressions and to be fair he was on form and did expose the vacuousness and downright lies of the other MP's however because he is wedded to this fantasy of repeal of ECA and all will be rosy he missed an open goal when the Con MP started pushing the renegotiation meme....

    sad and such a shame

    1. I rarely watch QT now...but I gathered from twitter it was one of Farage's better moments.

      Strange about the ECA, he's said on a number of occasions that A50 is the way to go, wonder why he didn't mention it on QT?

  4. Viscount Rectum26 April 2013 at 10:26

    Farage will never better the "who are you moment?" in the EU Parliament when addressing that bagoshite Herman Van Arshole.

  5. Ordinary, native, British people have not grasped yet how thoroughly the political class despises them all. The Tories, of course, always did believe that the officer class had to be in charge but they have dwindled a degraded dross now who never heard a shot fired in anger. Denis Skinner once put it rather well "You used to know where you were with the Tories. They were the toffs. Now they're all estate agents and bookies' runners".

    And the Labour leadership REALLY despises (especially) the white working class. Roy Hattersley once remarked that, if he had taken any notice of his constituents, he would have spent half his career opposing immigration and the other half opposing the EU" . So why didn't he - They were both entirely reasonable points of view. But, of course, the Labour officer/commissar class also knew better and decided that they would give us the same anti-democratic euro government as the Tories and "elect a new people" through mass immigration in the hope of obtaining a sufficient permanent corps of Labour-voting immigrant clients to ensure a permanent majority.

    1. And....the political class have not grasped how much we ordinary native British people despise them........

  6. Monnet was a product of his time - as indeed we all are. Our DNA and environment determine much of what we are.

    Therefore, much of his thinking and beliefs were centred around the events of the late 19th and early 20th Centuries. These were times of great social, political and national upheaval. The rise and fall of great empires, political beliefs, not to mention numerous destructive wars, famines, disease and financial chaos.

    All this he would have seen and lived through. No wonder the man saw democracy as an anathema. But that does not mean that his 'solution' to Europe's problems was what he eventually proposed.

    For me, Monnet ideas are simply outmoded, out of date, redundant. We live in a world totally different to the one he lived in. A world were people power, though the power of the internet can speak to each other and work together. We can even communicate in different languages via on-line translation. Share images and ideas. We can bring down governments (Berlin Wall too Arab Spring). We can call the bluff of our leaders'. We are no longer sheep, fit only for fleecing and slaughter.

    What Monnet did not understand or take into account, just like Marx and all the other political thinkers before him, was the undying will of the human soul. Not some ecclesiastic soul or spirit but the one which just makes us, well us - FREE

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  8. The big question is whether it is half finished and still to be completed or, is it now on the way down and already half way there?