Monday, May 30, 2005

Dawn of the Dead

The French voted no on the proposed EU constitution. But I don't think that no really means no.

The vanguard of the New European Man are not so easily put off:

France's political class on Monday braced itself for an intense period of account-settling one day after voters resoundingly rejected the European constitution in a referendum.

In Brussels, European Union leaders said they were saddened by France's repudiation of the constitution, but they defiantly insisted that it would not stall Europe's 50-year integration drive.

"The European process does not come to an end today," Jean-Claude Juncker, prime minister of Luxembourg and current holder of the European Union presidency, told a press conference late Sunday night. He said the treaty was "not dead" and that "ratification should continue in other member states."

That's clear, right? I wouldn't worry too much if I thought the EU elites merely thought that the no vote was a clear signal that their approach to unity was wrong and they need to fundamentally rethink their path. But I fear that the EU sees the no vote as merely an obstacle to implementing exactly what the EU elites have wanted all along. As Steyn wrote (via Real Clear Politics):

Following Sunday's vote in France, on Wednesday Dutch voters get to express their opinion on the proposed ''European Constitution.'' Heartening to see democracy in action, notwithstanding the European elite's hysterical warnings that, without the constitution, the continent will be set back on the path to Auschwitz. I haven't seen the official ballot, but the choice seems to be: "Check Box A to support the new constitution; check Box B for genocide and conflagration."

Alas, this tactic doesn't seem to have worked. So, a couple of days before the first referendum, Jean-Claude Juncker, the "president" of the European Union, let French and Dutch voters know how much he values their opinion:

"If at the end of the ratification process, we do not manage to solve the problems, the countries that would have said No, would have to ask themselves the question again," "President" Juncker told the Belgian newspaper Le Soir.

Got that? You have the right to vote, but only if you give the answer your rulers want you to give. But don't worry, if you don't, we'll treat you like a particularly backward nursery school and keep asking the question until you get the answer right. Even America's bossiest nanny-state Democrats don't usually express their contempt for the will of the people quite so crudely. Juncker is a man from Luxembourg, a country two-thirds the size of your rec room, and, under the agreeably clubby EU arrangements, he gets to serve as "president" without anything so tiresome as having to be voted into the job by "ordinary people." His remarks capture precisely the difference between the new Europe and the American republic.

As an aside, I don't feel too bad for my "EUzi" crack given that the Brussels types insisted a no vote was the path to gas chambers. And am I overwrought in fearing the future under the EU as Brussels envisions it (via Instapundit):

This brutal acceleration of the European Union project in the post-1990 period has leaked so much legitimacy from it that it now starts to resemble that other superannuated, elite-created, imposed federal union “project” also conceived in Europe in the same period (1910s-20s): the Soviet Union.

One of
John Kenneth Galbraith’s most ingenious contributions to social knowledge was his observation that above a certain size, large organisations replace their original motivation (for example, profit) with the goal of integrated control of its entire operating environment, and that they hide this pursuit of unaccountable power behind a myth of its opposite.

By the same token, neo-absolutist political institutions like the EU depend upon the maintenance of a fiction of democratic accountability. The claim is periodically challenged by the public refusal to vote for the European Parliament – hardly surprising when the parliamentarians vote to continue inflating their expenses, when an entire commission has to resign over corrupt practices, when the organisation as a whole fails to produce reliable, honest financial accounts, and when “whistleblowers” like
Paul van Buitenen and Marta Andreasen are excommunicated and threatened.

The fundamental issue is that the EU, like the failed Soviet experiment, cannot meet
Alexis de Tocqueville’s tests of democratic legitimation. The organisation is trapped by the local effects of a worldwide crisis of institutional trust, and a breakdown in the essence of the social contract between citizen and state.

The French effort to mount the German horse – an exercise first conceived in hope by
Aristide Briand and Jean Monnet in reaction to the slaughter of Verdun and the Somme – is newly exposed as bloated and unlovely. The “European Union” is just another episode – now drawing to a close – in the long history of Europe and its peoples. It has no inherent identity except in the minds and worldview of the Brussels elite who depend on it for their privilege and power.

So perhaps I should have called the Brussels elite "Eurxists." Shoot, Brussels might have taken that as a compliment since Marxists are the politically acceptable murdering tyrants in Europe (and on our campuses, of course). Normally, one would debate freedom versus security when there is a real threat to fight. There is no threat. Why would Europeans surrender their freedoms for security when freedom is only threatened by the elites who would rule them?

Come on, Dutch, it is your turn to kill off this zombie from Brussels.