Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Breaking the Bank or the State?

It seems like there is a race between whether the European Union's political wing will collapse under pressure from the financial crisis or whether the EU will manage to suppress any nation big enough to resist political unification under Brussels. As the power of the EU grows, it will be able to handle larger states. Until then, breaking up the biggest states is in the interests of Brussels.

This writer thinks that the Scottish independence move will both make Scotland more rational in pursuing economic policies and that it would make it easier for the rest of Britain to withdraw from the EU, since the most pro-EU part of one party, at least, will be curtained off from the rest. This is quite possibly true. The former most likely. But the latter is possible but more problematic. Perhaps an England+ that manages to get a pro-independence (from the EU) party in power will still be large enough to resist the EU. But maybe not.

In general, I think that whenever separatists in Spain, or Belgium, or Great Britain stir for independence, EU autocrats-in-waiting smile a bit more:

Why should the Brussels bureaucrats care if they ignore Belgians or Flemish and Walloons? Hell, the more the merrier. If larger states have difficulty moving the central proto-state, how will little specks on the map have any impact at all? Only the nation-states smart enough not to subdivide will retain any influence at all. But they will likely be swamped by population numbers. And who will be smart enough to resist the lure of their own flag!

There could be a Flemish Oblast and a Walloon Oblast to join with scores of other administrative entities.

This is classic divide and conquer.

Consider this incentive to divide a feature of the European Union rather than a bug. The Brussels transnational elites will laugh all the way to their new undemocratic empire while the silly people atomize their once-influential nation-states into little ethnic theme parks.

Let the people have their postage stamps and flags, the EU overlords likely think! The power will lie in Brussels, and who will be large enough to stop them?

If the EU could have put off this financial crisis, they might have been able to work out a solution without worrying that anyone is large enough to resist the idea of the EU itself. This financial crisis might be the last time the nations of Europe have to break free of their Soviet Union Lite developing in Brussels. Voting sure hasn't slowed it down so far. In time, it will take force of arms to withdraw. By then we'll see the EU strong enough to enforce their own version of the Brezhnev Doctrine.

It's certainly interesting to watch--from afar. Although that is only if I can divorce the historical aspect from the realization that this affects real people (which is why I always cut some new weather man some slack as he gets all excited about reporting on the hurricane all around him for the first time). And I do worry about the short term impact on us if the EU breaks up as a political entity. But in the long run, I think we are better off if that happens. I firmly believe that while we can have many friends and allies in Europe, Europe will not be our friend if it evolves into an empire. And Europeans will surely be better off if they live under democratic governments they elect rather than being ruled from the imperial seat in Brussels.

UPDATE: Thanks to Stones Cry Out for the link.