Europeans are losing their sense of European destiny (via Instapundit):
The recent near breakup of the United Kingdom — something inconceivable just a decade ago — reflects a deep, pervasive problem of identity throughout the EU. The once vaunted European sense of common destiny is decomposing. Other separatist movements are on the march, most notably in Catalonia, Flanders and northern Italy.
Throughout the continent, public support for a united Europe fell sharply last year. Opposition to greater integration has emerged, with anti-EU parties gaining support in countries as diverse as the United Kingdom, Greece, Germany and France. ...
These attitudes suggest that the EU could be devolving from a nascent super-state to something that increasingly resembles the Holy Roman Empire, a fragmented landscape of small, unimportant states wrapped in a unitary, but ephemeral crepe. This challenges the view of some Americans, particularly but not only on the left, who see Europe as a role model for the U.S.
The West as a concept may have a problem surviving this retreat from a common belief that Europe--the home of the West-- is the strong horse and the wave of the future, but the European Union will ride this sentiment to their Soviet Union Lite empire, I think.
Since when has national democracy been anything but a speed bump on the way to closer union? When voters vote "no," the EU elites keep holding votes until the voters get it right and vote "yes."
And then voting stops on that question.
I think that while the identity problem is a problem for a European sense of common destiny, this splintering and secession is a feature and not a bug of the European Union:
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?
The Brussels elite in their imperial capital and throughout the provinces of the EU will be happy when everyone is just the Duchy of Grand Fenwick in size and power, capable of being just the administrative arm of the empire.
So Europe will still be a role model for our left.