The European Union suppresses heresy in the provinces:
Europe's Competition Directorate commands the shock troops of the EU power structure. Ensconced in its fortress at Place Madou, it can dispatch swat teams on corporate dawn raids across Europe without a search warrant.
It operates outside the normal judicial control that we take for granted in a developed democracy. The US Justice Department could never dream of acting in such a fashion.
Known as 'DG Comp', it acts as judge, jury, and executioner, and can in effect impose fines large enough to constitute criminal sanctions, but without the due process protection of criminal law. It misused evidence so badly in pursuit of the US chipmaker Intel that the company alleged a violation of human rights.
Apple is just the latest of the great US digital companies to face this Star Chamber. It has vowed to appeal the monster €13bn fine handed down from Brussels this week for violation of EU state aid rules, but the only recourse is the European Court of Justice. This is usually a forlorn ritual. The ECJ is a political body, the enforcer of the EU's teleological doctrines. It ratifies executive power.
Apple is ordered to pay $14.5 billion dollars for the crime of negotiating a tax deal with the Irish government, which the Irish government was happy to provide.
But no, the EU disapproves of this exercise in national legislation that benefits an American company. So it is forbidden. Because the imperial government disapproves of the provinces doing what they want.
Just in case the phalanx of lawyers and bureaucrats isn't enough, the EU would like whatever armed forces they get to have an easier time of putting down revolt the old-fashioned way:
Friction between Switzerland and the European Union over the bloc's plans to tighten gun control following a rise in militant attacks could turn into another serious snag in ties already tested by Swiss efforts to curb immigration.
The proposed directive, which applies to non-EU member Switzerland only because it is part of Europe's Schengen open border system, has raised hackles among the Swiss, who resent intervention from Brussels.
Christoph Blocher, a leading voice of the Swiss right and a eurosceptic, says Switzerland should consider abandoning Europe's Schengen system of passport-free travel if the Swiss people rejected the proposed measures in a referendum.
Drafted after militants killed scores in attacks in Paris last year, the EU plans on gun control aimed to curb online weapons sales and impose more restrictions on assault weapons.
But the initial proposal provoked an outcry in Switzerland because it meant a ban on the long Swiss tradition of ex-soldiers keeping their assault rifles.
Terrorists will always have weapons. Being terrorists willing to slaughter people, disobeying firearms laws is a small matter on the road to Paradise.
And governments that want to order their people about will always have weapons.
But law-abiding Europeans will be the ones disarmed--even those in eastern Europe who know better.
So in case the European Union ever gets its own large multinational paramilitary police force (poorly educated migrants have to work somewhere, eh?), the EU won't have to rely on the Competition Directorate for their shock troops for ever closer union.
Remember, the people are always the greatest enemies of multi-ethnic empires in the grip of totalitarian governments:
Bolsheviks were never very good at material inventions, but they excelled at political technology, inventing an entirely new system we call totalitarian. As they say today, it went viral. There is still no vaccine.
Of course, lots of conquering groups have annihilated or enslaved other groups—just think of the Trojan war or Tamerlane’s mountains of skulls—but no form of government had ever been so brutal to those it regarded as its own people. Soviet Russia was far crueler than its tsarist predecessor, which had long been proverbial as “the gendarme of Europe.”
Do read it all. People with absolute power crush those who seem to stand in their way.
A Europe ruled from Brussels will be crueler than any past Europeans hope to escape.