Thursday, May 11, 2017

Euro Man's Burden

Robert Kaplan--who I have little use for as an analyst, so you know my bias--thinks that the eastern Europeans need the European Union to keep them from getting all tyrannical and ethnic cleansy. He comes close to the truth of the EU proto-imperial project but then loses the insight in a flood of nonsense.

I guess some people just need the strong but firm hand of a powerful big brother to keep them in line:

The former Byzantine and Ottoman part of Europe — the part closest to the Middle East — is still the poorest, least stable and most in need of support and guidance from the European Union.

You see, the EU can soothe ethnic differences in the southeast:

Yet it is only the European Union that can stabilize the Balkans. Only if Serbia, Albania and Kosovo all become members of the union can the ethnic dispute between Serbs and Albanians truly be solved.

Because the EU has done so well in solving ethnic disputes in the rest of Europe long within the EU.

Heck of a job, Brussels!

Kaplan comes so close to a basic truth about the European Union:

The European Union, in other words, is the necessary empire.

And then the "but" comes in with a lengthy defense of that proto-empire, concluding:

Now the states that were once part of Yugoslavia will find peace and security only through a new, far more benign imperial system: the European Union.

Will there be freedom in the EU? Even when the proto-empire is still gathering power at the expense of nations and people, Kaplan can't fail to notice what the EU is already:

[The European Union] represents a sprawling territory, governed to a significant degree by a remote and only partially democratic bureaucracy, with many of its people demanding more direct representation. Isn’t this a form of late and declining empire?

Yes, the EU is an empire. And if it is still "benign," it is only because it is early and the Brussels apparatchiki have yet to erase the "proto" part of their empire by crushing the democracy portion of the bureaucracy that still survives to interrupt the glorious path to ever closer union and death penalty cheese regulations.

Remember, neither Yugoslavia nor the empires that ruled the Balkans managed to eliminate ethnic rivalries by suppressing them. Why would the EU be able to do that no matter how much power they centralize in Brussels to better carry the Euro Man's burden of civilizing the violence-prone wogs of eastern and southeastern Europe?

And it isn't just the people on the fringe that the Euro elites worry about. All Europeans are potential goose-stepping conquerors and concentration camp guards as far as the Europhiles are concerned:

The elites are pretending that the public is bloodthirsty and that only erasing democracy in a smothering European bureaucracy can prevent future bloodshed.

Imagine that, the Europeans looked to their past, noticed that the rulers of Europe often rallied their publics into repeated wars against each other and the rest of the world, and concluded that the key failure in this is their own public that failed to stop the leaders! Never mind that it was the leadership that led Europe to fight. I just want to know how putting an elite that has been prone to war back in complete charge will end European wars? Isn't this recreating the Europe of divine right rulers that created the bloody swath that Europeans cut across the globe?

I sometimes think I am too pessimistic when I have written that in 50 years we could be fighting an EU dictatorship. Reports like this do not make me sleep better at night. When we are pushing freedom and democracy to forestall threats from the Islamic world, Europe goes its own way back toward their violent, aggressive, and unfree past.

You want to maintain a free and peaceful Europe? Use what has worked since 1945: a strong NATO led by a strong America that stands with Europeans to defend freedom and peace.

Counting on yet another empire--new and improved with compassion and nuance!--to whip the violent European masses into line is just stupid and evil. Bravo Mr. Kaplan. He so rarely disappoints.