Tuesday, April 24, 2018

A Wolf In EU Clothing

The European Union advocates seem to firmly believe that strengthening the European Union will protect Europeans from external threats and internal threats to democracy. I do believe they have it exactly backasswards.

I don't doubt he believes this is true:

French President Emmanuel Macron issued a call to Europeans on Tuesday not to retreat into nationalism but to build the European Union as a bulwark for liberal democracy against a disorderly and dangerous world.

Addressing the European Parliament in the French city of Strasbourg, the 40-year-old head of state won a standing ovation from most lawmakers after condemning the rise of "illiberal democracies" even within the EU. Nationalist MEPs from France, Britain and elsewhere sat in silence, however.

The European Union can only harm European security from external threats by undermining European commitments to NATO and causing NATO to wither as already scarce defense money is directed to the EU military structure. If NATO withers, America's role in defending Europe will erode. Given the scale of American military capabilities, that would be a huge loss to Europe.

As for preserving internal democracy, thus far membership in the EU hasn't been a bulwark against illiberal democracies (cue my predictable boring commentary on rule of law as the essential partner of voting for true democracy).

Naturally, those in favor of the EU will insist that even more power must be granted to the EU proto-imperial state to suppress that regrettable nation-state-based urge for illiberal democracy.

Which will just mean that illiberal democracy will be entrenched at the continent-wide level rather than being aberrations at the nation-state level that can be reversed under pressure from other true democratic nation-states in Europe.

I can't rule out that I'm the one living in the fantasy world by worrying about the ultimate effects of a more powerful European Union in creating a more dangerous world that threatens liberal democracy, but I strongly believe the pro-EU people are the ones spinning the fantasy benefits of protecting liberal democracy and keeping a dangerous world at bay.

I liked the European Union better when it was the European Economic Community.