Sunday, December 27, 2009

As Revealing as a Barium Enema

The perpetual rigamarole surrounding the formation of the EU over the past 4 decades is rather more revealing of the state of the European political mind than one thinks. It’s an accounting of unredacted reactions, expressions of instincts, and the willingness to live with broad, warm-sounding feelings of communatarianism that wants to magnify it’s power around the world for no reason, while all the parties act like they want to take their ball, leave the sandbox, and go home.

Any detailed account of EU history reads like an endless list of failures, dissapointments, backtracking, non-compliance with commitments, unfulfilled expectations, hard bargaining, dull and unimpressive bureacrats, selfish national leaders, egoistic states, ever-growing scepticism, blatant behaviour of large member states, a ridiculous common agricultural policy, etc ., etc.
What I’m waiting for is the kind of commitment to “something-hood” (one cannot speak of nationhood, or cartel-hood for that matter), that, to a sufficient degree of confidence, will permit them to dismantle their 27 Embassies in every major capitol in the outside world in favor of a consolidated entity, ceding 26 of their UN General assembly seats, and one of their two UNSC seats, and live with the world in a way that the rest of the world must, and matches their own vision of the monoculturalism that they take to be inherent in any other national government on earth.
And what of the dull bureacrats? The European Commission has had 11 presidents since 1958. But who remembers presidents Rey, Malfatti, Ortoli or Thorn? You might remember Santer, but for the wrong reasons. Hallstein and Jenkins are somewhere in the back of the mind, but far from being household names. And only Delors looks impressive, but then many will tell you that he was appointed precisely because no one thought at the time he was a visionary.

And still the EU is somehow considered a big success. The truth is that the EU has almost always been an institution of dull bureaucrats pushing for incremental measures that mostly fail, and those that become successes are acknowledged as such only ten years later.
From without, the only reaction is “big deal”. Far from being a denouement of human advancement and the superiority of impotently wishing for good in the world, it’s a mere sign of incremental evolution from being a culture at war with itself and the rest of humanity for a millennium, an exporter of the most murderous ideas, especially that of the subservience of the man before the power of the state, only to construct an increasingly undemocratic super-state that takes the power people can have over their lives further away from them into a vague multi-lingual babble where one never knows what is getting lost in translation.

The only question at this point is “how long do the children have to be kept being told that they’re making history?” and “how long does Nana have to say they’re special?”

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