Sky News wants us to worry about members of the EU moving to the "right" rather than whatever the nomenclature is in Brussels today:
"Is the EU right? Should a union which espouses democratic principles even be threatening democratically elected leaders in this fashion?"Nice dodge. But let's get one thing straight: the EU is not democratic.
Anyone who says otherwise conveniently fails to remember the disastrous consequences of the coming of democracy in a) the Third World, and b) in Europe itself. How many millions of people were murdered in the 20th century? How many were murdered from the air by the aircraft of democratic armed forces? How about in the entire history of postcolonial Africa and Latin America?
When democracy fails, it is never blamed for its failures. Rather, people have failed it. Sure... It’s simply unbelievable to me that you can describe the 20th century as a success, especially in contrast with the stable and peaceful 19th, which created the civilisation we see falling apart before our eyes.
Basically, the 20th century was an era of technical progress and sociopolitical disaster. The former masking the latter. If you imagine rerunning the 20th frozen in the technology of 1901, you’ll see how much worse it would have been. But shouldn’t a healthy political and economic system be stable in the absence of technical revolutions?
That’s the thing about progressives. They always become emotional when asked to confront the horrors their ideology has unleashed upon the world. It induces a cognitive dissonance the mind cannot contemplate. If you're a progressive, watch Africa Addio. Ten to one, you won’t. Such a curious thing, the squeamish philosopher.
I know why the Europeans hate the idea of Nazism. But any rational moral condemnation of anyone who supported or empowered Nazism or racism has to include Communism as well. There is no way to conclude that either of these ideologies is more murderous than the other. And you could throw in the Jacobins, too - and Napoleon.
Of course, if you apply this test you wind up throwing out 3/4 of the writers and artists of the last two centuries. If this had a point, it's not really clear what it would be. So why do we still need to perform these ritual kowtows to anti-Nazism? It seems as though the EU is constantly looking for Nazis to hunt, and it's eternally suspicious to me.
Who convinced these Europeans that “democracy” refers only to the representative parliamentary system developed by the Anglo-Saxon countries? The word is hardly contemporary. If you can explain the difference between the demos, the Volk, and the People, I’d be most grateful. Most Europeans don’t know about the Nazi enthusiasm, copied from Napoleon III, for plebiscites.
By “democracy” I mean the entire trend rooted in the English Civil War and the French Revolution. I've just finished Jacob Talmon’s Origins of Totalitarian Democracy and it covers the latter nicely.
I suppose it's easy to forget that the forces of representative democracy are guilty of incredible Rummelian democide. It's not hard to see where they got this idea, it's only embarrassing. The first "Total War" in the 20th-century style (at least since the Thirty Years War) was the Unionist invasion of America's South. It is debatable whether the Unionist movement had more in common with our present-day post-Rooseveltism or with Bonapartist or Fascist movements, but the fact that the former endorses it so enthusiastically must mean something.
Europeans of today forget the essential fact about Nazism is that Nazism was fashionable. If you could somehow combine environmentalism, hip-hop, social justice, heavy metal, diversity and punk rock into a single meta-ideology, you might have something as fashionable as National Socialism in Germany in 1938. I exaggerate - slightly.
I know why traditional British people want out of the European Union.: its economic governance is closer to that of a fascist than of a socialist state. That bothers some people in Britain, although becoming an American-style communist state should be more concerning, but that's been covered in other posts.
What no one in Britain seems to comprehend is how similar national socialism and communism actually are.
Fascism/national socialism is a form of democracy, not tyranny (which is a form of civil war, itself a form of democracy). In the EU, business property is allowed to remain nominally private, but the majority of business profit is taken in taxes by the state and most business policies (hiring and firing of employees, prices and terms offered to customers, even hours of operation) are dictated by Brussels. In this arrangement, the state is a silent majority partner, with only the responsibility of keeping a business running and the liabilities should it fail, being left to its nominal owners. These owners only speak to the government through trade associations rather than as individual proprietors or corporations.
On the other hand, labour is organised into unions, which also provide political representation for their members. If you want to work, you must belong to a union. The news media either are controlled by the government (state broadcasting companies) or are funded by it (many European states subsidise their newspapers) and political dissent beyond a certain boundary is suppressed by judicial action. Taken as a whole, the situation is fascism without jackboots or overt Jew-baiting.
The EU is "democratic" only in the sense that the people are given access to power once every few years to decide a "leader" who cannot influence anything of real consequence. Again, democracy is a tool used by one aristocracy to replace another aristocracy. For 95% of human history, the normal mode of government has been monarchy. For the other 4%, it it has been an aristocratic oligarchy. Today is nothing new. Democracy, as Maine points out, is an incredibly ephemeral and rare form of government which seems extremely unstable and dangerous.
For instance, all the classical authorities considered democracy responsible for the decline of Ancient Greece – and they knew far more about Ancient Greece than we do. Aristotle knew the history of hundreds of genuinely independent city-states. What do we know? Britain and America, and their various modern versions of the Delian League. It’s a sample size of two, both of which yield ugly results by objective standards.
In an odd sort of way I suspect Francis Parker Yockey (author of the faux-Spenglerian "Imperium," "Europas Feind," etc.) would have been pleased with the EU. He disparaged the old nationalisms as the nostalgia of "yesterday-patriots" and championed a pan-European state as a bulwark against both the "oriental" Soviet Union and the United States, which he thought was irredeemably attached to "culture distorters" (his code word for Jews). Laughing, he would be, today.
Historians will be interested to see how, though national socialism and Eurocracy have very different cultural roots, they converge on the same kind of governmental mechanisms. Parallel evolution is always trying to tell you something.
(Richard North's EU Referendum blog is a great read to see all this stuff more clearly, but you'll need a glass of rum if you still think democracy is a real thing. He's really one of the few people on the internet who is seriously concerned with writing about the reality of government as it actually is, and his experience makes his commentary all the more devastating.)
It's intriguing to note that the Euro currency was a project of the Bundesbank. The German central bankers attempted by guileful manipulation to achieve what neither Bismarck nor Hitler were able to attain mit blut und eisen - a German hegemony over continental Europe, at least in the economic sphere. They seem to have achieved this by converting European national currencies to the Euro at a considerable advantage to Germany and at a disadvantage every other member. Maybe this is what Britain is complaining about, except they still have the Pound. Or perhaps it's the Greeks I hear.
Back in the 19th century, the French franc was worth about $US0.20 and the German mark about $US0.25. After the inflation and collapse of the Weimar period, this ratio was reinstated under Hitler, and after WWII it was reinstated under Bretton Woods. However, once the currencies were allowed to float, the mark ranged higher and the franc fell until at the time of conversion, the Deutschmark was worth about $US0.75, whereas the franc was worth about $0.15. There was a great deal of Bundesbank trading activity to skew exchange rates in favour of the DM in the months preceding the conversion.
I hear the Italians complained but accepted the discipline of the German central bank because they had none themselves. Denmark and Britain declined to adopt the Euro, while Norway stayed out of the EU entirely. Possibly these countries remembered their encounters with German ambitions. On the other hand, despite the bad deal they got, the French followed the advice given to the Sabine women - if you can't do anything, lay back and enjoy it. Perhaps this explains the nature of la France (Vichy) eternelle!
As for the Germans, there's no chance of real, 1930s national socialism coming back, either in their country or those to the East. Berlin threw away most of the advantage the Bundesbank squeezed out of other Euro countries by extending to former-East Germany the same generous welfare benefits that had been the norm in West Germany. This was a German "masterstroke" of the same class as their following Napoleon's example and invading Russia.
History does not repeat itself, but it rhymes. Germany's wounds have never resulted from a stab in the back, but rather from a shot in the foot.
I suspect it will get ugly in the Eurozone before too long. I was shocked to learn that the ECB has only just established a procedure for bailing out national central banks, who are lenders of last resort but cannot print euros. Yikes! Who designed this system? And what on earth were they thinking? You cannot insure deposits without the power to print money. We may see the peseta again, and the euro could turn back into the DM. Just as there's no business like show business, there's no madness like forex madness...
Most Europeans still say the democratic welfare state is good because it is natural. When I point out the natural state appears to be a monarchy, they respond that society can change and grow and progress.
Ahh, progressive pragmatists. So far as I can tell, 20th-century pragmatism is just another name for casuistry. It's a process of thinking that can derive whatever result it needs. The only thing separating national socialism from socialism in the great EU is fashion. Democracy is the same anywhere it lands. What you call it is up to the people who hold the whip hand