Yesterday I caught a BBC feed in which a disquieting article appeared. It seems that in the highest circles of the British government, they are afraid the European Union (EU) will fail. Many in the UK (and the USofA) are afraid Europe is getting up to its old tricks: Bickering, posturing, dissent and, finally, war.
War. You can imagine how this lamentable state of affairs will come about. Tensions continue to mount as the bigger, more powerful and far richer nations slam economic privation on Greece. These “bailouts” impose a level of austerity not seen since WWI when the Allies made Germany cough up ruinous reparations. The German people were reduced to absolute penury and the discontent the penury generated made fertile ground for the first mountebank or crank to come along. And of course, one did.
And one can now. It might be one of these Dutchmen who go around bitching about immigrants. This person will anathematize Greece as a parasite and demand some outrageous thing. Before you know it, the rich European states will want to do something to Greece. If the EU isn’t again prosperous, some trumped-up case will be made that the Greeks have become terrorists. Taking a tip from the USofA, a “coalition of the willing” will form around Germany. It will attract the more bilious states in Central Europe and, one fine day, the coalition will invade Greece so as to protect their assets. Sensing an opportunity to jam-up it’s old rival and enemy, Turkey will join in the fun
As an antipode, France will gather to her bosom, Spain, Italy, Latvia, Estonia et al and perhaps the Balkans as well. This coalition will side with Greece, opposing the “coalition of the willing” and the whole continent will erupt, just as it did twice in the 20th Century. This time, however, the USofA will stay out of it, except to side with England, should the UK be threatened.
After the war is all over, the penitent Europeans will promise never to do it again, but Europe will be desolated. After a bit, the Brits and Americans, joined by Canada and Australia, will come in to pick through the bones. The Chinese will want a piece of the action too and what’s left of Europe will become their vassal states. Russia won’t make a peep as they’ll be selling their gas and oil in both directions: east to the Red Chinese and west to the vassal states.
How can Europeans do this to themselves time after time? America, with as much land and people as Europe doesn’t do this kind of thing — well, we did have a civil war, so I don’t suppose we can preach. But it’s instructive to remember our Civil War was created along state borders, just like the European wars. Our Civil War was not some amorphous agglutinations of tribes, it was state against state, right along the borders. Indeed, when we fought the Civil War, we weren’t that much different than the Europeans. So what’s different?
Two things. One: We have a common language. I can two-way conversation with a Floridian, but can a Brit have a two-way conversation with, say, a Croat? A common language means a common people. I mean, look at the failure of multiculturalism in Europe where immigrant population are inward looking and never learn their new countries native tongue. People there often can’t talk with folks across the street.
Two, we have a constitution. In America, enough states decided that going it alone wasn’t such a hot idea and our Constitution came to being. Of course, there were plenty of rough spots after the Constitution was passed, such as the whiskey rebellion, reaching a low point in the Civil War. After that blood letting, the country more or less came back together and the Constitution reigned.
After the Civil Way, a resurgent Federal government stuffed some things down the states’ throats which killed any remaining notions that Virginia or Minnesota were indeed separate state like France and Luxembourg. A good example is the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC), which regulates interstate commerce, preventing the states from sticking it to each other and ensuring free passage of people and goods across state lines. Such Federal laws and regulations have diminished the power of the fifty states to where they are little more than prefectures.
While people in Washington State and Idaho consider themselves to be peers, can you imagine the Germans feeling that way about the French? Or the French feeling that same way about Italians? No, of course not. No European state will cede a jot of its autonomy to a central European government — each will insist its language, national culture and pride must be preserved and the others can go to Hell. In the USofA, Washington DC can order the forced occupation of a state by Federal troops, just as JFK did when enforcing the 13th Amendment on the school-house steps.
And consider this: If Austria said it was pulling out of the EU, it would pull out. Perhaps the Germans would wring their hands a bit, but that would be that. If Texas declared its independence from the USofA, it would be occupied by Federal forces by nightfall and the Governor arrested for sedition and treason.
Can such a central government exist in Europe, a government that could bring all the bickering states to heel? Absolutely not, and so the Brits are right.