Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Off Topic Tuesday: Eurozone Crisis

The downward spiral of the European Union continues. I don’t think any long-time readers will be surprised to know what a low opinion I have of the European Union. The farthest I will go is to say that some of the original founders may have had good intentions but the whole idea of Europe as one country frankly disgusts me. I know, there are those who say, and they have said to me, “but Archduke Otto favored European unity” so it must be pretty good right? I have the utmost respect for the late Archduke but, “European unity” is a pretty broad, vague thing to be in favor of and for all those who list off all the royals, aristocrats or even popes who, they say, favor a united Europe my only response is that guys like Adolf Hitler and Oswald Mosley favored a united Europe too. If one wants to argue that the “concept” is a good one, we can have that argument, but there is no doubt in my mind that what actually exists today in those hideous buildings in Brussels is absolutely something to oppose every step of the way. Anytime the EU finds itself falling on hard times I feel like standing up and cheering.

That being said, I cannot be completely upbeat about the current crisis in Europe because it is proving that your average European is just as dumb as your average American in that *they just don't get it*. Just like your majority, apathetic, mainstream Americans, your average Europe has not gotten the message: Socialism Doesn't Work! You cannot get something for nothing, you cannot run up debts and expect future generations to cover the bill (especially when you cannot be bothered to actually produce a future generation) and punishing success and rewarding failure is not the way to create a successful economy. These are not difficult concepts to grasp, yet precious few today seem able to. The austerity measures (such as they are) did not happen in Greece because people suddenly saw the error of their ways. They only happened because Greece ran out of money, couldn't pay back their debts, couldn't get anymore loans and so the Greek borrower became the slave of the EU lender. That is my biggest concern with the current crisis; that, as I see it now, no one seems to be learning from their mistakes but throw an infantile fit at the government gravy train being cut off and turning their anger on whatever unfortunate party or coalition just happens to be in power.

In Spain, for example, recent elections turned out the socialists and brought the 'very, very slightly right-of-center leaning' party to power. I was certainly glad to see the socialists go, it turned my stomach every time King Juan Carlos had to meet with that crowd, but while I don't want to ignore those people who voted them out for the right reasons, most did not. I don't think most Spaniards voted against the socialists because they realize they're wrong (on social as well as economic issues) but simply voted them out because they happened to be in power when the house of cards collapsed. In Italy it was the 'very, very slightly right-of-center' Berlusconi who was tossed out, again, not because of scandals or anything that concrete, but mostly because he happened to be the one in power at the time. He certainly did not create the current disaster that is the Italian economy all by himself since becoming prime minister in 2008. So there was some public outcry but, most importantly, the EU wanted him gone (they had never liked him much anyway). The EU has imposed new leadership on Greece, in Italy (surprise, surprise) the new PM Mario Monti is a long-time EU-supporter and one who actually did help Italy get to where she is now by helping arrange the massive loans to keep up the fools paradise illusion while the country was going broke.

The people though, so far, are not so upset with the EU establishing dictatorial power over the member states, not so upset with the policies that have driven them into bankruptcy and not so upset that the EU has had to go to China (perhaps making all of Europe the slave of the Chinese lender) for more bailout money. No, they are upset because they are being told that cannot continue to get all the freebies from the government they have grown acustomed to. As glad as I am to see the EU in crisis, that simple fact still depresses me.


  1. All it shows is that simply taking more and more powers away from monarchs and giving it more to elected institutions and unelected bureaucrats (who control our lives far more than any monarchies before 1914 ever did), is disastrous.

  2. It's entirely true that we're far too used to our handouts over in Europe.
    What annoys me is people who protest against austerity. What do they want? To live luxuriously while the economy collapses? How does that make any sense? While the economy suffers, so does the citizen. We have to deal with it. We've long forgotten how to do that, however.

    The EU imposing its puppets (I doubt they're anything more than that) is without a doubt worrying. Not only does it flout national sovereignty, but the democrats should be upset because it flouts democracy! Berlusconi may have been a terrible, disgusting man, but his head occasionally rolled away from the champagne and prostitutes into the reasonable land of right-wing politics. Monti will probably just let the EU put him on a leash.

    Also, did you hear about that German asking for the Pope to be fined for not wearing his seat belt?

  3. Of course the people aren’t upset with the EU taking the power from their nations away, or the policies that lead to bankruptcy; they simply cannot see the Truth.

    It’s a Religious problem, as I said. Socialism and the Humanism it rests on is the new Civic, and in some ways formal Religion of Europe and the rhetoric is all people see in their heads. The promise of Modernism is a Human Race no longer divided and standing in unity; in a community in which all needs are met and everyone is taken care of in a Science based Utopia that advanced by leaps and bounds and cures all that ails society. The Centrally planned government will make sure no one has more than anyone else or an unfair cut and everyone will have heir basic needs met and people will live in total equality and harmony.

    The people are trying to shape the Reality against this Vision, this Dream, and are becoming angry and frustrated because the reality doesn’t match the dream. Rather than critically evaluate the dream itself though, they blame the Politicians for not living up to it or somehow botching it. No, the dream itself cannot be at Fault; it must be that those people who are immediately in Charge are the problem. We just know the wonderful Democratic centrally planned society in which everyone’s needs are met and the Streets are paved with Gold and no one fights any more is possible, and there reason society is not like that is because those guys over there keep holding us back. If we could just get rid of those guys and fix the damage they have done we will have that wonderful new world we were promised…

    As I said, its an engrained Narrative and how they understand not just a momentary political order, but the very essence of what it means to be Human. It is what defines them, this story of struggle from the barbarian clutches of absolute Monarchs, arrogant and self serving, into a new Democratic world in which the people Rule and all needs are met. It’s the March of progress. It’s the Height of Human Evolution. Its what we move toward as advanced and compassionate societies, reaching toward that greater perfection. It defines not just the Modern political world, but the very meaning of life and how we should live! It is, in short, their Civic Religion. It is every bit as ingrained in Europeans now as America’s Constitution and Founding fathers and ideals, it defines who they are as a people and their values, and the values they think should define all humanity.

    They can’t blame the ideology at the moment, to do so would require them to critically examine not just policies against Logic and reason, but to actually critically evaluate the very beliefs they use to even understand their world.

    As to the Crisis, I agree that I simply despise the European Union. Normally I am quiet pleased when it suffers, but in this case I can’t be as happy. Should the Euro collapse, it will leave a big gapping black hole in the World Economy, and produce in Europe massive unemployment ( Higher than it is now) and reduce entire populations to the harshness of Depression.

    However, it won’t be Limited to Europe. While the United Kingdom is not in the Euro, its Economy is so tied with Europe at the moment it too will suffer, though the Pound will shield the UK from a lot of the collapse.

    It will also affect the United States, Canada, and the rest of the world, and we will see stocks plummet, markets crash, and the price of goods rise exponentially.

    The only solace in this is that the system will be broken, and perhaps Reason can prevail when a new one is being built. But it’s a long haul.

  4. Mr. Nicot, no I had not heard that, but nothign liek that surpries me out of Europe these days.

  5. I love how the Brussels bureaucrats continue to grasp at straws to justify the continued existence of their obviously broken system. We are told that the euro must be saved at all costs, and that the EU can't be allowed to breakup or fracture or the whole continent will descend back into the dark ages. They try to paint it as if everything before the EU was only darkness and misery and everything sense has been perfect harmony.

    The choice being given is either save the euro and salvage and strengthen the EU, or else WWIII will happen. As if the only way to guarantee peace and prosperity on the continent is for every nation on it to surrender its sovereignty to a bunch of unelected functionaries for the "greater good".

    Evidently it never occurred to anyone in Brussels that peaceful relations and economic growth can be achieved through one on one diplomacy between coequal states and that the whole extra layer of extra national bureaucracy is totally unneeded.

  6. IT gets better, they now wanr to rnegotiate the not really that old Lisbon treaty in order to save the Euro by allowing the EU and perhaps Central Bank todireclty control, or at leats have vfinal say over, the Budget's of the Member States. Sarkosy andd merkel seem quiet willing, even happy to betray their Narions by repealing their National soverignty inthe name of greater Europe.

    Once upon a Time the T word woudl have been used. its 7 letters long if anyone wishes to guess. now they are "Bold leaders" who "Seek to save us all".


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...