Lest I might be accused of only thinking of Britain, Brexit isn’t my sole hope as far as the EU is concerned. Of course Britain should get out and shake the dust of this abomination off her feet. But then, in the spirit of internationalism, so should everyone else.
European federalism isn’t really unprecedented. It’s but one in a long series of social experiments conducted over the last 250 years.
Social in this context means involving people, and it took a tectonic cultural and philosophical shift for experiments on humans to become not only possible but actually laudable.
This shift is known as the Enlightenment, but in fact its essence was sheer obscurantism: abandoning the correct Judaeo-Christian view of man for any number of bogus notions. None had any truth to it and therefore none could have possibly worked.
Hence they had to be tried one by one, and then ditched for something else, along with the human lives destroyed during the experiment. In the process, man stopped being seen as the highest and ultimate edifice of creation, becoming instead merely material of which some Potemkin-village structure could be built.
Untold misery always resulted, and emerging states were all born like babies, covered in blood. This goes for every modern, post-Enlightenment state, from the USA and France onwards. For instance, no one in history has killed as many Americans as Americans did, and no foreign occupier, not even Nazi Germany, has ever matched Frenchmen in the scale of murdering Frenchmen.
This stands to reason: being fallen and therefore fallible, people inevitably disappoint those who insist that all it takes to eliminate sin is for the state to open paths leading to virtue. Yet people unfailingly fail to deliver, hence the urge to kill them all.
Mass murder is the most graphic illustration to the folly of human experimentation, but it’s not the only one. Social and cultural collapse accompanies such activities almost invariably, and economic decline usually. Time after time people prove that, when they are used as but a building material, the structure thus erected will eventually totter and collapse.
The EU is one such termite-eaten structure. It’s a logical extension of the socialist experiment started by Bismarck and in due course adopted by all Western countries. A modern, which is to say socialist, state has to expand, and even national socialism has to have an international dimension.
For innate to any socialist project is a quest for uniformity, which stands to reason. If people are merely building blocks, they have to be practically identical, for otherwise they won’t fit together. But because uniformity is alien to human nature, the only way to promote homogeneity is for some central authority to ride roughshod over human nature.
Hence centralisation run riot is a universal characteristic of all modern states, and an attempt to expand beyond the geographically limiting national borders has some ineluctable if perverse logic to it.
Such a project has to have dire economic consequences, among others. People’s economic behaviour is naturally individualistic, and the only way to override it with collectivism is for politics and ideology to trump economics.
We all know about the direct and devastating effect the EU has had on southern European economies, those of Spain, Italy, Portugal and especially Greece. Less widely publicised is the economic malfunction in the Franco-German axis around which the EU revolves.
In his book Le suicide français, Eric Zemmour shows, figures in hand, how, following the introduction of the euro, France’s economy has been declining pari passu with the growth of Germany’s.
In common with many journalists, Mr Zemmour is better at citing facts than understanding them properly. Hence he extols the very ideas of the French Enlightenment that in reality adumbrated all the subsequent abortions, including the EU.
Also, being a man of clear National Front leanings (even though he calls himself a Gaullist), he tends to see his own nation’s ordeal more clearly than other countries’. It’s true that France’s economy is in the doldrums thanks to her own socialistic dirigisme and the dead weight of the EU around her neck. But Germany isn’t in clover either.
Welfarism can only be sustained economically when the economy is growing robustly. Yet Germany’s puny average GDP increase of 1.1% places her 156th out of 166 countries, much lower than Britain that mercifully didn’t allow Blair to drag her into the single currency. And Germany’s productivity growth is lower than even Portugal’s.
For reasons touched upon earlier, economic individuality, otherwise known as entrepreneurialism, is being suppressed in Germany, which ranks 111th in the ‘ease of business start-up’ category. The bowels of socialism extrude red tape, and nothing suffocates business activity as terminally.
As a result, over the last 15 years wages in Germany have been steadily falling in real terms, as has been her share of global exports. This last development is more worrying for Germany than it would be for most countries, as Merkel’s government has strategically suppressed domestic demand in favour of an export-driven economy.
None of this will stop the experiment. Only a massive explosion in the lab can do that, which metaphorical detonation can come in the real shape of war, Weimar-style economic collapse, 1848-style pan-European rioting – the possibilities are endless.
As with any explosion, the farther one is away from the epicentre, the better. Brexit, anyone?