Archives for posts with tag: European Community

That all things, at least those belonging to the real world, have a certain thickness… is a truism.

Yet so often we ignore this evidence and relate only to the appearance we are looking at.
At a given moment.
By chance, by design or by negligence.

Take for instance Marine le Pen’s ascension to the second tour in the French elections.
Quite a number of ‘pundits’ put the ‘blame’ for this squarely on ‘Bruxelles” shoulders. Including her and her followers. And, not at all surprisingly, Trump and Putin.

And not without reason!

After all the EU bureaucracy, headquartered in Bruxelles, is responsible for many of the consequences brought upon our heads by the very existence of what is currently known as the European Community.

what we gonna do

Click on the bloody picture, will ya!

First of all let me remind you what brought about the current edition of the ‘European Project.’

OK, it has been attempted before. By the Romans, by Charlemagne, by Napoleon, by Hitler… and don’t tell me that Putin wouldn’t love to be ‘crowned’ as The European Leader.

The problem is that all those attempts had started as individual initiatives and had happened to be ‘against the grain’. As in those who had to shoulder the burden for it didn’t see any benefit from it coming to life.

A small parenthesis. There is nothing ‘unnatural’ for strong willed individuals to try to widen their domination to the farthest possible corner. It had happened when and where ever geographical and historical conditions had allowed it.
The problem is that all imperia have eventually failed, usually in an abysmal manner. History is so full of examples that I won’t bother presenting any.

This edition of the European Project has started out of necessity.

At the end of WWII the continent was in a state of disarray.
The West was mired in self doubt and extremely tired while the East had experienced both the German occupation and the blessings of being liberated by the Soviets.

Understanding that Europe had to be helped, or else – it could have been, in a short while, overwhelmed by the Soviets, America had drafted the Marshall Plan.
For the sake of efficiency, the Americans had asked the Europeans to organize themselves at the receiving end. The Europeans responded by calling a Conference for European Economic Co-operation. It would be beyond the scope of this post to get into further details but this was the start of the Organisation for European Economic Co-operation which a short while later had set the stage for the European Coal and Steel Community – the precursor of the present-day European Community.

As we all know, the project has fulfilled its intended goals.

Europe has recovered nicely and the Soviet Union was contained.

‘But you haven’t mentioned, at all, the (professed?) reason for which the European Community was forged in the first place! To make sure that Europe will never again be drenched in blood as a consequence of war!’

Yes, this had indeed been the professed motive, “The European Union is set up with the aim of ending the frequent and bloody wars between neighbours, which culminated in the Second World War“.
It did its job, briliantly, only it was just a ‘marketing gimmick’. Ever since the Soviet Union had started to export, by force, its particular brand of (extremely authoritarian) socialism to the countries under its ‘sphere of influence’ it had become abundantly clear that the rest of Europe had only two alternatives. Stick together in order to be able to fend of the Soviets or be gobbled up piece by piece.
Fighting among themselves? In those conditions? Not even Stalin could have dreamed of something like that…

Why did America continued to help?
First of all, they were already heavily invested here. Just think of it. To save Europe from  the Nazis only to allow the Soviets to occupy it… doesn’t make much sense, does it?

Then why are so many trying to tear it apart now? From inside as well as from outside?

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to understand Putin’s motives so I won’t waste any of your time on this.

It’s a little bit harder to understand the Americans who wish the European Project would fail. After all we are their most important trading partner AND their closest ideological neighbor. I used ‘neighbor’ on purpose, instead of ‘friend’.

Distant neighbor, I have to add…

You see, being protected by two oceans and by a very effective ‘nuclear umbrella’ may induce a certain feeling of coziness… just remember how long they had waited before intervening in WWI and WWII. Add to that the fact that people’s memories are very short and you’ll understand why the ordinary Americans do not care much for what is going on this side of the Atlantic.
Why are some of the American ‘plutocrats’ weary of the EU and rather friendly towards Putin? For the very same reason for which their peers had done business with Hitler, even after the start of the war…. Some of them might still be convinced that their corporations would be more profitable under an authoritarian regime than under a more democratic one. And since Putin makes the right noises…

And we have reached now the really tricky part.
Why on Earth are some people trying to tear apart the EU from the inside?!?

One might very well consider they, or at least some of them, constitute a post-Soviet fifth-column, meant to destabilize Europe and make it more susceptible to be influenced by Putin and his eventual heirs.

Since I cannot prove any of this, one way or the other, I’m going to use a different tack.

History teaches us that people commit mistakes for two reasons. Alone or in conjunction: Lack of adequate understanding of the matter and/or callousness.

Take your pick: Quisling, Petain, Lord Haw-Haw… but don’t forget Daladier, Chamberlain and also von Papen.

But there’s a catch.
No amount of stupidity and/or callousness on the part of any of the politicos may produce any damages unless the situation is ‘right’. Or ‘ripe’?!?

You see, all these jerks had been able to make their ultimately stupid moves simply  because the social yarn had already been messed up by a long line of political, and economic, blunders. From the French insistence that the Germans pay huge war reparations after WWI to, but not exclusively, the Fed mishandling rates during the ’20es and the 30es.

The current situation is nowhere near as bad as it was before WWII but does share with that a couple of converging points.

To be continued

Modern England was shaped by a bunch of ‘French immigrants’ led by William II of Normandy. In the following centuries England and France fought each-other bitterly, in one instance for more than 100 years. Yet they ended up being best buddies, close enough to have fought, and won, two World Wars.

France and Germany started as the two wings of the Carolingian Empire. After it was divided in 835, France was the first to become a national state and, for a while, was Europe’s hegemon of sorts. During that period the French culture had influenced heavily the life of the entire German area. Take a walk through the Sanssouci palace in Potsdam and the Schonbrunn in Wien if you need any confirmation.
But none of this stopped a considerable number of French and German leaders from marshaling numerous armies that fought each-other bitterly, for various reasons.

In fact one could say that Europe itself was forged during those battles.

In this context, the Peace of Westphalia – that ended a 30 years long war, can be considered the seed of what we have now: a system of sovereign states that interact according to a set of practices that have been enshrined into international law.

But it seems that one war was not enough for the rulers that happened to gain precedence in both French and German speaking areas of Europe. So others followed. Culminating with the two World Wars that have involved almost the entire planet.

And what do we have now?
An European Union that has been built precisely in the spirit of the Franco-German Elysee Treaty signed in 1963?

So, could we say that Europe is the success story of so many nations, speaking different languages and having various cultural traditions, who have finally learned to live in peace?
Who have finally learned to silence the war-mongering among them?

Who have finally realized that they are “better off together than apart” and that what it takes for this to happen is “Mutual respect, no love, …but a considerable amount of curiosity“?

Then how come we are not able to extend that wisdom, that literally soaked in blood body of  knowledge, to cover the current events?
How can we not find in ourselves an effective way to help the so many people who are literally dying outside our closing gates?

Why is it that so many of us still pay any attention to those who teach us to ‘circle the wagons’ and to ‘leave behind those who didn’t make it’?

This tactic seldom worked, if ever.

vluchtelingen-wegversperring

‘Hungarian self-defense’

 

… must we sink in our own, self induced, decrepitude before we’ll be able to notice the stink we, ourselves, have draped around us?

Before figuring out that it’s us who are ultimately responsible for our own fate?

Before figuring out that by allowing this kind of crap to be traded above our heads, and sometimes even by helping to its distribution, we soil the most precious of our ‘belongings’ – our souls?

This image has probably been ‘Photoshopped’ by somebody.
I’m not going to discuss that person’s motives here. We live in a free world and everybody should be able to express his/her feelings.

What I find extremely interesting – and dangerous – is the fact that this picture has been so widely circulated over the internet that it ended up in my mail. A short Google search confirmed that it comes from somewhere in Holland only the guy who sent it to me, horripilated, lives in Canada…

So, what’s the use for us to clamor virtuously about human rights and then make fun, shamelessly, of people who find themselves in a horrible situation?

And, please, do not make any mistake!
I’m not speaking exclusively about the refugees here.

Some of the manifestly dissatisfied Europeans who are protesting these days are not as much against the refugees themselves as they are against the hapless manner in which the European bureaucracy has been (mis) managing so many things recently.

Just as some of the political leaders who are lambasting the European Commission on this subject are not interested in improving the European Community but in ‘scoring swag’ with the disillusioned (and somewhat naive) electorate.

We need to break this vicious circle!

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