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What Europe Really Needs (Paul Johnson Slams The EU's Soft Totalitarianism Alert)
Opinion Journal.com ^ | 06/17/05 | Paul Johnson

Posted on 06/17/2005 12:43:31 AM PDT by goldstategop

The fundamental weaknesses of the EU that must be remedied if it is to survive are threefold. First, it has tried to do too much, too quickly and in too much detail. Jean Monnet, architect of the Coal-Steel Pool, the original blueprint for the EU, always said: "Avoid bureaucracy. Guide, do not dictate. Minimal rules." He had been brought up in, and learned to loathe, the Europe of totalitarianism, in which communism, fascism and Nazism competed to impose regulations on every aspect of human existence. He recognized that the totalitarian instinct lies deep in European philosophy and mentality--in Rousseau and Hegel as well as Marx and Nietzsche--and must be fought against with all the strength of liberalism, which he felt was rooted in Anglo-Saxon individualism.

In fact, for an entire generation, the EU has gone in the opposite direction and created a totalitarian monster of its own, spewing out regulations literally by the million and invading every corner of economic and social life. The results have been dire: An immense bureaucracy in Brussels, each department of which is cloned in all the member capitals. A huge budget, masking unprecedented corruption, so that it has never yet been passed by auditors, and which is now a source of venom among taxpayers from the countries which pay more than they receive. Above all, règlementation of national economies on a totalitarian scale. ...

In short, the EU is not a living body, with a mind and spirit and animating soul. And unless it finds such nonmaterial but essential dimensions, it will soon be a dead body, the symbolic corpse of a dying continent.

(Excerpt) Read more at opinionjournal.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Editorial; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: brussels; culture; eu; europe; freemarkets; pauljohnson; softtotalitarianism; spirituality; wsj
Paul Johnson in a brilliant commentary, points out Europe had turned its back both on the spiritual heritage that made it great and scorns the future by rejecting the free markets that make genuine human diversity and human liberty possible. The EU is rightly, the symbolic corpse of a dying continent. It is a short distance removed from the "Europe Of The Fatherlands" held by the French statesman Charles DeGaulle, who envisioned Europe as a grand symphony of different peoples contributing to a better and freer future. Which is the exactly opposite of the monoform soft totalitarian Europe willed out of Brussels today. Unless Europe's elites appreciate the need to combine the wisdom of the past with the lessons of the present, the European dream will die as it should, aborning.

(Denny Crane: "Sometimes you can only look for answers from God and failing that... and Fox News".)
1 posted on 06/17/2005 12:43:33 AM PDT by goldstategop
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To: goldstategop

Excellent post from Paul Johnson, a trustworthy scholar. European leaders seem to accept the disease of their tyrranical tendencies and reject the cure of the American free market economy. The blindness is probably caused by a lack of faith.


2 posted on 06/17/2005 12:53:28 AM PDT by Falconspeed (Keep your fears to yourself, but share your courage with others. R.L.Stevenson)
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To: Falconspeed
Paul Johnson's latest book is a forthcoming biography of George Washington. Knowing his previous works, I can guarantee it will be a superb. He is an Anglo Americanophile of the first order.

(Denny Crane: "Sometimes you can only look for answers from God and failing that... and Fox News".)
3 posted on 06/17/2005 12:55:16 AM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives On In My Heart Forever)
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To: goldstategop

Already posted


4 posted on 06/17/2005 1:00:15 AM PDT by mal
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To: goldstategop

I only partialy agree with this analysis.It is globaly correct but you must keep in mind that debate exist in some european countries.It would be important to wonder what part
play the Churches in that picture.
I would prefer to speak of crisis(a big crisis)instead of totalitarianism.But certainly there is a risk of totalitarianism.
Concerning Ch.De Gaulle i think he is a part of the problem!
He was an old nationalist who called communists in his government after WW2...It seems that W.CHURCHIL,F.ROOSEVELT...EISENHOWER did not appreciate him.
His old-fashioned nationalism prevent him to choose between USA and USSR.He was the first to recognize CHINA of MAO TZE TOUNG...he took some distances with USA and tooke FRANCE out from OTAN.He made a stupid declaration about freedom in PNOM PENH as he left Asia to communism...The algerian war was a fiasco...
From a long time FRANCE is sick of his history.But the problem is not the same in the others european countries.That's why i could have some reservation about global judments on Europe


5 posted on 06/17/2005 2:23:09 AM PDT by Ulysse (FRENCH FOR BUSH)
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To: Ulysse
(I wish we could combine the two posts of this excellent piece - see Mal's posting of this article.) I love this commentary, but I am inclined to agree with Ulysse about CdG: I don't share the wistful nostalgia Mr. Johnson (& many others) seem to feel for the guy. He totally wussed out on NATO and contributed in no small part to the assessment of the french here and elsewhere as petty cowards seeking security for themselves by coasting on the coattails of other nations' courage.
6 posted on 06/17/2005 2:49:19 AM PDT by leilani
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To: leilani

This piece of trivia is a little off topic, but Paul Johnson was on Dennis Prager's radio show yesterday and Prager asked him why or when American accents diverged from English accents. Johnson replied that it has been the English accent that has changed since the 17th century and that today's Americans sound more like the 17th century English than the modern English do. Pretty interesting, if true.


7 posted on 06/17/2005 3:15:31 AM PDT by Ranald S. MacKenzie (Its the philosophy, stupid.)
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To: Ranald S. MacKenzie

Interesting, how would one know?


8 posted on 06/17/2005 3:38:26 AM PDT by DB ()
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To: Ranald S. MacKenzie

If today's Americans sound more like 17th century Englishman than modern day Englishman do, it does not explain the different Australian accent. Australia was colonized a bit after America and it has a very distinct accent different from either the mother country or America.

It is easy to hear cockney echoes in Australian speech.


9 posted on 06/17/2005 4:08:43 AM PDT by Naomi4
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To: Ranald S. MacKenzie
I believe this to be true - so do many linguistic historians. And in fact, sometimes you can hear "american" in UC accents in the UK, just as in the American South, if you "squint your ears", you can hear a bit of Scotland in the cadence & pronunciation. And I've always found it fascinating that when the British sing, they sound completely "american" without trying to. Interestingly, linguistic historians also say that Cajun French (although the continental french roll their eyes at this) is much closer to old French than modern motherland french.They were so isolated in their diaspora first in Nova Scotia and later in SW Lousiana, that they weren't subjected to all the outside polyglot influences that morphed "true" (LOL-don't tell all the language police there now) french into what it is today.
10 posted on 06/17/2005 4:19:17 AM PDT by leilani (Hey france: you'll get your capital back when you start acting like a respectable nation)
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To: DB
Interesting, how would one know?

I believe that they do their sleuthing by comparing literature: rhyming poetry can give a lot of clues, for example. Stuff that rhymed in old Brit Lit no longer rhymes there, but rhymes here. And I know that we've retained word usage in the US, evident in samples of old documents & literature, that the Brits have abandoned in modern speech.I wish I could dredge up examples from college coursework, but I've been up all night working and my mind has turned to mush.

11 posted on 06/17/2005 4:50:20 AM PDT by leilani (Hey france: you'll get your capital back when you start acting like a respectable nation)
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To: goldstategop
MORE:


The EU's economic philosophy, insofar as it has one, is epitomized by one word: "convergence." The aim is to make all national economies identical with the perfect model. This, as it turns out, is actually the perfect formula for stagnation. What makes the capitalist system work, what keeps economies dynamic, is precisely nonconformity, the new, the unusual, the eccentric, the egregious, the innovative, springing from the inexhaustible inventiveness of human nature. Capitalism thrives on the absence of rules or the ability to circumvent them.
Hence it is not surprising that Europe, which grew rapidly in the 1960s and 1970s, before the EU got going, has slowly lost pace since Brussels took over its direction and imposed convergence. It is now stagnant. Growth rates of over 2% are rare, except in Britain, which was Thatcherized in the 1980s and has since followed the American model of free markets. Slow or nil growth, aggravated by the power of the unions, fits well with the Brussels system and imposes further restraints on economic dynamism: Short working hours and huge social security costs that have produced high unemployment, over 10% in France and higher in Germany than at any time since the Great Depression which brought Hitler to power.

It is natural that high and chronic unemployment generates a depressive anger which finds many expressions. One, in Europe today, is anti-Semitism and anti-Americanism. Another is exceptionally low birthrates, lower in Europe than anywhere else in the world except Japan. If present trends continue, the population of Europe (excluding the British Isles) will be less than the United States by midcentury--under 400 million, with the over-65s constituting one-third of that.

The rise of anti-Americanism, a form of irrationalism deliberately whipped up by Messrs. Schröder and Chirac, who believe it wins votes, is particularly tragic, for the early stages of the EU had their roots in admiration of the American way of doing things and gratitude for the manner in which the U.S. had saved Europe first from Nazism, then (under President Harry Truman) from the Soviet Empire--by the Marshall Plan in 1947 and the creation of NATO in 1949.

Europe's founding fathers--Monnet himself, Robert Schumann in France, Alcide de Gasperi in Italy and Konrad Adenauer in Germany--were all fervently pro-American and anxious to make it possible for European populations to enjoy U.S.-style living standards. Adenauer in particular, assisted by his brilliant economics minister Ludwig Erhardt, rebuilt Germany's industry and services, following the freest possible model. This was the origin of the German "economic miracle," in which U.S. ideas played a determining part. The German people flourished as never before in their history, and unemployment was at record low levels. The decline of German growth and the present stagnation date from the point at which her leaders turned away from America and followed the French "social market" model.

12 posted on 06/17/2005 5:11:34 AM PDT by OESY
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To: Naomi4
Australia...has a very distinct accent different from either the mother country or America. It is easy to hear cockney echoes in Australian speech.

Perhaps its because Oz was populated by the urban underclass (as a prison colony, that was there predominant demographic, I'd suspect), hence the cockney, and North America by a more agrarian population seeking religious freedom & more promising economic opportunity? But even so, listen closely, and occasional similarities between Appalachian dialects, in particular, and Australian can be discerned, to my ear at least. Consider the pronunciation of the word "right": In Oz (certain parts, at least) , we hear something approximating "roait". In parts of the US south we hear "raht", but I know a guy from NC I think it is who makes it 2-syllable construction "rahit" that actually comes out sounding closer to the Aussie version.

13 posted on 06/17/2005 5:26:33 AM PDT by leilani (Hey france: you'll get your capital back when you start acting like a respectable nation)
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To: Falconspeed
The blindness is probably caused by a lack of faith.

More probably, a love of power by the elite who are in control.

14 posted on 06/17/2005 8:31:47 AM PDT by expatpat
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To: leilani

I was in Greenville, SC a while back and was convinced the waitresses were British -- but they weren't, of course.


15 posted on 06/17/2005 8:33:06 AM PDT by expatpat
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