"It was a mistake to think that all this could be expunged as an act of political will by a single generation which saw itself as uniquely enlightened."
12/3/11, "Eurozone crisis: the US has to ride to the rescue once again," UK Telegraph, Janet Daley
"Meanwhile, the politicians of Europe seem determined to make themselves irrelevant."
"So, once again, the United States has intervened toxxc save Europe from itself. And there we were thinking that the old 20th-century pattern had been eradicated. The Federal Reserve Bank made floods of cheap dollars available last week, having come to the blood-curdling conclusion that the global banking system could only be saved from catastrophic collapse by sending in the American cavalry – Europe’s own governing class being apparently incapable of effective action....
Angela Merkel is now making seriously uncompromising noises about fiscal union: it is to go ahead, whatever anybody else says or thinks. No more messing. And Nicolas Sarkozy seems to be accepting this – for the moment. But watch this space. Rather belatedly, the European Parliament has woken up to the threat this represents to democratic principle: it has announced that if tax and spending policy is to be decided centrally by the EU, then it, being the only body elected by the people, should have co-responsibility for those decisions with the European Commission. In other words, since fiscal policy will be out of the hands of national governments, and therefore beyond the reach of a population’s own democratic process, it really ought to be accountable to some representative body.
- (The most extraordinary thing about this is that
- it was just an afterthought.)
Then of course, Mrs Merkel will never permit the European Central Bank to bail out all those feckless southern Europeans who mystifyingly refuse to behave like Germans. Or maybe she will, if the EU puppet regimes now in place in Greece and Italy actually enforce austerity measures that pauperise their peoples. But since she is opposed to the money-printing that would be required for such a bail-out (for what her country believes to be sound historical reasons), it is difficult to see how she could relent even if the Greeks and Italians were hammered into the economic Stone Age. Meanwhile, in the back rooms, unknown officials are working out what is actually going to be done if and when the euro collapses: while this charade of absolutely-last-chance summits runs its course, the contingency planners are outlining the mechanisms that will contain the damage. You may find this reassuring, but think what it really means: economic policy is now outside of the control of politics – which is to say, no longer accountable to voters. Do all those people in the rest of the world who just want Europe to (as George Osborne puts it) “sort itself out”, understand this?
To Americans, an inability to escape from the past is incomprehensible: theirs is a country composed entirely of people who did exactly that. But Europe is populated by the people who did not leave, whose collective memory is imbued with either blood-and-soil national identity, or a proud sense of historical mission. It was a mistake
- to think that all this could be expunged as an act of political will
by a single generation which saw itself as uniquely enlightened. Like most benign oligarchies, the EU built this new entity on what it thought to be morally unimpeachable, immutable principles: the provision of universal security which would prevent populations from descending into fractured, hostile factions. Civil unrest – and the terrible international crimes to which it gave rise – would be eradicated for ever
- by a system of social engineering and welfare
- that would provide permanent well-being (and so, permanent peace)."
Greek and Europe elites are most responsible for plundering Greece.
11/2/11, "Nationalist Greek Rebellion," Sarang Shah, Sarang Shah blog
"The Greeks seem to have realized that the people who are most hurt by economic downturns are those of lower and middle incomes, for purely structural reasons. ...Sure, many Greeks from all levels of income reneged on taxes. They also enjoyed a level of social services, job protection, and other labor protections beyond those in – let’s say – Germany. But are all Greeks responsible for the current situation in Greece? Not at all! The upper echelons of Greek society and Europe spent years reaping much of the benefits while socializing all of the inevitable costs. ...
I also think it’s important to view Greece as a remnant of the former Ottoman Empire and a constituent nation of the Balkans, and not as a Western European nation in the same way we view France, Germany, Belgium, etc....The best option for Greece is to default, reintroduce the drachma, and in effect, reassert its national sovereignty – provided that its government doesn’t devolve into indefinite political turmoil."