Sunday, 12 June 2016

Jonathan Freedland is a dangerous ideologue


This is the staggering naivety of Jonathan Freedland.
It takes an extraordinary confidence to look at the last millennium of European history and gamble that the 70 years of peace that have held since 1945 – an exceptional, aberrational interlude – have had nothing to do with the existence of the European project.
Oh really? You don't think that the peace came from the desire of the peoples to create the peace? Instead it had to be enforced by an sovereignty confiscating artificial entity? Or could it be that the second world war era was not really concluded until the fall of the Berlin Wall?

Up to that point the peace was held in place by fear of mutually assured destruction. Nobody wanted to break the uneasy stalemate because of the lethal consequences it would unleash. I think it safe to say the EEC had precisely zero influence in maintaining or building the peace.

He says "let Britain remain, to prevent the 21st century being as drenched in blood and sorrow" but this really rather ignores the reality that peaceful democracies as a rule do not go to war with each other, and it is unlikely we will be fighting over those resources which the EU pooled. I don't see a war over coal and steel, do you?

Moreover, if the peoples of Europe are prevented from influencing the laws they must live by without the possibility of reform or repeal, what do you suppose is going to happen? Are you saying that a strong supranational authority will maintain the peace by enforcing it? How is it going to do that exactly? And what sort of peace is that when it is an authority stifling a democratic correction? Tyranny that's what it is. Peace at the barrel of a gun.

Everywhere we look in Europe we see stresses and strains with ever more resentment as the EU is caught up in its own institutional paralysis, failing to adequately respond to the many emergencies it has a hand in creating. This leads to increasingly unilateral action and the rise of the far right everywhere. That doesn't end well in Europe does it? And there are of course two other supranational projects in Europe in the last century. Yugoslavia and the USSR. Remind me how well that worked out.

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