Confessions of a Secret Europhile

by craig on September 26, 2012 9:57 pm in Uncategorized

I remain a committed internationalist. For me, nation states are potentially extremely dangerous entities. They have the power to co-erce, brutalise and even lawfully to kill their own citizens. They regulate economic, commercial and societal transactions. They wield such power that contest among internal political leaders for control of that power can erupt into violent civil war. And they control such physical resources that nation states can launch war on each other in order to annex those resources or access their benefits.

Western democracy has, in my view, in general been the happiest form of government in modern society, in controlling the internal use of power through democratic mechanisms and in spreading welfare benefits among its citizens, while allowing the economy to function relatively efficiently.

But there have been three developments to jolt us from the notion that the emergence of western democracy represents a development in an inexorable trend of human progress. The notion of historical “progress” is one in which my generation was brought up implicitly to believe. I for one believed in it consciously and explicitly.

The first and most obvious development is the realisation that, while western democracies have more or less eliminated open violence in their internal political arrangements for control of resources, they are increasingly liable to resort to open warfare to gain control over the benefit of the resources of other nations, particularly as those resources become more scarce and valuable. Anybody who truly believes that it is coincidence that Iraq, Libya and Central Asia are hydrocarbon rich, and the major areas of Western military activity, is wilfully blind. There was nothing new about neo-imperialism and its recent manifestation as liberal interventionism is no more than a rehash of standard imperial propaganda on the spreading of civilised values.

What is new is the destruction of the notion that we Western democracies had got morally better and had moved on from the crude war as resource grab. What is also new is the extraordinary use of modern mass media to propagandise the inhabitants of western democracies into such fear of an alien threat, that the government can withdraw numerous liberties and extend vastly its power for everyday physical coercion – which at the most mundane level dawned on Andrew Mitchell last week. The fact that the public accepted 17,000 members of the armed forces guarding the Olympics from nobody at all, and that the armed forces were mentioned in every single public speech by a British politician or official in the Olympic ceremonies, to wild applause, gives but one example of the extraordinary militarisation of Western societies.

The second development is the galloping increase in the gap between rich and poor, in virtually every developed economy. In the UK the normalisation of the extreme concentration of wealth, and the neutering of the political forces for redistribution, constituted the real achievement of Blairism. The wealth gap between directorial and non-directorial incomes in British society has been growing at approximately ten per cent a year for two decades.

This development has been worsened by an abandonment of regulatory mechanisms that modified capitalism, and particularly the tendency of the financial services sector through oligopoly to take vast rent out of simple commercial transactions for which they should be the mere facilitator, at the same time inventing gambling transactions and other artificial processes of cash multiplication with which to tempt the wealthy and the fundholders within their own industry. The epitome of this transfer of wealth was, after the inevitable bubble disintegration, the payment by the state of huge sums to the financial services industry, using the power of the state to coerce the population through taxes to hand over sums amounting in total to several years income each.

Which leads me to the third adverse development – the concentration of media ownership in the hands of the extremely wealthy, the control by the same interests of the mainstream political parties, and therefore the lack of effective choice before the electorate on issues like the bank bailout, where the media and politicians combine to limit the sphere of public debate that will be carried to present only tiny variations on a single alternative. The same is true, for example, of the war in Afghanistan. Without an effective choice being offered to the electorate between real policy options, the notion of democracy is meaningless. That is where the western democracies now are.

Nation states, therefore, even the best of them, are dangerous entities which employ force against their own and other citizens and can be an active danger to international peace. The regulation of relations between states by international law to reduce conflict is therefore an urgent necessity. Some countries are much more danger than others: Ghana, to take one example, has never invaded anybody while the United Kingdom has at various times invaded or bombed the territory currently occupied by three quarters of the states in the World, while the United States projects deadly physical force overseas by a variety of means on a daily basis. Reining in these rogue states is a major priority.

There exists a body of international law which ad been gaining in respect and conformity in the decades since the Second World War, but both the United States and United Kingdom, and others following the neocon lead, have in recent decades driven a coach and horses right through the fabric of international law, through invasion, extraordinary rendition, torture, detention without trial, indiscriminate bombing of civilian populations, targeted extra-judicial killings by shootings or by drones, murder of journalists in war zones, and so on in a depressing litany.

Fundamental platforms of international law violated by the UK, US and their neo-con allies from the BushBlair period on include: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, The Nuremberg Principles, The Charter of the United Nations, the Geneva Conventions, and the Hague Convention. Recently the UK was proposing in effect to tear up the Vienna Convention too.

My conclusion is twofold. Firstly that international law needs to be radically strengthened in order to come back into repute. Secondly that the idea of the nation state as the basic unit of political organisation should be radically attacked; that the period of history is past in which the development of the nation state was a force for the good of its citizens and the world community.

I believe that the nation state should be attacked from top and bottom. From the bottom, as societies internationalise the idea of an ethnic basis to state boundaries becomes anachronistic. Advantage should be taken of this trend to deconstruct states from within, breaking them down into a combination of smaller states and/or of powerful autonomous regional polities. We need to see many more states split up, especially among the westen democracies but also very definitely Russia, China, India and states in their orbit.

From the top, and with particular reference to the UK, I view the European Union as an excellenct prototype of the sort of organisation that can attack the sovereignty of national states from above. Nobody dares to say this should happen – when those few Europhiles brave enough to state their beliefs talk of greater integration, they talk of “pooling sovereignty” to disguise from themselves and their listeners the fact that what they really mean is appropriating and destroying national sovereignty – and a damn good thing too.

In the UK, national schadenfruede at the problems of the Euro is almost universal across the political spectrum, which is why I trailed this as my most unpopular post ever. How foolish, British media and politicians gloat, of those silly Europeans to undertake the biggest single economic step in the history of mankind! How wise we were to stay on the sidelines sneering!

The problem of the Euro, as I observed a decade ago and everyone now agrees, is that a currency union is not really feasible without a fiscal union. The answer to that is a fiscal union. Where the European Union has gone wrong is not that it has gone too far in integration, but that it has not gone nearly far enough.

After a period of disastrous free-for-all, what we now have is a de facto fiscal union in the Eurozone in which the German government in effect dictates policy – in this case austerity policy – to everyone else. Democracy is now even more meaningless to the Greeks and Spaniards than it is to the rest of us.

The cause of this is the fundamental weakness of the European Union – its deference to the nation states it should be eliminating. Executive power within the European Union needs to be removed completely from the nation states in the Council of Ministers, or Council of German Orders as it should be better known now.

The executive body of the European Union should rather be dependent on, and largely drawn from, a majority of the European Parliament. That parliament divides along ideological, not nationalistic lines and does provide a much broader range of representation of opinion than most national parliaments.

The existing European Commission would become simply the Civil Service to this new, democratically elected, European Government. The European Commissioners themselves, devoid of administrative responsibilities which would pass to the new parliamentary ministers, might form some kind a second chamber, of a deliberative and revising nature, to the European Parliament. Rather like the US Senate, this would give a balance of due consideration to the interests of smaller nations; it might also encourage the break-up further of over-large “national” units to ensure more second chamber representation.

The question of subsidiarity and the balance of powers between the new democratic European government and national and regional governing bodies, should be the subject for a book not an article. But I would move virtually every power of a nation state either up or down. Fiscal policy, foreign policy and defence should all be exclusively at the European level.

The problems of the European Union multiplied when it adopted the philosophy of variable geometry, of inner and outer cores, of fast track and slow track members. For the single currency and single market to succeed, unity must be much tighter. If the European Union is serious about maintaining Europe’s position in the World against the mergence of China, India and South America it must conform to the logical force behind its existence. In economic terms that means not just the free movement of goods, but the free movement of capital and labour as well. So to be in the European Union should mean being in the Euro and being in Schengen too. The alternative should be to leave; and be treated as an outsider. The EFTA free ride must finish.

I view the European Union as a wonderful thing. It is a cliche to note that in my parents’ lifetime Europeans were fighting against each other in the grimmest war imaginable, and yet now are embarked together on a great political and economic project. The peace of Europe, and the freedom I have to move around Europe, to work study or settle there, is simply wonderful.

Let us make it even better. Let us get rid of those pesky internal borders and immigration countrols and those huge foreign exchange costs that benefit nobody but the bankers. And let is get rid of our God-awful national governments.

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224 Comments

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  1. @ Craig,

    When you say:-

    ” And they control such physical resources that nation states can launch war on each other in order to annex those resources or access to their benefit.”

    And

    “Western democracy has, in my view, in general been the happiest form of government in modern society, in controlling the internal use of power through democratic mechanisms and in spreading welfare benefits among its citizens, while allowing the economy to function relatively efficiently.”

    The reality seems to me to be:-

    1. A process of enslavement and exploitation by the Europeans.
    2. Capital accumulation in Europe.
    3. An ongoing process of Europe and the Euro-American Empire trying to continue the processes of domination ( in the modern era through financial domination).

    The foregoing is not a world that would satisfy basic utilitarian principles – the greatest good for the greatest number.

  2. This may be of interest: http://www.nowhereisland.org

  3. A distinguished Professor from the University of the West Indies, Professor Rex Nettleford, put it this way:-
    “The Europeans have come around to what the Caribbean has long understood to be a sine qua non of civil society. “The world is our village”, says Jacques DeLors the French intellectual. “If one house catches fire, the roofs over all heads are immediately at risk. If anyone of us tries to start rebuilding, his efforts will be purely symbolic. Solidarity has to be the order of the day: each of us must bear his own share of the general responsibility”. We are our brothers’ keepers, and our sisters’ too!”
    And with the shift of manufacturing jobs, the façade of skewed global development now compels Europe and Europeans to ask the kinds of questions, that others had long since been focused on.

  4. “I remain a committed internationalist.”

    And a Scotch nationalist.

    “nations atates are potentially extremely dangerous entities. They have the power to co-erce, brutalise and even lawfully kill their own citizens.”

    Like empires don’t co-erce, brutalise or even lawfully — and even unlawfully, as in the case of 9/11 — their own citizens.

    Are you paid to write this tripe, or do you do it entirely off your own bat?

  5. The above is a work in progress – published prematurely by mistake – hope to finish it off in the next hour or so.

  6. Is this post the one promised?

    ‘I have in mind a short post on an important subject on which I suspect that 99% of my readership – including the regular dissident commenters – will strongly disagree with me.’

    ‘Anyway, that’s enough musing. You won’t like my next post, whenever it comes. Promise.’

    If so, then latter true.

  7. @ Craig,

    If you think your postion through to its fullest, you will even then have a huge debate on your hand. You are touching issues that affect the “wretched of the earth” and you don’t even want momentarily to start down the path of a Nial Ferguson.

    The problems that the US/European declining Empires are facing will not disappear anytime soon. An entire new template is presently needed. It may thus come through global negotiations – or – war. History of the West tells us it shall be the latter.

    Consider:-

    From the early exploitative periods to the accumulative periods of the African Atlantic Slave Trade through to our post-colonial times the pull from Africa pushed European societies economically forward while leaving the Africans behind – or indeed, as Walter Rodney has demonstrated, Europe actively underdeveloped Africa.

    As Malachy Postlethwayt, a political economist, frankly and honestly wrote in 1745: “British trade is a magnificent superstructure of American commerce and naval power on an African foundation.”

    Let us not have the modern day expression of the same sentiments here expressed.

  8. I’m probably not the ideal weather vane for the rest of your readership Craig, but I enjoyed this piece, and I’m in almost full agreement with your overall view of the EU and regarding enhanced fiscal union and increased sovereignty for the EU being a positive move.

    Some people are just so short sighted now, looked at historically, the EU has to be viewed as a resounding success. People forget the raison d’etre of the ECSC, interlocking the great economies of Europe so tightly that the endless cycle of violence and inter-European Wars could be stopped, and to a large degree (within Europe) it has. To be a Citizen of Europe in the last 50 years has truly been the best of times. We now have a shared European identity, most of us mingle and experience each others culture and history. In the last year alone I have visited Amsterdam, Vilnuis, Krakow and Tenerife, something that would have been unthinkable to my grandparents generation.

  9. Sorry – his name is Niall Campbell Douglas Ferguson and his work is:-
    “Empire: How Britain Made the Modern World”
    I believe, to save space, he adumbrated the title, not to have the complete picture:-
    “…with others blood, sweat, slave labour and tears.”

  10. Craig, i’ll wait for version 2.0, but my estimation of you as a Global villager has gone up a hundred-fold! Forgive me if is sound judgmental.

  11. Actually I agree with most of this, apart from your disdain for our Armed Forces. They did a great job at the magnificent Olympics and Paralympics, far better for them than fighting unpopular and unwinnable wars.

    Your point about international law is well taken, but how are laws to be enforced?

    International laws are generally bilateral or multilateral voluntary agreements between governments. There are no means to enforce compliance. Are you suggesting there should be some sort of UN enforcement – that is, a UN Armed Forces?

  12. The plan is an EU currency, hence the desire to prop it up at all costs

    A joint Canada/USA/Mexican currency, all signatures on time and tickety boo

    An OZ/SE Asian currency

    And so on

    By Fabian slowly slowly catcher monkey means we will then be on course to merge the last four or five remaining currencies

    In comes a World Army after the massive war abates

    Total information control

    A system of credits begin

    Use em or lose em

    Resistance is futile

    All coordinated by the CFR, RIIA, UN and traitors in every single country selling us all back into feudal serfdom

    Lorded over by the chosen few

    Cf. Blair’s troughing son, a primo example of the desired new breed

    No riff raff need apply!

  13. At the risk of contradicting our guest, this article seems eminently likeable and appealing to me. Indeed, my deepest hope is that the UK would relinquish its historical visceral fear of a united Europe, realise that it is more European than American, and join in for good — and not only because Europe is easier to sabotage from inside.

    The emergence of the BRICs, the relative decline of the USA and the various turmoils of the changing world (Arab Spring fallout, Chinese demographic aging and economic bubble, etc.) mean that the world needs a powerful point of reference strongly committed to Human Rights if we want democratic, law-abiding States to emerge, rather than Russian- or Chinese-inspired authoritarian ones. The last decade has proved the USA to be more fragile than we could have though in this respect. In a multi-polar world, Europe is an essential component to strengthen the Human Rights pole, and possibly even to fill a void there.

    Building a strong and serene Europe is an endeavour of unequivocal global interest.

  14. Nationalism certainly is a fly in the ointment of peaceful coexistence. Craig, you listed a lot of it’s inherent flaws, but allow me to air my grievance regarding Internationalism.

    Even if one could get agreement in the form of a quorum, as the UN and League of Nations have found, the implementation of it’s decisions, aside from the prickly fruit which grows out of those negotiations, is neutered to a sterility which both binds the well-meaning, and gives air to the forces opposing that agreed-upon good.

    I know, by now, someone is screaming for a link and specific examples. I may list some, if I think it won’t be parsed and dissected beyond human recognition. But for now, it is just a concept I am propounding.

    Most of us have been frustrated when dealing with Bureaucracy. A bureaucrat, IMO, is a politician without a constituency. They rarely answer to anyone, other than a higher-ranking bureaucrat, with the same mentality. They are obtuse to an inordinate degree, as well as myopic, with a laser focus on preserving the bureaucracy which feeds them like a Host. The Hive Mentality creates a kind of Evil Oversoul with a life of it’s own, as though a composite intelligence takes a leadership role wherein the workers and soldiers operate as one, and that ONE is like an unreasoning Wild Beast, which devours and defecates in the same location.

    The larger the bureaucracy the greater the distance between Humans. The impersonal nature of such organizations makes for lousy public servants. Less accountability, less transparency, less effectiveness or efficiency. A great American politician once said “All politics, is local”

    Villagers Rule ! That’s my $.02.

  15. CE, good observation.

  16. @ Craig,

    I will come back at you:-

    ” The cause of this is the fundamental weakness of the European Union – its deference to the nation states it should be eliminating. Exceutive power within the European Union needs to be removed completely from the nation states in the Council of Ministers, or Council of German Orders as it should be better known now.”

    This is not one of your better posts. Think about it.

  17. Ben Franklin
    26 Sep, 2012 – 10:32 pm

    Also one famously said “A bureaucrat is one who has a problem for every solution.”

    (James Murray”s A Gentleman Publishers Commonplace Book)

  18. d’etre of the ECSC, interlocking the great economies of Europe so tightly that the endless cycle of violence and inter-European Wars could be stopped, and to a large degree(within Europe) it has. To be a Citizen of Europe in the last 50 years has truly been the best of times. We now have a shared European

    =====
    Best of times?

    Rioting in the streets?

    Our next generations in perpetual debt?

    Unemployment up the kazoo as the traitors, Heath onwards, sold out our manufacturing to China, destroyed coal, and set us up as an absolutely useless service economy.

    Kids have no future, they are quite rightly telling the useless dumbed down Uni’s to get stuffed with their £30,000 perpetual debt.

    The plan has been to destroy Britain from within by mass immigration, and it has worked. Blair’s ministers are on record saying that was the plan.

    We are in Orwell’s 1984 right now.

  19. I think you’re missing the main point Craig. It’s not that nation states pose a threat to their populations, it’s that certain nation states have been ruled by psychopaths. I don’t really care whether we have nations states or an all-encompassing union of global states or a ‘new world order’ for that matter. What I DO care about is making sure that psychopathic individuals and ‘ponerised’ groups do not rise to positions of power over the masses of ordinary people.

  20. Second point:
    You consider youself a committed Internationalist, but then refer mainly to Europe and yourself as a Europhile.
    Being a real Internationalist is rather more than being a Europhile!!

  21. Another attempt by Anders to ruin a thread with his inane ramblings. Paranoid, fanatical, badly punctuated, illogical, head-in-the-sand nonsense, and that’s me being kind.

  22. OK it’s kind of finished now.

  23. Anders,

    you’re obviously devoid of any historical knowledge or perspective if you think that the problems we in the EU have experienced over the last 50 years are in any way, shape, or form comparable to some of the trials and tribulations that Europe has suffered in the past.

    Enjoy yourself mate, you’ve never had it so good! :mrgreen:

  24. Great post Craig. But do you not worry then that when national identity finally dissapears, our demographics will then define who we are, Location Location Location.

    As long as we repair the earth, save all earths declining species including most Fauna and form a immaterial, simplistic society based on well-being and nurture then. I am all for it!

    Sadly Craig as with europhillia, its Greed, and making money, and gaining a higher status that matter to those who are not going to change there ways unlees we all have some sort of spiritual transcendation and I do`nt thinks thats happening anytime soon.

    One nation, one world doesn`t really matter. Now`t will change Craig.
    WE are all above Nations anyway. Its about people.

    Are you hoping to change nations mindset, because you know who has the keys for that one Craig, its there call. All we can do is oblige.

  25. Brilliant Post Where do I sign up!

  26. Robbie Pennington

    26 Sep, 2012 - 10:58 pm

    I like CanSpeccy’s idea of whisky nationalism, I think. But seriously, Scottish nationalism is a civic nationalism, enthusiastic about engaging with the world. It’s a little unfortunate that “nationalism” is a term with such diverse meanings, use of the term tends to confuse rather than illuminate.

  27. Wonderful article Craig, one of your best.

  28. Probably the most ill-informed piece to appear on this site yet.

    The very way the EU is organised makes it undemocratic, power lies with an unelected, unaccountable bureaucracy which, as the Euro crisis has shown, is too unwieldy and lacking in leadership to take quick decisive action. The “light touch” banking regulation which helped cause the crisis was EU policy and let’s not forget it was low Eurozone interest rates which enabled countries like Greece to borrow money cheaply. Too cheaply.

    It’s also unlikely that abolition of the nation state would end aggressive wars, federalists in Europe want the EU to have it’s own armed forces and 80% of the troops in the Balkans are from EU member states. Twenty five out of twenty seven EU member nations also contribute personnel to the NATO force in Afghanistan. A clear demonstration of EU support. The EU is also guilty of oppressing it’s own citizens, overruling democratically elected governments and perverting the use of referendums (keep having them until you come back with the right answer). It was also the EU that introduced European Arrest Warrants and the Data Retention Directive by which all our phone calls, e-mais and web surfing will be recorded.

    Think about this; the hallmark of a totalitarian state is that the state takes precedence over the individual. Now the EU is expecting millions of it’s less fortunate citizens to accept a 30% cut in living standards in order to save the Euro.

    I don’t want to see the EU abolished entirely but it needs to be scaled back from a wanabe federal government to a simple trading bloc as soon as possible.

  29. Agent Cameron speaking at the UN General Assembly meeting yesterday in New York, enforced the Western rhetoric to almost blow Syria sky-high and then spread the chaos to Iran, because I believe Iran is the real target of the whole Syrian destabilization.

    Without mentioning China And Russia he moved the world nearer to the potentiality for World War III. Yet agent Cameron has a very short memory and has failed to recognize the devastating mistake that he made steering the UNSC towards Libyan intervention and the destruction of a country that was in war with no one.

    In the same building President Obama reminded the world that a coalition of countries is holding the Iranian government accountable. He said, “that is why the United States will do what we must to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.”

    The US United is currently operating behind the scenes as puppet master pulling the strings of the Erdogan government in Istanbul to massively intervene in Syria, despite a quarter of the Turkish population against Turkey’s involvement.

    If Syria falls then the next target, assisted by Israel, will be Hezbollah in Lebanon before the final onslaught on Iran. Iran plays a vital role in Chinese energy national security. China has already lost South Sudan or are threatened with the loss of South Sudan, they’ve lost Libya where the Chinese had an active oil involvement in some of the richest oil fields in Africa. And they are fighting to keep their hold in Africa. So if the Iranian supply of crude oil to the Chinese economy were jeopardized by chaos inside Iran, China would be the ultimate loser and I think they realize that.

    In this financial world crisis it is the ‘Western democracy’s big oil and their military industrial complex that are seamlessly interwoven into a political lever that suits US and Britain’s geopolitical interests that include containing China and Russia while protecting the interests of Tony Blair’s BP together with America’s ExxonMobil, Chevron and Halliburton.

    It is interesting that the European Union ponders while the cogs of a Zionist new world order continue to turn in a hegemony of arrogance.

  30. @ Craig,

    No:-

    ” OK it’s kind of finished now.”

    Go ahead and flest out what is in the depths of your heart and mind.

    Again, @ Craig,

    Your theme, if you develop it, seems to be the distinction between an ideology of nationality ( America with its concept of American exceptionalism) – versus England’s, European countries’ version.
    There is more readily a common bond of ideology and of national ideology in America
    ( and by extension an embrace of American exceptionalism) than there is in England/the EU.
    England ( read also -the City of London) has a somewhat duplicitous role that it has long since been playing along the path of the “special relationship”.
    The challenges appear to me to be :-
    1. Unlike the US – how does one weld together a disparate group of nations that have a common “European heritage” but lack an ideology that overcomes and surpasses the barriers that continue, in mind and by reference to special national interests, which divide national ideology from European unity?
    2. Divergent levels of economic achievement within the Union ( as is the situation in the US – in the sense of urban or regional poverty) make it much harder in the EU to have national populations accept the need for subsidies, special privileges and special measures to narrow economic disparities, accompanied by a largely free flow of labour ( capital always flowing regardless) – because the national resentments and divides then come to the forefront – don’t they?
    3. How do the large and economically/financially more successful nations within the Union bridge the gap between – say – a Germany at one end – and a Greece at the other end?
    Despite my historical bait thrown at the onset – in a serious way – I think that you have food for thought which raises the question – that along certain lines you really should develop and expand on this theme. But first, bury the holier than thou and “exceptionalist and nationalistic” flavor. Others much older than you did that way back then – and a man of your caliber really should be taking the analysis, on important issues to a different level.

  31. Sorry – not ” Go ahead and flest”. Rather “flesh” as in sexy and/or enticing debate.

  32. Wow,

    30 posts before an OT mention of ‘zionism’, that must almost be a record.

  33. @ Craig and Mark Golding,

    I think that if you juxtapose Mark’s observation:-

    ” In this financial world crisis it is the ‘Western democracy’s big oil and their military industrial complex that are seamlessly interwoven into a political lever that suits US and Britain’s geopolitical interests that include containing China and Russia while protecting the interests of Tony Blair’s BP together with America’s ExxonMobil, Chevron and Halliburton.

    It is interesting that the European Union ponders while the cogs of a Zionist new world order continue to turn in a hegemony of arrogance.”

    Against what Craig initially posted, then one can readily see the distinction between the super-structure – versus – the substratum upon which policy in its macro expression is built.

    Economics, oil and power in a slimy mix – seems to me.

  34. Another attempt by Anders to ruin a thread with his inane ramblings. Paranoid, fanatical, badly punctuated, illogical, head-in-the-sand nonsense, and that’s me being kind.

    P4NED :)

    Last vestige of those defeated overwhelmingly in debate is the hoary old grammar and spelling straw-grasping defense!

    Truly risible! :)

  35. you’re obviously devoid of any historical knowledge or perspective if you think that the problems we in the EU have experienced over the last 50 years are in any way, shape, or form comparable to some of the trials and tribulations that Europe has suffered in the past.

    More self aggrandising waffle.

    What is your POINT?

  36. I also consider myself an internationalist. We all should be able to travel, live, and work anywhere we want in the world. The nation state is passed it’s usefulness. I would prefer a United Peoples rather than a United Nations. One place to begin with the necessary change in mindset would be with the currently proposed choice between one state or two states for Palestine/Israel. The solution should be no state. How we achieve that and protect all individuals could provide a template for the rest of the world.

  37. It seems you’re advocating a One World Government with subservient Councils. National borders are not the problem, it’s the despotic megalomaniacs within them that are the problem. Those and the fiatist money brokers who strive to control lives through artificial scarcity.
    Depriving people austensibly for their own good by artificial austerity will never make people happy.
    Whilst we have Zionists backed by Superpowers, and smaller arselicking NATOistic Nations salivating at the thought of the spoils to be had by agression and regime (sic) change there will never be true peace and happiness.

    And the biggest problem…

    Fuck You! I’m alright Jack!!!

  38. Wow,

    30 posts before an OT mention of ‘zionism’, that must almost be a record.

    And trust YOU to bring it up! :)

  39. Wow! In general, (on the first reading), yes! Even after going through the preceding comments. It’s long time to end the notion of the nation state. I’m Welsh, by the way, with my own local historical perspective [and nationalism], and now resident in Bulgaria. Someone (C.M.) who’s telling it, straight. Invigorating.
    Bravo!

  40. Great expectations come from Europe for it is only evolving from its first steps as an appointed commissioner led entity to a more accountable, newly coordinated EU.

    I take it that the island mentality displayed during the 70’s 80’s and ever since, the stuck up British fence display, sniping from the sidelines rather than getting involved will all be forgotten now, nothing but birth pangs.

    The EU never had a great mechanism for reform from below, it has not reached the full potential envisaged, its an inspirational idea in the making. To give power to the state and appoint commissioners was the greatest mistake ever. Not returning accounts, lack of probity, was another.

    Now we have well equipped hooray henry’s in charge of floating us free from any more of this EU nonsense, much talk for a referendum by a public fed on bend banana news, politically inept on what Europe’s about or what makes it tick. Bound to be disappointing.

    Now, should they not really be at the centre and negotiate a new more accountable Europe, a Europe with a peace and defence force, accountable balance sheets, its fine to abandon NATO, just look at what its serving these days, let Europe be that historic fourth, balancing power.

    We have nothing in common with the simple mistakes made by minds who are still stuck in colonial exploits, using religion and false flag terror as its core hegemony spade. We have nothing in common with those who steal territory to excuse their unsustainable lifestyles, all the while warring, killing and destabilising in the name of freedom democracy and Liberty,sic, and pretending to be technologically incompetent to do different.

    Humanity has the ability to be different, we are intelligent, but sadly the principled actions are left to the normal EU citizen, the burden is on us to enable change.

    The night of Atonement indeed, what a positive post.

  41. I agree with your observations, but I am not sure your conclusions are correct.

    In particular, we already have a political system where most people are de-facto disenfranchised: unless one lives in a marginal seat, one’s vote has little effect; also, there is very little choice between the parties (there is, for example, no party which espouses personal freedom and the best aspects of the free market).

    But much of Europe is worse. The “average” policy benefits nobody, and there is very little democracy in a system where the candidates are selected on a list, by party grandees.

    Also, truly free movement of labour is impractical… there is a language barrier. When one zone gets out of sync with another (as has happened recently), at least one of the following must happen to redress it: drastic subsidy from richer to poorer, swings in exchange rate, or huge localised unemployment (eventually mitigated by labour-migration, or “internal devaluation”). By discarding the exchange-rate flexibility, we have guaranteed large scale misery in Greece and Spain for the forseeable future. Germany can’t (and won’t, and shouldn’t) give 25% of its tax income to these countries. So unless we disband the Euro, they can’t devalue their currency, and the only remaining economic pressure-release is that of unemployment – this solves the imbalance, but at huge human cost.

  42. Of course, there are those who get off on chaos and disharmony. Such rise quickly through the chain of command, as ruthless as any bureaucracy.

  43. Craig, this advocacy of the amalgamation of nation states sounds very neo-Marxist. It resonates with Lenin’s philosophy in his Thesis on the National Question, the Right of Nations and Critical Remarks on the National Question. E.g.:

    The elements of democratic and socialist culture are present, if only in rudimentary form, in every national culture, since in every nation there are toiling and exploited masses, whose conditions of life inevitably give rise to the ideology of democracy and socialism. But every nation also possesses a bourgeois culture (and most nations a reactionary and clerical culture as well) in the form, not merely of “elements,” but of the dominant culture. Therefore, the general “national culture” is the culture of the landlords, the clergy and the bourgeoisie.

    Are you in favour of Marxism without the socialism, perhaps?

  44. That put a blue ribbon of respect on my delivery Mike – thank-you – “a hegemony of arrogance!”

  45. Of course, there are those who get off on chaos and disharmony. Such rise quickly through the chain of command, as ruthless as any bureaucracy.

    Psychopaths – Blair, Bush &Co. Out of 650 in the Commons I’d wager a good 600+ are psychopaths. Ponerology, the book, describes the mechanisms very well.

  46. There’s much to agree with here, but Craig’s recommendations for the EU seem to conflict with his views on the nation state. Essentially, it seems, he just wants to turn the EU into a large nation state itself. Wouldn’t it just suffer from all the same problems, but on a larger scale? What’s the point of removing ‘our God-awful national governments’, only to replace them with a supernational government that’s even more powerful and remote from its citizens? The argument is allegedly based on anti-nationalism, but the reason for all this is ‘maintaining Europe’s position in the World against the mergence of China, India and South America’. That sounds pretty nationalistic to me – it’s just European nationalism instead of British nationalism.

    And if Craig imagines that a more powerful EU would be any less likely than its constituent states to ignore ‘international law’ and use threats to gain access to resources in poorer countries, I think he’s seriously mistaken. Read about the EU’s trade policies towards poorer nations sometime; they may be less directly brutal than military conquest, but the ultimate intention is the same.

  47. @Barbara – I didn’t see any disdain for the armed forces in the piece. There was disdain for creeping militarisation for sure, and justified it was too. But I don’t think Craig was holding soldiers responsible for that state of affairs – it isn’t their fault.

  48. @craig
    Yes nation states are bad for your health, but would a European state be any better?

    I think you answer that question by calling for the break up of Russia, China et al. And of course the US suggests the answer is no.

    Power must be decentralised. A European super state would only be more of the same. Except bigger.

  49. @ Barbara,

    Are you wilfully mis-interpreting Craig’s words or do you just not get it?

    His example re the Olympics was about the wider militarisation of Western democracies not about “our troops”.

    How can you not see that straightforward and reasonable point?

  50. ‘The peace of Europe, and the freedom I have to move around Europe, to work study or settle there, is simply wonderful.’

    Craig appears to have morphed in this post into an Anglo Scotch version of that great europhile & internationalist, Peter Sutherland. The downside of the freedoms this post celebrates were well illustrated by tonight’s Newsnight feature on the race to the bottom in employment terms and conditions now affecting the Hotel sector in London, courtesy of the free movement into the UK of nationals from the EU accession states. The Poles, who predominated there until recently, are now being undercut by Bulgarians. If that is ‘progress’ one must ask ‘progress for whom?’.

    ‘There exists a body of international law which had been gaining in respect and conformity in the decades since the Second World War’

    ‘International law’ in an international labour market context is simply the legitimation of the lowest possible minimum standards and hourly wage rates.But I suppose that,if you need someone to clean your house, or nanny your children, these freedoms are indeed ‘wonderful’.

  51. Craig…. you speak about a European superstate as an almost spiritual concept and ignore the political reality….. when was the last time a spiritual concept was forced on the world as a political reality? Israel…. enough said.

  52. “nation states are potentially extremely dangerous entities”

    Too right. No structure can better empower its citizens than a democratic nation state. Look how Iceland has used the simple tools of currency and exchange rates to mitigate the burden of the banksters’ debts. That’s how dangerous nations can be.

    “I believe that the nation state should be attacked from top and bottom”

    Rest easy, that’s all in hand. It’s called the neocon agenda. I take it Craig will be doing his bit by leaving the SNP.

  53. LeonardYoung

    27 Sep, 2012 - 1:21 am

    I think Craig is keen to allow Scotland to leave the UK, not Europe. Nevertheless I’m intrigued Craig, that you are an SNP supporter having posted the above.

  54. Seems perfectly consistent to me. I say above that existing nation states should be broken down into smaller nations and/or regions. The UK is a prime candidate for the breakup. Strongly pro-EU views are quite common within the SNP.

  55. Alasdair, Richard, Kempe – especially, thank you for the sanity check. Craig Murray is showing his true colours again. For him the end justifies the means, like it did for Ульянов and Co. The EU is not undemocratic, it is patently and intentionally anti-democratic. Its inherent tendency to undermine national governments in favour of regional power centres happen to suit Murray’s nationalist sentiment. Everything else can be made to fit. One doesn’t look a gift horse in the mouth.

    When the word subsidiarity is used by the EU apparatchiks, its meaning is turned on its head. It’s USSR all over again.

    Olly Figg provides a good starting point for those who would like to know more about our new masters: http://tinyurl.com/figg387

  56. Craig – may I rewrite one of your key sentences?
    .
    Thus – Anybody who truly believes that it is coincidence that Iraq, Libya and Central Asia are not subject to the control of a usurous international banking cartel, and the major areas of Western military activity, is wilfully blind.
    .
    Between control of oil and control of money it’s no contest at all with oil as daylight-second. And you think it’s all about oil? Oh, and did you say ‘wilful’ just now? Never mind.
    .
    Just to make things clear – usury/interest wasn’t a sin in every religion for no reason. The differences between interest-based usury and a pyramid scam are merely in the packaging. Usury is fundamentally wicked like pyramid scams are fundamentally wicked. Neither have a future that doesn’t involve crash-and-burn.
    .
    Here’s how the scam works – the central banks make money from nothing (they simply click their fingers and declare that they have it) and they then ‘lend’ us this fictional money and receive and demand real-world collateral and interest. The mad thing is that they deserve neither of these things since they never had the money to begin with. The whole thing is bullshit from the ground up and there’s no need for any of it. The bankers bring nothing to the party except what is essentially a cascading tax designed for no other purpose than to impoverish us and otherwise have us beholden.
    .
    Here’s a simple truth: when you turn the means of exchange into just another commodity (with cascading charges, no less) it becomes debased, a corruption that functions for none apart from those who control it. It then becomes a devastating weapon.
    .
    Boom/bust cycles are not accidents. They are hammer blows delivered by the untouchable dictators of monetary policy to smash all and any sovereignty beneath them. And of course those who offer a non-usurous banking system and are not subject to the bankers (which is to say Muslims) get militarily smashed by those who are. Three cheers for us as dupes. We are golems serving the grand purpose of a one world government under unelected, faceless, and answerable-to-none international bankers.
    .
    And here you are cheerleading for them without any idea for whom you’re cheering.
    .
    God help us all.

  57. Scouse Billy

    27 Sep, 2012 - 2:11 am

    “And here you are cheerleading for them without any idea for whom you’re cheering.”

    Indeed – compare and contrast with Vaclav Klaus’ views in the Sunday Telegraph – now there’s a man who knows what he’s talking about and an economist to boot:

    The new push for a European Union federation, complete with its own head of state and army, is the “final phase” of the destruction of democracy and the nation state, the president of the Czech Republic has warned.

    http://www.klaus.cz/clanky/3191

  58. I’m very disappointed with this post.

    They way it was set up, I fully expected to be made very angry, and find myself with yet another tarnished one, that I’d hitherto respected. This post has entirely failed to live up to this expectation – how am I supposed to have the anger and disgust that I was looking forward to, if it’s talking in such reasonable terms?

    I’m Welsh too (Hi Phil!) and despise nationalism in all its forms. That’s why I always found the Scottish nationalism in some of these posts a little off-beat.

  59. Given what’s occuring climatically now and what’s in store soon, much of the current global political-economy will be destroyed along with hundreds of millions of human lives. I admire your thrust Mr Murray, but you’re ignoring what will soon confront humanity and completely trash its highly complex sociopolitical structures, particularly national governments and their economies. Such a drastic future might be avoided if the primary Outlaw Nations–essentially the English speaking nations–and their leaders are reigned in by a massive public posse followed by the most intense effort that could be launched to totally eliminate carbon pollution by 2030. Accomplish that goal and then we can talk about retooling sociopolitical and economic arrangements. If we don’t save our environment first, it won’t make any difference how fine an essay you write about how to retool society for a world that no longer exists.

  60. Craig,

    As usual, fantastic analysis of the problems: lack of real choice for voters; redistribution of wealth going the wrong way; governments getting away with ridiculous wars, targeted assasinations etc etc; death of independent media…

    Not sure The EU is the answer to all these problems, though. As posters above have already said, EU systems are set up to be bureacratic and anti-democratic. There is no real respect for the will of the people in there at all. The banksters and the business lobbies and the corrupt politicians are already running the show, so the chances of taking it over as some kind of pure democratic project are even slimmer than similarly transforming The UK government. You are day dreaming on that one. Of course, the very size of The EU makes it inherently less accountable to it’s citizens and more ripe for the kind of institutional corruption and abuse that you describe so well.

    The real answer to the problems is for the voters to wake up and face the music. Until then, they get what they deserve and you can’t save them from themselves.

  61. Scouse Billy / 27 Sep, 2012 – 2:11 am
    Great link, thanks. True, the “Margaret Thatcher of Central Europe” appears to know what he’s talking about.

  62. “I believe that the nation state should be attacked from top and bottom. From the bottom, as societies internationalise the idea of an ethnic basis to state boundaries becomes anachronistic” – this is whats been happening for decades, carried out by politicians of sovereign states against their own countries. Its generally called treason. This is what Agenda 21 is about. Surely Craig can’t be naive as to think that central banks give a toss about sovereign states when they have been attacking them for decades? So countries should have no ethnic rights huh?I take it this includes Tibetans,all the countries of Africa and all the downtrodden peoples of the world etc etc…

    “From the top, and with particular reference to the UK, I view the European Union as an excellenct prototype of the sort of organisation that can attack the sovereignty of national states from above” – Craig, you’re about 50 years too late-this is what the EU has been doing for the last half century. If anything,sovereign states need to be defended from attack by the EU and UN tyranny

    “The cause of this is the fundamental weakness of the European Union – its deference to the nation states it should be eliminating. Executive power within the European Union needs to be removed completely from the nation states in the Council of Ministers, or Council of German Orders as it should be better known now” – This is the wrong way round. The deference is from the nation states to the EU -Most laws affecting Britain for example,now come from the EU, and increasingly the UN

    This post is at least honest but it is also confused: EU good but nation states bad? EU good but maybe smaller micro nation states good? I agree that old imperial states such as the UK,China,Russia,Spain etc do need to reliquish their hold on countries such as Wales,Scotland, Catalonia,Basque,Tibet,Chechnya etc but i’m not sure that this what Craig is arguing for.

    If what he is arguing is an attack on all nation states then this post is highly irresponsible and cock eyed.I know Craig is a gentleman but does gentlemeness have to equate to naivety? Seems like, on this at least, Craig has been done like a kipper. What he’s talking about is exactly what the eugenecist English Zionists of the Rhodes Milner group with an unfortunate line in god complexes have been trying to cook up for years.

  63. Oh, dear God. This is not good. What happened to you Craig? If you conclude nation states are bad, what do you think will happen if you apply they principles that are bad in a nation state, first regionally on EU and then globally, which would be the next logical step? A sad day indeed.

  64. Small is beautiful. The problem is not nations, but big nations – big economic entities that can throw their weight about – and if they can they will. If you want to see what a united and stateless Europe would look like and wonder how it would behave, look at the United States of America.

    The more remote the political centre is from the people the less accountable it becomes. I am sure that in one context you understand this, and yet above you do not.

    ‘… I ken, when we had a king, and a chancellor and parliament-men o’ our ain, we could aye peeble them wi’ stanes when they werena gude bairns – But naebody’s nails can reach the length o’ Lunnon.’

    -Walter Scott: Heart of Midlothian

  65. @ nobody

    Web of Debt.

    E H Brown.

    Explains the financial history.

    Wizard of Oz.
    Bauers film about money and banking power.

    The writer best explained his thoughts by writing the book.

    The Scarecrow represents the farmer, the tin man the industry,
    E.t.c

    Oz is Gold and the shoes were silver. Ruby for the color film.

    Obviously the new populist party of a One World party.
    would outlaw the money scam.

    Gaddafi was selling oil for gold Dinar.

    As long as they dont tax me blackberries.

    Just on a side note the French are taking the nouns mother and father off some official documents and certificates.
    So much to be abstract.

    Its like art. A can of soup even painted badly looks food to the undernourished.

    “Nurture” the one consistent amongst people.

    The way were are presently is a sign of things to come.

    Yes we are Plebs, keep hold of your vital organs and wake up.

    We must not differentiate.

  66. Wake up in the back there Bullingdon Boy Cameron.

    Magna Great
    Carta Charter

    A child could work it out even if they had no knowledge of Latin.

    Wonder what else he doesn’t know? The Habeas Corpus Act for instance?

  67. FFFFRRRRRRREEEEEEEDDDDDOOOOMMMMM !!

  68. James Chater

    27 Sep, 2012 - 8:16 am

    Craig

    I am with you about strengthening international law, but I am not sure that full European fiscal union would work.
    I have often thought about the problem of what I would call “government policy by auction”. The argument goes: you introduce a policy and justify it by saying that if you had not done it another country would have, so you might as well. Thus: we sell arms to dodgy regimes in order to gain political leverage, because if we don’t, the French/Americans will do it anyway; or: we decide to build a new airport or runway even if we prefer trains to emissions, because if we don’t the flights will go through Amsterdam, Paris or Frankfurt, benefiting their economy at the expense of ours; or: we decide not to tax our richest people because if we do they will simply emigrate to another country that welcomes them with “open arms” (as has happened recently when France’s president decided to raise taxes for the rich).
    Whatever political arrangements we end up with, they will be useless unless a critical number of the world’s political units AGREE with one another to stop this sort of auction, so that, in the examples above, we curb arms trade, build railways instead of airports and make the rich pay their fair share of taxes. But I must admit I am at a loss as to how we get everyone to agree, and how you enforce these agreements (assuming you can). Do you have any ideas?

  69. @Frazer

    FFFRRRYYING PPAAAANNN IINNNTTTOOO FFFFIIIIIRRRRRREEEE !!!

  70. @Jimmy…LMFAO

  71. I don’t think it is nation states, they are certainly hosts of parasitic evils and are collectively victims themselves of powerful interests within who utilise our pseudo-democratic practices to usurp the resources, people and their common wealth; talk about throwing out the baby with the bathwater. I do not think that resort to open warfare is a new phenomenon, there had just been a slight lull. Without any ethnic basis to state boundaries, you open the door for other, alien destructive bases for group cohesion, such as religion, cults, arbitrary dictatorship, extremism. Internationalism? What other word is there for the military security alliance of the UK, US, AUS, NZ, ISR; this isn’t some happy-clappy glee club, but is the sort of thing you wish to further elevate over us. This is simply nation states gone global, multinationalism. No more fuzzy sad lib-dem type all things too all men soft soap. It is too broad a matter for a superficial panacea – all blame lies with the nation state – the oldest and last organic natural instinctive institution is all that stands between us and the abyss you contemplate.

    Why not just round up the war criminals and biggest crooks, execute them. Apologise to the world; a replacement set of politicians kept on the tightest rein by the example set. We don’t need to smash the existing world to atoms to reconstruct it better.

  72. We heard most of the above in the Seventies. No borders, no passports, a common currency, no more wars, lands of milk and honey…..and look what happened. I am proud to say that my father went round with a loudspeaker on his car roof speaking against joining the Common Market, as it was called then, when Wilson’se referendum was being held. He had the vision to see what was coming.

    I rememnber that he was ordered to leave the area outside the Winfrith atomic power facility by armed police. That was 37 years ago. Plus ça change plus c’est la même chose….

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Kingdom_European_Communities_membership_referendum,_1975

    None of us have ever voted to join. Think on.

  73. Congratulations, Craig. Unlike many of your major posts in the last few years, this one is almost exclusively forward looking. Looking back is important, but looking forward is hard.

    I have some questions, but by and large I agree with every line.

    I would point out that the attempt by western governments to propogandise and intimidate their populations in the national interest is not so new however. In particular the suppression of all worker’s movements during the Napoleonic Wars come to mind. This was deliberately planned, thorough and brutal, as detailed in Thompson’s ‘Making of the English Working Class’. A century before that the Tory government manipulated the Irish writer Jonathan Swift to propogandise on their behalf to end the War of Spanish Succession. You yourself have referred to Walsingham, supremo of Good Queen Bess’s Secret Service.

    You say: “The question of subsidiarity and the balance of powers between the new democratic European government and national and regional governing bodies, should be the subject for a book not an article”.

    That should probably read not one book but a hundred, and several decades of argument at least. Nevertheless I think this is the crux of the matter. From time to time on several blogs I mention the work of Rudolf Steiner in this regard about one hundred years ago, especially in the books ‘Social Commonwealth’, and ‘World Economy’. Steiner’s work is often dismissed because he was an occultist, but I have read nothing which tackles these areas which is even a quarter so relevant. They essentially rework Marxism, agreeing with the analysis and disagreeing with the solution. They propose precisely the separation of the political and economic spheres which I think you suggest. Governments should be there to protect the rights of individuals and forbid the excesses, on behalf of the individuals, which economic actuators are prone to.

    On this point, I recently attended a talk by Andrew Gamble, professor of politics at Cambridge, and others at the Hay festival at which he suggested the problem with globalization was to work out ways it could take cognizance of local needs and circumstances. However dangerous it is globalization has incredible advantages, the trick is to mix it with local flexibility.

    Two final points, regarding the splitting up of nations. This can of course lead to tragedy as we saw in Yugoslavia. The other point is that while I by and large agree emphatically with everything you say about the EU, I am not sure Britain belongs in it. Or, put it another way, we have so much history with the USA, that the unpacking of that needs careful handling!

  74. Winfrith was a United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority site near Winfrith Newburgh in Dorset. It covered an area on Bovington Heath to the west of the village of Wool between the A352 road and the London Waterloo to Weymouth railway line.

    It opened in 1958 and was used for nuclear reactor research and development into the 1990s. The last reactor was shut down in 1995, although decommissioning of the site will not finish till 2018.[1] Winfrith housed nine reactors including the experimental Dragon reactor and a large Steam Generating Heavy Water Reactor (SGHWR) feeding the National Grid from 1968 to 1990. It also housed a used nuclear fuel examination facility, with the associated hot cells.

    The Winfrith site was home to a number of experimental reactors including :- Zenith – Zebra – Juno – Nestor – Dimple – Zeus, also impace test facilities.

    The site is now split between the extensive Winfrith Technology Centre and the headquarters of the Dorset Police, whose police helicopter is based there.

    Research Sites Restoration Limited now controls the majority of Winfrith, though parts of the site have been sold off. The head of site at Winfrith is Andrew Staples.
    +++++

    Interesting that it is now the HQ of the Dorset Police., I find that quite ironic.

  75. Craig,

    Most posters seem to agree – out of the frying pan and into the fire if we exchange our God-awful national government for the even more God-awful European one. The EU has no track record of promoting the kind of democratic supra-national project you dream of. It has a great track record of promoting the interests of banksters, big business, corrupt politicians and the big members.

    To be fair, you are proposing a radical re-think of The EU system, neutering the Council of Ministers and the European Commission and giving powers to new EU parliamentary ministers. You are not proposing just to give all the powers to The EU as it currently stands. But if you are dreaming up such a new, perfect EU system, why not just dream up a new, perfect national system? There’s no inherant reason your new European system would be any less corruptible than the national system, and a big reason why it would be more corruptable – it’s size, which makes it more remote and less accountable to the people.

    Again, it will be the same voters being duped and bought off by the same neo-con establishment, just on a larger scale.

    We already have the perfect system for kicking out God-awful governments – everybody does get to vote every 5 years. And still they vote for the same idiots. Until you fix that problem, nothing is going to change.

  76. Great to hear a man honestly speak his mind.
    But you are of course wrong ;p

    “nation states are potentially extremely dangerous entities. They have the power to co-erce, brutalise and even lawfully to kill their own citizens. ” – so can collections of states under some banner of ‘union’ but they are FAR more dangerous, having far more power, far more resources and far more firepower. Does the UNITED STATES or the BRITISH EMPIRE not show you anything?

    Power corrupts Craig. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Micropolitics is a far better solution – small communities/areas having the power to do as THEY see fit. Do you have armies in communities? Methinks not. What’s not good is some tosser hundreds if not thousands of moles away declaring things like how curved your cucumbers can be for the sake of some other dude (probably with the right connections) can make some money while pretending it’s all for the environment.

    I have a strong feeling however, like 9-11, that only your own thoughts and analysis on the matter will have you change your mind here.

  77. lwtc247: “Do you have armies in communities?”

    I have this argument with my sister all the time. We both believe that our power structures should be to a more human scale, but I believe smaller “communities” actually increase borders and so increase the opportunity for conflict, not peace. The logistics of trading or even passing through smaller and smaller communities will become increasingly problematic. And how far do we break these communities down?

    Interesting post though Craig. Some see your concept as one step towards a one-world-government and so can only imagine how horrendous that could be.

  78. Despite a number of laudable observations, notably equating the old Imperial ‘spreading civilised values’ with todays ‘humanitarian intervention’ as more-or-less plausible cover for the real machiavellian power agendas, I too regard Craigs proposals as simply rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic.

    Likewise with most of the comments. Lots of truly insightful and inspiring stuff but, with the exception of Nobody @ 1:39am, all missing the one issue underpinning the entire mess the world has gotten itself into as we hit peak just-about-everything.

    As things stand, the entire global financial system rests on private, largely dynastically-controlled banking interests with the power to simply create money (which we currently equate with value) out of nothing and to require tribute from the rest of humanity for doing so. If anyone, even in their wildest dreams, believes that such power is, or will EVER be, exercised in the interests of humanity, or even the population(s) of respective WTO/BIS member banks, he/she is a fool.

    Not only is control of the system in unaccountable private hands (try researching the real ownership of the US Federal Reserve or the Bank of England for example and see how quickly you hit a brick wall) but it has to have ‘economic growth’ to exist at all. Since the historical correlation between this ‘economic’ growth (ie growth of debt money and its accrued interest) and the volume of resource extraction/use is close to 1.0, it should be pretty damned obvious that perpetual, exponential growth on a finite planet is oxmoronic and its advocacy MORONIC. And yet we are earnestly assured by anyone and everyone in the political establishment TINA – TINA bloody TINA.

    Until those obvious, elephant in the room, issues are addressed – and presently there is an absolute taboo on discussion of them in ANY mainsteam forum – everything else, including Craigs admirable advocacy, is simply rearranging those damn deckchairs I’m afraid.

  79. Craig, I have to agree with Glenn on this one 2.37am. And trawling through the comments would suggest the same. You set this post up as being one of your most contentious and you have by far a majority of supporters. As a Europhile myself I largely agree with it too. My concern is how you set about giving more power to the UN in the face of the worldwide aggression of the United States led NATO- and trans-global disintegration and monopolisation of foreign governments. Under the League of Nations as well as the United Nations the danger has always come when nation states choose to venture without legitimate consent.

    The danger too is that this new Europe could develop into another United States when broken up into smaller entitities. But the biggest danger of all, as Peter Oborne’s documentary shows, comes from Zionist control of all the major economies, though he deals largely with the UK.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0E70BwA7xgU&feature=autoplay&list=PL813E682113845E3E&playnext=1

  80. LeonardYoung

    27 Sep, 2012 - 9:25 am

    @Craig “Seems perfectly consistent to me. I say above that existing nation states should be broken down into smaller nations and/or regions. The UK is a prime candidate for the breakup. Strongly pro-EU views are quite common within the SNP.”

    Fair enough. One of the things that baffles me about anti-EU advocates is that they imagine the waste and corruption they see in Europe is somehow worse than the waste and corruption already in the UK itself. I would also rather be in the EU and just one of many examples in its favour is that European Regulations on consumer contracts, including Landlord and Tenants (which Thatcher skewed hugely in favour of Landlords as an over-reaction to secure tenancies before her taking office)have blown away years of bias against the consumer. This has radically changed the way consumers are protected from unfair contracts and they, along with tenancy agreements, are now simple, straightforward and absent from them is all that legalise rubbish and small print that became a license for abuse.

    The European Court of Human Rights is another thing many British people now take for granted and they now have a court that will deal (albeit cumbersomly) with the judicial iniquities of high handed british courts.

    Shame that Europe has signed up to the Euro extradition treaty and arrest warrant as that blots its copybook. But on balance I agree with Craig: for cultural, legal and social reasons, we are better in than out.

    Blaming the Euro currency for ills that each individual nation has caused through greed and unregulated corporations and banks is misplaced. The UK and other European Nations are approaching bankruptcy whether they were dealing in pounds, lire, pesetas or drachmas, or Euros. You cannot blame a means of exchange for economic malfeasance that was present anyway.

  81. Wikispooks.

    I bow to you!

  82. Stephen Morgan

    27 Sep, 2012 - 9:39 am

    We have peace in our time because the Americans and Soviets occupied Europe and held each other at bay with the threat of nuclear anhilation.

    What’s the point in breaking up India/China/whereever only to have their successor states form Unions which will take all the power of the new nations states anyway? Why don’t you list the USA as a country to be broken up?

    Your way of fixing the Euro might work, but what about the whyness of it? The whyness of the foundation of the EU and the Euro wasn’t peace and prosperity and fluffy rainbows for all, it was explicitly to remove the freedom of national governments to restrict the flows of capital and the protection of labour, see here: http://www.gregpalast.com/the-euro-is-a-big-success-no-kidding/#more-6297

    OF course the right has established something of a monopoly of Western politics, but difficulties in holding Power accountable in a nation will increase exponentially in a continent, especially if that continental government is explicitly set up to restrict democratic action on economic matters and entrench the “free” market.

    You’re bedding down with the international bankers and the destroyers of Yugoslavia with this.

  83. Having a European nation state does not exclude micromanagement, we have been waiting to see the subsidiarity principle applied for years.

    The EU commissioners, appointed industry czars, unelected establishment figures have ruined the EU, EUMK1 failed due to the inherent establishment working behind the lines.

    The decentralisation of power can only happen by the mechanism of a progressive centre, unless we want to disperse with most of the centre and have democratically accountable and determining regions who directly communicate with the EU centre and its various bodies of a Federal state.

    The greatest stumbling block I see for Britain is its financial community, establishment and political elite, hooked on mongering they would add their toxic mix to any cocktail we care to design.

    The prerogative for taking up this cudgel now would be for us to sit down at the table and start designing a future EU that is able to work with a common tax rate and
    a common peace and defence force.

    All of these various ideas have long been on the table, in Europe that is, errr sadly here in Britain EU politics are kept at the inept level of understanding, we get off on bent bananas, don’t we Jimmy, so much easier than to even bother about Europe.

    It is were our history lies, from well before Danelaw to now, we are Europeans in every sense of the word and the sooner our decrapid (not a typo)politicians realise, we can expect them to bark at the idea, the better it would be for Britain democratic development.

    Yes I want PR forced upon us, by means of a fair choice vote, not a one shot ultimatum, but hats just one issue.

    What would be the first step to undertake such amalgamate negotiation process? How about the abandonment of NATO in favour of a EU peace and defence force? withdraw our consent from the neocolonialist’s, amalgamate EU foreign policies, for Europe’s resolve, not nation states.

    Someone mentioned the language barrier, what barrier? most of Europe speaks english and it has all the hall markls of becoming the language of the EU, but that would not destroy or negate the swedish or welsh language, would it?

  84. A great article until you completely ruined it by embracing the essential goal of neo-conservatism, the dismantling of the nation state, especially , of course, the Russian and Chinese nation states. Very disappointed- I could hardly believe what I was reading. The pooling of sovereignty essential to the European project, or the Bolivarista project, is not the same thing as an attack on the nation state. An attack on the nation state is what we are witnessing in Syria and saw in Libya last year. At best, your article is very confused.

  85. We also see attacks on nation states in Afghanistan and Pakistan, breaches of sovereignty on a daily basis, the people of Yemen have a few words to add about his issue as well, colin, so whats wrong anticipating that the Uyghur’s and Tibetan’s will want change to their imposed situations?

    Your crass comparison is wholly false, Libya was attacked by a cabal of NATO forces breaching their own no fly zones with attacking civilians by the thousands, reminiscence of Bomber Harris springs to mind, mindless bombing from great hight with hardly any return fire.

    As for Syria, complain to the MOD, the Quatari’s and the saudi Arabian shamble, they will get their comeuppance soon, I’m sure the Washington Institute of near east studies will see to that, eventually.

  86. Craig.
    The problem with your view (excuse me, I’m not being rude) of Europe is that it leaves no room for conspiracy. What I mean is (and this is extremely relevant to – but not exclusively so – whether one believes in God and Satan etc) that wars and inter-nation strife and subsequent union could well have been designed for purposes that you are alluding to – the creation of a European Super State. Ye olde Hegelian dialectic buy the fiery one.

    And if you’re not religious, I’m sure it’s not too hard to hold that view when one examines the machinations of the ultra rich (dare I mention ‘Rothschild’?) who seem to believe they have a right to acquire power and do so with practical irrelevance to national laws and borders.

    And then on to monetary union…
    You said it’s not feasible without fiscal union, which makes total sense. BUT, and I could be wrong here, it seems to be that rather than the sensible scrapping of monetary union to return to the (more)nationalistic monetary system we had before, It was as though nation will be sacrificed for the sake of monetary union. I guess that would be music to your ears, but to me it’s the wrong way around. That the small, more easily scrappable thing is to dictate what the bigger more problematic thing should do, is in my eyes, very suspicious indeed.

    Your ‘problem’ (again excuse me) is that you can’t see past the concept of the nation other than it being assimilated, but the resultant body is really just a much bigger nation. You should be looking at it from the other way around, perhaps; like how a nation can be broken into, say, ‘nationlets’ – and lets face it, the ability of such ‘nationlets’ to cause harm is pretty small indeed. I hail from Co.Durham, the land of the Prince Bishops, which (kind of, in years past) was semi-autonomous.

    IF monetary and political union did occur, you just know what type of people that is going to attract. And no, it’s not going to be well meaning folf from Plymouth wanting to get a mandate from the people so that they may help the townsfolk of Litomysl.

    I believe the benefits you see from a united Europe are perfectly attainable without a Euro mega-state.

    This ‘we are Europenas’ thing is simply a damn slogan it doesn’t make any sense when you actually start to ponder it’s meaning. I sounds nice and swet to the ears yes, and projects a generally peace loving and inclusive set of beliefs, but it is just a marketing tool. At what point in history did this political/philosophical(if you will) label (as opposed to the trivial geographical label) emerge? Did inhabitants of Europe 300 years ago consider themselves political Europeans with all it’s markting garnish? And at what point today would someone NOT a European? – Can they not have similar beliefs if they were born 5 yards outside Europe – which you will note will still use some ‘them vs. us’ border.

    Sorry to have gone on, but I believe you aren’t thinking so deeply on this. I used to subscribe to the products of European marketing and advertising myself, before I started to look at what would this conglomeration would actually start to mean and how it would go about it.

    Didn’t people applaud the break up of the Soviet Union?

  87. @ Blue_Bear, 27 Sep, 2012 – 9:11 am
    But communities don’t have borders and a few looks at the stranger in town can hardly be considered borders or causing segregation or hostility. I don’t advocate formal borders made my people drawing lines on a map, although I concede it might cause some ‘trickiness’ when it comes to expenditure and so forth, BUT I think we are applying a mindset fed on current geographical occurrence and bureaucracy here. I suspect that’s one big reason why conceptualizing the an empowered community system may be difficult.

    For example, why would goods from A heading to C but passing through B have to have significance to B? One could say B’s roads may get chewed up so it’s only right that A (or perhaps C) helps pay for it, BUT exactly this thing happens in evry day life. People who live on road A drive down road B to get to road C and usually this wouldn’t even register as a problem on the people of B’s radar.

    As you know, we already have communities within our nation, so I’m not really proposing anything particularity new here, just perhaps a version of microtization without the bad parts of the big central governments we have today.

  88. The edifice of the EU is collapsing before our eyes anyway. Wonder how the Spanish and Greek people are feeling and what they are thinking as another round of savage cuts are enforced on them. Think of the Greek woman unable to get her medicine and the millions of young Spanish without a hope of a job.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-19733995#

    I see that ZBC refer to ‘austerity’. ‘Spain budget to impose further austerity’ measures

    The unemployment rate in Spain for people between the ages of 17 and 25 is 75%!!

  89. @ John Goss. 27 Sep, 2012 – 9:19 am

    Can a Chinese peasant living in China be a Europhile? If so can you be a Indochinaphile? If you can, why aren’t you, and if you can’t, then why not.

    What do you mean by “Europhile” – What boundaries does your definition have.

    Do you think Europhilicity is some kind of political peak? I’m not asking to be rude, but just to find out what you mean by that term which I admit, I have great difficulty fathoming.

  90. Well named. Liberal Conspiracy.

    “I’m off to campaign for Obomber.” Sunny Hundal. Says it all.
    Bastard.

  91. The terrifying thing is I don’t think this article from Craig is tongue-in-cheek.

    Of course the elite should just be waved through, none of this passports, customs and inconveniences but instead met with bows and scrapes, lets structure things at the macro level so the minority jet-setting few have things just the way they like them, VIPs recognised everywhere as special; a gain for all, but in practice something most have no opportunity to avail themselves due to personal economic circumstances, but they’ll call for it all the same, sold on its hypothetical application to them to, if they could just aspire and breach the exclusiveness. Just over a hundred years ago, anyone could go anywhere without any indentifying scraps of paper at all, money alone as now being all that was necessary to own the world.

    Errant composite states, like the UK containing many nation states, are actually the problem, when they go bad, they go BAD. International organisations like the League of Nations and UN which really had no purpose beyond the joint task of the destruction of the Palestine, now drift aimlessly, causing more harm than doing good. Large parts of the United States seceding from Washington would be a very good thing indeed. De-centralisation.

  92. I bet this thread reaches 3,000 comments before 3rd October.

  93. Commesick Commesuck

    27 Sep, 2012 - 11:53 am

    Europen debt – is it the “Firsters or the Friends” ? So who owns this debt, how much interest do they get annually, does it fall under the inheritance tax net, etc, etc

    http://www.economist.com/comment/1658034#comment-1658034

  94. Craig, I would ask you to consider the issue of perspective – the possibility that what may make sense to you because of where you are writing from, a largely eurosceptic member state, can be interpreted very differently from a more culturally, ideologically, and economically integrated member state.

    The Barroso EEC/EU/EC is a non-, perhaps even anti- democratic vector for neocon ideology. The highly evolved principals and the statutory basis of social cohesion from Bismark(!) to Keynes are being picked apart by successive treaties (with little popular mandate) and are being accelerated by recent supra-national fiscal control measures.

    Add to this the strategem of qualified majority member state voting with weighting by populations, who ironically have no real franchise, and there is a recipe for a return to the most virulent and violent forms of nationalism.

    What you are arguing for, in effect, is a form of regression – a grand paternalistic coalition between the pre-1914 imperial powers of Europe, or a repressive 21st Century Yugoslavia that forcibly melds into one political economy the cultural, religious and ethnic diversity of Serbs, Croats, Slovenes, Bosnians, Montenegrans, Kossovars and others.

    Perhaps your biggest oversight is human nature. Smaller units of governance facilitate greater representation of human diversity.

  95. @ Mary.
    We might also realise that the whole western financial system is clasping the proverbial straw.
    1928’s financial crash will be a tea party in comparison to what the global systems are facing this time.

  96. O/t but a problem that is pan European, its called right wing fascism

    This is English multicultural reality today, two speculative articles with pictures showing the EDL rabble marching, wasting police time and causing them extra work, because they do not want to live side by side with other thinking people.

    Whilst all other stories are taking comments this one is designed as an advertisement only, not that it stops anybody commenting on other threads there. The EDP is rabble rousing, getting people to join the march, imho.
    http://www.edp24.co.uk/news/politics/english_defence_league_sets_date_for_first_march_in_norwich_1_1530716

  97. I remember the European Union was divided over the Iraq war which suggested that a unified EU foreign policy did not exist then and does not exist now.

    Recently we witnessed NATO, an organisation setup to provide western Europe with security guarantees in the face of Eastern bloc threats, was used to strike a peaceful non-aggressive Libya and now a strike on Syria is technically feasible yet again exasperating the violence and promoting civil war.

    This is just one example of US influence over EU foreign policy. There exista many others in the pages of history such as the arms embargo against China retained in place with US influence.

    The US has used ‘black sites’ to torture the innocent in Eastern European countries and also used western european countries, including Britain, for secret rendition.

    America has not I believe ratified the Rome Statute and thus is not a member of The International criminal court. Because of this we note the recent US military courts abuses and of course Israeli war-crimes go unnoticed. The US has also threatened to use its Security Council veto to block renewal of the mandates of several United Nations peacekeeping operations, unless the Security Council agreed to permanently exempt U.S. nationals from the Court’s jurisdiction.

    I cannot see that Craig in his comment has recognised clearly that the EU is in America’s pocket, used and constrained at will and to that effect is NOT an excellent prototype (excepting trade) that can “attack the sovereignty of national states from above.”.

  98. Craig
    You want Globalisation? The United states of Africa, Europe, South/North America, Asia etc because thats is what would happen and that is the “Master plan” that the worlds Elite want. It will bring an end to democracy as all the power would be in the hands of the ever decreasing number of mega banks oil companies and media empires etc. Look to China as the model of what the world would look like.

  99. Hang on, if we form a United States of Europe, what happens to Scottish independence? Well, I don’t believe in Scottish independence, so that wouldn’t be my problem. :)

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