The French may have spurned the
Constitution for the wrong reasons, but overall their instincts were sound.
That the pro-free market Dutch have seconded the non vote with a resounding
nee ought to give pause to the collectivist superstate's illiberal American
supporters, the most notorious of whom are concentrated in the Bush State Department
and National Security Council.
As I pointed out in
2001, the EU endeavors to herd Europeans by stealth into a supranational
European State and… block off all the exits. This it intends to achieve by rigid
central planning and harmonization of laws across the continent. In the absence
of political and economic competition, the bureaucrats of Brussels will be free
to rule and regulate; tax and inflate the money supply at will. This is what
the rejectionists, including the cheese-eating
surrender monkeys, have defeated… for now.
The sovereignty of European non-members is already constrained
by the EU's burgeoning jurisdiction. But if ever its constitution goes into
effect, the EU will assume unlimited
powers – its laws usurping
all laws enacted by national parliaments – and will concentrate these in a few
unelected, grubby hands. (The Charter of Fundamental Rights and the Constitution,
which will subsume the Charter, have been drafted without the consent of the
people they will irrevocably bind.)
Dissembling Eurocrats justify this usurpation by claiming the
EU would prevent wars in Europe. How exactly would they achieve this noble end?
Why, by substituting the nation-state with deracinated, supranational institutions.
They assert that national identity causes bigotry and bloodshed, hence, in Chancellor
Helmut Kohl's words, "We have no desire to return to the nation state of
old." Other neo-communists such as Romano
Prodi have seconded the sentiment – and their quest to engineer a single
However, in his examination of the The
Tainted Source of the Idea of European Union, classical liberal philosopher
David Conway finds little to laud. The idea of the EU Conway traces to the writings
of Friedrich List in the first half of the 19th century. "[A]s far as List
was concerned, the main reason for European states to enter into such union
was not to prevent war between them. It was, rather, to enable them better to
wage economic war against other more economically advanced states, in List's
day [and today], Britain and the USA."
Like the bureaucrats of Brussels, "List's vision of European
union was less Anglophobic than anti-liberal." His ideas were seized upon
by the Nazis – they referred to List when outlining their aspiration to create
a European economic and monetary union. A July 1940 memorandum, written by the
Reich Chancery, elaborates on a vision for a united Europe in which economic
development is strictly supervised by the state and in which a fixed rate of
exchange is mandated. (All the better to manipulate the money supply to fund
the central government's profligacy. States can't fight inflation because they
are forbidden to adjust interest rates). The Nazis also cited "lasting
peace … freedom, prosperity, and security" as the impetus for European
"Now, it does not follow," cautions Conway, "simply
from the fact that the Nazis envisaged and favored the creation after the war
of a European economic community that the present European Economic Community
is simply a continuation of the Nazi project. Even if it is no more than pure
coincidence how closely postwar Europe has come to resemble what the Nazis wanted
for it," quips Conway, "it remains unmistakably true that, from its
postwar beginnings to the present, the principal advocates and architects of
European union have been uniformly animated by collectivist objectives that
are deeply anti-liberal in spirit and form."
Let us count
these illiberal ways: "The EU already has rights to legislate over
external trade and customs policy, the internal market, the monetary policy
of countries in the eurozone, agriculture and fisheries, and many areas of domestic
law including the environment and health and safety at work." And the EU
intends to "extend its rights into … justice policy, especially asylum
and immigration." If the Dutch – still reeling from the murder of anti-immigration activist Pim
Fortuyn and Vincent van Gogh's great-great-grandson
– decide to curb immigration, the EU commissariat will be there to thwart them.
(Fortuyn's successor, Geert Wilders, has been forced into hiding
by the same suspects.)
The "harmonization of judicial practices," warns
Bill Jamieson, will see the introduction of an "EU-wide arrest warrant
… which will allow extradition from one country to the other for offenses such
as 'xenophobia.'" Habeas
corpus is also on the new constitution's chopping block. The aim is to allow
arrests without charges or due process (ring a bell?). All in all, new Charter-minted
economic, social, and cultural "rights" will expand the superstate's
policing and prosecutorial powers.
And shrink markets.
The rhetoric about the free flow of goods, labor, and capital
across borders is as credible as the verbiage about union for peace. The EU
has mandated strictly regulated markets, privileging labor interests over those
of capital, and instituting oppressive socialist labor laws and "unfair
competition" regulations that have hiked labor costs and resulted in structural
Take The Czech Republic. Joseph Sima, associate professor at
the Prague School of Economics, describes the fate of his country since joining
the EU as having gone "From
the Bosom of Communism to the Central Control of EU Planners" [.pdf]:
There's the added dead weight of thousands of meddling mandarins, there's the
imperative to change local laws to fit EU decrees, to hike taxes, even to liquidate
duty-free shops. There's the burden on nascent businesses of prohibitive health
and safety standards. (The right to work is not an EU-approved birthright.)
There are subsidies and grants of monopoly to farmers. A regime of licenses
now restricts entrepreneurial activity and blocks entry into assorted occupations.
On hand to subdue any Czechoslovakian Martha Stewart is an army of SEC gendarmes,
also by EU edict. As he photocopies his paper, Sima is reminded of the Association
of Authors' special copyright shakedown fee he must shell out at the copier
– EU orders! (Corporeal property rights are barely protected under EU reign.)
What unites the "No" camp, from socialists to right-wingers,
is the recognition that the EU would hasten a loss
of sovereignty and national identity. Euroskeptics evinced independent thought – they
rejected the absurd claim that this collectivist colossus would advance their
interests and refused to be coffined by it. The French and Dutch gave Brussels
the boot. But they also signaled unceremoniously to the treacherous, EU-propping
elites in Paris and The Hague to stop subverting the people's will. Their passions
may well be shared by "Yes" voters: nations that ratified the EU were
denied a referendum – their "representatives" in parliament sold them
into statism without giving them a say.
All in all, Europeans seem to grasp what Americans refuse to.
Liberty is associated with a dispersion of political power, never its concentration
and centralization. Adding an overarching tier of tyrants – the EU – to European
governments will benefit Europeans as a second hangman enhances the health of
a condemned man.