Europes EUlogy? - The “Absolute State” of the European Union
For those unaware, earlier this week in the European parliament, Guy Verhofstadt declared his allegiance. He spoke of a unified Europe, and claimed that the problem and crisis Europe faces is that member states within the EU are “unwilling to transfer new sovereignty and powers to the European Union.” This is, perhaps, hilariously ironic considering the demands of huge swaths of Europeans that the EU STOP asserting new, draconian authority over member states. As we speak the EU heads towards a full trilogue concerning the European Copyright Directive, a bill which, if passed, would heavily censor the ability of anyone in the EU to share content online, as well as heavily tax anyone sharing links to news media and publications.
Verhofstadt, if you weren’t savvy to his role in the European Parliament, is the Leader of ALDE, the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe. He was also the 47th Prime Minister of Belgum, a role which he served in from 1999 to 2008. He took up his position at ALDE on July the 1st of 2009, and then assumed office as an MEP on July the 14th that same year.
One wonders how a man who claims to care about Liberalism and Democracy, can justify the idea that the solution to problems faced by many is to consolidate power away from member states and into the hands of the few. It seems as though he feels that those problems are all uniform and can magically be solved best by government fiat. But of course, this wouldn’t be the first time in history that a party seeking power lied about its motives by claiming a political name that doesn’t align with its policy. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is certainly anything but, though there is, perhaps, an even darker (and certainly one much closer to home for Verhofstadt) analogue that comes to mind when discussing political authoritarians who wanted a unified Europe.
I do not pretend to assume that there is some grand, contrived conspiracy going on, wherein the EU seeks to seize power from all of the member states and then censor anyone who dares attempt to speak out against it. With that acknowledged, however, there is a worrying trend concerning recent moves that the European Parliament and Commission have made, and how certain members among them have grand, sweeping ideas and visions for a unified European state. The very idea of removing sovereignty from the member states and unifying Europe is a dangerous one, fraught with conflict that will inevitably develop. One needn’t be reminded of the demands of Angela Merkel and Jean-Claude Junker that a new, European Army ought be funded (As though NATO isn’t enough to protect Europe) coupled with the idea of censorship that the copyright directive would allow for.
“You would not create a European Army to use it immediately, but a common army among the Europeans would convey to Russia that we are serious about defending the values of the European Union.” - Jean-Claude Junker
I am no master student of history, but I recall the means by which the German state controlled mass media and propaganda in their country during World War I and World War II, and how they fought tooth and nail to the man and child to enforce their ideals upon the world. I remember how they sought to plunder and rape all of Europe and the world abroad to fund their venture, and murder anyone not ethnically sound enough for their tastes. While I do not believe Verhofstadt is of such an opinion, it is clear that the rising tide against these “liberal” and “democratic” representatives is one of just as questionable moral fortitude regarding the rights of the individual, and that handing powers and rights over to a central authority is a terrifying prospect that any liberal or democrat with a conscience should abhor.
Europe is, in some measure, facing an economic crisis at the moment, as well as a migrant crisis, but to infer that the only solution to the problem is a European super state is naive at best, and terrifying at worst. Nothing will be solved by giving away power, be it sovereign power or the power of the media to freely share information, to the hands of authoritarians. Nothing has ever been solved that way. The only thing that such actions typically bring about is war and mass starvation as those given such excess authority inevitably make use of it for the most selfish and misguided means possible, at the cost of the common man.
We must be vigilant against these sorts of actions and forever watchful of those who demand more power. Even if they themselves are not the monsters we fear, that hardly matters if they unknowingly pave the way for someone else to tyranny and subjugation with their good intentions.