The EU … Not So Beneficial After All, but Certainly Hypocritical
By Staff News & Analysis - June 25, 2012

The EU's 'beneficial crisis' has spun out of control … 'Europe' expected to be united through emergencies, but this one will tear it apart … As long ago as 1957, Jean Monnet – who was the real organising genius behind the gradual building of "Europe" into a single, unified state – suggested that it was only through monetary and economic union that the "political union which is the goal" could be achieved. "There are no premature ideas," he wrote, "only opportunities for which we must learn to wait." By 1970, Monnet's ideas were being fleshed out by the Werner report, which saw monetary union as the key step towards political union. But in 1978, another report for the European Commission, by Sir Donald McDougall, warned that it would be reckless to create a single currency unless Europe was first given an all-powerful government, with the power to tax, and to make a massive transfer of resources from the richer states to the poorer. In the 1980s, though, that other great integrator Jacques Delors (second only to Monnet in his influence on the drive to European political union) decided to ignore the advice of McDougall and others and to launch the single currency without the suggested preconditions. To move straight to fiscal union, he knew, was not on the cards. But if the single currency was put in place first, it would create exactly the kind of strains which had been foreseen – making fiscal union the only way out. – UK Telegraph

Dominant Social Theme: Ends justifying means …

Free-Market Analysis: All the dirty laundry is being aired now. This UK Telegraph article explains it succinctly in the above excerpt. As we've pointed out in the past, the EU exercise, especially the euro, was an exercise in cynicism. The idea was to implement a currency union, which would then collapse and usher in a full-fledged political union. First an economic calamity and then a political salvation.

The breathtaking hypocrisy of this approach is rivaled only by its boldness. Hundreds of millions traded in their national currency for euros that were designed to fail. They were SUPPOSED to fail.

But we wonder how those behind this bait-and-switch can justify what's happening now. Europe is in flames and the bread lines in countries like Greece are getting longer and longer. People are setting themselves on fire. This is the result of a "beneficial crisis"?

The EU is tearing itself to pieces, as this article reveals. The breadth of the cynicism of Europe's original founders is matched only by the depth of the current disaster. The smugness is breathtaking.

Delors was banking on that same principle that Monnet had relied on ever since the "European project" was launched in 1950: the "beneficial crisis" – one which can be used, as so often in the EU's history, to justify giving a whole new tranche of powers to Brussels. Those responsible for setting up the euro in the 1990s knew that it would eventually bring about the kind of strains between richer and poorer countries that could justify their moving on to the fiscal and political union that was always the real goal.

What they hadn't reckoned with was that the crisis, when it came, would be so immense that it would spiral out of anyone's control. Thus, amid the present shambles, we hear distracted voices calling for "more Europe" – more powers for Brussels, a new treaty – but the truth is that the chaos has gone way beyond their ability to solve it. They are not going to get their new powers, their "eurobonds", their fiscal union.

As the ultimate "beneficial crisis" that the architects of Europe dreamt of arrives – it is not turning out to be so beneficial after all. As Shakespeare put it, they have been "hoist with their own petard", as "purposes mistook fall on the inventors' heads". They have been horribly caught out, and the result, as we begin to see, is a catastrophe which could be about to take a great deal more of their "European dream" with it.

We would tend to agree with this analysis – but for reasons that go beyond the article. What wasn't known at the time was the extent to which the Internet would influence opinion.

It may have been that then-German Chancellor Helmut Kohl traded East Germany for the euro – agreeing to reunite Germany and agreeing as well to a Europe-wide euro currency. But we wonder how widespread knowledge was about the deal.

Kohl did a lot of horse-trading, especially with France, and a lot of it still isn't widely known. But you can bet that if it happened today people would have a better sense of it. Thousands of blogs would inform them.

We'd argue that's what has happened as regards the euro. The Germans especially are well aware of how much "more integration" would cost them and they don't want the responsibility.

We'd argue that this stance is at least partially due to what we call the Internet Reformation. No longer can leaders hatch plots in a vacuum as did Helmut Kohl. These days democracy is "democratic" with a capital "D."

Of course, extraordinarily large events have their own logic, as well. It is perfectly possible that European pushback – especially in Germany and Greece – would have developed regardless.

But we also believe that the new technology has provided a tool that is at once intimate and broad … a tool that provides both an enlightenment and a call to action.

The elites' dominant social themes, the fear-based promotions that we regularly cover, are not working so well these days. Everything from Peak Oil to global warming has come under sustained attack. People over the past decade have become considerably more skeptical.

It is no coincidence, in our view, that the mainstream media itself is falling out of favor, with newspapers slashing staff and cable news channels regularly bleeding viewers.

A single news site like Matt Drudge's with a very few employees can generate the same impact and viewership as the New York Times and Wall Street Journal with their vast reporting staffs and budgets running into the hundreds of millions.

The problem the elites face, as we've noted many times before, is that the Internet is a process not an episode. The trends that are undermining elite control of society are only going to deepen and widen, in our view.

After Thoughts

The 20th century was a triumphal time for a handful of elites that want to build a new global order. The 21st century, not so much …