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Post A Prediction on the EU
Created by John Eipper on 11/08/18 2:59 AM

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A Prediction on the EU (Nigel Jones, UK, 11/08/18 2:59 am)

Sigh! No matter how often anti-EU Europeans such as Eugenio Battaglia (November 7) and myself (who actually have to live inside the belly of the beast) point out the corrupt, inorganic, undemocratic and doomed nature of the monster, it seems to have no effect on Europhiles like our esteemed editor. In fact it seems to me that the more distant they are from Europe, the greater their affection.

It all goes to reinforce my conviction that once an idea has taken root inside a person's mind, it becomes impervious both to rational argument and to evidence.

Before the Brexit referendum I repeatedly pointed out on WAIS that it would happen, as the EU and Britain were incompatible. No one believed me until it happened.

I will venture another prediction: the EU will fall apart within a few years. The forces that are destroying it are too strong for such a flimsy and unnatural structure to withstand.

As recent and current events have shown, there is nothing good about the EU. Think about it: when did a positive news story last emerge from Brussels?

Eugenio's olive tree analogy is apt: the EU has no roots in history, politics, culture or economics. As for John praising it for preserving peace in Europe--not so. That was down to the Cold War and NATO. Despite the absurd Macron's efforts, there is no prospect of a European army emerging. I repeat for the umpteenth time: The EU, like all evil Empires, is doomed. You won't believe me till it happens though.

JE comments:  Flogging taken, Nigel!  I hope we can agree that there is no way to prove why a major war never broke out in Europe after 1945.  But can't we say that the raison d'etre of NATO was to prepare for war--and simultaneously, Einstein be damned, to prevent it?  Fortunately the latter turned out to be the case.

I do not consider myself a Europhile, although I see some positives:  Schengen non-borders, infrastructure development in the formerly impoverished Member States, the common market.  Negatives:  the destruction of certain sectors of regional economies, a heavy hand on regulation, and the worst of all for this lifelong numismatist:  hideous banknotes with no sense of history or local "feel."  Their collectibility factor:  nil.

Shall we take up Nigel's prediction:  will the EU collapse in a few years?  


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  • Does the EU Have a Future? I Agree with Nigel Jones (John Heelan, UK 11/09/18 3:48 AM)

    I agree with Nigel Jones (November 8th) when he predicted the demise of the EU.


    As Deep Throat said in Watergate, "Follow the Money."  In the EU's case, the Eurozone will lead the collapse following Brexit when the EU budget will no longer be able to sustain investment in the 22 out of 27 Member States that are net beneficiaries of the money put into the kitty by only 5 Member States.


    Then there is the undemocratic nature of its governance controlled by the EU Commission and the various EU central banks.  Most EU governments have by now been infiltrated by Goldman Sachs acolytes (as has the IMF) supporting US capitalist ideology. Even the Bank of England continues its "Project Fear" campaign about threats to the UK economy should there be a "No Deal Brexit."  It preaches about a resulting flight of UK financial services to other EU capitals, closing its eyes to the EU Commission plan to exercise an EU Financial Transaction Tax on very financial transaction that will wipe billions of euros from the profits of those financial services.


    In summary, the Eurozone is slowly collapsing through poor productivity and high unemployment (especially in the under-25s) in the eastern Member States.  The faux democracy provided by the EU Parliament is a mockery that will also collapse as soon as MEPs realise that their "gravy train" will slow down and stop though lack of funding.


    The danger for Europe is that there might well be yet another Franco-German Reich being created.


    JE comments:  The current EU model of governance may indeed be unsustainable, but note that 2 and 1/2 years after the Brexit vote, no country has joined the UK in leaving.  John, the final divorce is just four months away--can you update New Worlders on the state of negotiations?

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    • Will Deficits Bring Down the EU? I Don't Think So (Carmen Negrin, France 11/10/18 4:05 AM)
      If you follow the money, as John Heelan asks on 9 November, where is the USA's money?

      How many billions of deficit? If the US stands, why can't the EU? Please explain; I am a total ignoramus in this field.


      All I can see is that Italy seems to be the one pulling down at this point, and Brits don't seem to be so pleased about their initial vote on Brexit.


      JE comments:  Perennial deficits in Washington don't put US survival in danger, so should Brussels be any different?  Because of history?  Something vaguely "organic" about national identity?  Like Carmen Negrín, I hope someone can explain this to us.


      We'll begin today's WAISing with a number of EU-related posts.  Next up:  John Heelan on Brexit.


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  • Predictions on the EU: An American's Perspective (Istvan Simon, USA 11/09/18 11:48 AM)
    Nigel Jones's passionate opposition to the EU is well known to WAISers. I would like to make just a few comments on his most recent post on the subject (November 8th):

    1. I have disagreed with Nigel on this subject before, and like John Eipper, Nigel thinks that this is because I am an incorrigible Europhile. But nothing could be further from the truth. I am not a Europhile.  In fact I am neutral on the subject, so since Nigel is so passionately against it, maybe just maybe John Eipper and I may be more objective on this than he is.


    2. It is not true, as Nigel said, that the farther you live from Europe the more you are "enamored" of the EU beast, as he calls it. We do have WAISers who live in Europe and are favorable to the EU. In fact their numbers seem to be at least as large as the European opponents in this Forum.


    3. I have no horse in this race, so therefore I do not fear if Nigel turns out to be right and the EU will disappear in the near future. I do not believe that this will happen anytime soon, but if it does, so be it. After all I believe in self-determination, and if the people involved do not want the EU, it is fine with me. But...


    4. I am an independent thinker and I think with my own head. So the question in my mind is, would Europe really be better off if the EU did not exist? The reason I disagreed with Nigel in the past is not that I think the European Union is great, but that when I think with my own head, I do not see major advantages to the European countries going their separate ways. And I see major disadvantages.


    5. I continue to think, despite Nigel's best efforts to convince me otherwise, that Brexit was a mistake. The failure of negotiations so far in Brexit confirms what I have said on this subject, not what Nigel predicted. The fact that he now virulently blames Theresa May for this does not change the fact that those who predicted an easy divorce highly favorable to Britain were simply wrong.


    6. I am not a Europhile, but I am definitely a UK-phile. I love England and wish it the very best within or without the EU.


    JE comments:  I don't see how to disagree with Istvan's point 5:  there's been no easy divorce for the UK. 


    Europhile, UK-phile--these are interesting concepts.  What exactly makes one a "phile" of a country other than one's own?  Romantic idealism?  Wanderlust?  A thirst for the exotic?  Let's discuss this.


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    • Theresa May and Brexit: We Need a General Election (John Heelan, UK 11/10/18 4:21 AM)

      JE commented on Istvan Simon's post about the EU (10 November): "There's been no easy divorce for the UK. "


      JE's choice of words might well be significant. However one should also remember the widespread "Project Fear" PR programme being spread not only by EU mandarins and apparatchiks (more significant words?) but also by their acolytes in the UK media (including the BBC that should be ashamed of its taking a political stance on the matter).  Some of those acolytes stand to maker their fortunes by taking forward positions on currency dealings and thus their opinions should be considered in that light.


      My own preference would be for Theresa May to call a General Election before March 2019 with the sole policy of gaining a mandate from the UK electorate to "walk away" from the EU, no matter what dire forebodings the gainsayers, feathering their own nests. will put in counter-argument. One of those arguments that I hear frequently is that would hand electoral victory to Corbyn and the Labour Party (or in reality the Hard-Left activists of Momentum). Over the last 50 years of General Elections in which I have voted for various parties, I have more faith in the UK electorate's choosing the party with the ideology needed at the time to correct the heading of the UK ship of state.


      JE comments:  John, barring a deal with Brussels before March, will the default event be the so-called "hard divorce"--with no trade agreements, etc?


      Nigel Jones (next) has also weighed in.


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    • EU: Europe is Not a Nation (Nigel Jones, UK 11/10/18 6:30 AM)
      We have to believe Istvan Simon (November 9th) when he claims to be "neutral" on the subject of the EU, and to have "no dog in the fight." If that is truly so, one wonders why he posts so frequently on the topic!

      If there are European WAISers who are pro-EU, I can only say that they have kept remarkably quiet of late. Perhaps understandably, since there has been no good news coming from the EU for...oh, about twenty years or so.


      I will repeat, yet again, what is wrong with the EU. It is a project, dreamed up by a couple of mediocre French civil servants (Monnet & Schumann) in the wake of WWII, which takes no account of European history. It is therefore inorganic, antidemocratic and increasingly dictatorial.


      It has beggared half the continent, allowed the influx of an unassimilatable army of Muslims within its walls, and either caused or failed to prevent wars (Yugoslavia and Ukraine). It is the continuation of the project of German hegemony defeated in two world wars, and I find it extraordinary that Istvan, with his own experience of Communist totalitarianism, fails to recognise what Mikhail Gorbachev (who should know) described as the resurrection of the Soviet Union on European soil.


      What Istvan describes as the European states "going their separate ways" simply means their continuation as free nations running themselves as many of them--especially Britain--have done for about 1,000 years.


      Why in the name of reason, would they (we) wish to surrender those hard-won rights, liberties and freedoms to a bureaucratic nightmare dreamed up to stop Germany invading their country (again)? I don't see Istvan arguing against the US or Israel "going their separate ways," so why should we?


      I suppose what it boils down to is that Man does not live by bread alone. In other words, Europe is not a nation, and cannot be made into one by fiat of an unelected bureaucratic elite.


      JE comments: Especially relevant here is tomorrow's anniversary: 100 years since the Eleventh Hour of the Eleventh Day of the Eleventh Month. The Armistice and aftermath of 11 November 1918 probably defined today's world more than any other single day in history. I hope we'll have a good conversation about it.

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      • True Roots of Anti-EU Sentiment: Xenophobia and Racism (José Ignacio Soler, Venezuela 11/12/18 3:25 AM)

        Recently Eugenio Battaglia and Nigel Jones have insisted on their mantra forecasting the European Union's collapse under different arguments. For Eugenio it's the lack of substantial "roots" in the Union, the disappearance of Europe's cultural roots in the Greek and Roman civilizations, the lack of union among Latins, Germans and Slavs, a blind submission to the "Empire," and so on. In the case of Nigel, it's his well-known mantra of the "corrupt, inorganic, undemocratic and doomed nature of the monster."




        They might be both partially right, but I believe they are not.


        Nevertheless, it is a fact the EU is facing a crisis, but the root causes are xenophobia and racism, though in different intensities in the different European nations. Xenophobia and racism are causing the current crisis and the rise of the populist Europhobic political movements. Other argued reasons, perhaps for the purposes of political correctness, are mere intellectual speculations to disguise the real one.



        Roman and Greeks societies, as well as old and more recent European empires and nations were, and continue to be, xenophobic and racist.  This is a fact. To be afraid of foreign invasions in the past or uncontrolled immigration in the present is common to all communities and societies. Considering one's own culture and traditions to be superior, the fear of losing one's identity or jobs, a perceived rise in crime, etc., are all natural instinctive reactions for protection and survival against the foreigner.



        The current level of racism in each of the European nations is an interesting question that it has been addressed in several studies. Some in English and Spanish can be found below:


        https://www.statista.com/topics/3911/racism-and-prejudice-in-europe/


        https://www.boredpanda.es/mapa-racismo-union-europea-bezzleford/?u


        https://elpais.com/diario/1990/07/24/opinion/648770406_850215.html


        and of course Wikipedia


        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Racism_in_Europe



        But I have not found any research on the more complex question of xenophobia and racism simultaneously. They are different but related concepts. For instance I suspect that French, as well as British, are more xenophobic than racist, and that Germans are more racist than xenophobic, as well as Spanish and Italians. But this is my humble opinion and personal perception; do not take them seriously.



        Finally and by the way, I still wait for Nigel Jones to respond my repeated invitation to illustrate why the European Union is "corrupt and undemocratic."  This "obvious" fact for him might not be so evident for more ignorant people like me. I still expect someday he will have the courtesy to enlighten me.


        JE comments: Nigel Jones has pointed out the unelected nature of the Council (undemocratic) and the lordly lifestyles of the MEPs (corrupt).  But he certainly could phrase this with more pizzazz.


        So Euroskeptics, how do you respond to accusations of xenophobia and racism?  Is the other common argument about the EU's insolvency and financial recklessness merely a disguise to hide the real motivation--namely, fear of a demographically changing Europe?


        José Ignacio Soler's second link makes for fascinating reading.  It's in Spanish, but the several maps of Europe show national attitudes towards questions such as "Would you be comfortable if your child had an intimate relationship with a African/Muslim etc?"  The Eastern European countries tend to be the least comfortable, with Slovakia and the Czech Republic at the very top of the "racism scale."  The least racist (by this measure at least):  Scandinavia.

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        • EU Insolvency: Would You Invest in It? (John Heelan, UK 11/13/18 5:31 AM)
          (Juncker): "Brussels has urged the EU's 27 member states to pay more money into the bloc's joint budget, which is facing a black hole of up to €13bn after Brexit."

          Add to this: the failing Eurozone, low productivity, high unemployment (especially in younger people), the Soroses of the world betting on currency depreciations, reductions in contributions to the EU's net beneficiary Member States (22 out of 27), ambivalence of the Trump Administration on whether the EU survives as a trading bloc in competition with the US and China, and so on.


          Would capitalists (even Goldman Sachs) invest in such a venture?


          JE comments: Excellent points, John, but GS knows the EU can print its own money. To paraphrase Joe Biden, that's a big [@#%&] deal.

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          • Why is the EU Insolvent? (Carmen Negrin, France 11/14/18 3:47 AM)

            In response to John Heelan (November 13th), the EU has unemployment, yes but with an income. It's expensive too, but what would have happened to Greece or Spain if not for Europe?


            The UK does owe a lot millions to the EU. And taxes are spent on something useful, albeit with a few exceptions.


            JE comments:  Great question:  what would have happened to Greece and Spain without the EU bailouts?  Euroskeptics might respond that the EU was the cause of their financial crises, in that both countries could otherwise have devalued their way out of the mess.


            A question we've never addressed on WAIS:  is there any serious talk in Brussels about belt-tightening?  For bureaucratic behemoths, this is the hardest thing of all to do.


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      • What Would the NEU Look Like? A Question for Nigel Jones (Istvan Simon, USA 11/12/18 5:24 AM)
        Nigel Jones (10 November) questioned why if I am neutral on the EU subject I have posted frequently about it. It is simply because I continue to think with my own head.

        Unlike Nigel, I do not see Monnet and Schumann as mediocre at all. In my opinion they were brilliant. They created the Common Market that was hugely successful, which Britain eventually was eager to join, because it was so successful.


        It is because Nigel does not acknowledge, passionate as he is in his opposition, that polls show huge segments of the UK as either regretting the Brexit vote, or of having abstained in the Brexit vote, in spite of preferring to stay within the EU. The young in particular seem largely opposed to Brexit. WAISers in general are from an older generation, where anti-EU sentiment seems to be most prominent. From what I have read Brexit has morphed into Regrexit. I did not invent this term. It is used by the free press to describe the phenomenon.


        Nigel asks why the pro-EU European WAISers have not written about it recently. This he needs to ask of them not me, but my understanding is that for example Jordi Molins, Mendo Henriques, and historian Ángel Viñas all have written favorably about the EU. I do not wish to put words in their mouths, they can correct me if I am wrong, but this has been my perception in reading their posts over the years on this subject. Further, John Heelan too, who agrees with Nigel on the EU, has nonetheless acknowledged one of the advantages I see in the EU, namely the need for a common defense. He expressed this as trusting more his nearby neighbors and allies than the United States for the same purpose.


        Nigel misrepresents my position on the United States and Israel. He asks why I am happy with the United States going it alone. I am not at all happy about that. I am firmly in favor of the United States being in alliances with other countries and trying to forge supra-national organizations and alliances. I am opposed to Trump's every policy, opposed to his primitive destructive racist nationalism and neo-isolationism. I am opposed to his tariffs, in favor of NAFTA, in favor of NATO, in favor of the OAS, and less so but still in favor of the UN.


        I disagree in part with Nigel on Muslim immigration. It is true that some of this immigration has been a failure, that some Muslims do not seem to integrate well into Western societies. But there are also examples of the contrary. The Turkish immigration into Germany of a couple of generations ago seems to have been largely successful, and so was the integration of many Indian and Pakistani Muslim immigrants in the UK. There were notorious examples of the opposite as well. London at one point was called Londonstan with preachers openly engaged in calling for violence and Al Qaeda propaganda based in London. Fortunately, some of these people have been arrested and their preaching of hate ended.


        Nigel calls the EU anti-democratic and a re-creation of the Soviet Union, but he never successfully explained to my mind why a more democratic supra-national organization would be impossible or desirable. I understand in fact that Nigel is in favor of NATO and the Commonwealth; is he not? I have asked before, and he failed to seriously address it, how he would design NEU (Nigel's European Union), which would minimize the negative aspects he sees in the EU, be more democratic, and yet preserve the many positive aspects of the EU, the free movement of people, goods and ideas, common defense, the commercial advantages, common positions in the relationship with the United States, and so on.


        How to design a supra-national organization of European nations that would willingly give up part of their individual sovereignty, for the sake of cooperation for the common interests, peace, and the common good?


        JE comments:  Carmen Negrín (France) has also posted in defense of the EU.  Indeed, Eugenio Battaglia is perhaps our only Euroskeptic on the Continent.  (To be sure, way too many WAISers haven't shared their views on this.  Are you a long-silent WAISer in Continental Europe?  Please weigh in about the EU.)

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        • How Would I Re-Fashion the EU? (Nigel Jones, UK 11/13/18 3:49 AM)

          Istvan Simon (November 12) continues to belie his claim to be "neutral" on the EU with another passionate defence of an organisation he fails to understand.


          If the EU had remained the "Common Market" which Britain joined in the 1970s, I, and most other Europeans, would have no problem with it. Sadly, its not-so-secret aim has always been the construction of a totalitarian single state Empire:  A political project which is increasingly rejected by the peoples of Europe.


          Istvan--perhaps influenced by the left-liberal US media--falsely claims that opinion in Britain has shifted against Brexit. This is not so. If anything, because of the anti-British hate spouted by the EU since the referendum, if a second referendum were held, there would be an even larger majority for Leave.
          Britons don't like being bullied.


          Like Istvan, I too am firmly in favour of my country being allied with friendly countries.
          That is why I support NATO. Sadly, though, the EU is morphing into an anti-American project, which is presumably why Macron called last week for a new European Army to defend against Russia and the USA! (This in the week that his miserable country was commemorating the thousands of American who died defending France against Germany.)


          Finally, Istvan asks how I would re-design the EU. I would simply re-fashion it as a loose organisation of free nations trading with one another. But that is not what the EU is about.
          It is about creating a totalitarian state. But it is failing on every front.


          You don't have to believe me. Believe the elections in almost every European country which are seeing a massive rise in "populist" anti-EU parties. Next up: May's elections to the fake European Parliament. The hideous Tower of Babel is doomed.


          As a postscript, José Ignacio Soler (Nov 12) challenges me to prove the corruption of the
          EU.


          I will give him just one instance: The EU is so profoundly corrupt that its
          own accountants have declined to audit its accounts for the past 15 years.


          Enough said, I think.


          JE comments:  That's a "sic" on the "miserable country."  Nigel, I hope you were referring to France's rain on Armistice Day.  Speaking of France, what are we to make of Macron's public shaming of Trump on the issue of nationalism?  Franco-American relations may be at their lowest point since..1754?

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        • Supranational vs Multinational; Patriotism vs Nationalism (Carmen Negrin, France 11/13/18 4:09 AM)
          I would just like to point out, regarding Istvan Simon and Nigel Jones's posts, that there is a notable difference between supra-national and multinational.

          The UK never stopped using the pound and of all the European nations, only 19 out of 28 are using the euro. So I don't really see that "supra" weight. The same confusion between supranational and multi- or inter-national is willingly exploited by Trump when talking about the UN.


          I understand why Putin (Ukraine among others) or Trump ("do it my way or stop existing"--nothing supranational with that of course) would want a weak Europe. I don't understand why a British citizen (unless totally misinformed) would want that.


          I understand what a national monument is, given that we have borders, even when non-materialized, but I still don't know what national values are, in particular distinguishing one European country from another. I only see geographical differences leading to different types of agriculture and thus cuisine, different languages due to isolation or immigration or even invasions--although they were more or less the same invasions leaving more or less visible traces. And of course, there are, everywhere, different interpretations of different events and different political goals.


          Example: Italy wants to loosen laws concerning the use of guns. Their Prime Minister refers to "national values." Except for the Mafia, I don't know what values the Prime Minister is talking about. Maybe it would be best to say that he is receiving something from the NRA via the Bannon Foundation (just a supposition) and then we would understand that those values are traditional corruption. Or that he wants borders and that such a law might force the bordering countries to set them up again. Chi lo sa!?



          I suggest Nigel get his DNA done and then we can continue discussing perhaps. In Europe, we are all mixed, African, Northern African and Eastern European, thus Christian, Arab and Jewish blood, white and black.


          As Macron rightly said during the WWI November commemorations: "Nationalism is the exact opposite of Patriotism, it is its betrayal." I don't usually quote him, but in this case he put it very simple and clear.


          JE comments: The Macron Disjunction may become the Quote of the Year for 2018. I've been thinking about it for the last 24 hours. In the US we commonly see patriotism and nationalism as synonyms.  "Progressives" (whatever that means) tend to view both terms with suspicion, opting instead for "love of country" or pride in one's culture.

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          • Want to Criticize the EU? Start with France (Jordi Molins, Spain 11/13/18 11:38 AM)
            The recent discussion about the future of the European Union is interesting, but possibly too polarised.

            The valid criticisms of some British WAISers should be directed not towards the whole EU, but mostly to France. France has a huge importance within the EU: Strasbourg and Brussels (Wallonia and Brussels are clearly associated with France) are the main EU locations. The main celebrations of WWI took place in France. But the European Union is much more than France.


            France is mostly associated with the "New World Order": instead of all individuals being the same with respect to the law, the NWO creates special privileges for some groups of people. France, with its massive top-down bureaucratic structure, and (undeserved) national pride, is the only European country which can commit the mistake of advancing the NWO agenda. Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, the Scandinavian countries and the Visegrad group are far from that ideology.


            The "Frenchization" of the European Union (France, parts of Spain, parts of Italy, and Greece) is, in my opinion, what some WAISers despise about the European Union.


            But the EU, as a customs union, a currency union, and even a military union, makes all the sense in the world in front of the multipolar world we will live in (or suffer) for the next decades.


            As a consequence, the EU's survival does not hinge on Brexit or Italexit, but on reducing the malign exposure of the Frenchization within the EU.


            JE comments:  Quite unexpectedly for me, France has been getting a bum rap today on WAIS.  I never thought about it before, but the Strasbourg-Brussels "axis" is very Francocentric.  By contrast, Germany is traditionally the focus of Euroskeptic ire.

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            • France and the "New World Order"? Not at All (José Ignacio Soler, Venezuela 11/14/18 12:45 PM)
              I agree with Jordi Molins's latest defense he made of the EU as a "customs union, a currency union, and even a military union," adding that it "makes all the sense in the world in front of the multipolar world we will live in." Well done, Jordi.

              Nevertheless Jordi surprised me when he redirected Europhobia against France and "some parts of Spain, parts of Italy and Greece."


              By connecting France to the New World Order ideology, or the The "Frenchization" of the European Union, Jordi seems to focus and blame Europhobia on this nation's "malign" influence.


              It is true that France, Germany and Great Britain have been the leaders of the EU for many years, and except for GB they will continue to be the largest Eurozone economies, supporting its growth and prosperity. This is not out of disinterest of course, but to believe that any "NWO" ideology is strategically behind its actions is, with all my respect, nonsense unless Jordi can provide more facts and data on this regard.


              To start with, there is not a clear concept on what a New World Order ideology is, nor has it ever been clear. The concept has been used in many different contexts, since WWII, by many world leaders and politicians to express a vague and ambiguous idea of a world led by a superpower in unspecific multipolar political scenarios, usually only in reference to a new period of history characterized by a dramatic change in world political power. However, the concept is very often associated with a worldwide totalitarian conspiracy. The leading role in this conspiracy is more often connected to the USA, not France, as an emerging superpower after the Great War and especially after the collapse of the Soviet Union.


              It is not my purpose to discuss this supposed "ideology" now, but the idea that France's "malign" influence based on this "ideology" might be responsible for Europhobia, as well as to focus Europhobia on parts of Spain, Italy and Greece, strikes me as absurd. It is perhaps not really hard to guess what parts of Spain (surely Catalonia excluded) or Italy Jordi is including on his judgment.


              I would like to be wrong on my guess for the sake of Jordi.


              JE comments:  What does New World Order mean?  I'll agree with José Ignacio Soler that there's definitely a totalitarian conspiracy about it.  In the US we have images of ominous black helicopters (or pro wrestling).  Those of us who've read a bit think of Orwell.  But blame the French?  I hope Jordi will clarify.

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              • More on Europe's New World Order (Jordi Molins, Spain 11/16/18 2:40 AM)
                John Eipper and José Ignacio Soler (November 14th) suggested the New World Order concept is related to conspiracy theories. By Occam's razor, a conspiracy is a "high entropy" solution, and as a consequence, highly unlikely. The viral spread of a meme (also known as as an ideology) is an easier explanation of the phenomenon.

                Being pro-European, I ask myself when Europe became a prison for those people wanting to get out, like in Brexit.


                Being pro-immigration, I ask myself when Sweden started to think that an amnesty for those owning automatic weapons respects the motto "the law is the same for everybody." Or when the UK started to decide a refugee should not be accepted in the country, under the argument that refugees who have already been accepted in the country, who in fact are not refugees, would kill her there (which is the reason why she is a real refugee).


                In Catalonia (one of the European territories where the NWO is more widespread) I am told that with these opinions I am ultra far-right. Before, I thought I was a classical liberal or, at the maximum, a libertarian.


                I have two explanations: either I have become crazy, or society has become crazy. And I cannot decide myself which is the correct one.


                JE comments:  Society is a bit nuts of late, Jordi, not you.


                José Ignacio Soler and I weren't endorsing the New World Order conspiracy theories.  We were arguing rather that NWO itself is associated with them.  Thus my reference to the black helicopters.  Around the new WAIS HQ in rural Onsted, there are no helicopters, although we do have armies of deer and geese.  Perhaps we should reconsider the terminology.  How about the New Europe or the European "project"?


                Jordi, when time permits, can you explain what you mean by the NWO being widespread in Catalonia?  And how would you fit nationalism into the mix?

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          • Where is the EU Headed? None of Us Know (Timothy Brown, USA 11/14/18 3:09 AM)

            To paraphrase a mantra: "Man does not live by intellect alone, but also lives by who he is." (Please feel free to de-gender this if you'd like.)


            I worked in several European countries, plus on the EU, but never met a German who wanted to be French, or a Spaniard who wanted to be an Italian. And there are lots of sub-national peoples inside the EU--Catalans that want to be neither Spanish nor French, Basques that want to be neither French nor Spanish.  These are truisms that national politicians understand but all too many Eurocrats keep forgetting. And the EU's expansion, both in identity and economic terms, have strained the EU to, or almost to, the limit. To strain another mantra: "Neither man nor woman lives by bread alone, but also by who they are, not who others want them to be."


            While I believe that a united Europe is by and large an extraordinarily positive path to both peace and prosperity through unity, I also believe if it acts like a bulldozer and not like a well-controlled carriage, it has within it the seeds of its own destruction. Put simply via yet another cliche: "Softly, softly cachee monkey." Perhaps none of us will live to see the end of the road the EU is taking. But if it acts slowly and carefully and respects both the similarities and differences between each member-state, it can be successful.


            And apologies for the cliches. But sometimes they make more sense than mere opinions.


            JE comments:  Yes, if the EU collapses, it will be because of identity politics, not ideology politics.  (This of course begs the question of whether "identity" is itself an ideology.  See Pres. Macron on patriotism and nationalism.)


            Tim, if I may pick your diplomat's brain:  where did the EU fail to go "softly" in pursuit of its elusive monkey?  With the immigration issue?  The PIGS crisis?  Expanding too quickly?  Introducing the single currency?


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          • A European Army? Merkel in Brussels (Nigel Jones, UK 11/14/18 2:09 PM)
            Lest anyone still had any doubts at all, Angela Merkel has just settled all discussion on the true nature of the EU.

            The Empress told the fake European Parliament that Europe needs "a real, true European army."


            Now if the EU is truly a peaceful trading bloc, as Istvan Simon and others naively believe, why on earth would it need an army when NATO already exists?


            The EU, and let us face facts, is the Fourth Reich--a totalitarian dictatorship in embryo.


            JE comments:  Merkel's call received applause and boos.  Note the lack of any timetable beyond "one day." 


            There are many ways to interpret the Chancellor's "modest proposal." Might it be nothing more than a sign of Europe's profound distrust of the mercurial Trump?  What about the funding, the command structure, and most important of all, the point of a European army?


            We can be sure of one thing:  With a shared army, France and Germany can no longer go to war with each other.



            https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/eu-army-angela-merkel-macron-germany-france-military-european-commission-juncker-a8633196.html


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            • A European Army? (John Heelan, UK 11/15/18 5:02 AM)
              Regarding Angela Merkel's appeal for a European army, John E commented on November 14th: "We can be sure of one thing: With a shared army, France and Germany can no longer go to war with each other."

              That might be true. However, we should be fully aware of the multiple wars between England and Franco-German regimes.


              JE comments:  And don't forget Orwell's Oceania (the UK and the Americas) vs Eurasia (all of Continental Europe).  The wild card for the Merkel Wehrmacht:  will Russia be invited to join, or is it the whole reason for creating the army?

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            • A European Army? (Istvan Simon, USA 11/17/18 9:34 AM)
              Nigel Jones asked, "why on earth would Europe need an army when NATO already exists"?

              It is surprising that Nigel would ask this question, because the answer is obvious: Europe needs its own army, because it can no longer rely on NATO alone, as our the US president has undermined NATO. There is a lot of fence-mending that will need to be done to undo all the damage caused by Trump when he finally ends up in prison for his crimes. The latter fate is inevitable in this observer's opinion, and it is now only a matter of time.


              The political consequences of the results of the Blue Tsunami that I predicted in this Forum, which indeed happened in the November 6 elections, is that Trump's ultimate fate is now pretty much settled. The country has massively repudiated Trump and his policies. Trump is flailing like a frightened little fish out of water.


              Trump fired AG Sessions and replaced him with a corrupt con-man, guilty of commercial fraud himself. Matt Whittaker is an unethical man who promoted big foot items for sale for the masses--I kid you not. He is also a fierce declared opponent of the Russian interference and Obstruction of Justice investigation of Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Thus his appointment to oversee that investigation is illegal, and an additional crime of Obstruction of Justice.


              It is also simultaneously futile and ineffective because it will not save Trump. The fact is that even if Trump were to fire Mueller, he is now powerless to stop the investigation. That is because Congress has independent power, which can investigate and subpoena people and documents at will. In the hands of Democrats it will continue and complete Mueller's investigation, no matter what Trump does. For example, Congress can subpoena Trump's tax returns, which in turn will reveal massive corruption of the Trump organization.


              JE comments:  This post started with a comment on the European army, and turned into something very different.  The big question for the new year:  how much real damage can the Democratic House do to Teflon Trump?  Time will tell.


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          • Italy and the EU: Response to Carmen Negrin (Eugenio Battaglia, Italy 11/15/18 9:56 AM)
            If the supporters of EU are all like Carmen Negrín (13 November), the Euroskeptics (who, by the way, still want a different Europe) have a milk run in front of them.

            By insulting Italy and its government, Carmen resorts to the worst insinuations but tempers them with "just a supposition" or a wider "chi lo sa!"


            JE comments: Eugenio Battaglia was irked by Carmen Negrín's suggestion that either the Mafia or Steve Bannon may be behind the Italian government's move towards laxer gun laws. But the more one thinks about it, why would the Mafia want freer access to guns--for everyone? Wouldn't they lose their comparative advantage in firepower?


            Eugenio, what is Italy's current debate on guns?


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          • What About EU and the Environment? (Tor Guimaraes, USA 11/15/18 10:18 AM)

            Carmen Negrín (November 13th) seems really to know what she is talking about regarding the pros and cons of the EU.


            No one likes bureaucracy, big government, lack of democracy, etc. Clearly there are many problems in every country, and a conglomerate of nations like the EU is no exception. On the other hand, why go crazy and throw the baby out with the bath water? If there is a problem or two, why not try to fix them?


            John Eipper stated, "Euroskeptics might [say] that the EU was the cause of [Greece and Spain's] financial crises, in that both countries could otherwise have devalued their way out of the mess." There were serious economic unbalances in both countries to start with, but the US big banks (i.e. Goldman Sachs) and peripheral financial institutions triggered the world financial crisis. The US government bailed out our financial institutions.  Why should the EU government not do the same with their nations and institutions at risk?


            Last, I want to bring one more issue into the discussion: There are around 8,000 chemicals thought to be potentially threatening to human health. Of those, in the US there are 12 completely banned chemicals from human consumption. Many harmful chemicals are kept hidden from consumers by our big business-biased labeling laws. The horrible, corrupt, undemocratic EU government has somehow identified and banned more than ten times the number of toxic chemicals in products than the democratic USA.


            Do Euroskeptics think about that and what it means?


            JE comments:  I'm glad Tor Guimaraes has brought up the environmental impact of the EU.  How would a post-EU Europe (and businesses working there) deal with 28 different sets of environmental regulations?  Manufacturing will by default go to the nations with the laxest laws, provoking a regulatory "race to the bottom."

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          • If the EU Weren't Democratic, Could the UK Have Left? (José Ignacio Soler, Venezuela 11/16/18 2:59 AM)
            I usually disagree with Carmen Negrín's political ideas, but in the case of her November 13th response to Nigel Jones I cannot agree.

            First, Carmen distinguished between the supranational and the multinational. If I understand correctly, she means that the EU is not a supranational but a multinational institution. The fact is that the EU is both:  multinational, because is constituted by several nations, and partially supranational because many of its rules and regulations are mandatory for all members. Some powers are negotiated and delegated to a supra-authority by its members, particularly regarding commercial trade and production standards. Nevertheless, most of the sovereign rights are not given up by its members; this is why Great Britain could maintain the Pound Sterling and its right to leave the Union, the unfortunate Brexit.


            Is it not this fact a demonstration of the EU's democratic values as an multi-supra-national institution?


            My second comment concerns Carmen's quote of the recent Macron statement, "Nationalism is the exact opposite of Patriotism, it is its betrayal." I could not agree more with this sentence.


            As I wrote in my WAIS post of April 4th, "Although patriotism and nationalism might appear to be the same concepts, and they are commonly used to express the same idea, perhaps because they are inspired by a sense of belonging to a place. Both terms are sentiments related to one's nation; however they are very different." I further explained, "nationalism has been the origin of borders among societies, invasions, racial and religious persecutions, humanitarian crimes, massacres. [It] is likely the main cause of most wars and conflicts in human history."  Moreover, "Patriotism... is more a positive feeling that an individual has for her or her own country, nation or community. Patriotism is inclusive and not necessarily inspired by supremacy feelings. It is generally a pride and lovely feeling of belonging to a place, a family, a culture. Patriotism is not chauvinist or supremacist."


            We should not confuse them.


            In this regard I consider Brexit a product of nationalism, as is most of the populist Europhobic political movements in Europe, all of them inspired by xenophobia and racism.


            Finally, I appreciate Nigel Jones's explanation of the "corruption" in the EU, albeit in an unclear and insufficient manner, but he said nothing about its antidemocratic character.


            JE comments:  José Ignacio Soler poses the central question:  how undemocratic can the EU be if Member States are allowed to leave?  By this metric, the United States in 1860-'61 wasn't democratic.  Granted, the analogy is not perfect.  Brussels has no army to punish Britain for seceding.


            Perhaps Samuel Johnson really meant that nationalism is the last refuge of the scoundrel.


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        • Undemocratic Nature of EU, and a 2008 Post from Alain de Benoist (Bienvenido Macario, USA 11/14/18 3:28 AM)
          I am surprised we are still discussing Brexit and the EU instead of a post-Brexit Europe.

          Then I realized Istvan Simon was absent from the Forum for awhile. Here is one post from Alain de Benoist (20 June 2008) that he must have missed and others must have forgotten or overlooked.


          "The European Union is something very different from the IMF, World Bank or the UN. To add something to what Nigel Jones (18 June) wrote about the undemocratic nature of the EU, do American WAISers know that, in the countries belonging to the EU, it is impossible (unlawful) for the elected members of the Parliament to adopt any law or to take any decision which could contradict what has been decided by the unelected members of the European Commission?


          "Do they know that currently in France, for example, around 60% of the laws adopted by the Parliament are mere applications of what has been decided in Brussels by these unelected people?"


          http://waisworld.org/go.jsp?id=02a&objectType=post&o=21807&objectTypeId=16057&topicId=1



          JE comments:  Can it really have been ten years?  Nigel Jones's Euroskepticism has become rather mainstream in the ensuing decade.  Yet the EU soldiers on.  The only substantive change is Brexit.


          Thank you as always, Bienvenido, for your tireless work in the WAIS archives.  How many of you use the search function on our homepage?  (waisworld.org or wais.stanford.edu)  With 40,000+ posts, you can find w(a)isdom on just about anything.

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          • Is the European Commission Undemocratic? (José Ignacio Soler, Venezuela 11/18/18 4:41 AM)
            I am surprised by Bienvenido Macario's post of November 14th. He quotes an older post by Alain de Benoist in which he stated that the members of European Commission are unelected and for that reason it is an undemocratic body, because it imposes its decisions on the EU member states.

            With all my respect to Alain de Benoist, I believe his statement is wrong. If the EU´s by-laws are interpreted correctly, they state clearly that candidates to the Commission are proposed by national leaders on the European Council, taking into account the results of the European Parliament elections (a democratic process in each country). They need support from a majority of members of the European Parliament in order to be elected.


            Furthermore, the Presidential candidate selects potential Vice-Presidents and Commissioners based on suggestions from the EU countries. Candidates must explain their vision to the European Parliament and answer questions. The Parliament then votes on whether to accept the nominees as a team. Finally, they are appointed by the European Council, by a qualified majority. The Commission could be removed eventually by European parliament with a 2/3 vote.



            https://europa.eu/european-union/about-eu/institutions-bodies/european-commission_en



            If this is an "undemocratic" process, then all my life I have been mistaken as to what a representative democracy is.


            Finally, the Commission only proposes laws and regulations; they do not impose them. The parliament must give final approval to any of them. The fact that many of these regulations are accepted by EU members is part of the conditions when membership is accepted.


            After I wrote my last post with my argument about xenophobia and racism being the real reason for Europhobia, John Heelan sent another post about the demise of the EU, this time with economic arguments, as well as stressing the EU´s "undemocratic governance" and a supposed US-dominated, Goldman Sachs and IMF capitalist "conspiracy."


            The "conspiracy" question is surely mere speculation. Does John have data and unquestionable facts to prove it? The undemocratic character of the EU´s governance, or as John phrased it, the "faux democracy provided by the EU Parliament," remains also to be demonstrated with solid arguments, as I recurrently kindly asked Nigel Jones to provide.


            The economic argument has several interesting aspects.


            First, John argues that the "EU budget will no longer be able to sustain investment in the 22 out of 27 Member States that are net beneficiaries of the money put into the kitty by only 5 Member States." It is a fact that some of the EU's more advanced and more industrialized economies contribute a greater amount to the EU budgetary system. But is it not a basic democratic coexistence principle of any community, society or "state" that those having greater resources must give greater contribution? Furthermore, is this greater contribution for "free" and without any form of compensation?


            The answer to this last question is pretty obvious. The net effect of their contributions to other less developed nations is intended, not always successfully, to increase their standard of living and consequently their power of consumption. As result of these contributions and the rise in consumption, their industrial products have free access to other greater markets, which increases their own production systems and economies and creates more jobs for their people.


            It is clear that those contributions are not for free. I invite John to do the numbers on this equation at least for Great Britain in the last 50 years or so. I did and shared the results of this exercise some time ago on WAIS. To believe that governments and economic forces give money away for the sake of generosity, is to be naïve or shortsighted.


            Maybe John is overlooking the deep concern about the British economy that the financial and industrial sectors in the UK (and at least 50% of the population!) are really having about Brexit. The fear of losing those commercial and financial privileges is not a promising scenario, despite the British government's efforts to achieve an agreement to preserve the free transit of goods and capital, without the free transit of people (product of xenophobia?), and furthermore without having to contribute to the EU budget.


            In summary, it could be argued that British chose the benefits of belonging to the EU, which they despise, without having to pay the price of membership.


            JE comments:  Isn't the European Commission an example of indirect democracy, or democracy "once removed"?  US Senators used to be elected this way.  Our presidents still are.

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