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PostEU and Europe; from Luciano Dondero (John Eipper, USA, 03/04/13 1:07 pm)
Luciano Dondero, our frequent Guest Contributor from Fuerteventura, Canary Islands, sends these thoughts on our "EU/Europe" discussion:
About Europe, I'm afraid the one and only time when such a thing existed, and one could talk of a "European civilization," was when the common language was classical Latin.
Was that a peaceful Europe? Well, let's see: within its borders, barring a civil war now and then, and the odd crazed Emperor once in a while, it was pretty much OK. On the outside, it conducted an almost continuous war of expansion. Very successful. Most of the good things we still use today (roads, aqueducts, baths) started at that time. And that also includes a number of cultural/trade things--many of which were lost during the Dark Ages (i.e., when the Church was a very powerful force for obscurantism and backwardness).
Latin remained a key tool for facilitating a meeting of minds among intellectuals throughout the region, until out of it came a number of modern languages, which are still spoken by a very great number of people in the world (only Chinese and the Indian languages have more speakers).
However, nobody ever managed to rebuild the Roman Empire, no matter how Holy they called it--and then came and an entirely new panorama.
European countries, first as smallish kingdoms and fiefdoms, then as nation-states, spent most of the time at war among themselves, and with certain foreign powers (various Arabic kingdoms, the Ottoman empire), before starting the Conquest of the New World and the enslavement of Africa and then Asia.
Gandhi, when they asked him about "Western (i.e. European) civilization," replied: "It would be a good idea."
Perhaps his viewpoint was informed by events in South Africa and India, and thus not too keen on viewing Europe as oh so wonderful!
Regarding the EU, clearly it's pretty messy--the 4 March post by Angel Viñas ("EU and Europe; Response to David Gress") seems almost obvious--however, Europe has been kept mostly at peace for the longest time ever since SPQR ruled the waves, and that's not something to be laughed at!
In Italy, the party that got the largest single vote (M5S, Grillo's party) wants to abandon the Euro: that shows they don't have the faintest idea about anything real--imagine Italy with its own funny little Lira, we would be paying some millions of Lire just for a coffee if we had not joined the eurozone, and I don't think things would be much better elsewhere in Europe (Germany excepted, probably).
Please also keep in mind that the EU has now absorbed a great chunk of the "buffer states" without too many problems (beside criminality).
Quite viable this EU, it would seem; it's not really the shambles Eurosceptics make it out to be...
JE comments: It's been a long time since I last heard that Gandhi quote. Priceless.