The EU Vs. GW

Ralph Peters has an illuminating article in the NY Post on why the postmodern European elite hate George W. Bush with a passion. In short, it’s because Bush represents the antithesis of their values – and because he highlights their failures.

Indeed Peters is onto something here. John Fonte described the European socialist experiment as being part of a larger ideology he termed "Transnational Progressivism", which is a half right. The European experiment is about forever destroying the concept of nationalism in Europe and replacing it with a transnational consciousness. However, the means to that end are anything but "progressive" – they are based on the idea that the only way in which political change can be achieved is from the top down, a system in which the policy elites of Europe control the political direction of the EU without much input from the people. As former EU minister Sir Christopher Patten noted in the Chatham Lecture in 2000:

[The EU] has to accept that there is no European "demos" in the sense of a population which feels itself to be one. The problem of legitimacy and democracy is therefore especially difficult. And it is especially acute, because the European Union is so powerful.

Unfortunately, the EU has not needed Patten’s warning. The EU continues to be a profoundly anti-democratic body in which most of the decision-making capacity is vested in the European Commission which is not directly elected. In fact, almost none of the EU’s power is held in check by popular elections, and given the unpopularity of the EU among many of the European people it would be unlikely that the EU’s current plans would pass muster if it were put to a vote.

Yet the European elites hate Bush and accuse him of being undemocratic, as if the Florida fiasco were the equivalent of some kind of military junta. European reporting of US affairs is unbelievably biased – approaching the level of anti-American propaganda. Outside of the Economist and a few British newspapers there is almost no source of news in Europe that does not toe an inaccurate and biased anti-Americanism. From Le Monde to Die Zeit, the European people have been told lie after lie about the American people. The concept of editorial balance or even so much as simply reporting the truth seems not to exist in Europe, a concept that European intellectuals like Jean-Francois Revel have decried as being contrary to the values of a free society.

Bush represents the negation of the postmodern values of Europe. He believes in such “archaic” concepts as good and evil. He is not afraid to stand for his beliefs. He is not afraid to challenge evil where he finds it. He believes that the nation-state is still the primary actor in international affairs. He isn’t postmodern, he doesn’t ascribe to the amoral narcissism that is the cornerstone of the EU, he’s religious. In short, he’s an American in the Jacksonian tradition.

What really makes the EUrocrats mad is that he’s winning. Afghanistan wasn’t the quagmire that the EUrocrats said it would be. The “Arab Street” didn’t rise up against the United States. He’s told Arafat to allez au diable while the EU kept throwing more money his way to buy even more suicide bomb belts. He vanquished Saddam Hussein, and despite all the cries of “quagmire” from the European press he has no intention of surrendering to the Ba’athists and leaving the Iraqi people to rot. The US economy is running rings around the stale and ossified EU. Where Europe is weak, America is strong, and it only highlights the fact that the Europeans have embraced a worldview of ever encroaching statism that has never and will never work. It’s classic cognitive dissonance.

Despite all the meaningless and futile protests, it is clear that the increasingly shrill and radical left have failed. Their stance for more appeasement, more nihilism, and the fundamentally flawed values of postmodernism are as much of an anachronism as the Japanese soldiers left on an island who vowed to fight for the Emperor years after the war had been lost. The leaders of Old Europe may scorn and seethe, but it cannot change the fact that a Texas “cowboy” has beaten them.

9 thoughts on “The EU Vs. GW

  1. The only thing I’d like to get in here (only one–I know it’s shocking) is that recently the European identity has begun to emerge on a large scale. The last surveys I saw put at about 65% the proportion of EU citizens that identify as “European” as well as to a nationality or an ethnicity. It’s a growing group, it’s mostly a young group, and it’s going to produce the leaders of European nations from about ten years from now onward. That’s a number that will surely rise in the coming years, and as the EU’s central authority becomes consolidated (such as it is), so will the number of people admiring it and identifying with it.

  2. It’s an open question about how much integrationist sentiment actually exists. Certainly there are some who see themselves as citizens of the EU, but as the latest vote in Sweden showed there is still a lot of backlash from both the right and the left against the EU. Given the economic situation and the complete abandonment of the Maastricht Treaty limits, I’m not bullish on the prospects of the EU surviving that long. The EU is becoming a bilateral Franco-German axis rather than a true integrated federal system.

    There are advantages to the EU, and I’m not opposed to the idea of a federal Europe on a prima facie basis – in fact, economic integration under the right terms is a good idea, and the European Economic Community was a very successful organization. However, the problems with the EU are based in a fundamentally flawed structure of governance that means that the EU will not be competitive and could collapse with tragic results if the current system is not reformed.

  3. Riiiight, Jay. The EU is jealous of Bush because “he’s always right and is proving them wrong” all the time. Clearly, they wish now that they could have been part of a preventative strike against a WMD powerhouse which has since been verified to have not possessed any WMD after all. They are jealous about the fact that they can’t contribute to the tens of billions of the down payment to reconstruct Iraq.

    Bush, in his relentless rightness, so deftly proceeded into war without international support, but months after declaring “Mission Accomplished”, went crawling back to United Nations countries, including EU powerhouses (you know….the ones who are always wrong) and pleaded with them to aid and abet the Iraqi quagmire with soldiers and dollars. Only in your perverse world can the guy who flips the middle finger at the rest of the class, and then proceeds to return to them with his hand out for money and help, be considered “on the right side of the issue.”

  4. Jay: “In short: bullshit.”

    The proof’s in the pudding is all I’m saying.

    Nevertheless, with a comon currency and central bank in place, 10 more countries about to come in, several more currently trying for membership, AND with Belgium and France getting ready to try and launch a new European defense community, I’d still bet on the EU surviving for at least another quarter-century. It is not really an issue of dropping their current national identities in place of a European identity–it’s more of adding on another identity, much like moving to a new state, and most of the resistance to that integration is long in the tooth and short for this earth.

  5. It depends. The EU has a lot of deep-seated problems that the EUrocrats refuse to even acknowledge, no less fix.

    Still, as much as I dislike the current leadership of the EU, the breakup of the EU would have some severe reprecussions for world markets that might cause something like the “Asian flu” of 1996-97 except far worse. Given that, I’d rather see the EU reform then collapse.

  6. “I’d rather see the EU reform then collapse.”

    Wanna pick this conversation up after the new EU Constitution is finished?

  7. Wanna pick this conversation up after the new EU Constitution is finished?

    Given how the EU Constitution is the single most horribly written and conceived governing document in human history, absolutely.

  8. “Given how the EU Constitution is the single most horribly written and conceived governing document in human history, absolutely.”

    I seem to remember another governing document that when it was written granted rights to only a few under its jurisdiction, did not acknowledge the rights of women, considered blacks to be 3/5ths of a person, let the elites of the legislatures choose national representation and required that political opponents serve alongside each other in the two highest offices in the executive branch. That one turned out alright in the end.

    I think you might be a little harsh in your assessment of the EU Constitution. Let’s see what gets ratified and how it’s implemented before jumping the gun.

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