Thursday, December 20, 2018

RIP European Union, 1973-2019

In 2019 the European Union, will, in a sense, cease to exist: the no-longer-so-great Britain will no longer be part of it. True, it will still include such priceless gems as Latvia and Moldova, but of the three core Western European nations only two will be left, and of the remaining two one is in the grip of popular protests, with exit from the European Union featured prominently among the protestors’ demands.

If the European Union proceeds to shed members until it dissolves, such a development should be regarded as perfectly normal. Europe has never been unified for long, and the EU, which one may consider the Fourth Reich, will have only lasted 46 years (as measured by the duration of Britain’s membership). That is significantly longer than the 12 years that was the lifetime of the Third Reich, but still rather modest when compared to other Eurasian unions: 279 years for the Golden Horde; 298+ years for the multinational, multi-ethnic Russian Empire/Soviet Union/Russian Federation.

The Europeans have typically unified on a temporary basis, in order to attack and exploit other regions, such as Bysantium and Palestine during the Crusades—with mixed results—or Russia, under Napoleon and then again under Hitler—both times unsuccessfully. NATO was and still is really just an American occupation of Europe and doesn’t count. The unprecedented and currently failing effort to unify in order to take full advantage of the Soviet collapse was, briefly, somewhat more successful.

The European Union is said to consist of nations, which have surrendered much of their sovereignty to some unelected bureaucrats in Brussels, but in general the term “nation” is so ambiguous that it is nearly meaningless. Is Catalonia a nation? Is Scotland? Is the dissolution of the EU just the first step toward smaller-scale separatism, followed by regional reintegration along different lines?