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Ireland Says No

The European project is now more than half a century old.  For all the countries that operate on the euro, it is not a success. And the erosion of national frontiers, which was supposed to be one of its cardinal triumphs, actually turned out to be a calamity for the safety and security of its member states. The eurobureaucracy pays little attention to the freedom with which terrorists and would-be terrorists roam the continent.  Stop an intelligent college student in London or Grenoble, Milan or Warsaw, Frankfurt or Copenhagen and ask about the European Union and she will not have the foggiest response. This ignorance is what has allowed the E.U. to win its electoral victories, such as they have been. Imagine popular ignorance being an asset of an electoral proposition. The very idea of Europe, to say nothing of its nightmarish rules and mechanisms, is a great abstraction, an empty abstraction.  Two years ago, France and the Netherlands (within three days of each other) turned down one of the several opportunities offered the member countries to approve the E.U. treaty, and actually the defeat was attributed to both its intricacies and vagueness.  On Friday, Ireland, which has benefited economically from the E.U., decisively turned down the Lisbon Treaty which replaced the one rejected by France and Holland which replaced...and so on and on...

The E.U. is a heavy-handed attempt by the corporate elites of the continent to override the sovereignty of independent peoples in economic and foreign policy. Yes, I know that it is part of the enlightened catechism to disdain the idea the nation-state.  But democracy and democratic feelings won't allow la patrie (or the motherland) to be swept aside by abstractions such as "Europe," even if these abstractions are mired in and sheltered in crabbed decrees and directives.

If you wake someone up at three o'clock in the morning and ask him what he is, no one will an answer that "I am a European." No one. That is the existential reason for the political failure of Europe.