Sunday, March 25, 2007

Happy Birthday to EU

According to the EU’s propaganda information site, the ‘whole world’ is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Rome. The truth, of course, is that the celebrations are not only limited to the Continent, they are further limited to members of the EU, and even further still to Europhile factions within those member states. A minuscule percentage of ordinary people actually cares about this anniversary; it is principally an occasion of feasting and back-slapping by politicians.

To mark the occasion, they have revealed The Berlin Declaration. It is anodyne because it has to be, but for those who have eyes, it sustains the fore-ordained, pseudo-religious aspirations to unite the peoples of Europe under a single government.

But the celebrations cannot conceal the divisions which exist among member states. The Constitution lurks in the background, refusing to die; there are divisions over further expansion, notably to include mostly-Muslim Turkey; there is still an appetite for a European army, with little understanding of the consequent need for a common foreign policy; and there are concerns over the EU’s ability to compete economically with the United States and emerging Asia.

Nations are not meant to be forced into conglomerates. They are mentioned as early as the book of Genesis (22:18), and their original purpose (exemplified in the division of language groups) was to restrain evil by limiting the accumulation of power (11:1-9). This theme is continued into Old Testament law (eg Deut 17:14-20). The authority of the state is accepted by both Christ (Mt 22:21) and St Paul (Rom 13:6f). It seems to be the unit of earthly government which best suits the diversity of humanity, and acknowledges the need for cultural identity.

The subtle erosion of citizenship and the diminution of the nation state in the EU may seem a relatively unimportant manifestation, especially when placed in the context of starvation or regional conflicts, but it is worth remembering that citizenship and nationalism were at the root of the Bosnian conflict; these issues are central to Quebec’s attempts at secession from the Canadian federation; they are the reasoning behind the pleas for Scottish independence; and the nexus of civil wars within the former Soviet Union.

There is no concept of a European demos around which the EU’s political aspirations may cohere, and it is therefore doomed to failure. It is, however, Cranmer’s prayer that the collapse of the empire would be instigated by our leaders – that it would be top-down and political. The alternative is a bottom-up strategy of protest, civil unrest, and ultimately civil war. Let us hope our rulers have learned the lessons of history.

(And for the pedants, Cranmer is fully aware that it is actually Happy Birthday to the EEC, but that obviously did not work in a trite, tabloid kind-of-way, and he is in any case more concerned with the deception inherent in wishing this political monstrosity ‘happy’ anything when he feels no benevolence toward it at all.)

28 Comments:

Blogger Man in a shed said...

Your Grace could also have commented on the success of the Christian campaign to abolish slavery whose anniversary contrasts with the ever greater control and obligation that the EU attempts to gain over our lives.

25 March 2007 at 12:33  
Blogger Eddie said...

What you Grace did not mention is that the fragmentation of language groups in Genesis 11 is paralleled by the uniting of those groups in a very new form in the Second Chapter of Acts. It is indeed God's plan to unite people of every tribe tongue and nation in a society where there will be no Greek or Gentile, slave or free. But this new society is the Church, built on the work of Christ through the power of the Spirit. Your Grace is very wise in indicating that there is a pseudo-religious nature to the EU. But like all similar politically based cults, it will fail. While the gates of hell will not prevail against the Church which Christ is building.

25 March 2007 at 12:39  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Indeed he could, Mr Man in a Shed, indeed he could.

It was not, however, so much a 'Christian' campaign (not least because the New Testament does not condemn slavery per se), but the visionary persistence of a few believers, and of one man in particular.

His Grace is just not into the theology of retrospective vicarious repentance.

25 March 2007 at 12:44  
Anonymous Observer said...

I wonder how large a budget the EU has devoted to paying for "paid advocacy" through friendly media outlets ?

It is remarkably funny how unsuccessful they are at making the EU loved, but always good to see which journalists are on the payroll

25 March 2007 at 13:22  
Anonymous m.d. said...

Cranmer, while I don't like the idea of Europe as a supranational entity, I must draw your attention to the minor point of nationalism which you have referred to. The current state of the European Union strongly suggests that nationalism has not lost its place in defining states, and is just as relevant in shaping the way that states interact with each other. While regional and global integrative processes significantly change domestic and international opportunity structures for nationalist pursuits of political-cultural coherence, they do not render them obsolete. Instead, these distinct formations of nationalism effectively coexist, the EU acting as a kind of ‘Petri-dish’, formulating and housing different varieties of nationalism which mutually challenge and reinforce one another, the relationship between nationalisms states and the inherent integration which must occur in the EU is a dynamic one, as the days of violent border changes and ethnic cleansing are left behind as characteristics of more traditional forms of nationalism, simply because these are deemed unacceptable to the international community.
The role of the EU in relation to sub-state nationalisms is a particularly clear example of the way that nationalism can actually be strengthened by further inter-state integration. Taking Scotland and Wales as case studies we can see that in each of these instances, regionalist parties strive for greater autonomy for their ‘national’ territories through the framework of the EU, whilst at the same time posing a threat to the constitutional integrity and identity of the ‘nation-state’ they belong to. They use the EU as a vehicle to pursue their nationalistic visions. Under a changing EU political framework, regions are gaining greater significance and rather than seek independence as a traditional nationalist project would, these regions aim to use the European Union to achieve greater self-governance and increased autonomy. Both the SNP and Plaid Cymru display an overtly positive attitude towards European unity and use this pro-Europe attitude is in part a tactic to distance themselves from other British, more EU-sceptical parties, the official line from the SNP being “The party says independence in Europe would give Scotland a guaranteed place at the top table in the EU, while the important domestic decisions would be made in Scotland.” The changing nature of borders and sovereignty in the EU influenced the constitutional preferences and the aims of the sub-state nationalist parties: Both the SNP and Plaid Cymru want to achieve their aim of self-government within the framework of the European Union, and more specifically, in the case of the SNP, the party has redefined its ideas of independence and sovereignty since it adopted the ‘independence in Europe policy’ as this move made independence a more credible and realistic concept.

25 March 2007 at 13:37  
Anonymous Tito said...

I really must question the effectiveness of the nation-state for managing the affairs of humans in a peaceful manner, it was reponsible for two of the bloodiest war in human history. Dont forget the whole purpose of the EU was to prevent the negative aspects of nationalist greed and power from leading to another world war. The EU has kept peace on the continent for 60 odd year now and one can argue that there is little or no chance for conflict in the next 50. Thus in my opinion the EU is a success. The problem is people have forgotten this point.

25 March 2007 at 13:50  
Anonymous Oiznop said...

While they avoid the word 'constitution, the declaration says: 'We are united in our aim of placing the European Union on a renewed common basis' and this will be done by 2009.

This is just code for a new treaty which achieves most of what the Constitution tried to. A 'renewed common basis' - it's good. Very good. It'll fool millions, even Brown/Milliband/Cameron.

25 March 2007 at 17:24  
Anonymous David Farrer said...

Your Grace,

I saw your friends Latimer and Ridley in the Royal Mile yesterday. They had lots of supporters.

25 March 2007 at 17:42  
Anonymous Colin said...

Tito,

It is easy to prove that your claims are unsubstantiated. You wrote "Dont forget the whole purpose of the EU was to prevent the negative aspects of nationalist greed and power from leading to another world war."

As you might possibly recall, the two world wars were started by Germany. After WWII, the rules of the game changed completely with the invention of the atomic bomb. Another European war started by German politicians would inevitably lead to the complete annihilation of Germany. Without any chance to successfully wage a war, the EU wasn't necessary to keep peace in Europe.

"The EU has kept peace on the continent for 60 odd year now" No, peace was kept by British, French, American and Russian atomic bombs and the NATO.

"and one can argue that there is little or no chance for conflict in the next 50."

On the contrary, the risk of war increases with the chance of winning. The latter is a function of the size and power of the state. The new EU state is several times more powerful than its individual members. Hence, the chance of the EU waging a war against smaller states lacking atomic weapons is high, indeed. The bombing of Yugoslavia proves the point. And the EU army is already in the making including the Galileo programme for guiding the rockets of the EU without dependency on the US.

"Thus in my opinion the EU is a success." Yes, it is for power greedy politicians but not for those wishing to maintain democracy and liberty.

The former German president, Roman Herzog, published recently a wake-up call in a major newspaper: The European Union endangers parliamentary democracy. Is the loss of democracy a reason for celebration?

25 March 2007 at 21:31  
Anonymous Colin said...

M.D.,

Your main point seems to be "Under a changing EU political framework, regions are gaining greater significance."

I beg to differ. If we want to understand what is going on whe should look at other historical unification processes which have led to a bigger state. There appear to be two models: The building of the USA and Bismark's Germany.

The USA was the consequence of a voluntary union of states on the North American continent. In stage 1, all the states where granted independence from major interference of the central government in Washington. Gradually, the central government took over more and more power from the states. In stage 2, some states wanted to get out. However, secession was prevented by the central government in a murderous war. In stage 3, the central government was now more powerful and started an expansionist course in search for dominance leading to several wars with other nations.

The other model is Germany. In stage 1 and 2, the German state was founded by a single member state, i.e. Prussia, using military aggression and threats. In stage 3, the new state was now more powerful and started an expansionist course in search for dominance leading to several wars with other nations.

Therefore, it isn't too difficult to predict that European regions will be promised greater independence in stage 1 in order to obtain consent for a central government. In stage 2, disobedient states will be bullied into submission (Do you still remember the attacks against the conservative government in Austria?) if necessary by civil war, naturally for humanitarian reasons only such as the fight against xenophobia, Islamophobia, and racism. In stage 3, the EU will start an expansionist course and wage wars against less powerful nations (see, Yugoslavia). "Those who do not learn from history are condemned to repeat it." (George Santayana)Do you need more evidence?

Then watch the ever increasing anti-Americanism and anti-Globalism (the latter is essentially an anti-Chinese resentment) of the EU elite. It's a new form of nationalism, the nationalism of the emerging EU nation, directed against other powerful countries perceived by the EU elite as competitors. The situation is very similar to the foundation of Germany from independent states in 1871. It didn't take long after the ever closer integration and the German elite developed resentments against their main commercial competitors, i.e. France and the UK. And we know the consequences of their envy which was termed nationalism. Substitute the EU for Germany, the USA and China for France and the UK, the belief in Islamic supremacy for the conviction of race supremacy, and we have all the ingredients suggesting that history might repeat itself on a grander scale. Hopefully, I am wrong but I wouldn't bet on it because "the only thing we learn from history is that nobody ever learned from history."

25 March 2007 at 22:42  
Anonymous VOyager said...

I really must question the effectiveness of the nation-state for managing the affairs of humans in a peaceful manner, it was reponsible for two of the bloodiest war in human history

Actually, just the opposite.

Germany was not a "nation-state" but a Volksgemeinschaft that is a "people bound by blood"

Germany did not have a Nationality law until 1913 and even then it defined a German by blood-lines only, not by geography. Thus a German was still a German if born in Rumania if his parents or grandparents had any German blood lines.....this was why Hitler had his Genealogical Offices to explore any traces of Jewish blood in the ancestry of the Volk - so-called Sippenschande.


It is because German did NOT accept a Nation-State that it wanted to create a Pan-German Federation bringing ALL German Volk within the orders of a Pan-German Empire or Reich. It was no different from bin Laden's desire to smash the nation states created by Kemal Ataturk and Sykes-Picot and the Treaty of Sevres from the remnants of the Ottoman Empire and restore The Caliphate as a Pan-Arab Muslim Federation.

This is why the EU is more suited to traditional German foreign policy than the boundaries of the nation state. Just as Germany has normed its current geography into a uniformity based on DIN-Normen so it seeks to "harmonise" the EU into the same uniformity.

Both world wars appealed to German industrialists because they could dream of the Wirtschaftszone and have access to Silesian coal and Russian raw materials, Romanian oil, French agriculture, and plentiful supplies of cheap labour to undercut the Unions and the Socialist radcalism of the SPD.

Go read up on Otto Stinnes, Friedrich-Karl Flick, Krupp on Bohlen & Halbach, Siemens, and the Park Hotel in Duesseldorf and the RM20.000 paid each month into Himmler's personal bank account; and the SS-Leasing Companies set up to lease slave labour to Siemens, Daimler-Benz, IG Farben as industrialists called out for labour to replace men at the front and women banned from working in factories

26 March 2007 at 07:09  
Anonymous Voyager said...

The Western border of Germany was fixed after 1918 by the Treaty of Locarno 1925 and guaranteed by France, Italy, and Great Britain - this was why Chamberlain was involved at Bad Godesberg and Munich - this treaty put together by his brother, Sir Austen Chamberlain who had received the Nobel Peace Prize.


The Eastern Border of Germany was never fixed....until 1945 and then on the Oder/Neisse Line.....Versailles did not sort out Germany's Eastern Border because millions of Germans still lived in Bohemia, Poland, Romania, Hungary - all of which treated them adversely as ethnic minorities......

After 1945 2-3 million ethnic Germans were expelled from Bohemia (Benes Decrees) and Poland - many dying in internment camps. This is the reason for the loby groupings of the Vertriebenen in Germany today - families expelled from their homes in what are now new members of the EU

26 March 2007 at 07:17  
Anonymous Colin said...

Voyager,

That's mostly all correct what you are saying but I don't quite understand the point you are trying to make.

26 March 2007 at 11:29  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Then Colin I suggest you refer to whomever wrote

I really must question the effectiveness of the nation-state for managing the affairs of humans in a peaceful manner, it was reponsible for two of the bloodiest war in human history


For it was those who did not have a strong concept of nation-state that initiated the two world wars because they could not set boundaries to their acquisitiveness

26 March 2007 at 12:50  
Anonymous Colin said...

Voyager,

Thanks for the additional information. Now, I understand what you are talking about.

"For it was those who did not have a strong concept of nation-state that initiated the two world wars because they could not set boundaries to their acquisitiveness"

An interesting idea. However, I have some doubts in regard to the explanatory power of this hypothesis since two countries with a "strong concept of nation-state" had conquered much larger parts of the world, i.e. the colonial empires of France and Britain, than Germany. If your hypothesis is correct, Britain must have had the weakest "concept of nation-state", since it did "not set boundaries to their acquisitiveness" conquering and building the largest empire the world has ever seen. Already forgotten that "BRITANNIA RULES THE WAVES"?

What really happened was that the German emperor saw the British empire as a model. He wanted to compete with his British relatives for the remaining pieces of the cake in Africa and China by building a large navy. Naturally, the British imperialists, and especially Winston Churchill, did not like the competition. The war between the European predators destroyed the hegemony of Europe, the British empire and in consequence made the USA the dominant power of the world.

The European rulers resent their loss of hegemony and see the USA as a model to be copied. The result is the multicultural EU which is bound to lead to the next disaster. If you are searching culprits for the destruction of European nations, identity and culture, look for the past and present imperialists in France, Britain, Germany and the USA.

26 March 2007 at 17:25  
Anonymous Voyager said...

NO Colin - Britain is an island and has no borders

The Kaiser built a Navy because of the Flottenverein and Blohm & Voss and Stinnes and men who wanted to build ships for a maritime empire in Africa.

You should recall it was The Scramble for Africa as Pakenham calls it at the end of the 19th Century. The problem was Germany wanted a land empire to Russia plus overseas colonies.

The Kaiser forgot that Frederick The Great had been subsidised by Britain to keep Austria and Russia in check, and France.

Building a Navy was a direct threat to Britain but ultimately pointless since trhe German coastline is south of Britain's main Naval base at Scapa Flow....and after Jutland the German Kriegsmarine never put to see again.

The only people interested in a German Navy were shipbuilders in Hamburg and Bremen and steel barons in The Ruhr - it was a complete waste of time and resources.

26 March 2007 at 18:29  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Naturally, the British imperialists, and especially Winston Churchill, did not like the competition.

Not true - it was the Threat

It was actually Jackie Fisher rather than Churchill who pushed the Dreadnought....but for a land power like Germany to build an ocean-going Navy is a direct threat to an island which needs to keep the coast of Belgium and Northern France free as these are the nearest ports to England........and Britain was a major importer of food from Australia and Argentina (Vesteys) and of oil and Canadian and US wheat

26 March 2007 at 18:35  
Anonymous Colin said...

Voyager,

The difference between your opinions and mine is that you only condem the aggression of others but excuse those of your own group. Whereas I principally condem all acts of aggression. As a matter of fact, the UK has built the largest empire of the world and nobody in Africa, India or China has asked for subjugation by British troops. In the British Museum, you can still admire the Chinese art robbed by British soldiers in Beijing's Summer Palace.

To deny the fact that all the evil in the world is the result of aggression and contradicts the Christian faith is simply absurd. However, I don't have the illusion that I will ever be able to convince you. So believe whatever you like, e.g. that the British members of the CoE are all angels and the rest of the world devils. I believe in what Miss Jelly Bean said, namely that we are all human.

Now, let's talk about your claim that Britain had to declare war because of a Threat. Not all Angloamerican historians share your view of the events. Here the view of Paul Gottfried, professor of history at Elizabethtown College, which seems to be worth of consideration:

"The choice of explanations for the War’s outbreak that Rawes offers, either that Germany was solely responsible and motivated by its "pursuit of imperial hegemony" or else that both sides "slithered into it," is simply false. Both of the great alliances that sprang up before the War behaved irresponsibly so as to provoke the struggle.

Concerning the provocative behavior of first sea lord John Fisher and first lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill, who sent the British fleet to blockade Germany before the war even began, I would recommend Niall Ferguson’s The Pity of War: Explaining World War One. English military commanders and English cabinet officers had worked out plans with France by 1909 for a preemptive strike on Belgium in case of war with Germany. The English may have been, so Rawes tells us, more civic-minded than the Germans, who were probably more so than the French, but this was certainly not true of their government. If ill-conceived German naval programs stoked British hostility, the British government did nothing to defuse that sentiment – and much, according to Ferguson, to make it fatal.

The German fear of "encirclement [Einkesselung]" was justified, and particularly after the Franco-Russian alliance in 1894, which, as George Kennan shows in The Fatal Alliance, was unmistakably aimed at militarily encircling Germany and Austria-Hungary. Those French statesmen who worked to isolate Germany and to engineer the Triple Entente, Paul and Jules Cambon and Maurice Paléologue, never hid the warlike purpose of their statecraft...

The First World War was avoidable on both sides; and it was the old order that recklessly blundered into it, although that order hastened its own destruction by unleashing the war. It has also been the Right that has typically regretted the First World War as the destroyer of an older and better world. As Peter Hitchens recently observed in explaining why he opposed American foreign policy from the Right, wars generally benefit the political Left."


In Insufficiently Germanophobic he wrote: " The Western world could not have done worse, and might have done better, if the Central Powers had triumphed in World War One...I also agree with English historian Niall Ferguson that the English, and particularly the First Lord of the Admiralty, Winston Churchill, did more to bring on the war than one is generally taught in the Anglo-American world. Churchill and other English military-political leaders in 1914 were long itching for a showdown with their German rival and were deploying the British fleet against Germany quite belligerently weeks before the war broke out...

What is being argued is not that an Austro-German victory in 1914 would have been the most desirable historical course. Rather, it would have been preferable to what did happen in 1918, the destruction of the imperial governments of Germany and Austria, a vindictive Allied peace, and the subsequent unleashing of totalitarian governments in Europe...

In comparison to these conditions produced by a prolonged, costly war in which Europe tore itself apart and a peace that was simply a prelude to new war, a relatively early German victory in a continental war, as Bertrand Russell in a moment of geopolitical lucidity grasped, would have been a blessing...

the Nazis would not have taken power. Note that what is being given is not the happiest outcome that the Anglo-American world could have achieved in the postwar years. That would have been possible if the Americans and Brits had stayed out of the continental war that broke out in 1914."


From Stephen Berry's book review of John Charmley's Churchill: The End of Glory: "Little by little, the official view of World War Two is beginning to change. Churchill quipped, "History will not look kindly on Neville Chamberlain - I know, I shall write it." He then proceeded to write a multi-volume history of the war which shaped the general perception of it. John Charmley has recently written a biography of Churchill which in turn questions the official, Churchillian view...

Churchill's avowed aims were to preserve the British Empire and safeguard the continuity of British institutions. His life's work had the opposite effect. The war bankrupted the UK and paved the way for the Empire's dissolution by increasing the importance of the US and USSR...

"A bigger danger than the Germans by a long way", remarked First Sea Lord Fisher to Bonar Law in 1915. This description of Churchill seems uncannily prescient today."


Well, that's simply another view worthy of being brought to your esteemed attention.

27 March 2007 at 12:23  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Colin, you would do well to discuss the Reinsurance Treaty with Russia and to ask why Kaiser Bill did not renew it.......why he dropped Bismarck.....and why he let the Younger Molkte loose.

You could consider Agadir, the Daily Telegraph Interview, arms shipments to the Boers, and the Schlieffen Plan........but you don't.

You are far too superficial. You also ignore the role of the SPD and the Socialist International, the fear of Revolutionary Socialism which the Kaiser hoped to drown in Nationalism. The expectation that the SPD would not vote the War Credits, and the fact they did.

You ignore the financial deficits Germany had run up in the years Gruenderjahren with huge subsidies to business and which led to the financial collapse of the German State.

I am afraid fishing for articles to find fault with Britain may be interesting but is simply counter-factual

27 March 2007 at 17:48  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Churchill's avowed aims were to preserve the British Empire and safeguard the continuity of British institutions. His life's work had the opposite effect. The war bankrupted the UK and paved the way for the Empire's dissolution by increasing the importance of the US and USSR...

So what...Churchill was wrong He was wrong in 1935 over India and destructive within his party which is why he was kept out of office.

The war bankrupted Britain but Britain was bankrupt before the war with 40% Government expenditure going on Debt Repayment which today would mean £240 billion going on Debt Repayment - or the combined Income Tax + VAT revenues.

Had Britain not consented to the 1935 anglo-German Naval Treaty things would have been less dire

27 March 2007 at 17:53  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Oh and Colin, I recommend you read up on the German Ambassador to the Court of St James...one Joachim von Ribbentrop and his wife Anneliese who fed extremely hostile reports to Berlin and managed to antagonise most people they encountered in London with a fanatical Nazism.......you might also look up Peter Ustinov's father who worked as a British agent inside the German Embassy and thereby secured British Citizenship

27 March 2007 at 17:57  
Anonymous Colin said...

Voyager,

Although it is difficult to see how your reply is able to prove your hypothesis that a weak concept of nation-state causes wars without boundaries to .. acquisitiveness, I would like to thank you for your kindness to provide me with another reading list.

Did you already have a chance to read my recommendations, i.e. Niall Ferguson’s The Pity of War: Explaining World War One and John Charmley's Churchill: The End of Glory?

27 March 2007 at 19:05  
Anonymous Voyager said...

I have read Charmley and had correspondence with him; Niall Ferguson I do not rate.

27 March 2007 at 20:32  
Anonymous Colin said...

Voyager,

"I have read Charmley and had correspondence with him". Undoubtedly, he must have been pleased about your ungrudging in praise of his book.

27 March 2007 at 23:52  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Undoubtedly, he must have been pleased about your ungrudging in praise of his book.

You are the psychologist...write and ask him

28 March 2007 at 07:55  
Anonymous Colin said...

Voyager,

"You are the psychologist...write and ask him"

Does this mean that he didn't have the courtesy to reply to your valuable letter?

28 March 2007 at 18:50  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Of course he did Colin...and you are in no position to judge whether it was "valuable" or not

29 March 2007 at 10:48  
Anonymous Colin said...

Voyager,

"Of course he did Colin...and you are in no position to judge whether it was "valuable" or not.

Of course I am in the position to judge whether your letter was valuable or not. The fact that you wrote so many valuable contributions on this blog suggests a very high probability of another valuable piece of writing from you. Your humbleness is a relief in the world of blogs, but don't sell yourself short.

29 March 2007 at 23:26  

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