Europe: The Artificial Nation

by Patrick J. Buchanan – May 4, 1998

“The real divisions of our time,” writes the scholar Christian Kopff, “are not between left and right but between nations and the globalist delusion.” Thus, we all have a stake in the experiment to create a giant artificial nation called the “United States of Europe.”

Why artificial? Because, unlike France, Germany and Italy, the European Union possesses none of the attributes of a nation — a common language, culture, history and heroes. Europe’s peoples have been separate for centuries. Unlike America, this new Europe is simply a customs union tied together by bureaucracy and greed. As Ernst Renan wrote long ago, “A Zollverein is not a fatherland” — a customs union is not a country.

Yet, in giving up their currencies for one continental currency, the leaders of Europe are selling out their sovereignties to the gods of the market, erecting a Tower of Babel to Mammon. For with the control of a country’s money goes the control of its destiny.

Britain’s Tories, refusing to “go gentle into that good night,” are showing the survivalist instincts of a people unwilling, after 1,000 years together, to sell their birthright for baubles and beads.

Britain’s battle is our battle. As Margaret Thatcher told this writer, at issue in retaining Britain’s pound is its “independence.” Again, Kopff: “What doth it profit a man if he gain the whole world and suffer the loss of his country?”

The new Europeans assume they are like America’s founding fathers. Absurd. George Washington, Alexander Hamilton and James Madison were the midwives of a true nation already kicking in the womb.

“Providence,” wrote John Jay, “has been pleased to give this one connected country to one united people … descended from the same ancestors, speaking the same language, professing the same religion, attached to the same principles of government, very similar in their manners and customs, and who … fighting side by side throughout a long and bloody war, have nobly established their general liberty and independence.

“This country and this people seem to have been made for each other, and it appears as if it was the design of Providence that an inheritance so proper and convenient for a band of brethren united to each other by the strongest ties, should never be split into a number of unsocial, jealous and alien sovereignties.”

“Unsocial, jealous and alien sovereignties” — does that not more accurately describe Europe than “a band of brethren”? Virginians and New Yorkers had in common ancestors, language, culture and history. What do the Portuguese have in common with the Irish, or the Germans with the Spaniards, other than a desire to get rich? Answer: Europe’s politicians carry a common resentment of America’s hegemony. Behind a U.S. shield, they seek to build one mighty economy to challenge our supremacy. This new Europe is thus driven more by greed than love, more by a will to power than any ardent desire to share destinies in union forever.

Its internal contradictions and the natural disposition of all nations to put their own interests first will confound this utopian superstate. Conflicts have already erupted. The Germans wanted a hard-money Dutchman as the central banker of Europe — for Berlin fears profligacy and inflation. Paris wanted an reliable Frenchman. French intransigence prevailed. The eight-year term of Europe’s first central banker will be split in two.

Which comes first — the country or the economy? That is the post-Cold War struggle within all nations. Corporatists put profit first and sovereignty last. Conservatives and traditionalists put the country before the economy, and the nation and its people first.

Alexander Hamilton was a patriot. He built America’s free market and protected it by a tariff wall to “create a more perfect union,” by replacing ties of trade with Great Britain with bonds of commerce among Americans. His European imitators are doing the opposite. Putting Europe’s economy ahead of its countries, they are erecting new bonds of trade between nations, while ripping up the old bonds of mutual dependency within nations.

Across Europe, workers are being sacrificed, patriots ignored. Their loyalties are being rewarded with abandonment by Eurocrats — to facilitate trade, subordinate nationalities and open borders to increase immigration and create new, more pliable labor forces.

The old nation-states of Europe are being euthanized.

But as this new Europe is a marriage of convenience and contract, not a marriage of love, it will end in a rancorous and perhaps violent divorce — to which we should all look forward.