By Patrick J. Buchanan – January 1, 2002
“Economic unity and political unity are twins: one cannot be born without the other following,” said Friedrich List, the famed German economist and nationalist. Again and again, history has proven List right.
Economic union leads inexorably to political union. The left has always understood this. The right never does, until too late.
When Hamilton created a free-trade zone across 13 states, a strong U.S. central government was baked in the cake. Bismarck used a customs union, the Zollverein, to harness Germany under Prussia’s whip hand.
And thus the European Coal & Steel Community of the 1950s led to a Common Market, a European Community, today’s European Union and tomorrow’s Euroland. There, the 12 nations that are today surrendering their national currencies to adopt the “euro” will enjoy all the liberty and independence of Rhode Island.
For Europe there may be no turning back. The patriot’s vision of DeGaulle, of a Europe of fatherlands “from the Atlantic to the Urals,” is dead. The alternative vision of a managerial elite, of a socialist superstate that they shall run, has triumphed. Despising sovereignty, worshipping power, the nameless, faceless technocrats of the EU have just taken a Great Leap Forward.
France, Germany and Italy, who are exchanging their money for the euro, are surrendering control of monetary policy and, with it, control of fiscal policy and national destiny. Should a recession hit Italy, Rome will be in a straight jacket, unable to run a deficit or devalue the lira. Italy will have less freedom to act in her national interest than Argentina in her current crisis.
Nevertheless, a prediction: This European superstate will not endure, but break apart on the barrier reef of nationalism. For when the hard times come, patriots will recapture control of their national destinies from Brussels bureaucrats to whom no one will ever give loyalty or love.
Who, after all, would fight or die for the EU?
There are other reasons to believe the new Europe will fail. Unlike America, where 90 percent of the people speak English, the 300 million people in the new eurozone speak a dozen languages. And while she remains affluent, Europe’s dynamism is fading away along with her industrial base. Militarily, as we saw in Kosovo, the new Europe is pathetic. Fifty-six years after Hitler died in his bunker, Europe requires American troops to defend her. Europe is a gated community in an increasingly desperate global neighborhood.
Each year brings a new European threat to “go it alone.” But these have begun to ring as hollow as the threats of children to run away from home, who never quite get around to it. As for Europe’s plan to build a 60,000-soldier Rapid Reaction Force to replace NATO, one is tempted to say: For heaven’s sake, get on with it!
Most important, Europe is dying. There is not a single nation in all of Europe with a birth rate sufficient to keep its population alive, except Muslim Albania. In 17 European nations, there are already more burials than births, more coffins than cradles.
Between 2000 and 2050, Asia, Africa and Latin America will add 3 billion to 4 billion people – 30 to 40 new Mexicos! – as Europe loses the equal of the entire population of Belgium, Holland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Germany. By 2050, the median age in Europe will be 50, nine years older than the oldest nation on earth today, Japan. One in 10 Europeans will be over 80. And who will take care of these scores of millions of elderly, before the Dutch doctors arrive at the nursing home?
Immigrants is the answer, immigrants already pouring into Europe in the hundreds of thousands annually from the Middle East and Africa, changing the character of the Old Continent. Just as Europe once invaded and colonized Asia, Africa and the Near East, the once-subject peoples are coming to colonize the mother countries. And as the Christian churches of Europe empty out, the mosques are going up.
Yet, even as great nations like France, Germany, Italy and Spain grow weary of the strain of staying independent, sovereign and free, the sub-nations within are struggling to be born again. In Scotland, Wales, Ulster, Corsica, the Basque country and northern Italy are secessionist movements not unlike those that broke up Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union into 22 independent nations.
If the alternative is the atheist-socialist superstate rising in Europe, patriots everywhere should cheer the sub-nations. For the world struggle that succeeds the Cold War is between patriots and globalists, a struggle where loyalty to transnational regimes will one day be considered treason to the nation.