This Fourth of July, what remains is the Founders’ vision of a limited government; the idea of a population united by common values, themes, and ideas; a republican form of checks-and-balances government to prevent demagoguery, factions, and tyranny of the majority; the sanctity and autonomy of the nation-state; and individual freedom and liberty as protected through the Bill of Rights. Everything after and against that has proved a failure.Agreed--financially and politically.
Indeed, what makes this Fourth different from recent celebrations is the ongoing repudiation of almost everything antithetical to the Founders’ views -- the redistributive, all-powerful welfare state, the therapeutic arrogance that believes human nature can be altered by an omnipotent well-meaning government, the postmodern notion that nationhood and borders are passé, and the utopian idea that war can be declared obsolete and the need for defense transcended. From Greece to California such dreams are dead.
The European Union is unwinding for two very simple reasons. First, it is not a constitutional state, but a loose conglomeration of nations run by elites who are not responsible to the people. For decades the undemocratic nature of rule from Brussels was masked by politically correct edicts on everything from global warming to anti-Americanism. But as the money runs out, the elites’ fraud becomes impossible to hide.
Second, Mediterranean countries were allowed to cook their books in such a way that northwestern European money would continue to be loaned to [countries] that had not produced goods and services to justify the influx of foreign capital and the attendant lifestyle it ensured. Now we are well past any chance that German money can be paid back; the only mystery is over the conditions of the default -- whether slow and incremental, or sudden and cataclysmic -- and whether it will leave in its wake a downsized EU or no EU at all.
In other words, the notion that platitudinous elites could, by their proclaimed virtue, establish a constitutional union without real democratic values proved unrealizable. More important still, socialism came to an end with fiscal insolvency. This happened, of course, most dramatically in southern Europe, where climate and culture conspired to hasten its demise; but northern Europeans now realize that they too have a rendezvous with a Greek-like reckoning unless they increase worker productivity, curb government, prune the power of public-employee unions, bring market-based incentives back into the workplace, reestablish national sovereignty, raise the retirement age, and address the declining demography that is so often the handmaiden of socialism. In short, EU elites have done what the half-century-long threat of Red Army tanks and missiles never could: destabilize Europe to the point of anarchy.
(via reader Warren)