Monday, May 7, 2012

Forward, Europe

I haven't the slightest idea whether as President of France M. Hollande will actually be an improvement over the somewhat idiosyncratic (by French standards) M. Sarkozy. Only time will tell - both for France itself and for France's neighbors, yoked together in their dubious European Union.
When given the chance, Europe's voters have often evidenced prudent skepticism about the EU project that in recent decades has been foisted upon them by their elites - the same elites whose economic ideology voters are also apparently rejecting.  Such is the dominant cultural elite's difficulty with deomocracy that this has been the subject of some general hand-wringing. I even read somewhere the worry that France's soon-to-be President may genuinely believe in "a fairer society." That may be an unattainable goal under the circumstances, and he may perhaps emply unsuitable means to try to get there, but surely there must be worse things for a putative politicla leader to be accused of!
Talking to a European acquaintance earlier int he Greek crisis, I repeated the common (and self-evident) observation that the Euro common currency had made a bad situation significantly worse, since Greece could no longer devalue its own currency. My friend more or less agreed that the Eu had created a mess, but then added the non sequitur that the EU had been "the moral thing to do." Being long acquainted with elite ideologies, I was not as flabbergasted (as one perhaps should be) by such a complete non sequitur, but that resposne remains surely highly problematic in any event.
How does one answer the defense of something like the Eu - defended not for any real good it may have accomplished - but for being more "moral"? Morality in this case seems to be a thoroughly rational abstrtaction from real life - as if the negative consequences of a policy were irrelevant to its "morality"!
Oh, well, let's hope the election of a new President in France, the recent collapse of the coalition government in the Netherlands, and the latest government collapse in Greece spur Europe's leaders to adopt some sensible policies - even at the risk of their being "fairer" - even if that puts the Euro (or indeed the whole EU project) at risk.

No comments:

Post a Comment