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The Decline and Fall of the European Union

The Decline and Fall of the European Union

This exhaustion of the neocolonial-neofeudal model was inevitable, and as a result, so too is the decline and fall of the European integration/exploitation project.

That a single currency, the euro, would fracture rather than unite Europe was understood long before the euro’s introduction as legal tender on January 1, 2002. The euro, the currency of 19 of the 28 member states of the European Union, is only one of the various institutions tying the member nations of the European union together, but it is the linchpin of the financial integration touted as one of the primary benefits of EU membership.

Skepticism of the benefits of EU membership is rising, as citizens of the member nations are questioning the surrender of national sovereignty with renewed intensity.

The technocrat elite that holds power in the EU is attempting to marginalize critics as populists, nationalists or fascists, overlooking the untidy reality that the actual source of tyranny is arguably the unelected bureaucrats of the EU who have taken on extraordinary powers to strip the citizenry of member states of civil liberties (i.e. the right to dissent) and of meaningful political enfranchisement.

As I have patiently explained since 2012, the underlying structure of the EU is neocolonialism, specifically, neocolonial-financialization. Stripped of artifice, the financial institutions of the EU core have colonized the EU periphery via the euro and the EU and imposed a modernized system of extractive serfdom on the citizenry of the core and periphery alike.

To understand the neocolonial-financialization model, we must revisit the classic model of colonialism. In the old model of Colonialism, the colonizing power conquered or co-opted the Power Elites of the region, and proceeded to exploit the new colony’s resources and labor to enrich the core or center, i.e. the Imperial nation and its ruling elites.

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Europe Without the Union

The European project was always bound to fail. Europe is a continent riven by geographic barriers. It has spent two millennia not only indulging in massive and constant internal wars, but also keeping written records of them, informing each generation of all the times their forebears were wronged. Over the centuries, great empires have risen and fallen, leaving behind distinct groups of people with different histories, languages and cultures. Any project attempting to fuse these disparate cultures into one monolithic state over the course of just 70 years was by its very nature doomed. It would inevitably encounter insurmountable levels of nationalistic resistance, and eventually the project would stall. That is the point at which we now find ourselves.

Crises abound, and though they all have different facades, each stems from the same underlying issue: Citizens ultimately prize their national and regional identities over the supranational dream. The sovereign debt crisis and repeating Grexit scares, born of the introduction of the euro in 1999, have exposed Northern Europe’s unwillingness to subsidize the south. The Brexit referendum, scheduled for June, can trace its roots to the 2004 enlargement of the European Union, and the ensuing wave of Polish migration to the United Kingdom. Meanwhile, amid the ongoing immigration crisis, national leaders are appeasing their populations by bypassing European rules and re-erecting border controls to stem the flow of refugees across their territory. In all of these situations, the same factors are at work: The driving forces within Europe are national in nature, and countries will ultimately put their own interests first.

Today’s problems were both predictable and predicted. The next step, however, is harder to foresee. Having identified a system’s inherent flaw, one can very well state that it is unsustainable, but unfortunately the flaw provides no guide as to the exact circumstances of the system’s end.

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The Dangers of European Dis-Union

The Dangers of European Dis-Union


The near collapse of the Greek economy and the harsh austerity package forced on Athens by the European Union has led to increasing commentary in recent weeks on what the developments might mean for the “European project” – the one-time seemingly inevitable drive on the European continent for an “ever closer union” based on principles of economic, social and territorial cohesion and solidarity among EU member states.

Far from a demonstration of cohesion and solidarity, as New York Times columnist Paul Krugmannoted in a July 12 op-ed, the lesson learned over the past few weeks is that “being a member of the eurozone means that the creditors can destroy your economy if you step out of line.” In Krugman’s view, the fundamental economics are simple enough: “imposing harsh austerity without debt relief is a doomed policy no matter how willing the country is to accept suffering.”

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras (center) with French President Francois Hollande (left) and German Chancellor Angela Merkel (right).

Krugman is not alone in his bleak appraisal of the situation. In testimony to the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats on July 14 on the topic of “The European Union’s Future,” prominent American academic Stephen Walt said that the EU, despite its past achievements, now suffers from growing tensions and several self-inflicted wounds.

 

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Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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