Sunday, February 03, 2008

The new Roman Empire

"While Britain frets about EU expansion," writes, US scholar Parag Khanna, "Europe is overtaking its rivals to become the world's most successful empire." This is from his book, "The Second World; Empires and Influence in the new Global Order," to be published by Penguin on 3 April, as reviewed by The Guardian:

The EU is easily the most popular and successful empire in history, for it does not dominate, it disciplines. The incentives of Europeanisation - subsidies from Brussels, unfettered mobility, and the adoption of the euro currency - are too great not to want. Brussels today rivals Washington with its swarms of lobbyists, including dozens of public relations outfits hired by Balkan and post-Soviet countries actively vying for EU admission.
and …

Europe's growing diversity makes European-ness a gradually attainable ideal rather than a mythical Platonic form, transforming Europe's identities from tribal to cosmopolitan. Even as some west Europeans fear the dilution of their elite brand, Europe's evolution is giving the term European a positive meaning. Europe is already partially Islamic, with growing Muslim populations in Britain, France and Germany and almost 100 million Muslims from Albania, Bosnia, Turkey, and Azerbaijan in the European diplomatic and strategic space via the Council of Europe or Nato.
and …

European has become an identity as strong (or as weak) as American or Chinese. As life imitates art, all countries participating in football's European Championships and the Eurovision Song Contest consider themselves - and are increasingly considered - European. Most importantly, an entire post-cold war generation of students, called the Erasmus generation after the EU's exchange programme, is transcending the national identities their elders fought to establish, all for the sake of European stability. These "post-national" European youth now travel virtually visa-free from Belfast to Baku, speak multiple languages, study in exchange programmes and vote in European parliamentary elections.
and ...

As with all empires, the EU rubber band will stretch until it no longer can, growing until it has fully replaced the dismantled Soviet Union across Europe's east, creating a borderless and contiguous "Pax Europea" of about 35 countries, an imperial blanket covering close to 600 million people…
I don't know what this man is on, but he if he sold it in clubs, he'd make a fortune. Where on earth does he get this Pax Europea from?


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