Wednesday, January 04, 2012
Democracy has no champions
Bruce Anderson writes in the Failygraph that "the Eurofanatics should join the Marxists in the dustbin of history". But what actually happens is that eurofanatics get awards. But then, so do the Marxists, with the evident approval of the Failygraph.
Sadly, Anderson is detached from real life in other respects as well. His version of the creation of the evil empire has it that, after 1945, a European political elite concluded that the continent had to move beyond the nation states, whose wars had almost destroyed it.
But, he says, there was the democratic deficit. If you decided to build a new Europe, it would help if the peoples of the old Europe were with you.
If the European public had been prepared to embrace the inevitable disruption and sacrifice while they transferred their allegiance to the Twelve Stars, it could have worked. They were never asked. Those who thought that they knew best just carried on with their federalising plots.
Needless to say, his history is out by about twenty years – and more. If we take the attack on nationalism as an issue, the thinking goes back to international Marxism. Hitler's brand of nationalism was very much a response to the Communist ethos, and could not have made such gains without its counterpoint.
But what Anderson does not seem to realise is that the Monnet dogma, as modified by Spinelli – father of the federal Europe (pictured) - which drives European political integration is fundamentally anti-democratic.
It was the democracy of the veto – the thing Cameron didn't exercise – that Monnet in particular sought to abolish, giving his Platonic guardians in the commission – originally called the High Authority – their power.
This is what people like Anderson really have problems understanding. It was not by accident that the European Union is anti-democratic. It is such by design. It attacks not only nationalism, but democracy. The "democratic deficit" is intentional.
One realises, though, that this is what gives it its strength. The way we are going, democracy has all the characteristics of a failed experiment. In fact, it is hard to see where - in Europe or even the world – there is a really successful example of democracy. It certainly will not be found in the United Kingdom.
But then, as we discussed yesterday, it is hard to see how democracy can actually work, over a wide range of policy issues. The "efficiency" of the Platonic model has much to commend it, and who would disagree.
Certainly, Hitler put his finger on the problem, describing democracy as "an anthill with everyone scurrying in different directions". How ridiculous it would be, he said, to concern the average man with problems that give headaches to better heads.
Imagine, he said, burdening "such a little human worm" with the final decision, for example, of the Rhineland crisis. "What if the Four Year Plan had to be first presented to a democratic parliament?", he asked.
Like Hitler, the eurocrats got over such problems. Each year, as with this one, with its 129-point plan, they can present their work programme, untrammelled by democratic considerations. And the political classes of Europe love it. The EU by-passes the people and makes the dull business of government so much easier.
And therein lies our real problem. Democracy has no champions. As far as the political classes go, the EU model is the final cover. It is not an aberration. It is the preferred model of government, and it survives and prospers because our masters want it to.
To build (I won't even say re-build) democracy, the "little human worm" is going to have to fight for it. And so far, he – like Bruce Anderson – shows no real understanding of what it is he is fighting for. Meanwhile, the Eurofanatics and the Marxists continue to get prizes.