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Fri Jan 30, 2015, 08:09 AM

The Collapse of Europe?: The European Union May Be on the Verge of Regime Collapse


from TomDispatch:


The Collapse of Europe?
The European Union May Be on the Verge of Regime Collapse

By John Feffer


Europe won the Cold War.

Not long after the Berlin Wall fell a quarter of a century ago, the Soviet Union collapsed, the United States squandered its peace dividend in an attempt to maintain global dominance, and Europe quietly became more prosperous, more integrated, and more of a player in international affairs. Between 1989 and 2014, the European Union (EU) practically doubled its membership and catapulted into third place in population behind China and India. It currently boasts the world’s largest economy and also heads the list of global trading powers. In 2012, the EU won the Nobel Peace Prize for transforming Europe “from a continent of war to a continent of peace.”

In the competition for “world’s true superpower,” China loses points for still having so many impoverished peasants in its rural hinterlands and a corrupt, illiberal bureaucracy in its cities; the United States, for its crumbling infrastructure and a hypertrophied military-industrial complex that threatens to bankrupt the economy. As the only equitably prosperous, politically sound, and rule-of-law-respecting superpower, Europe comes out on top, even if -- or perhaps because -- it doesn’t have the military muscle to play global policeman.

And yet, for all this success, the European project is currently teetering on the edge of failure. Growth is anemic at best and socio-economic inequality is on the rise. The countries of Eastern and Central Europe, even relatively successful Poland, have failed to bridge the income gap with the richer half of the continent. And the highly indebted periphery is in revolt.

Politically, the center may not hold and things seem to be falling apart. From the left, parties like Syriza in Greece are challenging the EU’s prescriptions of austerity. From the right, Euroskeptic parties are taking aim at the entire quasi-federal model. Racism and xenophobia are gaining ever more adherents, even in previously placid regions like Scandinavia. .............(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175948/tomgram%3A_john_feffer%2C_europe%27s_end/#more





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Response to marmar (Original post)

Fri Jan 30, 2015, 08:18 AM

1. The celebrating we hear is from the far-right whose primary goal is the collapse of the EU and the return

of nationalism with its inherent national competition rather than cooperation to the continent. The history of nationalism in Europe be damned.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Fri Jan 30, 2015, 08:20 AM

2. When was it ever a "regime?" It's more of a loose confederation, an association...

Let's all use the same money, we'll kiss the whole closed borders business goodbye, we will agree on certain standards...but it's not really a regime. There's no power except what the nations agree to allow the bureaucrats to possess. There is no "EU" army, the government organization doesn't have a lot of clout, it has to rely on the countries, and if they don't like what they hear....well...?

I don't think anyone's going to forswear their Euros in favor of Pesetas, Drachma, Francs or Deutschmarks...the currency is integrated, even if some attitudes are not.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Fri Jan 30, 2015, 08:55 AM

3. He paints to bleak a picture.

1. Viktor Orban is leading a far-right government with all the fallout. But it is important o keep in mind that Hungary is more polarized than ever and that hungarian nationalism has been on the rise for years. For example: Romania has a large hungarian minority (~10%). Those romanian citizens of hungarian ethnic descent refuse to become part of Romania. They keep their language and their loyalty lies not with Romania but with Hungary.

2. The increasing noise from nationalists may stem from a simple source: The world is changing around them. Not merely their country or Europe, but the whole world. And they don't want things to change. Just take a look at Germany's Tea Party, the Pegida-movement: They are a wild mix of wildly different ailings. Nominally they are united in this anti-immigration org, but when pressed to go into specifics, many ordinary members trail off from immigration and reveal that they are unsatisfied with totally unrelated political and nonpolitical issues.

3. People tend to howl and complain about the EU because they cannot fathom the many advantages of a coordinated economic, trade and foreign policy. They look at their everyday-life and how the EU tries to influence it, but they can't see the foundations that the EU built for them to live their lifes on.



Europe will not be undone, because those in power, those who see the big picture, those who realize what is AT STAKE, will never allow it. Europe has seen a millenium of war and the two biggest and deadliest wars ever waged. Europe is seeing an era of unprecedented prosperity and peace right now. They will not allow this to be squandered.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Fri Jan 30, 2015, 10:39 AM

4. I think the EU has serious problems when/because the original EU idea was

 

looser borders, more trade, no wars.
And then banks moved in / took over - I believe the banks see the EU as a giant piggy bank, ripe for austerity and privatization. Easier to accomplish as the EU instead of individual countries.
Wait until we see the Monsantos and other corporations swoop in, if/when the TTIP is signed. They are poised to do whatever they want, or they will sue in corporate court.
I can still remember the Danish folks I worked with in the 90's saying the EU was a good idea, but we will NOT go to using the Euro, we will not let Germany and the world banks control our money.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Fri Jan 30, 2015, 11:30 AM

5. Europe is not a superpower and is hardly a union.

It is a collection of selfish states that really have little interest in the whole. It should collapse because the members don't believe in it. Go back to single states and try again in 100 years.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Fri Jan 30, 2015, 12:26 PM

6. Guess who's behind the Austerity? Why...Goldman Sachs and Wall Street, of course!

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