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Eurosceptic Bloggers

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Keeper of The Peace

I often see the argument put forward that the EU is responsible for peace in Europe after the second world war. Yesterday in a reply to such a comment, I posted the following over at Tommy England's Blog:

When I hear the statement "That the EU has kept the peace" I often ask the question "which part of the EU". Its instructive to think about it.

If we did not subsidised inefficient French Farmers, would we still have peace? If we had separate national regulations on the type of tree we are allowed to plant, would it lead to a Fourth Reich? Is a common tariff necessary to stop War?

Bear in mind that the EU is only 14 years old, though its forebears, the EC, EEC back to the Coal & Steel community go back many decades. With this evolution in mind, would we have gone to war is the EEC had never become the EC? At which point in the process did war become impossible? Do we need to continue to keep it that way?

You see what I am getting at. Even if the EU is responsible for keeping the peace, we still need a good debate on what the EU should or shouldn't do. And we need to identify what is it about the EU that keeps the peace?

Coming to the crux of the matter, I personally do not believe that we needed the EU to keep the peace. Since 1945, we had a number of things going in our favour.

  1. World War II affected civilians far more than any previous wars. The gallant ideals of "Dolce et decorum est pro patria mori" had been shown up for what they really were. War is a dirty business. This meant that the appetite for war was miniscle in the decades after the 1940s.
  2. Marshall Aid. We all know about the Treaty of Versailles and how war reparations destroyed Germany. We learnt from that lesson. By helping to build up Germany, the USA reduced the chance of war.
  3. The Soviet Union: A malevolent Giant on your border is enough to keep the most blood thirsty war monger quiet. We could hardly ignore the fact that the USSR was an acquisitive imperial power, ready to take advantage of countries weakened by war. Which brings us onto...
  4. NATO: By creating a common defence against a common enemy, we massively reduced the chance of fighting amongst ourselves.

You see, I believe that rather than being the cause of peace, the EU is the result of it. Look at the way that counties have willingly given up their power to a central organisation. They have surrendered without a shot being fired. That is how much they are scared of war. Do such pacifists really pose a threat to each other?

When Israel kills an unfortunate 1.000 civilians in the space of a month of bombing, the reaction in much of the west is as if they have raised major cities to the ground. Does anyone really think that such people could stomach a full scale conflict, where 1.000 people would be a drop in the ocean?

It is all very well to claim that the EU keeps the peace. However for the huge sums of money it costs us to belong, and the massive damage it does to our system of government and law, it is up to those making the claim to substantiate it, not the other way around.


Anonymous said...

Great post Serf.

If you were going to put a 'best of' link on the side pane, this should be at the top.

(While I'm here, news coming soon on blog network. Exciting!)

Prodicus said...

The stresses in vastly different national cultures and economies caused by insane continent-wide management (macro- and micro-), enforced by an increasingly resented, anti-democratic political elite, will result in stagnation (with all its consequences) and may eventually cause fracture and worse. Remember Yugoslavia. The EU is indeed the result of peace but it contains within it the seeds of the end of that peace. I may not live to see it, but I can envisage tragic times when the EU is looked back on as a failed experiment with disastrous consequences.

James Higham said...

...It is all very well to claim that the EU keeps the peace. However for the huge sums of money it costs us to belong, and the massive damage it does to our system of government and law, it is up to those making the claim to substantiate it, not the other way around...

I believe that its presence does indeed keep the peace like no other institution or treaty but the issue comes down to the cost, as you've stated. On the other hand, the European 'dead hand' dulls. It dulls everything, including warmongerers - it blunts them. This might be useful.

[Also, the bloody word verification drives me nuts.]

Anonymous said...

Perhaps we could add:

5. US bases on German soil for 50 years.

AntiCitizenOne said...

I beleive the EU accelerates the process of war.

Just as unreasonable reparations inflamed Germany causing the rise of hitler, so does the money the EU extorts from one demos (especially the UK and Germany) to pay off others cause inter-nation resentment.

This time lets stop trans-national socialism BEFORE it kills millions.

Mitch said...

The EU keeps the peace like a rooster causes the sun to rise. Do you remember how installation of Pershing intermediate-range missiles were going to be disasterously destabilizing, unlike their Soviet SS-20 counterparts? There is nothing so conducive to peace as having a reputation for minding your own business and for robust self-defense.

Unfortunately, the EU appears to be the latest instance of the European mania for discovering the Great Systematic Philosophy of Everything with All the Answers. The follies of the 20th century may be over, but the eagerness to commit new ones is still with us.

Anonymous said...

There are many good reasons why the EU is valid but how much money do they waste, they seem to dislike the UK and fine us for anything from bananas to homebase garden furniture being the wrong size, they do not keep the piece, it is the individuals countries that order armies in to these trouble areas while the EU stand by shaking their long fingers at them.