Le Leviathan

October 5th, 2009

“I love borders, the more the merrier – town lines, county, state, and, of course, national. Borders symbolize one of the few remaining constraints on government: You don’t like the grade school here in town? Move ten miles up the road. You don’t want to pay Vermont sales tax? Drive over the river and shop in New Hampshire. Arianna Huffington huffs against “tax loopholes for fat cats”, but I’d say the ability to rent a post office box in Bermuda or the Cayman Islands is a “loophole” in one of the original 16th century senses – an aperture to let in light and fresh air. The fact that there’s somewhere else to go to is the ultimate limitation on government. Borders give people choices – and, to put it in a bumper sticker, “I’m Pro-Choice And I Vote With My Feet”. When starry-eyed utopians speak of a “world without borders”, you can pretty much guess what kind of a place the one-world one-party state would be, with tax rates starting at 60%, about where they are in Sweden right now.”–Mark Steyn

If we were considering forming and joining the federal government today, would we still do it, knowing all that we know?

I doubt it.

Natalie Solent at Samizdata:

A woman who had been defending the [Communist] party line in all its various manifestations for decades was more than capable of disposing of the arguments of a bunch of seventeen year olds.

All of us but one – there was one boy who did, just about, make an impression. The tutor had some particular link with East Germany and this boy simply repeated, politely but insistently, several very basic statements about that state. “Nobody is allowed to leave.” “They have a wall and and barbed wire to stop people escaping.” “If you try to escape they shoot you.” And when he said this he sounded honestly astonished that anyone could be – could allow themselves to have become – the sort of person who would sincerely defend East German communism. It was not just wrong but weird. I mean, what? The wall, the shooting people, and she says she likes that?

I am moved to write about a communist I met thirty years ago because the second referendum in Ireland on the Lisbon Treaty will be held tomorrow. The European Union is not remotely as bad as Communism. But there are some very basic things wrong with it and this referendum has brought them out. The European Union will not accept a vote against it. It will not allow a vote at all, if it can get away with it. If people do vote against something the EU wants it makes them vote again and again, knowing that the donors and volunteers for the opposing side will be exhausted eventually, as will the voters, whereas its side has bottomless coffers and power to keep on pushing till it gets its way. The European Union lies to get what it wants. The Lisbon treaty is the rejected Constitution under another name. The Lisbon Treaty is deliberately written in confusing language so as to hide what it means. That is what con-men do. The Lisbon Treaty is a con.

And the Lisbon Treaty passed.

David Pryce-Jones:

If ordinary people everywhere were asked for their opinion, this treaty would be rejected outright. The French and the Dutch did actually vote to reject the treaty, but their rulers simply ignored that fact. In Britain, Mr. Blair promised to hold a referendum, but then with no apparent strain on his conscience decided not to, leaving his successor to sign up to it without the legitimacy to do so. The majority of European governments have followed this path, cheating their electorates one by one, moreover keeping them in the dark as though they were Romanov or Habsburg emperors, and politics were some private domain about which voters should not be consulted. […]

Among other consequences, the people of Europe are likely to have a president for whom they never asked but chosen for them by the junta of heads of state in an exclusive process of horse-trading behind closed doors. Worse still, they can neither vote for him nor dismiss him from office. According to leaked reports, Mr. Blair will soon become president of Europe as his reward for having broken his promise to hold a referendum in Britain — without doubt the British would have said no to the Lisbon Treaty with an overwhelming majority…A state built on deception is not worth having, and for the future it looks as if force alone will be able to maintain it. Europe is set either to collapse with unimaginable consequences or harden into some sort of authoritarian monster.

Churchill spoke of a “United States of Europe”. But he spoke freshly traumatized from the second of two world wars, when people were still scavenging for food in the ruins. Even then, he meant continental Europe, not Great Britain. And we have had what he lacked; long experience of seeing the UN and the EU in action. Or “inaction”.

European subjects will lose what little influence they already had on their own governments as decisions will be made for them by faceless bureaucrats and unaccountable experts, decisions in which they cannot participate nor reject.

Don’t be smug. We’re going to have to fight these people someday. They would like nothing more than to submerge and dissolve this country in a supra-national organization as well.

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  1. Brett
    October 6th, 2009 at 08:57 | #1
    Churchill was a smitten fool when it came to international organizations. He was outraged when the U.S. withdrew from the League of Nations, placing that organization in the dustbin of history where the UN belongs. The creation of the U.N. was his proudest cause.
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