The European Tribune is a forum for thoughtful dialogue of European and international issues. You are invited to post comments and your own articles.
Please REGISTER to post.
don't see why you assume that the world with a European superstate would be any worse than the world without a European superstate. I don't exactly see the other great powers of the present day behaving particularly responsibly. The case that I am making is merely that unless we take the time and effort to make sure that the European project is as well protected as possible, it is unlikely to make the world any better either. So we can afford to wait a few years - or even a few decades - if it means that we get to forge into the very bedrock institutions a preference for soft power over hard power, for social justice over lobbyist influence and for a policy of genuine security over neo-colonial securityness policy. In short, I predict that the political playing field is going to be tilted by the very architecture of the EU institutions, and we had better make sure that it is tilted in our favour.
So we can afford to wait a few years - or even a few decades - if it means that we get to forge into the very bedrock institutions a preference for soft power over hard power, for social justice over lobbyist influence and for a policy of genuine security over neo-colonial securityness policy.
In short, I predict that the political playing field is going to be tilted by the very architecture of the EU institutions, and we had better make sure that it is tilted in our favour.
I'm not sure whether the "you" here is directed at me or not - a couple of glasses of wine can make it difficult to assess the indentation sequence of comments. (Can we have aligning lines in ET 2.0 please?)
I don't disagree with your main thesis that the governing structures and culture you create can constrain your policy options - that is the essence of structuralism. However we are also not living in an ideal world where you can afford to wait, almost indefinitely, for ideal structures to emerge. Sometimes an opportunity only comes once, and if you miss that, regression is more likely than progression.
As a youthful idealist I would always have preferred big bang radical revolutionary changes over wish washy incremental liberal reform. Now I will take any incremental step in the right direction because I have had too much experience of small defeats leading to even bigger defeats. A small step in the wrong direction doesn't make a big step in the right direction any easier - in fact it can destroy the prospects of positive reform for a generation. Hence my sometimes ill-conceived impatience with ideologically pure revolutionaries who succeed in destroying the prospects for any limited improvements by insisting on nirvana or death. Death always seems to win.
I have a fundamental problem with a unipolar world order because there are no effective domestic or international checks and balances to the overweening hubris of the ruling elite of the dominant power. Therefor a bipolar - or better still, a multi-polar world order is preferable provided that there is an international system of law and institutions capable of moderating and sublimating the tensions between.
Therefor I believe a strong EU is a good thing, ipso facto, even if I might have strong misgiving about the policy priorities such a strong EU might pursue. It is still better than where we are now. Also a paralysed EU project might give more encouragement to proto-fascistic tendencies both within and without the current EU boundaries.
In summary, please do not assume, for a moment, that a rejection of Lisbon will give us the opportunity to create something better. Far more likely it will be a victory for narrow nationalism, eurosceptic atlanticism, free market business ideologues, religious fundamentalists and racists a la Le Pen, Sinn Fein, the BNP, and Aznar/Berlusconi like protofascism.
Passing Lisbon, on the other hand, will not herald either a perfect or a radically more powerful EU on the world stage. It is just a very small, boring, and imperfect step in the right direction - of a type which will enthuse almost no one - but at least it will keep the lid on those whose enthusiasms we can better do without. In terms of direction and momentum it may be but a small thing, but it can also be the straw which broke the back of the European Project as conceived by its founders. It means that the neocons who sought to destroy the UN, international law and any countervailing momentum to US hegemony will have won.
"It's a mystery to me - the game commences, For the usual fee - plus expenses, Confidential information - it's in my diary..."
by JakeS - May 15 7 comments
by ARGeezer - May 16 10 comments
by Nomad - May 10 14 comments
by Metatone - May 14 85 comments
by gmoke - May 17
by DoDo - May 12 10 comments
by Migeru - May 6 100 comments
by Migeru - May 7 8 comments
by gmoke - May 17
by ARGeezer - May 1610 comments
by JakeS - May 157 comments
by Metatone - May 1485 comments
by DoDo - May 1210 comments
by Nomad - May 1014 comments
by Migeru - May 78 comments
by marco - May 782 comments
by Migeru - May 6100 comments
by Ted Welch - May 35 comments
by afew - May 340 comments
by ceebs - May 26 comments
by gmoke - Apr 301 comment
by Frank Schnittger - Apr 3067 comments
by joelado - Apr 2954 comments
by Metatone - Apr 2854 comments
by ATinNM - Apr 275 comments
by ceebs - Apr 265 comments
by Frank Schnittger - Apr 2686 comments
by In Wales - Apr 2136 comments