Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

I'm French and I can tell you that France does exist.

I'm also of Breton roots and how nations die is part of my family lore. My late grandfather told me often enough about the "It is prohibited to spit on the floor and speak Breton" notices in public places and the many whippings he got for opening his mouth in the wrong language when he was a kid. And Brittany is dead.

Anyway, this thread is going off track. My point is not to celebrate nation-states per se or idealise their genesis (which was often repressive) and their histories (bloody enough, thank you very much) but to acknowledge the present situation and to :
  • Recognise the virtues of nations-states as an efficient and proven space for liberal (US sense) democracy and pretty much the only one with a serious track record.
  • Warn that ignoring them is a recipe for disaster in Europe.
Europe's problem is precisely that it doesn't have the coercive tools that were available to, let's say, the Jacobins in France or the Prussians in Germany, to build a nation.

And yet, if we want a democracy in Europe, we have to build a European national identity. Otherwise, we'll remain stuck in situations like the current EU budget catfight or worse.

So how do we get there?

PS: And how the Hell did we get so far down this matter? We were talking corporate taxes to start with, weren't we?
by Francois in Paris on Wed Dec 14th, 2005 at 06:20:08 PM EST
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