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David Frost lecture: Reflections on the revolutions in Europe

Let us go back once again in history, though this time not quote so far as to Charles the Bold. Instead, to the title of my lecture reflections on the Revolutions in Europe.

So in 1790 Edmund Burke, one of my country's great political philosophers, wrote a pamphlet that is justly famous, in the UK in any case called Reflections on the Revolution in France. And my title echoes that tonight. It is not just history, that work is highly relevant today and indeed lots of modern British Conservatives politicians who would consider themselves to be intellectual heirs of Burke.

Tonight I want to give you some reflections on the revolutions, plural, in Europe - because I actually think we are looking at not one revolution but two revolutions, both in governments and simultaneous.

So, the first is the creation of the European Union itself - the greatest revolution in European governance since 1648. A new governmental system overlaid on an old one, purportedly a Europe of nation states, but in reality the paradigm of a new system of transnational collective governance.

The second revolution is of course the reaction to the first - the reappearance on the political scene not just of national feeling but also of the wish for national decision-making and the revival of the nation state. Brexit is the most obvious example for that, but who can deny that we see something a bit like it in different forms across the whole Continent of Europe?

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sun Dec 19th, 2021 at 11:56:32 AM EST

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