Thu Oct 12th, 2006 at 08:44:07 AM EST
(from the diaries --poemless)
In the silly (or possibly delusionally grand) thinking stakes, this idea has to be one of the silliest, or possibly one of the grandest.
It's certainly Orwellian - welcome to Oceania - but is it it really all that insane a suggestion?
The advantages of economic union would be obvious. Ignoring the false rhetoric about sclerotic European economies, the EU and the US together would become the biggest trading bloc in all of history. But that would be just the start of the benefits.
Politically, a lot of the current problems in the US have arisen because the fundies, with their roots in the Deep South, have managed to game the system to become disproportionately influential. With democracy spread across a much wider area, with a much wider range of interest groups, their influence would be diluted back into obscurity. While the EU has issues with Far Right movements of its own, it's difficult to imagine these being ideologically compatible with their equivalents in the US. They might eventually work out a way to coalesce, but within that time it would be possible to build a solid more moderate consensus.
Another advantage is that without a merger, the US and the EU can only head for outright conflict sooner or later. The present political balances aren't sustainable. So far the EU has been happy to roll over and accept US demands, but there are areas of friction and with a more motivated EU parliament it's not hard to imagine that these could grow.
Realistically, China is already flexing its muscles and more advanced plans for conflict with the US and possibly the EU, with both conventional and economic modes, will surely be sitting on a Chinese government hard drive somewhere.
Combining the EU and US is very possibly the only realistic way of containing Chinese ambitions. The US is not in a position to opt for isolationism, and current big-ticket military spending is wasting huge sums on military technology that won't ever be used, designed for a style of war that's already obsolete. Pooling EU and US resources and innovative skills would help immeasurably in creating effective deterrents.
There are other obvious advantages to thinking the unthinkable. Currently it's hard to imagine anyone in the US or the EU taking the idea seriously, and at this stage of the game the plan has 'Ain't gonna happen' all over it.
But union between France and Germany would have been just as unthinkable a couple of generations ago, and the EU in general would never have been considered a plausible idea.
So - what's to lose by raising the suggestion now?