Debt Rattle May 16 2014: Europe Imitates The Fall Of The Roman Empire

By The Automatic Earth

Harris & Ewing Sandwich vendor, Washington DC 1919
In essence, it’s really simple. We’ve seen over the last few days that the European Union is a federation of sovereign countries whose leadership has been found painfully – if not criminally – lacking in democratic principles, and several leaders of member states have been accomplices, on more than one occasion, in assaults on elected fellow leaders. That should say enough, and there is no doubt that down the line it will. It’s now a question of how do we get here from there, of how will Brussels be dismantled.

First, there was a passage from Tim Geithner’s new book. Then, there was a 3-part series ‘How The Euro Was Saved’ by Peter Spiegel for the Financial Times. Together, they deliver the following storyline: EU leaders refused to let Greece have a referendum on its bail-out, and toppled PM Papandreou to kill it. Then, afraid that Italian PM Berlusconi would make good on his threat to return to the lira if they stuck to their bail-out conditions, they toppled him. What this means to Europeans is that if they elect a government for their country, and it subsequently falls out of favor with Brussels, they can expect to see it overthrown, and likely have it replaced by a technocrat handpicked by the EU leadership (as happened in Greece and Italy). Ergo: Europe is not a democracy, and pretending otherwise is foolish. Democratic elections in member states are merely empty lip service exercises, because on important topics governments of member states have no say.

The EU leaders have been Brussels stalwarts for ages, and they’ll do anything they can to preserve their jobs and their status. Anything, in this case, includes overthrowing elected governments. The excuse for such behavior is that the EU and the euro MUST survive. The problem with that is that both only CAN survive if and when democratic rules are obeyed by all parties involved. Apparently, they are not. And that means it’s time to close the doors, and perhaps take legal action against those responsible for the coups in Athens and Rome. Don’t hold your breath for that to happen. And don’t think it won’t cause a bitter fight. The stalwarts are delusional and megalomaniacal enough to think that the end justifies the means, and that to hold together their idea of what Europe should be, which happens to be tied to their own cushy jobs and political power, they were right to execute the two coup d’états (three if you count Ukraine, but that’s another story).

The main candidates to be appointed head of the European Commission, a decision linked to next week’s European Parliament elections are Jean-Claude Juncker (center-right), a former Luxembourg PM, Martin Schulz (left), current chairman of the parliament, and Guy Verhofstadt (center), former Belgium PM. That’s basically all the flavors there are, and they all taste suspiciously equal. As I wrote yesterday, anyone who’s not happy with the direction Europe is taking – of more Europe, more Brussels all the time – has nowhere to go but fringe parties, mostly on the far right. Beppe Grillo’s Italian M5S movement is the only exception to that rule that I know of. Grillo wants an Italian referendum on EU and eurozone membership. Well, “they” don’t like referendums, as we know.

In a first debate late April between the 3 main candidates – they did throw in an obsolete Green “leader” for good measure -, when they were asked about the rise of Eurosceptic and extremist parties across Europe, Schulz said: “The tendency is European citizens not taking these elections seriously. If they don’t take this seriously we’re going to get more of these people in the parliament. For me as a German it is unacceptable that a nazi party would sit in the next parliament”. He then referenced ‘the ghost of Adolf Hitler’. If you follow the line of thinking here, it suggests that anyone skeptical of what happens in Brussels is automatically painted in a shade of fascism.

The three candidates represent the full spectrum of European politics: right, center, left. Those are your choices, the rest are suspect, if not outright nazi’s. Everyone you can vote for who can make an actual difference, or an actual decision for that matter, is pro-Brussels. And if you are not, you will have to vote for some fringe party, or stay home. But if you vote fringe, you’re labeled bordering-on-fascist. It’s eerily similar to Washington, where two parties, not even three, hold all the power and will continue to do so because they receive all the money.

It no longer matters, or means anything, that EU leaders or pro-EU leaders of member states will continue to claim that what goes on in Brussels is a democratic process, as they point to the elections. We now know those elections are but a curtain behind which anyone who doesn’t agree with the party line can count on being sacrificed for the greater good.

This is not to say that the original idea behind the EU was all that bad, or that not one single decision made in Brussels has been beneficial, but things went wrong along the way, the leadership overstepped their mandate in ways that can’t tolerate daylight. Replacing them, which will be hard enough to begin with as they’ve become so entrenched in their revolving door positions, wouldn’t do much good either: there’s a climate that has allowed for their actions, in what Ambrose Evans-Pritchard calls a ‘monetary dictatorship’, that will still be there. Brussels has turned into Rome in its last days -and so has Washington-. Megalomania and moral corruption lead to moral bankruptcy which leads to overall bankruptcy. It took a long time, and a lot of blood, to dissolve Rome. It would be in every European’s interest if it didn’t take that long to sweep the streets of Brussels clean. But it won’t be achieved through elections. For that, you’d need a democracy.

Oh, and large parts of Europe have hardly any fossil fuels left – except for coal in some cases, but there seems to be a problem with that ;-) -. One year of oil and gas left for Italy and France, five for Britain. It’s just like the Romans running out of resources. Brussels might want to give that some thought while they’re busy scheming for power. Or are they already planning to topple Putin next? We should almost hope so. They’d be run out of Dodge impaled on baguettes and wieners. The EU is a nice idea that’s run completely out of hand and out of control, even more than the US, and that’s saying something.

The first member state to leave the eurozone wins. Guaranteed. And one WILL be the first, that’s guaranteed too. Be your own boss, things will be hard enough going forward no matter what you do. Why would anyone want the incessant threat of a coup in their country hanging over their heads, every time they choose leaders who don’t toe Europe’s ‘official’ line? Why bother? Brussels makes you richer, you say? Even if that were true, which is highly doubtful, look at the price you’re paying to feel richer.

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