The Euro Crisis and the Return of Culture
July 9, 2015 9 Comments
At least so far, however, The End of History has collided with history. Much of the Islamic world has not gotten the message. To be sure, the fall of the Soviet Union has led to many ex-communist states with an admirable commitment to law and the kind of economics that gains long-term prosperity. But there remains Russia, where democracy seems incapable of sustaining a loyal opposition, the state looms as leviathan, and the economy has large elements of a kleptocracy. Readers of Russian history should not be surprised. Richard Pipes has long argued that since the 15th century, Russian culture has been marked by disdain for rights of property and an enthusiasm for a patrimonial regime with little separation between state and economic and civic society.
But nothing better represents the failure of Fukuyama’s thesis than plight of Euro and the Greek crisis. The Euro was the monetary representation of history’s end in the birthplace of the West. Created by no single state, it was thought to advance markets by reducing commercial frictions in the most cosmopolitan part of the world. It was also part of a larger political project of deepening the union of European states.
True enough, I think, the cultural divides are pretty high between say Norway, Spain, and Greece aren’t they? It’s more than the weather, we’ve all been shaped by our history.
Writing in National Review, John Fund also has some thoughts.
Today’s referendum doesn’t have winners and losers,” claimed Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipris. That’s absurd. I can name one clear loser.
It should now be obvious to the Eurocrats in Brussels that their grand project of an increasingly centralized and integrated European super-state will be rejected every time that ordinary people are somehow given a chance to vote on it. If they represented a normal national government, the Eurocrats would resign in shame and embarrassment.
The Dutch, French, and Irish all voted against European super-state treaties, although the Irish were bribed into voting a second time and eking out a yes. The Danes, Swiss, and Norwegians all voted to not join the European Union. Now the Greek people, although many of them profess that they still want to be part of the EU, have effectively blown up any chance they can continue using the euro, the linchpin of the EU’s monetary policy.
It strikes me that Europe just contains too many different ethos, ethics, and desires for one overall government to contain them, unless of course, it is so powerless to be meaningless. That is not what the EU looks like to me. It looks like an unelected élite that wants to institutionalize the worst of everyone into a government that will not satisfy anyone at all.
The Greek situation has no real solution, that will be acceptable to both the Greeks and the anybody else. That’s because Margaret Thatcher, diagnosed the problem long ago. Yes, it applies to all of Europe (and the United States as well).
The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money