Thursday, August 16, 2007

Anti democratic argumentation for "Europe"

Recent Encounters at the Economist with commenter Stone Monk.

Stone Monk: “Secondly, regarding the referendum, I really don't see the need for football-watching-Sun-readers to express their "balanced and informed" opinions and turn everything in another example of how wrong Churchill was about democracy.”

Well I take the old fashioned (and no doubt Churchillian) view that if Sun reader’s taxes count then so does their vote. If they are to be disenfranchised surely they should also be exempt from tax? Or is taxation without representation the cry for a brave new European order?

One of wonders of our time has been the enthusiasm and effectiveness of the “Europe project” to treat both sovereignty and democracy as obstacles to building a better Europe. Instead of the messy conflicts and policy shifts of National democracies they offer the panacea of permanent rather than transitory government, consistent rather than changeable policy, with power exercised by an oligarchy of experts rather than by a bunch of unqualified crowd pleasers.

Nor does comprehensive failure seem to dent this faith in government by “experts”. European fisheries policy has converted the abundance of our Northern waters into a vast marine desert. The Common agriculture policy, in a postmodern inversion of the Robin Hood ethos, has robbed both the African poor and the EU taxpayer alike for the benefit of a tiny landed class of parasites.

Of course the beautiful part of being of being an oligarchy with no elections to win is that failures such as these don’t have be either acknowledged or fixed – which is also why these massively destructive policies are still with us.

Democracy, as Churchill would point out, is only superficially chaotic – as an open system it responds to failure and changes policy. When measured by outcomes democracy will always beat an oligarchy precisely because the oligarchy has no feedback loop with which to improve its policies.

Instead of this Churchillian wisdom we are told by EU defenders that if people properly understood their own interests they too would embrace the need for oligarchy. The public’s persistent refusal to accept this truth is clearly a product of their ignorance and a testament to their wilful stupidity.

Nonetheless the continuing affection of the European public for both country and democratic liberty has meant that the European project has had to proceed cautiously by paying lip service to the vulgar competition for power in the open democratic marketplace whilst furtively detaching the hand of the democratic “circus” from its historic grip on the levers of power.

In this enterprise they have been astonishingly successful – elections will still come and go and they will still be full of sound and fury. Politicians will still strut their hour upon the stage but it will all signify nothing because decision making is no longer subject to the outcome of these arcane public festivals. Behind closed doors the important decisions will already have been made, the key policies will already have been decided and the government in power will never change.

Of course the Euro elite would argue that their success is not really astonishing because it simply confirms the truth of their belief that the people really are too stupid to understand what’s going on.

Maybe they’re right?

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