Back in the ‘90s, when the EU had ceased to be a mere trade agreement and had become a full-blown oligarchy that would eventually gobble up most of Western and Eastern Europe, my belief was that it had not only been a doomed concept, it had additionally been rushed into being far too quickly. Although, at that time, the governments of Europe were gleefully joining up. I said, “I give it twenty years, tops.”
It was an offhanded remark and, in truth, I was throwing a dart at a board regarding the time period, but twenty years did seem about right to me. And this shouldn’t have been a difficult prophecy. There were three major reasons for its validity.
“Good Fences Make Good Neighbors”
First off, the countries of Europe had perennially been at war with each other since long before gunpowder was invented. Europe is basically tribal and there is simply no way that the mindsets and objectives of, say, the British are going to be the same as, say, the French. If under the EU diktat, British fishermen were then told that they could no longer fish their own waters because Brussels had decided to give British territorial waters to the French so that they could fish, there would be greater cause for enmity between countries than ever before in history. (The quote above from Robert Frost was meant to pertain to individual property owners, but it applies equally to modern-day tribes.)
Sudden Change Breeds Resentment
Second, the rulings from Brussels came in a torrent after its formation. Nearly every country in Europe was shoehorned into fitting in with Union objectives. As a result, whilst some countries gained some advantages, all countries lost the basic freedom that comes with self-determination. Those who objected were threatened that they’d better behave. Those who suggested departing from the union were further threatened that they’d be shut out of EU trade and destroyed economically.
Most people behave like sheep in most situations. That’s a basic trait of mankind, in any culture, in any age. However, sudden change (in either events or public opinion) often sparks revolt. Certainly King George of Britain discovered this when he chose to make up for a wartime monetary shortfall by imposing a stamp tax on his colonies in America. A decade later, the French people, when they heard (falsely) that Queen Marie Antoinette had replied to the shortage of bread amongst her minions, “Let them eat cake,” it served as a jolt to public opinion that would send many Frenchmen over the edge to the point of rebellion.
The elite in Brussels have grossly overplayed their hand, time and time again, by imposing sudden and dramatic change on the countries of Europe, whilst behaving arrogantly, bringing many of Europe’s people to the boiling point.