Random thoughts and insights – always shaken, never stirred

More on European Democracy

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Extending the meme we noted from Paul Johnson below, Janet Daley writes in the Daily Telegraph. To Johnson she adds the insight that the Europeans tried it and found it wanting:

Europe has pretty much given up on the whole undertaking now: we tried it and it ended in the Terror. We went through our phase of proselytising democratic revolution with Bonaparte and look where that ended. Spreading freedom? All that amounts to is killing off one generation of autocrats and replacing them with another. Trust the people? They are just as likely to follow a fascist demagogue as to perpetuate the sacred principle of justice.

Better to make your cynical peace with the worst aspects of human nature than to pretend that free men will always choose good over evil. Much better to make a mutually profitable trade-off behind the scenes than to expose political decisions to the popular will. What evidence is there that the people actually know what is best for them? Most charitably, the European philosophy of government – shortly to be permanently installed under the EU constitution – is paternalistic. At worst, it is arrogant and authoritarian.

But whatever it is, it no longer has a belief in real democracy of the kind that Americans recognise – government of the people, by the people and for the people – at its heart.

One might also add that the fallout from the failures of those experiments – a truly shocking amount of war and bloodshed – has sapped whatever vitality the Europeans might once have had, and the rest got on a boat and emigrated to the United States. But one look at the Netherlands will remind us that there is a people waiting to take over.

Written by martinipundit

February 23, 2005 at 9:00 am

Posted in Eurofollies

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