On 22 December 1944, the American general Anthony Clement McAuliffe (1898-1975) had enough of one word to teach the powerful German enemy, who had surrounded his troops in Bastogne, a lesson at the request for surrender: Nuts. The general assumed his own strength, confidence in the Allied (American-English) army and especially his troops. And he was right about his own strength, confidence in his own capacities and the resilience of his troops. The general also understood the German bluff and the nature of the last German offensive: despair. He knew that the Ardennes offensive (december 1944) was a (last) ditch of a ruthless opponent, who wanted to unite the European continent under a barbaric leadership. Winston Churchill (1874-1965) had recognized this as one of the few politicians in Europe in the May days of 1940 and years before. Even when the last layer of civilization of Nazi-Germany had disappeared from the surface after September 1939 and May 1940, British ministers still wanted to make a ‘deal’. In the film The Darkest Hour (2017) Churchill shouts desperately to his ministers: didn’t you learn at all ?
In other times under different circumstances in a different political context, the facts seem to repeat themselves. At the end of the 1950s, more than a decade after American, Canadian and British troops had liberated Western Europe and protected this area from communist aggression by NATO, the forerunner of the present European Union was founded. Until 1989, this de facto intergovernmental organisation, with a limited number of members, was a rather anonymous bureaucratic organisation. The greatest growth in prosperity ever in the western world took place under the military umbrella, economic concept and financial aid of America (France had withdrawn from NATO because it could not play the first violin) and with America as the driver of economic growth, everywhere in the west and not only in the few EU countries. The eastern part of Europe, however, suffered by a new dictatorship (supported by too many ‘intellectuals’ in Western Europe) and became increasingly disrupted economically, morally, politically and socially.
The fall of the Wall in 1989, due to NATO, America (and the Pope) and despite too many in the West who filled streets and squares to demonstrate against America and Nato. All dissidents, including Václav Hável (1936-2011), were in favour of the installation of cruise missiles (1983) and an uncompromising stand against communism in the seventies and eighties of the last century. They despised the politicians, ‘intellectuals’, artists and journalists in the West, who preached the revolution from their comfortable office chairs and under American protection. In any case, the EU did not play any part in the fall of the wall; on the contrary, France sabotaged NATO and had the largest communist party, and in Italy this party was dominant and anti-Americanism was omnipresent.
The fall of the Wall led not only to euphoria in East and West, but also to overconfidence of the EU and an underestimation of the destruction of civil society in the Eastern Bloc. ´Maastricht´, the euro, unbridled enlargement of the EU, wide open borders and so-called one foreign- and energy policies came about from this overconfidence, wishful thinking and political opportunism of self-proclaimed Great Europeans. The results were and are catastrophic. France is burning, Greece has been destroyed, Italy is on the brink of collapse, corruption and organized crime flourish in borderless Europe without adequate control mechanisms and cheap labour replaces the relatively expensive plumbers, who have to fulfil numerous expensive quality standards in their own country. The well paid bureaucrats, lawyers, journalists and politicians have nothing to fear from these newcomers however, not in the housing market and not for their jobs.
Only a few will doubte the use and necessity of the EU. That is the reason why British people voted in favour of accession in the seventies and euroscepticism was almost absent, until the fatal ‘Maastricht Treaty’ and its subsequent successors. Despite the solemn promises of the Great Europeans that no enlargement would take place without a fundamental reform of the EU, in 2004, without any relevant reform, ten extremely rickety (Eastern Bloc) countries joined the EU (and some even the eurozone). This unreformed EU has an army of overpaid ‘ministers’ and privileged eurocrats, overstaffed institutions, useless embassies, information offices, a wandering parliament, which is neither representative, nor European, nor a parliament, a subsidy system (75 % EU-budget), ECB, which manipulates the exchange rate of the euro, keeps the interest rate at 0%, in violation of all monetary laws and euro rules and finances countries (The City and Goldman Sachs).
However, the Great Europeans do not tolerate other opinions, let alone democracy and referendums (the new oligarchy in Holland even abolished the referendum because the citizens said ‘No’ to this EU in 2005). Reforms of the EU are no longer discussed, only further concessions to debtors and law breakers. This EU is busy with hamonisation, integration, states aid, protectionism, the transfer union, ever more eurocrats and (agricultural) subsidies, but not with innovation, productivity and competitiveness
The Brexiteers have put it very well after amost 30 years Verelendung since ‘Maastriçht’: reform the EU or take back control. Based on the false romanticism of an EU that makes studying throughout Europe possible, where this has been a fact since the Middle Ages (why is the Council of Europe not involved anymore instead of the highly political EU, which prevents, for example, Swiss students from studying in other EU-countries), myths (EU as ‘peacemaker’ or ‘peacekeeper’, which peace (s)?, just wars (Balkan, Ukraine or no solutions (Cyprus, Kosovo, currently Lybia), EU as an economic growth miracle (not the EU, but America was the driving force in the 1960s), customs unions/free-trade agreements also exist since the centuries-long Hanseatic period, innovation, industrialisation, export and trade are not European creations, but age-old concepts of often very small and highly successful political entities instead of the permanent bankrupt big French, Habsburg or Spanish monarchies, the model of the EU.
The law of diminishing returns also applies to the ever-expanding EU, in fact a merger of 27 (28) completely different cultures, languages, economies, political, fiscal, social, financial systems with an isolated political head in Brussels, a (politically) corrupt Court of Justice in Luxembourg (who are these judges, how are they appointed ?) and ECB, which acts illegally (they call it ‘unconventional’) . This megalomaniac EU only knows the way forward, is not capable of self-reflection and recognition of its own weaknesses, let alone reforms.
There is only one answer: Nuts. In ten years’ time, the United Kingdom will regret not daring to take this step now and being intimidated by a ruthless but vulnerable, overconfident and weak EU, a doomed merger and a new ill fated attempt to unite Europe, this time under German-French rule. The United Kingdom cannot be half pregnant. The Brexit may be a difficult delivery in the short term, but in a few years it will be a joyful experience and literally Renaissance. In the fields of innovation, export, global trade, scientific cooperation, study, travel, immigration policy, the United Kingdom will continue to lead the way by self-determination, decentralisation, self-respect, rule of law and democracy (contradictiones in terminis at EU-level), the sine qua non of the economy, good governance, prosperity and each civil society in the long run. The Brexit may even cause the reform of this doomed EU. Sweet dreams ?