Heidi Moore on the eurozone

Built on the idea of unifying Europe to end its wars and ensure economic prosperity, the eurozone was born in 1993,

Eh?

Before the euro, European states related to each other through wars and treaties, with the occasional intervention of the Vatican to provide religious unity until the Protestant Reformation. The European Union is the first arrangement since World War II that has broken Europe’s rinse-repeat pattern of wars and treaties.

Whut?

The Nobel Committee tamped down the talk of exits with the Prize. Its purpose was to remind the continent of the finest and best moments of its currency union: the long warless stretch in Europe, the steady end of genocides and tribal hatreds, the rise of democratically elected governments to keep tyrants and dictators at bay at last.

Blimey.

“In this time of economic and social unrest, the Norwegian Nobel Committee wished to reward the EU’s successful struggle for peace, reconciliation and for democracy and human rights,” the Committee wrote pointedly.

The Nobel Committee stepped into the fray of squabbling countries, each drawing back their fangs to protect their national borders as they had done for centuries, and quieted their threats of divorce.

Their premise: that the mere prestige of being in the euro had saved human lives. That democracy was worth protecting.

Umm….

I have previously speculated on whether Ms. Moore’s appearance at Mashable was because her economic journalism was not up to the high standards expected at The Guardian. I have recently learned the answer.

Yes.

48 thoughts on “Heidi Moore on the eurozone”

  1. So Much for Subtlety

    Before the euro, European states related to each other through wars and treaties, with the occasional intervention of the Vatican to provide religious unity until the Protestant Reformation.

    So she is saying that the EU is like the Catholic Church? Great. When do we get to burn people we don’t like?

    Personally I would have thought the presence of the US Army and a lot of nuclear weapons had more to do with it. But what do I know? I am not a Right-On journalist.

  2. “The steady end of genocides and tribal hatreds…”

    What, starting in 1993? I’ve never heard the qualifier “steady” used as a euphemism for “endlessly postponed” before.

  3. So Much for Subtlety

    the long warless stretch in Europe, the steady end of genocides and tribal hatreds

    Apart from the obvious Nazi genocide, when was the last act of genocide in European history? Would you have to go back to Charlemange’s handling of the Saxons?

    Tribal hatreds? I can remember ETA and the PIRA.

  4. The A-bomb is the father of the EU.

    After centuries of scummy European elites playing the game of politics –either in peacetime or using war as the extension of their policy–the A-bomb made them realise those days were over. Previously the elites got the wealth and power and ordinary folk got the ruin and death.
    Atomic war means there are no winners. Yes–if you’re sitting in the state bunker eating tinned peaches you are still a member of the elite–esp if everybody outside the bunker is dead or heading that way fast. But that is not a patch on taking your present mistress to dinner at the Savoy–all on the public purse.

    So the scum decided to join forces and rip off everybody as a team rather than as rivals. Hence the EU.

  5. How much did the EU prevent wars, and how much was it about the mid-century agricultural technology changes that meant that land wasn’t worth going to war over in Europe?

  6. Philip Scott Thomas

    Before the euro, European states related to each other through wars and treaties, with the occasional intervention of the Vatican to provide religious unity until the Protestant Reformation. The European Union is the first arrangement since World War II that has broken Europe’s rinse-repeat pattern of wars and treaties.

    What? Is she conflating the EU and the euro? Really? Or am I missing something?

  7. More to the point, she’s conflating “European Union” with “Europe”.

    If only the Crimea had the Euro.

  8. Jack C

    I think any Europhile (including Moore) should go to Srebrenica and explain how the EU has kept ‘peace in Europe’ to the victims of the Massacre – might require an escort or extensive dental reconstruction work but would be amusing….

  9. Bloke in Germany

    You don’t have to be a complete economic idiot to write for Mashable.

    Merely being a complete idiot is sufficient.

  10. For the last 200 years there have been Hohenzollern/German wars in Europe-not the same as European wars.
    The best guarantee against war is democracy and prosperity, EU hates the first and is destroying the second.
    A unified Europe is not necessarily a peaceful Europe-on this we may consult the Muslims and the Russians-any more than the unification of Germany under the Hohenzollerns made Germany peaceful.
    Another lie from the EU propaganda machine.

  11. Bloke in Germany

    @Van Patten,

    Bosnia isn’t in the EU, which is pretty much a QED, isn’t it. It remains an almost totally fucked up place (by European standards, there is a lot worse out there in the wider world) with serious enmity drawn along “ethnic” lines.

    Oh, and it’s in the euro by proxy.

  12. SMFS

    Albigensian Crusade against the Cathar heresy? 13th C.
    Expulsion of the Moors from Spain in the 15th/16th C. Not a genocide per se.

  13. If the Euro has kept the peace since WW2, what actually kept the peace between 1945 and 1993? You would think that would be the first question which would pop into your head. But I suppose I am a white male imposing patriarchal notions of rationality and clear thinking on her. A microaggression, I expect.

  14. BiG

    I am aware it is not in the EU – it is by any measure ‘in Europe’ which makes the boast that the EU has ‘guaranteed peace in Europe’ technically incorrect and a grotesque insult to the dead at Srebrenica – especially given the EU’s key role in abetting the conflict in Yugoslavia with its support of Milosevic.

    If they said it had guaranteed peace within its borders then fine – the partisans of the EU are rarely vaunted for their accuracy or modesty, though.

  15. Bloke in Germany

    @Van Patten,

    Who has claimed that? The Nobel citation doesn’t claim it, even the idiot Moore isn’t claiming it (at least not within the parts Tim is citing, I can’t bring myself to read any more).

    FWIW, I think the EU is part of that. Not by any means all of it, but part of it. At the very least for not having ever made war on anyone. That alone makes it unique in history among European alliances.

  16. Bloke in Germany said:

    FWIW, I think the EU is part of that. Not by any means all of it, but part of it. At the very least for not having ever made war on anyone. That alone makes it unique in history among European alliances.

    Has the EFTA fought anyone? Not making war is quite easy when you don’t have any armed forces.

  17. From the article Heidi Moore wrote:

    The country has $550 million in its banking system, or roughly 32 euros for each of its 11 million people

    It’s accounting like that that got Greece into this mess! $550 million is about 500 million Euros, which is roughly 45 per person.

  18. Apologies for a third post in a row.

    Heidi Moore wrote:

    If the Greek people reject austerity, they are not alone: Austerity has led to protests in France, Britain and Italy as well.

    All of those countries have complained of Germany’s push for harsh austerity, which they believe is strangling their economies.

    Germany’s push for austerity is strangling the British economy?

  19. Gareth,

    Lefties in the UK complain that the push for austerity, which is, in the Eurozone, German led, is strangling the British economy.

    Given that (with a large pinch of salt because it is nonsense – we haven’t got austerity), it isn’t too far of a leap of lefty illogic to the hypothetical statement you are querying.

    Given Ms Moore’s abysmally low level of knowledge – egregious even by the standards of lefty journalists writing on economics – it is quite possible that she does actually believe that.

  20. So Much for Subtlety

    Johnnydub – “Surely the EU was the dream of arseholes like Jean Monnet back in the 1950’s…”

    Earlier than that. A united Europe was a dream of ar$eholes like the Nazis back in the 1930s and 40s. Admittedly this is a violation of Godwin’s law but it is true.

    A lot of the slogans are still the same too. But at least the Nazis were consistent. They did not like democracy and said so. They said Europe needed to be united to fight the Communists and the Americans.

  21. This puff piece is such utter drivel – all of it.

    Clearly, it was written by an average b grade college kid with all the usual nuanced comprehension Americans possess when making broad reference to European modern history, Geo-politics, and European current affairs.

    But then, why does the Graun allow adolescent ingenues to submit articles on subject matters where the writer is so plainly way out of her depth? Surely, a correspondent aligned to commenting the latest fashion fads on school campus is more Moore?.

    Could it be, something to do with a Socialista readership who are about on a mental level with Ms Moore and thus very in tune with the space cadet editorial at the graun?

  22. Bloke in North Dorset

    “Earlier than that. A united Europe was a dream of ar$eholes like the Nazis back in the 1930s and 40s. Admittedly this is a violation of Godwin’s law but it is true.”

    Napoleon had a go a couple of times as well.

    It’s an example of Kip’s Law, the pro EU always imagine it’s em and their mates who have all the power.

  23. It’s a pity that few these days remember Gibbon’s conclusion to The Decline And Fall Of The Roman Empire, in which he pointed out that the genius of Europe was that it had never been united.

  24. @ Ian B
    It’s over 53 years since I read it so my declining memory may be a consequence of old age but I think the last three volumes were mostly concerned with the Eastern Empire based in Constantinople and that his theme was that the downfall was due to Christianity making the Romans go soft.

  25. Come = it was the introduction of feminism that made you all go soft.
    The USA provided wars but winning them was something else.
    Either Coca cola or robust racism is the way to world domination. So better learn mandarin.

  26. Philip Scott Thomas

    But then, why does the Graun allow adolescent ingenues to submit articles on subject matters where the writer is so plainly way out of her depth?

    I wonder the same about why the Today programme allows Sarah Montague to be part of their regular presenter rota. There is no topic she can’t find a way misunderstand.

    Her standout moment was the occasion, several years ago now, when she failed to distinguish between the immaculate conception of Mary and the virgin birth of Jesus.

  27. So Much for Subtlety

    john77 – “I think the last three volumes were mostly concerned with the Eastern Empire based in Constantinople and that his theme was that the downfall was due to Christianity making the Romans go soft.”

    If Gibbon thought that Christianity made Europeans soft, he is lucky he died before he could see post-Christian Europe.

  28. The Today Programme’s team from hell (now thankfully split up) was Sarah Notaclue and Carolyn Dimm. Just as an interviewee began to say something really interesting, Ms Notaclue comes swooping across them with her braying supercilious voice to try and get them to say what her limited understanding thinks they should be saying.
    Slightly off topic, did Hugh Sykes have some sort of breakdown at one stage? I remember him being upbraided by an interviewee for getting over-excited, and he seemed to disappear from the airwaves for a bit.

  29. “Her standout moment was the occasion, several years ago now, when she failed to distinguish between the immaculate conception of Mary and the virgin birth of Jesus.”

    It rather depends what her error was, doesn’t it?

    It took the RCC nearly 1,900 years to work it out, so shouldn’t you cut the heathens a little slack?

  30. @Jack C
    Neither St Thomas Aquinas nor any other medieval theologians had any difficulty distinguishing between the Immaculate Conception from the Virgin Birth. Otherwise they would scarcely have spent time arguing about whether the Immaculate Conception was true.

  31. “Her standout moment was the occasion, several years ago now, when she failed to distinguish between the immaculate conception of Mary and the virgin birth of Jesus.”

    I was about to say that such bewilderment about procreation suggests a Catholic education, but that would have taught her about both.

  32. I’d always assumed that “Mashable” was an adjunct to “The Daily Mash”… Ms Moore’s recent performances have done little to disabuse me of that.

  33. BIG,

    > Who has claimed that? The Nobel citation doesn’t claim it, even the idiot Moore isn’t claiming it (at least not within the parts Tim is citing, I can’t bring myself to read any more).

    Its purpose was to remind the continent of the finest and best moments of its currency union: the long warless stretch in Europe, the steady end of genocides and tribal hatreds, the rise of democratically elected governments to keep tyrants and dictators at bay at last.

  34. Even when Europe was divided, nations including Greece agreed to forgive Germany’s debt after the Allies defeated Hitler so that the country could rebuild.

    Er, what? Hitler stopped paying for Germany’s Versailles reparations loans because he was Hitler. After the War, negotiations started to restart the payments. Germany finished paying off those loans in 2010.

  35. The idea of a united Europe as we have today begins with Jean Monnet and Arthur Salter working together during the First World War.

    In the interwar period both of them worked for the League of Nations for a while. Monnet came to believe the League was undermined by the right of national vetos. Salter had continued to develop an idea of a United States of Europe and what he came up with is pretty much what we have got today. A body with four limbs – a Commission, Council of ministers, parliament and court.

    The important part being the Commission in being the main and technocratic authority and employing people committed to the cause of a united Europe.

    Squander Two said:

    Er, what? Hitler stopped paying for Germany’s Versailles reparations loans because he was Hitler. After the War, negotiations started to restart the payments. Germany finished paying off those loans in 2010.

    It’s weird this war debt cancellation thing. It’s like national debts being massive after WWII in that it gets wheeled out now as an apparently appropriate tactic. Those things were done when Europe had been ravaged by war. Nations and infrastructure needed rebuilding. If we haven’t had the 6 years of total war first why would the same post-war policies be appropriate? And why only applied to Greece?

  36. Yes, but the point is that Hitler had stopped all payments, so 1953, whilst it may have been a technical reduction in the amount owed on paper, was an increase in actual payments being made. The creditors moved back from receiving nothing from Germany to receiving something from Germany. Moore’s description of the restructuring is bollocks: she’s using it as an analogy to Greece now, but is suggesting that Greece should cease having to repay loans, which is the opposite of what happened to Germany.

    Also, whilst Greece were involved in the negotiations, were they actually a creditor nation? That Wikipedia link says they weren’t.

  37. Bart,
    Apologies, very poor wording on my part. What I meant was that as it took nearly 1,900 years to confirm the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception, you shouldn’t be surprised when there are misunderstandings.

    Btw, I think most non-Catholic, Western Christians would assume that the Immaculate Conception refers to the conception of Jesus. Mary has a very different position in Protestant teaching.

  38. S2,
    During the occupation. Germany forced Greece to “loan” her money.

    In the eyes of some Greeks, they remain a creditor nation for this reason. Reparations are also an open question.

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