Probably not, no

The question being posed by events is whether there is enough of a sense of kinship among EU citizens for national governments to back the most radical of the burden-sharing plans proposed to rebuild the eurozone economy as one.

European has not much more emotional resonance as a self-description than “earthling” does.

We’re back with Adam Smith and the I bruise my finger and think it as, if not more, important than hundreds of millions of Chinee dying from some plague or pestilence. Somewhere between “me” and “everyone” my willingness to sacrifice for the sake of others vanishes. It also diminishes all along the spectrum towards that zero point. Me, children (possibly, for one’s own, reverse those two), family, clan, tribe, nation, etc.

Maybe that’s not the way it should be but that’s the way it is. And “fellow citizen of the European Union” as a motivator for sacrifice doesn’t really carry much weight.

Therefore, no.

35 thoughts on “Probably not, no”

  1. The core assumption of the EU federasts is that you are wrong here Tim. But of course you are right. No European demos exists. Nation states do. It’s why the Euro is such a fucking engine of destruction. Italy is the schwerpunkt for this dynamic. Their debt trap is only escapable through return of the Lira and a sensible exchange rate vs Germany. I’m buying popcorn and a comfy sofa to observe things play out in Euroland. Enjoy!

  2. Ah come on! This is the EU you’re talking about. It’s citizens have little say in the matter. It’s whether its political classes can be brought along side. If they can, it’ll be done by stealth & obscurity & only become apparent when it’s a fait accompli

  3. Same applies to a Bloke in Mannheim when a Bloke in Berlin loses his job*.

    The reason Corona doesn’t require eurobonds or similar stuff, beyond perhaps tinkering at the edges and calling it charity, has everything to do with solidarity. Every country is more or less equally fucked. Countries that spaffed away massive amounts of their citizens’ grandchildrens’ dosh already (almost all of them) in the good times, that’s their tough.

    *: It would be newsworthy if a Bloke in Berlin ever had a job in the first place…

  4. I seems to me that the creeping accretion of bureaucratic power in the EU has been an exercise in frog boiling(*), but that recent events have woken many of the frogs up and they’re all going “it’s too hot in here, this isn’t what we wanted”.

    (*) As opposed to Frog boiling, a traditional English sport.

  5. “Same applies to a Bloke in Mannheim when a Bloke in Berlin loses his job*.”

    Really? So there’s no sense of us in Germany, no national loyalty? Because if there’s no sense of us in Germany, the nation-state of Germany is hollow, a mere façade.

  6. What Patrick said,

    And I doubt they’ll ever be a European “demos” because our connections in terms of things like trade and culture are not so geographically bound now. I’ll bet more people work with Mr Park in Korea than Stavros in Greece. The buy more Korean products than Greece and listen to more Korean than Greek pop.

  7. Ah come on! This is the EU you’re talking about. It’s citizens have little say in the matter.

    But BiS, Violet Elizabeth Newmania keeps telling us that this is a good thing. However, when British citizens have had their say and rejected the EU and all its institutions this is bad and we’re all racist for doing so.

  8. For the political classes it’s just consolidation of their power. If you asked EU fanatics/useful idiots however they would claim a “european kinship” (see the kinds of people who raise EU flags when they wouldn’t dare raise a UK one). Though, despite what they say, this appears more about deification of an EU government rather than true kinship with those on the other side of the continent

  9. The Meissen Bison

    Großer/Theo – yes, there’s a sense of ‘us’ – that’s precisely why Germany doesn’t want to bail out Italy and Spain.

  10. “Europe has to come up with an answer,” the Italian prime minister, Giuseppe Conte, demanded.

    What an absolute Conte. Can they give him the Benito Special?

  11. BiG

    Countries that spaffed away massive amounts of their citizens’ grandchildrens’ dosh already (almost all of them) in the good times, that’s their tough.

    That only one side of the equation – mainly Southern European countries did just that, but the Euro has given a big advantage to especially the German economy. And when the previous bailouts happened, they bailed out the Northern European banks that had lent to the south to buy Northern stuff. The actual peoples of those countries could get stuffed.

  12. ” Really? So there’s no sense of us in Germany, no national loyalty? ”

    When I lived in Munich they certainly had a lot of pride in the place – but that was Freistaat Bayern.

    The average Bavarian probably has more in common with Austrians than Prussians.

  13. I wonder about that. Of course,for the most part we only care about ourselves, but in that any imagined community exists at all, it is hardly Great Britain. The name that was quite recently coined in much the same spirit as the ‘West Mercia’ Police Force and suited the Scots only as long as it was profitable .Few people have any feeling about Britain now.
    England is more the focus of tribal loyalty and the new”Englerlish” who always regarded Britain as Greater England note with satisfaction that the phrase Black English sits a great deal more awkwardly than black British. Closet racists and fruitcakes aside,though England, is a rather Liberal place and much of it decidedly cosmopolitan.Its birth was precisely in an adherence to greater European culture passed through Christianity to the Saxons ..thats why Alfred went to Rome ( fucking traitor …)
    In the end an England was locked into its wider identity by the Norman Conquest as a consequence of which a language grew with so much French Latin and divergence from German it is barely recognisable from its source
    Chaucer wrote in the French style Arthur was invented by French Medieval writers ..I could go on .
    My feeling is that a European identity was so deep and so embedded that only when the far right decided they wished to cut us of from our past did was a sense of being European reborn. Without Dutch Painters German Romantic,and religious, enthusiasm what are we ?
    Who are we ?

  14. ” Really? So there’s no sense of us in Germany, no national loyalty? ”
    It’s necessary to understand a little German history. Germany as a nation, doesn’t come into existence until 1871. It’s comprised of several german speaking states. So the sense of “üs” in Germany is more a matter of being German than being a German national. They are different things. After all, there were two Germanys from 1945 until reunification. Two nations, but both comprised of Germans.

  15. On the drugs again, Newmy? Very difficult to interpret your ravings and historically inaccuaracies. I could go on…but I won’t. You must spend too much time watching the BBC. We all know that you are the archetypal Little Englander. You seem unaware of the deep divisions in many European nations. That deep sense of European identity is presumably why Prussia was repeatedly invading its close neighbours – including France 3 times in 70 years. It is presumably why Napoleon found it so easy to establish his empire and why the Balkans are always on the point of declaring war with each other

  16. ” Without Dutch Painters German Romantic,and religious, enthusiasm what are we ?
    Who are we ?”
    Definitely not German, Dutch, French or Italian.

  17. I think we had quite enough German enthusiasm in the 20th century to last us a very long time………Europe is a lot safer place when the Germans are downright depressed and can’t be arsed to get out of bed.

  18. BiS

    there were two Germanys from 1945 until reunification

    Take your wider, correct, point, but there were actually three German nations: you missed out Austria.

  19. The average Bavarian probably has more in common with Austrians than Prussians.

    Historically this is probably true. The Main was for centuries a dividing line between southern German and northern German culture and politics. The history of ‘Germany’ is really quite complicated and fractured.

  20. Anyway, the media slated our government for “taking too long” to come up with a package five weeks ago, but seems content and happy with the EU lethargy. I saw no mention of dissatisfaction in the BBC report, for example, only lots of quotes about “European solidarity” and other such balls.

  21. Was there any more fellow-feeling when it was Christendom?

    I suppose the Pope ended that when he flounced out from the rest of Christendom in 1054.

  22. The average Bavarian probably has more in common with Austrians than Prussians.

    As that great Prussian, Prince Otto Eduard Leopold von Bismarck, Duke of Lauenburg, observed:
    A strange fellow, your Bavarian – halfway between an Austrian and a human being.

  23. @Recusant
    “but there were actually three German nations: you missed out Austria.”

    I particularly avoided going down that route, because there’s four not three. Liechtenstein. Then there’s the Germans in countries generally aren’t german speaking. I have a friend who travels on a Russian passport. She’s a member of Russia’s German community. She speaks fluent German as well as Russian & regards herself as culturally German. There’s similar communities in S. America. Then there’s the Pennsylvania Dutch & Schweizerdeutsch

  24. Neumonia: “.Its birth was precisely in an adherence to greater European culture passed through Christianity to the Saxons .”

    That’s not “European” culture, but late Roman culture. And if you really look into the Byzantine Empire and its antics, not the best bits of it…

  25. Bloke in North Dorset

    Historically this is probably true. The Main was for centuries a dividing line between southern German and northern German culture and politics. The history of ‘Germany’ is really quite complicated and fractured.

    In The Shortest History of Germany, James Hawes reckons the biggest differences are either side of the Elbe. He quotes Christopher Clarke:

    Chancellors – or even a Kaiser – who attempted to tamper wit the special entitlements of the rural sector risked vociferous and well-coordinated opposition…. the three-tiered system accentuated the divide between east and west, widening the emotional distance between the politically progressive industrial, commercialised, urban and substantially Catholic west and the “Asiatic steppe” of Prussian East Elbia.

    Iron kindoom pp561-563

    HE refers to east and west Elbia quite a lot.

    He provides a table of the major differences on page 129/130.

    Interestingly, when all those regions were brought together nationalism was positively encouraged and seen as progressive by the international community. That didn’t work out well.

    I recommend James Hawes book, its well written and by necessity a very high level overview, starting with the Romans and ending with the EU is rather a lot of history to get in to 227 pages. And he really is scathing about Prussia and Prussians.

  26. Arthur was not invented by the French
    Arthurian legend was romanticised by the French medieval writers (who added Lancelot) but pre-existed that version even if it is now the most well known

  27. Pointless counterfactual of the day.

    Would Bavaria have been better off if it had become part of Switzerland rather than Germany?

    Not an entirely ridiculous question, as the possibility of Bavaria seceding Germany and potentially merging with Switzerland was politically active, albeit fringe, well into the twentieth century – see eg https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alemannic_separatism

    (Also worth pointing out that what’s now Bavaria and Austria were, at various points in history, politically united eg during the https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duchy_of_Bavaria in the early medieval period.)

  28. @BiS
    Don’t forget also the SudentenDeutsche. It’s not something that many have heard about outside of southern Germany but it’s very much still a thing.
    Just like when I was growing up in Eire and there were still plenty of nationalistic old boyos with connections to the Provos agitating for a United Ireland, there are still some in Germany chafing to reclaim lands lost after the war(s).

  29. Wasn’t it that well known Frenchman Geoffrey of Monmouth who first wrote down the existing folk legends of Arthur? Mind you, Newmy probably thinks Monmouth is in France

  30. Europe shares a culture, but like “Chinese” food that hides deep divisions.

    For accidental reasons Canaletto is big in Britain. But he’s unimportant even in France. Most educated English recognise Goya or Velasquez, but aren’t interested in it — that’s for Spaniards. A El Greco show in Birmingham would pull trivial numbers compared to Constable.

    Football and pop music are about the only shared cultural bases. But even then the type of music your average German likes compared to the type your average Pole likes is quite different.

  31. Any thoughts on EU negotiator might be hoping to call UK’s bluff on an extension to Brexit over CV.
    An extension would come with a bill and they would no doubt want to get a share of pandemic relief costs from the U.K., surprised they aren’t sniffing around asking for more money as it is.

  32. Answer: No kinship among EU citizens

    https://www.breitbart.com/europe/
    – 40 Per Cent of Italians Want to Leave The Euro and the European Union

    40% is not a majority, but it sure is a huge number of ‘rebels’

    Do look/read at other headlines on link, it shows BBC etc ‘Bias by omission’

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