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Europeanism is born

In all the years I have been reading old editions of the The Times I have never come across anyone advocating a European Union. Until the other day, that is.

The Times 31 January 1914 p6

The Times 31 January 1914 p6


Annoyingly they are not entirely wrong:

If armaments could be greatly reduced, the savings effected would provide an abundance of liquid money to the great advantage of the people. Funds for industrial and commercial purposes would become plentiful.

Unless you piss it up the wall on a welfare state, that is. And on some things they are really on the money:

The nations of Europe and European civilisation itself threaten to break down under the military burdens. The people are groaning and muttering. Dissatisfaction is spreading apace. The tension is rapidly approaching breaking point.

The solution is a familiar one:

It is obvious that, if we wish to abolish war and the ruinously expensive preparations for war, we must deal with the fundamental cause of war. We must, therefore, above all, endeavour to abolish the disunion existing among the Great Powers and replace it by harmony and by a firm and lasting union.

I couldn’t help notice that then as today they seem to be extremely well-funded. I wonder how much a page in the The Times of 1914 compares with four pages in The Independent of today?

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12 comments to Europeanism is born

  • Runcie Balspune

    Just because you’re xenophobic doesn’t mean foreigners are not out to screw you.

  • It is obvious that, if we wish to abolish war and the ruinously expensive preparations for war, we must deal with the fundamental cause of war. We must, therefore, above all, endeavour to abolish the disunion existing among the Great Powers and replace it by harmony and by a firm and lasting union.

    But that, of course, is not the real cause of war.

  • RAB

    Well at least they were honest open and upfront about their intentions and open to discussion about them, but that’s not the way the European Union evolved, is it?

    http://www.spectator.co.uk/features/9130562/how-the-first-world-war-inspired-the-eu/

  • rfichoke

    James 4:1:

    From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?

    Corrupt human nature is the cause of war, and no league or government can fix it.

  • Paul Marks

    Even Kant (the liberal side of German thought) favoured world government – not just European government. and it has always had supporters in the English speaking world also. It always starts at “it will prevent war” – but such Grand Projects never stop there.

    As for the idea that unity will promote peace – only the peace of the dead, the “peace” of tyranny.

    Not just the Civil Wars of the Roman Empire – but the every greater statism (taxes and regulations) that lack of EXIT from a polity mean (if it gets harder and harder to leave – so the restraints on the state come off). The slow grinding of economic and cultural decline.

    European unification? I am a dark hearted reactionary – I am against Italian and German unification (with all the increases in taxes and regulations that events inevitably led to).

    As for peace in Western Europe – give your thanks to the United State military (and the CIA) after World War II. they are what held the Soviets back (not the EEC – founded in 1957).

    Sadly even the American Union (the great Constitutional experiment with limited government) has been corrupted – more and more it has turned into a force for ill, not for good.

    And beware “functionalists” – those who try and create international GOVERNMENT “cooperation” rather than a formal “Federation”.

    The “international cooperation” of the “international community” is a dagger pointed at the heart of what is left of freedom.

  • chuck

    Peace would have been best served if Bismarck had failed at German unification. Given that unfortunate circumstance, it would have been best if WWI had continued into the spring of 1919 with the annihilation of the German Army and a thorough breaking up of the Second Reich into its constituent states. Now that y’all are drowning in the molasses of the European super state, perhaps the best you can do is try to make rum. It will dull the pain.

  • Mr Ed

    I am against Italian and German unification

    In Venice yesterday, I saw a poster with the following written on it, in English.

    Veneto is not Italy’

    Freiheit fortlebt in deinem Herzen. ‘Freedom lives on in their hearts.’

  • Mr Ed

    The author of that piece was a German and statist, donating an island in the Thames to Richmond and getting a law passed to preserve a view. Just another busybody who knows what is good for others, there were plenty more around, but with less patience.

    He was born in Stettin, a city since renamed, to which now would achieve a good score in Scrabble.

  • William T Reeves

    Private monopolies are bad. A monopoly government is far worse. What we need is a robust market in governance so that competition keeps everyone in line.

  • affenkopf

    Peace would have been best served by Germany winning the war.

  • Peace would have been best served by Germany winning the war.

    This is true but does beg the question… is ‘peace’ under a mass murderous German tyranny preferable to less tyranny after a war. The best solution really would have been the permanent partition of Germany in 1919 into three or four states right after hanging the Kaiser and the entire German General Staff.

  • Mr Ed

    after hanging the Kaiser and the entire German General Staff.

    I seem to recall reading that in Berlin, decapitation by axe was the ‘traditional’ method rather than hanging, which I believe was a Saxon tradition that came over to England with them.

    I think I would have preferred to do in Berlin as the Berliners did, after all, one wouldn’t want to impose too much on a malevolent foe.