The Nobel Peace Prize loses just a bit more credibility:
"The Norwegian Nobel Committee wishes to focus on what it sees as the EU's most important result: the successful struggle for peace and reconciliation and for democracy and human rights. The stabilizing part played by the EU has helped to transform most of Europe from a continent of war to a continent of peace."
It would have been funnier, though not much less accurate, if the EU had won the Nobel Prize in Economics. Brussels' grasp of peace making is about strong is its understanding of economics. It was two decades ago that the former Yugoslavia collapsed into blood and acrimony, while the newly formed EU squabbled. Peace required not EU but US military and financial intervention.
The EU's farcical approach to Yugoslavia, requiring belated American salvation, was simply the most recent example of what has truly under grid Europe's nearly seven decades of peace. It was American blood and treasure, ably assisted by Britain and Canada, that secured victory over the Nazis and 45 years of peace against the Warsaw Pact. The US nuclear deterrent, so vilified by generations of European peaceniks, ensured that Soviet Russia would not risk fighting another war to capture the other half of the continent.
Victory in the Cold War came not through extensive peace talks, so keenly advocated by the European Progressive Left, but through military build-up and moral resistance. If there were three people that the emerging Eurocracy had no time for in the 1980s it was Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher and John Paul II. Each of these figures, while broadly supportive of the European project, lead careers that implicitly rejected the philosophical premises that under grid the EEC and then the EU.
Reaganism and Thatcherism were predicated on economic liberty and national sovereignty. Reagan's vision in particular placed great store in political decentralization, triggering a growing concern with states rights in American politics. Both held fast to the notion of peace through strength, though admittedly Thatcher's actions did not always live up to her rhetoric on defence spending. John Paul II's moral vision, obviously rooted in Catholic tradition, profoundly rejected the crude materialism that is now rampant through out the European Union and its institutions. Those who truly brought peace to Europe lived and fought by values the EU now mostly rejects.
The centuries of ethnic and national rivalries that bloodied Europe, as they have bloodied virtually every spot on earth, was not ended by the European project. If France and Germany no longer yearn to murder each other's young, that is not because non-entities in Strasbourg and Brussels decreed it so. The EU's presumption of peace, that it and its immediate forerunners the Common Market and EEC secured the peace of the continent, is a fitting delusion.
The core of the Eurocratic mentality is that reality might be regulated and legislated into submission. That a weak economy might, with the right levers pulled and buttons pressed, be turned into a strong one. The same process could be applied to the continent's kaleidoscope of cultures and languages. It was once a common joke in the legal profession that with an "if" here and a "but" there you could put Paris in a bottle. The EU has turned an old joke into a collapsing reality. You cannot suspend the laws of supply and demand, only distort them. You cannot turn a Greek into a German through directive action, you can only weaken both.
Europe today is at peace because it is freer than it has been historically. Nations which generally respect individual rights very rarely war against each other. All the great wars of history have been instigated by great tyrannies with the motives of plunder and power. When the great European tyrannies were overthrown, European peace was the long term consequence. Free trade, the original rationale for the Common Market, interlinked the continent's economies. Unfortunately it also worked as a Trojan Horse, allowing for the creation of a pseudo-democratic transnational welfare and regulatory state. Free trade was the sugar that made the statist medicine go down.
The people of Europe would prefer, if they were ever truly given the option, a Europe of loosely confederated states where trade and travel was easy, but where nations were otherwise left to their own devices. They have not been given that option because the Eurocracy knows the likely result. Instead Brussels must bribe and cajoul those who oppose the European project. Europe is not a continent with millennial worth of history and tradition. The EU has narrowed Europe to mean only itself. So to say that you oppose the EU is to say that you oppose Europe. Louis XIV merely thought he was the state. The Eurocrats think they are the state and the state is Europe. Only transnational bureaucracies can aspire to such megalomania.
In winning the Nobel Peace Prize the European Union joins such illustrious former recipients as Yasser Arafat, Barack Obama, Le Duc Tho, Jimmy Carter and Al Gore. That odd assortment of banality and outright evil seems a fitting place for the Eurocracy. An idea that is somewhere bad and horrible.