Europe’s Communist Past Haunts Euro-Zone

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It’s an overlooked aspect of the euro-zone debt crisis and Greece’s probable default: the hand that former European communists (now top members of the European Parliament) had in creating the euro-zone’s command-and-control economic system, along with the trappings of a common (and dubious) European culture. Now it’s all coming apart — a calamity that’s threatening the viability of the euro-zone and rattling the global economy.

The quest for a united Europe — one with a common currency (the euro) along with a single flag and anthem — was in retrospect a project for dreamers. And as euro-skeptics have said all along, the dreamers were European elites with autocratic tendencies.

So perhaps it’s not surprising to learn that a number of the elites who constructed a utopian political and economic union for Europe have something in common: communism.

This explains, in part, why headstrong Euro elites recklessly expanded the European Union and, in particular, the euro-zone (comprising the 17 states utilizing a common currency in the 27-member European Union). But in their zeal to achieve their dream, the European Union’s idealists failed to recognize a daunting problem: Countries as different as economically disciplined Germany and corruption-riddled and undisciplined Greece shouldn’t share a common currency under the same economic system — a system with one-size-fits-all interest rates and no chance for currency devaluations. (And if Greece still used the drachma — not the euro — a currency devaluation would be a way out of its economic mess. That option would spare ordinary Greeks the suffering caused by harsh and unrealistic austerity measures imposed by unelected eurocrats.)

Britain’s Nigel Farage, a conservative politician, euro-skeptic and delegate to the European Parliament, has on more than one occasion drawn parallels between Europe’s old communist dreamers and European Union dreamers.

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  • Jim

    Is there any thing unusual about the Mega thinkers and Power Mad Ghouls creating a blundering mess out of every thing they put over on us.

    The people are not the play things of the Political Climbing Narcissists .
    The speaker on the video tape was right. The people must have the say. If the vultures in the high towers of the Gloomy Castle of the EU try to stop a vote then the people must by any means rip the power away from them.

    Read the words of Sun Yet Sen. In the end the people have the right of censorship.
    What ever the people find onerous from the EU the public has the right to veto it.

    What did you think censorship means , stifling free speech maybe.?

  • Chezwick_mac

    The sooner the EU implodes, the better for the people of Europe.

    Vaclav Havel once wrote that "[the individual nation-states] are the patrimony of all humanity." Europeans apparently never got the message.

  • Spinoneone

    Have you ever noticed how the "socialist elites" always spout populist rhetoric while pursuing monarchical/totalitarian rule? They want everyone to be "equal" and have "equal incomes" but always seek power, prestige, and plunder for themselves and their families. Just consider the salary of an EU Member of Parliament versus the income of a mid-level bank manager or a small business owner in France, the Czech Republic, or Germany. They then fall victim to "political correctness" and doing "what feels good or will seem to create what WE believe is good" with no regard whatsoever to the wishes of the people who elected them. Socialism/Communism/Marxism/Kensyianism are all failed economic constructs which will continue to be used to destroy the very brief history of democracy in Europe, oh, and in the U.S. too, for that matter.

  • StephenD

    A concrete block wall couldn't do it so they try it with paper currency. All the communists of te world say "so far, so good." The wrench in the gears are that you can't stop free thihnking people and the people of Greece and soon the balance of this Euro-Union will begin to see the truth. Chezwick is right again, they sooner they see this the better off they'll be. Cut the cancer out before you can't recover from the surgery.

  • mrbean

    According to Booker and North's book, "The Great Deception" the EC is communist.� Who wrote the constitution of EU? No one knows. Members of the EU commission are not elected by the people but appointed. Even the good members complain that they get documents they do not have time to read, do not know who wrote them, and are asked to vote on them. Most of the EC countries will not vote on ratification but only the governments will ratify them. Given to the people it would never pass as shone by France's rejection, the one country no one expected to reject it. The object of the EU according to "The Great Deception" is to get America out of Europe

    • Robert Buchar

      Vladimir Bukovsky explained to me some 6 years ago:
      "Gorbachev perceived both the West and Moscow as converging. It was an idea that was popular with many politicians long ago after the war that one day the big divide between East and West would disappear as a result of convergence. The Soviet model would mellow, would become soft, more tolerant. In other words, it would be, "socialism with a human face," while meanwhile, the West would become socially democratic. Then there would be a convergence which would be a great achievement because there would be no threat of war in Europe and all problems would be solved. It would be almost like a paradise. So that was a concept, a theoretical concept in the 50s. In the middle of the 80s this concept became dominant. The Western left perceived it as a convergence. So this is why the European structure was built so similarly to the Soviet structure. They were supposed to fit each other at one point. Gorbachev was officially calling this project The Common European Home. It was perceived and supported as a convergence by the left. So they were doing it gently. The advantage for Gorbachev, among others, was having access to the unlimited industrial potential of the West, which was a dream in Lenin's time. Apart from that, it would help to sandwich Central European Countries between the European Union and the Soviet Union in such a way that they would be completely controlled".

  • 13Sisters76

    Communists never go away, and have been with us for thousands of years. "Communist" is merely the latest name for those who separate people into the ruling class and the "rest of us". The entitled and superior elites who "just know", better than we do, how to run our lives. After all, if we aren't enriching and empowering our "betters", what good are we?
    Oh yes- they are calling themselves "progressives" these days, aren't they…

  • Flipside

    Excellent article. It would have been better if more names were named, but there is this great Nigel Farage documentary too which shines even through the spooky music and scary world maps:

    • Chiggles

      Who are you and what did you do with Flipside?

      • Flipside

        It’s simple. I support Jacksonian Democracy but not Manifest Destiny. I support Adam’s Federalism and also Henry’s Antifederalism. It was the antifederalists who forced the Bill of Rights into the Constitution. The Eurosceptics fulfill the same role as a bulwark against global Fabianism.

  • Jim

    As the EU grows the central power will grow more remote from people. It will become a remote and arrogant centralized dictatorship with the attitude that the public is just a collection of ants.

  • Ben

    The communist influence on EU realize not only parliament members. The creation of EU have been the act of defense of USSR. It does not express the inner needs of EU members most of whom suffer from past cultural dependance,underdevelopment and democracy weakness.EU bureaucrats are not interested in these problems.

  • Steve

    An excellent essay. Thank you.

  • PacRim Jim

    Europeans respond to every crisis with an "ism".
    Given the failure of communism, socialism, and now socialized capitalism, perhaps it's time to try capitalism [insert laugh here].
    I wonder what in vivo "ism" that Europeans will impose next, and what sacrifice must be made by hoi polloi to satisfy the curiosity of their betters.

  • Rachel Hauge

    I wonder if my iPod Video will be worth as much wonga with the Euro Zone issue?

  • JabbaTheCat

    “[Farage] appears to be one of a handful of members of the European Parliament who has a firm grasp of financial markets and economics.”

    Shame that firmly grasped acumen does not extend to his own business, Farage Limited, which is in the process of being shut down by the Revenue for non payment of taxes…