Thursday, July 14, 2011

Mark Steyn gets you thinking

Here is a link to a Mark Steyn column from 10 years ago on the Euro. Inside, this:

"In the normal course of events, monetary union follows political union, as it did in the US, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, and so on. In this instance, uniquely, monetary union is in itself an act of political binding. What's important on Tuesday is not the introduction of the new currency but the abolition of the old ones - not the symbolic bridges on the back of the new notes, but the burning of the bridges represented by the discarded currencies."

The European method has been to put constructivist theory into practice. Academics have long pushed the view that our words and symbols shape and determine reality. This is the doctrine that drives so much of the politically correct obsession with using just the right words to describe matters touching on the interests of minority groups. The European Union has sought to create political reality but first creating symbols of political unity, like a currency. Unfortunately, as powerful as symbolism is, it cannot overcome the failure to make certain essential hard choices. We are seeing the consequences of that failure in the Euro-zone now.

Another point he makes is one that I am embarrassed to say I was unfamiliar with:

"The new pan-European jurisdictional authority is also in marked contrast to the US, where New Hampshire won't extradite you to Vermont for actions that are illegal in the latter but not the former. Three years ago, Norman Lamont fretted that Britain would be reduced to the status of Delaware, to which I replied in these pages: you should be so lucky. That ship has sailed: on justice, taxation and much else, Britain is already reduced to well below Delaware."

Something to keep in mind.

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