Friday, May 30, 2014

Meyerson: Why the EU's far-right is rising

Not that many Americans care about the recent elections to the EU parliament, but...

... Anyway, here's a message for my pro-Russian friends who are concerned about "Sudden Fascist Syndrome" in Ukraine:

Europe’s new far right is, at one and the same time, the continent’s analogue to our own tea party and the leading cheerleader for Russian President Vladimir Putin. With the divisions of the Cold War now safely confined to museums, a new transnational right is emerging, defined by a belief in a national volk and its traditions and a disdain for, if not loathing of, any neighbors — Muslims, Jews, social democrats — who either aren’t part of that volk or don’t believe in the politics of intolerance. Hence the spectacle of Nigel Farage, the leader of Britain’s U.K. Independence Party, and our own Pat Buchanan, expressing their admiration for Putin’s war on the moral flabbiness that comes with elevating democracy over traditional values — rotten though those values may be.

Looking deeper at the EU's existential crisis, Meyerson blames, first and foremost, as many others such as Paul Krugman have, the unworkable nature of the EU constitution's deficit spending and currency rules.  Essentially, the EU is too much like the Confederate States of America and not enough like the United States of America.

The EU must evolve to be more like the U.S. -- a fiscal and foreign policy union as well as a currency and trade union -- or else lose its weakest members... or worse, as many Europeans fear, collapse into the dustbin of history, just like the American Confederacy.

By Harold Meyerson
May 29, 2014 | Washington Post

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