Europe is way too old not to have the wisdom needed for federal union.
In his Conscience of a Liberal column at the New York Times today: "Starkness Falls", Paul Krugman, professor at Princeton and former professor at my alma mater (MIT - note: Krugman also has a PhD from MIT, yours truly an SB), paints the most clear picture of the EU and the Eurozone I have read or heard in all the 00000s of pages written on the Euro crisis and related issues in recent months.
Read it here
Two short yet key excerpts:
1) "... the message that there will be no such lender of last resort, that there isn’t enough political cohesion in the eurozone to stand behind countries under market attack"
2) "You little know, my friends, with how little wisdom the world is governed"
(2) Can be dedicated to the leaders of the EU, the EZ & its members (27 and 17 respectively).
Maybe we Europeans do not deserve a united Europe because we lack the collective wisdom and solidarity as well as sense of community.
When in the near future Europe has become irrelevant in the world, historians will focus on this period to tell and explain why.
The price of (1) is and will be paid by all Europeans, to varying extents and degrees.
All members are at fault in varying degrees and ways.
a) The UK, France and Germany (and maybe Italy and Spain) are guilty of using the EEC/EU for grandstanding. One can only be reminded of the UK-France, France-Germany, Germany-UK Summits. Plus the 12/10/2010 "US Diplomats in the EU: Manipulating the Political Dwarves of Europe" report in Spiegel International is telling of this. So is the fact that they have kept their individual membership "cards" at all international organisations, including the UN Security Council, the G7/8, etc!
b) the other member states, are guilty of not calling out the big 3 on their behaviour and of not uniting to demand a real community and eventually union.
What the markets have done (since the CDSs invented in the last 90s came into play as major tools) is expose the nakedness of the European project due to lack of real community.
The EU and EZ have proved to be a group of scorpions and frogs (see the relevant fable) in this crisis.
SO with 3-5 members grandstanding & the rest lacking a sense of true community, the EU & EZ have come to this. China, US, Russia et al including of course the "Markets" can rejoice. Although they will too feel the effects. But a potential major node in world affairs is imploding. And Europe will continue to be a loose group (a un-organised "park") of quaint "villages" for tourists to visit. And for the world's true major powers to play games on, economic and other.
Europe has not managed to use its history to wise up. Including 2 wars that became world ones in the 20th century and hundreds in its history. Maybe a real community spirit was too much to expect from a group that includes so many former Imperial or colonial powers. Too many to mention out of the 27.
So, the reality is that Europe does not have what it takes to become an A-List entity in the world. But the world .(Earth) turns and will continue to. With or without "Europe".
Brave old Europe.
Better start learning Chinese.