Monday, November 10, 2008
To show us where she stood there rests alone Tiber; and that too hastens to be gone.
It is far past time for me to accept the coming of the European Union. I have of late been reading Gwynne Dyer's book "With Every Mistake", and it has convinced me that, however much I desire to ignore it's existence, I have to come to terms with the EU. The Europe of my past, that hopelessly over-romanticized collection of warring states will not come again. There is too much desire for unity, too much need to forget the conflicts of old. And lets face it, modern European states have failed to emerge as decent places. France, for example, had to misfortune to be the home of Charles DuGalle, who left his people an inability to realize that their global empire failed with an almost insufferable arrogance. Great Britain, which could have recognized the potential of it's Commonwealth and created a world-wide federation the likes of which the world had never seen... chose instead to turn it's back on it's creation. It bred a bloated, ignorant middle class instead, and still clings to it's xenophic colonial racism. What a waste. I accepted long ago that Rome would never rise again. It's heirs were squabbling fools and the ponderous bulk of Byzantium did nothing more than grow small year by year for a mellenium. The EU is not Rome's succesor, it has no desire or comprehension of the necessary imperium, nor does it require it. Whether it suceeds or fails depends it's people. If they can accept that they are part of something larger, if they can learn to not to say " I am a German" or "I am Italian" but "Civis Europa Sum"; then sixteen centuries of bitter fighting will have been rocked to sleep. If they can achieve the unity that has so long been denied to them, then the lessons of the past will have been learned.