Thursday, February 27, 2003
Eurosocialism - 26th February 2003, 20.44

Interesting piece in the National Review arguing that the European Union is now governed by a brand of Eurosocialism that appeals to and caters for the majority of the working population. Neils de Groot and John R Thompson harbour no illusions as to the difficulty of the fight.

Short-term, the gulf will surely widen. As they encounter ever greater areas of conflict, Eurosocialist protectionism and America's free enterprise spirit will have increasing difficulty coexisting. Eurosocialism is on the march, with legions of non-elected bureaucrats committed to solidifying suffocating systems that corrode commerce as well as individual freedoms.

Whatever Europe's eventual course, it is certain the struggle will be long and arduous. However, given one or more of these developments, it is possible to envision the Eurosocialists in Brussels, Strasbourg, Paris and Berlin finally giving way to realism and favoring economic over political union in Europe.

However, their description does not take into account the roots of the welfarist states that were established in post-war Europe. Most states followed the examples of Sweden and Britain, which had survived the war unscathed by revolution or invasion. Both provided a voice, whether formally or informally, for the representatives of both Capital and Labour, ensuring that the flight to the extremes which destroyed or disfigured other countries' political systems, did not take place.

These systems, formally representing both the corporations and the trade unions, have ossified at both a national and European level. The managerial elites that pioneered these 'welfare states' have become a deformed technocracy that places its own existence and ideology above the electorate. However, their existence, in part, was initially derived from a system designed to avoid the extremes of fascism and socialism. If it is Eurosocialism, it is a managerial variety, a 'naive socialism' whose overarching ideology is European unity, not Marxism or working class revolution. Its original proponents viewed the goal as a Third Way, steering a course between America and the Soviet Union, with neutrality the long-term aim.


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