Soulless Tyranny

At Samizdata the other day, they posted a video of a speech given in the European Parliament, directed towards British Prime Minister Tony Blair, in his capacity as rotating President of the E.U., in which Mr. Blair is savaged for backing down on his purported efforts to reform the E.U. The speaker notes midway through that the EU's auditors have refused to sign off on the budget for eleven years running.

A similar video has another member of the same political party running down a list of the more egregious members of the European Commission, the unelected body that exerts far more control over the EU's law than does the elected Parliament, a point which he makes. Indeed, so much power does the Commission have that it intends to implement the European Constitution, despite said document being resoundingly defeated in public referrenda in France and the Netherlands.

The EU seems to be following a similar trajectory as the United States did in its early years: from a political alliance of sovereign states, bound together for mutual defense and open trade, to a government in its own right that supercedes the sovereignty of its constituent members. What is worrisome is that the body elected directly by the people, Parliament, has little actual power. Power is instead concentrated in the hands of an entrenched bureaucracy, led by a Commission that is accountable to nobody. Even in the earliest days of the U.S. Federal Government, the body directly elected by the people, the House of Representatives, could propose or block any bills it chose to. The European Parliament, on the other hand, does not have the power to initiate legislation, nor does it have an unrestricted right to amend or veto laws.

Furthermore, while the United States was built on a profound mistrust of human nature and government power, the EU is generally organized around the precise opposite attitudes. Government action should be as pervasive as possible, goes this theory. Should you doubt this, consider that the EU regulates materials and processes according to the Precautionary Principle:
In its most basic form, the principle suggests that because we don't know everything about a technology, product or process, it is better for regulators and legislators to "err on the side of caution" — to regulate, restrict or even prohibit technologies, substances and processes unless they are proven "safe."
To give an idea of how far that can be taken, the linked article notes that exposure to electromagnetic fields (such as those produced by MRI machines, for example) is now tightly regulated.

Additionally, as the second linked video makes clear, there is a much higher tolerance for corruption and abuse of power in Europe in general than in most of the United States. This corruption can be especially pernicious because the idea of fundamental citizens' rights is much weaker in Europe. The EU is quick to silence its critics with state coercion, which Parliament is powerless to prevent.

Europe is on the road to becoming a totalitarian superstate, unchecked by the people and ruled by the bureaucratic class. We in America should take notice.

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