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Old 22.02.2021, 13:51
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Re: The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in

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I fear this (a Franco-Germanic, or Germanic-French, whichever way you'd like it) is the only way a united Europe is going to happen.
There's gonna have to be someone who's calling the shots (pun intended).
There's no way you can have an entity with the size of Europe and diverging cultural, social, economic, political, military (and religious) heritage and goals and govern it like it's the local small-animal-breeding-club on steroids.
This is at the end of the day why I think the European project won't work. Those who are most naturally placed to lead are the ones who really shouldn't.

I don't agree that the cultural diversity is an insurmountable problem. Switzerland for example has a lot of that too. Switzerland has different languages, religions, attitudes, who in the early days had very little in common, but who may have approached one another slowly over time. And yet it all works somehow. But this is because the Swiss have learned to be aware of the differences and have developed the necessary respect to work together without imposing their way of doing things on the others.

Germany also emerged form a multitude of little countries, which also had cultural and religious differences. But the unification was largely at the behest of Prussia and the Prussians attempted (with limited success) to form the rest of Germany in their image. In doing so they caused a lot of resentment (ask a Bavarian). But still nobody in Germany wants to go back to where they were before. Even in Bavaria, the place with the strongest will to independence, the independence party doesn't get more than a few percent of the vote.

Belgium had even worse problems with essentially one linguistic group suppressing the other for a long time. And the other group now finding its voice and hitting back. And a lot of people actually believe that in the longer term Belgium will fall apart, for better or for worse.

So Europe needs to be asking itself whether they want to be the new Belgium or the new Germany or the new Switzerland.
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