The Reichstag building in Berlin, Germany.(JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/Getty Images)
The Reichstag building in Berlin, Germany.

The Spirit Behind the Beast

Hidden from the view of commentators is the spirit that has risen to dominate the EU through its most influential movers and shakers.

“Well, I suppose we can be grateful that the EU didn’t win the Nobel Prize for Economics,” quipped Peter Hitchens in the Daily Mail. Like many commentators, he was incredulous that the European Union—this massive experiment in federalism, destroying democratic structures and smashing national sovereignty all over the Continent, and currently being crushed by economic crisis—could possibly have been honored with the Nobel Peace Prize.

“But there is a sense in which the EU has brought peace,” Hitchens continued. “It has done so by allowing France, and more recently Britain, to pretend to be independent powers, while actually being vassals of Germany. And it has allowed Germany to be the imperial ruler of Europe while pretending to be a Europeanized, neutered nothingness.”

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