14 March 2016

The Broken Babel of the European Union

The proposed Brexit is but another signal the colossus that is the EU is beginning to crack and crumble. The US was less than keen on the project in the 1990s (let alone the EEC of the 1950s) but today they want the EU to stand. A divided Europe will likely degenerate and it could happen quickly. The US has bigger fish to fry and the EU represents a bulwark against Putin.

NATO is the real foundation of American power for Eurasia, but a collapsing EU could also rend NATO asunder.

This (in part) explains Obama's trip to London. This issue is beginning to seriously divide the Tories and it will be interesting to see how this plays out. London mayor Boris Johnson is rolling the dice, he'll either score a great victory or it may be the end of him.

Other nations are beginning to stir. There's now a growing discussion regarding a 'Frexit' a French exit of the EU. The survey shows that the majority of the French public would vote to stay in but the fact that it's being discussed and the numbers seem to be growing should be a cause for concern to Brussels and those who believe in the project.

If Front National (FN) continues to rise the issues will certainly be revisited.

That said, the French Right in a way reminiscent of the American Right misunderstands the nature of the EU. The EU is France and Germany. They are the backbone of the European order. Britain doesn't really want to be part of that order (diminishing the status of the UK) but they also fear it growing too strong and Britain not having a voice in its trajectory.

French membership in the EU empowers France and makes it by default a European and world leader. Its removal would weaken its hand and in all probability break the EU. LePen and other nationalists may have a different vision of France but will they be able to deal with the fallout when the French economy is shaken to its very foundations?

I am interested in the geopolitical fallout but most of all I think about the Christians who live in Europe, the scattered congregations of the Biblically minded and faithful who seek to live their lives and bear witness. The EU project has for many years been something of a Babel project. The EU even borrowed the imagery at one point. Nationalism suppressed is a good thing especially for the Church, but the values of a Neo-Babel are also problematic.

The fall of the EU will mean a rapid return of nationalist sentiment, instability and probably violence. It will destroy one Babel project but it will be replaced by many miniaturised versions... many of which are even more dangerous for the members of the Body of Christ. Remember in the end Christianity is subversive. Political models which are accommodationist are probably better (easier to live under) than those that are narrow and restrictive.

We will continue to watch and pray for wisdom.


  1. I found the discussion of milatarizing the EU a key point. As it stands, the EU can be a helpful tool in US hands, but it lacks the teeth (though a united economic policy is pretty strong) to challenge US hegemony in Europe and abroad.

    As it is now, the EU is a good solution, minimizing nationalism. But European can become itself a Nation. In violent and extreme form, this is what motivates people like Andrei Brevik (on one side of the spectrum). But it's behind the bigoted politics of a Geert Wilders and other European nationalists who garner support against the Muslim Other. While not one to one, as some commentators point out, the Muslim is becoming the new Jew of Europe.

  2. It doesn't seem like they can forge a Euro identity. If things degenerate the scenario that may help them do that is a scary one... A demagogue who makes it a battle of 'us' (White Christian Europe) vs. 'them' (Muslim immigrants).

    I don't think Europe can challenge the US militarily but if it ever withdrew its support (the breaking of NATO) it would destroy the US geopolitical voice and narrative.