The European Union has always been a project of the ruling elites in the member countries. The ruling elites have to pretend to popular support. In a tragic-comedy quite special to Europe, people whose votes in referendums are contrary to the intentions of the ruling elite are obliged to vote again to obtain the desired result. Deceit spreads and spins. Thankfully an institution without a military arm, the EU is credited with keeping the peace as though NATO never existed. Harmful policies in such vital areas as industry and the economy are presented as beneficial, and no matter if the pains inflicted on Greeks or Italians, say, prove that one size does not fit all. The EU is falling apart because its politicians have made the dread mistake of raising expectations that cannot be fulfilled.
That way necessarily lies violence. Quite probably a simple failure of imagination led the German chancellor, Mrs. Angela Merkel, to welcome mass-migration coming from Muslim countries. What she thought was reinforcement of the declining national workforce is actually the arrival of large numbers of people fueled by false hopes of what will happen to them, and what’s more, they come from a culture in which relations with government are invariably tests of strength. Too late in the day, border controls are going up everywhere and provoking riots in which self-defense and aggression are indistinguishable. Already in southern Europe, Macedonian police are firing tear gas at the refugees trying to storm the country and proceed onward to Germany. Meanwhile in northern Europe, French police are firing tear gas at refugees trying to proceed onward to Britain. The only question is whether this cautionary tale will have a soft or a hard ending.