Tuesday, 13 September 2011
The Falling Leaves Of Autumn
Great international organisations in the modern world tend to have a shorter life than most of the empires and great alliances of the past. After World War I the idea (or ideal) of a League of Nations was created to ensure that such a conflict never happened again. Unluckily, President Wilson, who presided over its inception, failed to secure the agreement of the USA to join.
It did not take many years before all the great ideals were lost and it was back to basics in international relations. The years 1918 to 1939 are often called “between the wars” but just look at where British troops were deployed in that period. In the early 1930’s there was a full division in China.
So in the 1940’s the League had to be reinvented as a United Nations and this time the pressure was on to gain its acceptance and validity. Agencies and bodies were created to spread the word. This has lasted as an organisation but it has not stopped the wars, it has simply institutionalised them giving a patina of justified policy to an often grubby business.
In the meantime, European politicians, unable to find ways of making trade agreements between each other came to the conclusions that some sort of bigger club was necessary. The history of all this is on the web. It was all done to stop wars between us and so divert spending on the military to consumerism.
Unluckily, the drive to consumerism and money creation needed a single currency because a number of states were unable to manage their finances and economies to allow reliable exchange of currencies and other complications. So we have the Eurozone.
This was a political decision, the economics we were all told would have to follow and it would all mean that busts would be abolished and life was going to one long boom so get out there and borrow and spend. The idea of getting and spending was old style economics, we were now in a new world.
The governments went out and borrowed and most of their peoples did the same. The UK, not in the Eurozone but too closely linked because of trade and finance to avoid it, like all the others found ways of disguising debt and putting off payment.
Now it is falling apart in its present form and all the effort is being made to prop it up and keep it going until at least the next election here or there or until someone invents a perpetual motion machine that will allow perpetual energy.
One Big Idea is the political union of Europe so that real decisions can be made and applied. That this will be done by a largely unrepresentative government which has shown staggering incompetence in financial and other management does not seem to matter. It is posited as the only answer.
Putting Brussels in charge of the riot is a little like locking all the violent drunks in the local distillery. It may look the only place for them in the sort term, but what happens when they have to be let loose?
In the last century or a little more, the Chinese Empire fell apart and look what happened, ditto The Ottoman Empire, The Austro-Hungarian Empire, The Russian Empire and the British Empire. When Empires fall it is usually a bad business.
Next up as well as The Fall of the American Empire, will we have The Fall of the European Empire?