The end of European democracy

The end of European democracy, by Thierry Baudet.

In his dystopian classic, The Managerial Revolution (1941), the American political scientist James Burnham coined the concept of “controlled democracy.” According to Burnham, the civil democracies of the second half of the 20th century would — more or less gradually — be overgrown with backroom bureaucratic networks that make the actual decisions, all far away from the electorate and public debate. …

Which is indeed what happened, to an alarming degree.

Elections will also remain in place; they will provide managers valuable insights into the preferences of the consumer-citizen, while at the same time functioning as an exhaust valve to possible opposition forces. Burnham predicted a form of political theatre in the guise of sham elections between candidates who happen to be like-minded on every fundamental subject, who are paid to debate in front of clueless spectators in mock parliaments, while the results were known in advance — after all, the actual decisions have already been made.

Not only did James Burnham’s work serve as the most important inspiration for George Orwell’s 1984, chances are Burnham also had a decisive influence on Jean Monnet and Robert Schumann – the founding fathers of the present day European Union. For after they tried to openly guide their “United States of Europe” through national parliaments, they chose, after the French parliament (while loudly singing the Marseillaise) voted down their plans in 1954, to use exactly the gradual and stealthy approach described by The Managerial Revolution to achieve their goals.

These Eurocrats label their strategy as “functionalism“, behind which the idea is that due to the so-called “spillover effect“, inevitably, ever more power ends up being centralised. One ‘function’ automatically forces another ‘function’. So: you sell open borders as a nice convenience, and after a while, you act surprised when they force you to adopt a centralised immigration policy. You present a monetary union as a facilitator of trade without having to hand over national sovereignty; and when the (inevitable) credit crisis presents itself, your push through a centralised budgetary system. …

All those NGOs are just mouthpieces for the one-world bureaucrats, fed by taxpayers:

Civil society too has been gripped by the EU. Oxfam, World Wide Fund for Nature, One World Action and hundreds, if not thousands of other ‘charities’ receive annual EU subsidies – and who will bite the hand that feeds him?

And to make matters worse, there’s the ‘professional associations’ like the ‘European Union of Journalists’, the ‘European Women’s Lobby’, the ‘European Cyclists’ Federation, and so on — all an integral part of Brussels’ management system, and of course they propagate the virtues of EU expansion almost round the clock. …

Every peak body of professionals receives money from the state, which is for instance why they all agree with governments about the carbon dioxide theory of global warming. Academia too:

In universities in the meantime, the EU project is being propagated by professors in the Jean Monnet chairs, creating a pensée unique so visceral that employees at economy faculties frequently whisper my way that it’s categorically impossible to publicly criticise the euro. It would rule out promotions or future appointments, not to speak of research grants. [!] …

Multinationals are paid-off and on-board as well:

The EU has also revealed itself as the big corporations’ best friend. Even though it presents itself as an anti-cartel institution, it actually facilitates the formation of cartels by sitting corporate lobbyists right next to the so-called ‘expert groups’ of the European Commission who draft guidelines and regulations that enable multinationals to expand their operations throughout the EU, while at the same time excluding competition from smaller businesses by making entry conditions next to impossible. …

We’ve been fighting this conglomerate on climate change for years. We are correct, but their domination of mind-share and media is huge.

The chutzpah:

But now for the astonishing part: even the greatest europhile would admit to all this. In an exceptionally cynical manifestation of Orwellian newspeak – again – this is called the “democratic deficit“. They look very serious and serene and repeat: ‘yes, you’re right, there’s a democratic deficit.’

Brilliant! As if it’s some sort of temporary flaw that can easily be overcome. A cash flow problem that just needs a small credit injection. A lack of vitamins. A mild form of sleep deprivation. Something, that in any case, will soon recover. A disbalance that will soon balance itself out.

But as Burnham’s analysis of the managerial revolution illustrates: the EU’s abolishment of democracy is neither temporary nor overcomeable.The EU is not so much undemocratic as it is anti-democratic. A democratic EU is impossible.

Orwell saw, way back in 1964, what would happen:

In 1964 George Orwell wrote an elaborate critique of Burnham’s thinking. Eventually, he proposed, the reign of the managers cannot sustain itself because 1) it’s a closed circuit which will produce minds too weak to uphold the system, and 2) the human inclination toward liberty is too strong, and, due to modern communication, won’t let itself be chained.

He’s right about the weak minds. The bureaucratic system perpetually dumbs down, because of the minutiae boring people with more options into leaving, but more importantly because they hate to hire people who can out-compete them for the top jobs. The people in charge, as we frequently notice in climate change, are stupid — not as many IQ points as you would expect. You would imagine the poobahs near the top mouthing the phrases and doing the interviews would be smart, but they’re not. It’s a brittle system defended by feeble but overpaid minds, ripe for pushing over.

hat-tip Scott of the Pacific