Europe as King Lear
“These elites,” Allison observes, “have created an idea – Europe. They see it as a project on a one-way street toward the eventual and, in their eyes, historically inevitable United States of Europe. They see the euro as a piece of the roadway to that end. And they see the ordinary people and the parochial interests of individual European countries as flotsam and jetsam they have to navigate to get to the promised land. Like all those on a mission and with an agenda, the educated, professional elites of Europe are not really interested in people who might slow them down.”
The trouble is — well, part of the trouble is — all that flotsam and jetsam is not swirling obediently down the drain, as planned. It is increasingly recalcitrant. Which mystifies and irritates the elites who cannot understand why these troublesome statistics do not get with the program for utopia they have generously outlined for them. To them, the chorus of “No”s is only so much indecipherable static — tales told by so many idiots (to alter the Shakespeare allusion), signifying nothing.
Allison is right to advise us to listen more closely. No. No. No. It means something, all right, though exactly what we may have difficulty in discerning. “Against the huge push for the European,” Allison concludes, “the patter of nos at election time seem like so many ineffectual raindrops splattering against a huge, concrete dike. Maybe so. But if the drops of rain tapping out no, no, no, no, no, no is all you’ve got as clues to a popular storm that one day might kick up, better to listen than not.” Indeed.
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