The New Totalitarian Temptation: Global Governance and the Crisis of Democracy in Europe contends that the European Union’s radically secularist commitment to supranational governance, overriding the sovereignty of its member states, is eroding democracy in Europe, threatening human rights and putting the EU on a collision course with the United States. The following, which will appear in the Spring 2016 edition of European Conservative and which is made up largely of excerpts from the book, recapitulates its main arguments.
Before the summer is out, Britain might decide to leave the EU. Greece has become a protectorate of the IMF, the European Commission and the European Central Bank. Schengen is in danger of being abolished. Devastating terrorist attacks have occurred regularly since the 2004 Madrid train bombings, and the threat of jihadist terrorism remains palpable throughout Europe.
Nevertheless, the European dream is alive. Today as ever, the European Union, having risen from the ruins of two devastating world wars, embodies an enduring longing for a peaceful and stable world. It is more than a customs union or an international organization through which the member states pursue their national interests. It is meant to herald a new era, in which a cosmopolitan and harmonious Europe provides the model for a worldwide system of supranational governance. In this new world order, power is to be wielded not primarily by national governments on behalf of national electorates, but by an ever-thickening web of international organizations administering a growing body of international law and regulation, purportedly in the interests of a global citizenry.
The EU is nothing if not ambitious. It is in essence a utopia – albeit a soft, squishy, do-gooders’ utopia — a political construct that seeks humankind’s ultimate purpose in a better-than-possible world created by politics. It puts politics before people, as it seeks to remake human beings in the service of its political project rather than to adapt the project to people as they are.
But as John Fonte wrote recently, ideologies have consequences. It is not by chance that the EU’s soft utopia has been buffeted by crises. The going price for the European Union’s pursuit of its globalist dream is severe economic suffering, the migrant crisis and the increased risk of terrorist attacks in Europe, the destabilization of domestic politics in the EU member states, and possibly Britain’s withdrawal.