Happy Friday!We arrived at Turin airport yesterday morning and took a pleasant cab ride to Asti.Im not into sparkling Asti wines so much, as my good friend and publisher Chris rightly calls them sugar bombs.But Im eager to get into the Barolo, Barbaresco, and Nebbiolo varieties the Langhe Valley is famous for.Oh, the advantages of living in Europe.But theres one white elephant that Id wish would disappear into the dustbin of history: the European Union.As a British citizen, I had the right to vote for Brexit.I voted out of the Union gleefully and dont regret it one bit.Some of my British friends think its ironic that I chose to relocate to Italy rather than go through the legal morass to get back to the UK with my non-EEA wife.But I pledge in writing that if Italy has its Italeave vote, I will vote out again.I will then call up the Guinness Book of World Records to claim my place as the only human to vote out of the EU in two separate countries.I loathe that supranational organization with a passion.You see, the only time the EU serves its purpose is when it allows its member states to act in their own best interests.For example, the EU defers to Italian law when it comes to migration.So the Italian government made it easy for us to immigrate to Italy, not the EU.But youve probably noticed something thats happened to the discourse lately.When the vote goes in favor of the leftists, its democracy.When the vote goes in favor of the right, its populism.Today, I want to tackle democracy, the EU, and what the EU is doing to the Hungarian people now theyve re-elected Viktor Orban to a fourth consecutive term as Prime Minister.
- Hungary votes in a landslide to re-elect Viktor Orban.
- The EU doesnt like him, so they sanction the Hungarian people.
- Hungary turns around and agrees to pay for their Russian energy in rubles.
What is the EU?To be fair, Ill let them tell you:
The European Union (EU) is a unique economic and political union between 27 European countries.
The predecessor of the EU was created in the aftermath of the Second World War. The first steps were to foster economic cooperation: the idea being that countries that trade with one another become economically interdependent and so more likely to avoid conflict.
The result was the European Economic Community, created in 1958 with the initial aim of increasing economic cooperation between six countries: Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands.
Since then, 22 more countries joined (and the United Kingdom left the EU in 2020) and a huge single market (also known as the internal market) has been created and continues to develop towards its full potential.
What began as a purely economic union has evolved into an organization spanning many different policy areas, from climate, environment, and health to external relations and security, justice, and migration. A name change from the European Economic Community to the European Union in 1993 reflected this.Let me translate: its a cancerous bureaucracy sucking on the taxpayers teat for all its worth.Like the United States federal government, the EU doesnt defend its borders, imposes onerous taxes and regulations, and pretends to keep the peace.In reality, this monster was created for two different reasons.The first is the French wanted to control Americas imperial ambitions and couldnt do it on their own. They needed the German economic machine behind them.The second is America wanted a strong ally - but not too strong - and a big market to trade with.Henry Kissinger famously asked, Who do I call if I want to call Europe?Thats part of the reason out of the initially benign free trade area came a political construct no one in Europe but government officials, their academic lackeys, and their green-haired students think will see out the century.What weve got now is a leftist vassal state of the United States that has some severe issues with its more conservative nations (politically) and its southern countries (economically).
EU-Style Democracy - Vote Correctly!If youve read the Rude for a while, you know how I feel about democracy.But let me echo economist and philosopher Hans-Hermann Hoppe:
Democracy has nothing to do with freedom. Democracy is a soft variant of communism, and rarely in the history of ideas has it been taken for anything else.Or, if you prefer old Ben Franklin:Finally, notice the US Constitution:Thats right, not one mention of the word.Because the founding fathers knew what a disaster democracy is.To paraphrase Sir Christopher Wrens famous quote, If you seek democracys monument, look around you.With all that said, the EU purports to be a defender of democracy.Its a load of malarkey.The EU likes to let you vote again if you vote the wrong way the first time.There are three glaring examples of this:
The Maastricht Treaty was "a new stage in European integration," chiefly in provisions for a shared European citizenship, for the eventual introduction of a single currency, and (with less precision) for common foreign and security policies.In Denmarks case, 50.7% of voters with a turnout of 83.1%, rejected closer integration.But after getting four opt-outs (especially for the euro), Denmark voted again and approved the treaty in 1993.Imagine the arrogance of Pascal Lamy, then-chef de cabinet for Jacques Delors, the president of the European Commission:
- Denmark on the Maastricht Treaty in 1992
- Ireland on the Nice Treaty
- Ireland on the Lisbon Treaty
Europe was built in a Saint-Simonian technocratic way from the beginning The people weren't ready to agree to integration, so you had to get on without telling them too much about what was happening. Now Saint-Simonianism is finished. It cant work when you have to face democratic opinion.Ireland had this done to them twice, where they had to vote again to get it right.Again, its not democracy unless you agree with the EU's leftists.
Hungary and ConsequencesThe EU got away with this stuff because there were no big wars in the 90s (save the former Yugoslavia) which America took care of thanks to Tony Blair embarrassing Bill Clinton into action.This was Clintons single most significant foreign policy error and opened the door to the Cheney invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq.But now, economics encroaches, as it always does.And Hungary is the flashpoint.I wrote in yesterdays Rude that Orban won in a landslide vote.He commented, We won a victory so big that you can see it from the moon, and you can certainly see it from Brussels.And boy, did they!Now the EU has triggered a process that will link EU cash payments to respect for the rule of law.Why?Orban has clashed frequently with the European Commission over respect for fundamental EU values, such as LGBT rights.This opens the door to financial sanctions.Translation: the EU is punishing the Hungarian citizenry for voting for a man who defends their country and its values and doesnt give into cockamamie EU policies.(Remember, Hungarian is a heavily Catholic country.)Oh, it gets better.Since the EU has made this move, Hungary has announced it is willing to pay in rubles for Russian gas shipments.Oops!The Hungarian government said if Hungary has access to Russian gas, the countrys energy resources remain uncompromised, and utility price cuts can remain on the agenda.Orbn said, the point is not to have Russian gas at a better price, but for there to be Russian gas in Hungary, and this cannot be compromised.Your move, EU.
Wrap UpIts not democracy that exists in Hungary, its populism.Get it?Thats what the technocrats in the EU want you to believe.And the USG has probably just woken up to the fact that the European periphery - let alone Germany, France, and Italy - cant do without Russian gas.This is the first small crack in the alliance, and it was the EU bureaucrats who brought this on themselves.If the EU isnt careful, theyll lose Eastern Europe to other parties more than happy to lend them a hand, like Russia and China.Tread carefully. And trade carefully.Have a great weekend!All the best,Sean