I would say that Europe and the West as a whole have become void of all subjectivity; being the richest people of the world, still austerity is their only issue; they have nothing left to love but the object.
How the wheel of History churns in time, driven by ideas of great people, crushing much beneath its aloof cycles, leaving only marks of changes that were permanent, erasing all the little things that had actually made events possible, is most amazing. It is also amazing that as we change the matrix through which we choose to observe the world, the same data yields such variant outcomes as to remind us that Man has, as yet, turned only a few leaves from all the millions that the autumns of history leave behind.
The European Union is a unique concept, defying the churn of history as such, asking us to ponder upon the question as to what the components may be that lead to the separation of people into states and those that urge states to unite.
Though Man’s history has never been void of the stench of blood, it would not be an exaggeration to say that beginning from 1000 AD, Europe was drenched in war to an extent that there was no decade empty of it. The abrupt fire of war gained momentum over the centuries, and from the 14th century onwards, one could say that there was not a year that went by wherein Europe was not bleeding in some part. Dissention and competition between kings, princes and knights; between the Church and the States; and between neighboring states and allies grinded the common people of Europe in a never ending chain of misery and death. For all these centuries, War was seemingly the only language to communicate in for this brute people.
It was in 1648 that the ‘Peace of Westphalia’ treaties were signed in the attempt to end the Thirty Years’ War in the Holy Roman Empire, and the Eighty Years’ War between Spain and the Dutch Republic; these treaties paved the way for the concept of Westphalian Sovereignty, which would recognize:
- the sovereignty of each state,
- the fundamental right of political self-determination of the state,
- legal equality between states, and
- non-intervention of one state in the internal affairs of another state.
This treaty set the precedence for the thought of ‘non-violent states living in harmony within Europe’, even though Europe remained equally aggressive for more centuries to come, till it had entirely drained itself with the two world wars.
This essential element of the human nature, which urges it to strive for more power and resources, which compels Man to sever and kill his own kind, which incites him to destruct and put to arson, in hate and arrogance, in mere moments, what was made in years with love and labor. An element of Man’s nature that has, from time immemorial, inclined Man to draw boundaries, dump in resources, ready weapons and nurture enmities, and which was in full emblazon in Europe for the last half of the previous millennium; how was it to take a U-turn? How was it that the Europe, wherein wars were to end only when the nations had been permanently divided under Westphalian ideology, on ethnic and linguistic bases, never to re-merge again; this Europe would learn to unite into one big European Union? Wherefrom did Europe get such an idea?