The European experiment to unite across borders is now a metaphor for war. The blood is now of the color of money. Before, for about 2 centuries, from Napoleon to Hitler and Stalin, it was real.
Europe has grown for about 600 years since the Renaissance, and for about 1500 years since the mercantilists and Franks had crusaded for their new found faith. With Europe the rest of the world has also grown establishing the influence of the continent around the world. Now it is time for Europe not to grow, to live in millennial peace by ending the war of all wars – of money.
Not growing in a scheme of economic accounting which is eponymous with the Renaissance – neoclassicism – is, for the zeitgeist, counterintuitive at best and at worst madness. Yet, the madness of the few could be the harbinger of sanity for all in a reprise of the Renaissance, reminiscent of the skill of its masters.
At a time when the death of Greece could mean the death of democracy and of all that has come after it because of the rise of authoritarianism in China and Russia, Europe remaining on the path of integration is a matter of global security, stability and continued sustenance. Small island nations strewn across the vast swath of the Pacific are as insignificant to global sustainability as their size, because if at least one-half of the global economy – United States, India, Japan, Germany and Brazil – does not act they will still drown.
The angst of the European peoples is to become one people and to transition from Plato’s Republics to the direct democracy of Pericles: to have a direct voice in their governance to be able to govern themselves. Their past is our future.
Continued growth as consumption and, thereby, ever higher standard of living on a small continent of about 600 million people in a world of 7 billion, free from Europe after Radio Free Europe, is unrealistic not only for Europe but for all.
Not growing is a viable option if Europeans can move around among the 33 members and members-in-waiting of the union, including to Turkey at this time, with social protections but not cultural protections adequately met by harmonizing labor laws and government structures, funded by the European Central Bank (ECB) and the European System of Central Banks (ECSB) in a compact among all the 33 EU countries in a committed by-country transition to the euro, not away from the common currency. The Swiss “army knives” can help by joining if Belgium, another neutral power which had helped found the union could, and so can the Norwegians if they mean their peace prizes.
It is possible for Europe not to grow by 2030, in a generation from now, if its base money supply growth rate is zero because population growth rate in Europe is already close to zero.