In my first Huffington Post blog, A European Civil War: The American crisis comes to Europe, I crafted an analogy between the current euro debt crisis and the American Civil War; an issues of state verses federal power and, in order to solve the economic catastrophe, a federal solution would be required. Honestly, I naively assumed Brussels would administrate an effective and coherent federal policy.
I was wrong. So very wrong.
As Simon Jenkins wrote in the Guardian, on unions throughout European history, "from the Holy Roman Empire through Napoleon to the Third Reich. It always ends in tears." The notion of a single, unified authority-across Europe-has never been successful. The Austro-Hungarian Monarchy maintained a neutrality among the imperial powers of Europe; but the union was riddled with social, political and cultural differences and tensions. This extreme sectarianism, especially among Serbs, ignited to disastrous levels within the Kingdom Serbia and resulted in a secret Serbian military organisation-the Black Hands-whose member assassinated the Archduke Franz Ferdinand. Subsequent 1912 Balkin War instigated alliances across the continent and led to the First World War.
The breakup of political unions throughout European history have ended in more than just tears; internal and belligerent conflicts are rather too common. Pioneers of the European Union insisted its [political union] inclusion in the post-war settlement of Europe; the Union was designed to ensure neutrality, negate nationalism and rivalries. It failed to. The euro crisis viscously exposed the forgotten tensions and fragility, which encouraged the rearming of national economies. Deficit reduction plans have become a race to the bottom with nations undermining each other to ensure their economy is the most productive and competitive post-crisis. It is difficult to even consider the Fiscal Treaty ever becoming a reality after several European governments have used it as a political football. Spain's new conservative government went as far to openly defy Brussels by publicly telling the Commission to "forget it" when it came to submitting budgets and meeting EU deficit targets. Whether the PIIGS (Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece and Spain) remain align to the euro is still open to debate, but contagion to the core members is almost inevitable. The European Union has always been divided among the northern and southern members, yet summits are now a routine diplomatic spat between associates. A genuine agreement is a rare find; any agreement is always revised and altered at the next summit. It is now impossible to get twenty-seven members to maintain a single policy without one member demanding a change.
In its current incarnation, the euro and the European Union are dead. It is unworkable, impractical and hideously redundant. Decision making is paralysed and non-existent and certain heads of government seem to genuinely despise some of their counterparts. A single federal approach is the remedy and only feasible solution; in reality, though, the very notion of a federal argument is political suicide with countless governments falling across Europe.
A European Civil War: The American crisis comes to Europe contained a basic premise, that, regardless of what occurs, Europe would construct a credible, single, united approach to solving the debt crisis. On reflection it seems the blood spilt on the trading floor will inevitably reach the streets. We may not begin building trenches and drafting volunteers, but the end of the euro will not be peaceful. Far from it.
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