It seems incredible that, decades after it was conceived, the underlying nature of the European project is still a matter for dispute. While some contend that it is the product of the far right, many others persist in regarding it as a socialist plot, intended to succeed where communism failed, using Commissioners instead of Commissars. Indeed, so deep rooted is this belief that many on the left defend the EU as they think it to be a means of achieving their aims.
That this a ridiculous distortion of the truth can easily be seen when one examines just who are the main cheerleaders for the creation of this organisation. It is supported by bankers, bureaucrats and big business, along with a majority of the political class, including a good number of significant figures within the Conservative Party. Now these latter are not generally fools, nor are captains of industry, so why would they be so fond of the EU if it were a Trojan Horse intended to create a socialist Europe.
The real nature of the EU can be deduced from what these aforementioned groups have in common. The majority of bureaucrats are mere wage slaves, following instructions, but the senior members of the hierarchy have their own agendas and never relish the problems they face when called to be democratically accountable. Bankers have only one God, money, and discount the wishes of the people entirely. Big business hates it when governments interfere with their operations, due to the need for politicians to be accountable to their voters, and much prefer to be able to lobby corruptible bureaucrats instead. The political class, with a few honourable exceptions, are largely lobby fodder, who would not allow matters of principle to stand in their way of preferment, and who see the EU providing a wider stage on which to strut their little hour, as well as a lucrative source of well paid sinecures once they leave active politics.
Obviously the common factor to all these groups is a dislike for accountable democracy. In reality the EU is nearest in form to the system which Mussolini used to rule Italy. It is a corporatist state, providing benefits to the elites, whether they be politicians, bureaucrats, bankers, big businessmen or even union leaders, which they can enjoy at the expense of the ordinary people, and without the danger of being answerable for their actions. These people have more in common with each other than with the mass of the population and they have found in the EU a means of sharing the spoils while at the same time preventing any meaningful interference from the electorate. That this organisation does not yet have the more obvious trappings of a fascist state, such as secret police and an obvious contempt for law, may be of little comfort in the future, given the treatment meted out to those who attempt to expose corruption within the European institutions, and in the operation of European policies. Every instinct of the Eurocrats is authoritarian and those who point out the King has no clothes are increasingly at risk of persecution as xenophobia is redefined to mean opposition to the schemes of the EU and blatantly undemocratic devices such as the European arrest warrant are introduced.
It is therefore foolish for the opponents of the EU to attack it for what it is not. Those who believe in democracy, whether from the left or the right, should unite against it, as it represents a danger to all our freedoms.