have ever been important, the secret isrnwell-kept; it might as well not meet.rnOnce money passes from nationalrntreasuries into the hands of the EuropeanrnCommission, one must abandonrnall hope of seeing anything but fantasyrnaccounting. The most recent audit confirmedrnall our worst fears. European justicerngoes from strength to strength—^becausernnational supreme courts have beenrnmade subject to it. As a result, we cannotrncall “Elderflower champagne” by itsrntraditional name. It is a pleasant, nonalcoholicrnsummer drink made from flowers,rnbut p]uro-judges affected to believernthat it might be confused with Frenchrnchampagne. Euro-law protects not customrnor tradition but the most organizedrnproducer interests. It is crude commercialrnlaw, now red in tooth and claw, and itrnis unmitigated by the common-sense restraintrnthat is secured when judges arernbound by the sentiments and seriousnessrnof the communities in which they issuernjudgments.rnFuret is seriously misleading in hisrnconcluding claim that throughout Europe’srn”long apprenticeship” in democracyrnand stability, “the American experiencernhas played a decisive role.” A desirernto please one’s hosts may be a sweetrnand pleasant fault, but there are limits.rnFor most of that long apprenticeship,rnthe major European nations paid remarkablyrnlittle attention to America.rnTrue, Tocqueville understood the Americanrnachievement, but he was a rare bird.rnIt was American wealth, and the scale ofrnthe American economy, that impressedrnthe Europeans. It was not George Washington’srnRepublic but the America ofrnStandard Oil, General Motors, Bell Telephone,rnand IBM which stimulated JeanrnMonnct, the French technocrat advertisedrnas “the father of Europe.” Whoeverrntries to construe Monnet’s Europeanrninstitutions (the Goal and Steel Gommunity,rnEuratom, the EEG) in the lightrnof the American Gonstitution might asrnwell go to Ghina equipped with a map ofrnthe moon.rnGonstitutionalism is not an inherentrnvirtue that sticks to anyone like glue. It isrna historical process that can flourish orrnfail. Each generation is tested and successrnis not guaranteed. There is no necessaryrnProgress in it. The present healthrnof the American Gonstitution I leave tornAmericans to debate. What Europeansrndo not care to remember is how it all began.rnLet no American believe that as thernnegotiating teams of the European nationsrngathered at Messina in 1956 orrnMaastricht in 1991 they were reenactingrnthe debates that took place in Philadelphiarn200 years earlier. There were nornsuch debates; there is no such quality.rnThe need for a Gonstitution was simplyrnnot understood, and even it if had been,rnthere was no intention to achieve a sortrnof Foundation Gompromise betweenrnthe various factions. Our Europe is arnstew of ambiguities, selfish advantages,rnand political hot air. Our constitutionalrnarrangements are profoundly unsettled.rnThe present European complacencyrnabout this would have scandalized evervonernat Philadelphia. The neo-Carolingianrnfanatics will not allow the rights ofrnthe nation-states to be embedded in arntreaty.rnOne risk is that in the not too distantrnfuture the European tide will go out evenrnfaster than it came in, that a new Protestantism,rna new national skepticism, willrnovertake the Roman Treaty. If this happens,rnthe skeptics will be blamed, butrnthe real responsibility will lie with thosernwho did not accept that a EuropeanrnUnion cannot be founded on less thanrna constitutional convention. I devoutlyrnwish a permanent European associationrnof free states; 1 detest the existing concatenationrnof bribes, bureaucracies, andrnjurists’ plots, and I have no faith that itrnwill evolve sickness into health.rnAmerica started well, Europe startedrnand continues badly. Even the namingrnof parts is fraudulent. The treaties, awarernof their own pariiamentary deficit, spokernof a European Assembly; but the Assemblyrncalled itself, illegallv, a Parliament.rnThe Maastricht Treaty reaffirmed a EuropeanrnGommunity and added a EuropeanrnUnion for such foreign policy andrndefense projects as might be agreed. Immediately,rnthe neo-Garolingian lobbyrncalled both things the “Union.” Thernpresident of the bureaucracy pretends tornbe the President of Europe, and his predecessorrninvented a Euro-flag withoutrnanyone’s consent. (It looks like a bannerrnof the Virgin Mary with Our Lady takenrnout and the circle of stars on blue left in.)rnWe are told we are “citizens,” but therncorresponding state has not been proclaimed.rnFuret is right. Europe, by which Irnmean the Gontinent, has some old andrnwicked traditions. One of those traditionsrnis the episodic attempt by one power-rncenter or another to construct Euroempiresrnon the basis of threats, bribes,rnand bogus law. Popes, Kings of France,rnand Holy Roman Emperors all graspedrnfor European dominion, driven to it, norndoubt, by lawyers and fanatical integrationists.rnEurope was the most creativernplace on earth because they failed. Warsrnwere the outcome, not the cause of therncentralizing process. Thev were not thernprice we paid for the nation-state; thernnation-state was the reward for frustratingrnthe projects of grandiose integration.rnIs the present Euro-thing different merelyrnbecause the rhetoric—certainly notrnthe fact—is democratic? Alas, it is quiternpossible that some of Europe’s worstrntraditions may be at work. I would be relievedrnif today’s European enthusiastsrnunderstood that possibility or were willingrnto consider matters in a less handwaving,rnmore rigorous way.rnThe question of war deserves historicalrnreflection. The great wars of Europernwere rarely national quarrels, althoughrnthey absorbed some national quarrels asrnfuel. The wars of Louis XIV were not national,rnnor, in m)’ view, were the wars ofrnNapoleon. The war of 1914 was nothingrnso petty as a Franco-German quarrel.rnIt was a war launched by Mittel-Europarnfor contmental dominance. The war ofrn1959 was the same thing, with a morernvirulent ideological context, and bothrnwars were lost by the side which proclaimedrnitself, with genuine conviction,rnthe party of “Europe.”rnThe neo-Garolingian attempt to presentrnthe European Union as the solutionrnto a problem of war is breathtaking. ThernEuropean Gommunity from l957 torn1991 excluded all defense questions andrnleft the nations entirely free to fight eachrnother. War was prevented by the hegemoniesrnof America and Russia. Peacernwas imposed. War was not allowed. Twornpostiniperial powers—France and Germany’rn—clung to each other in consolationrnfor the fact that they no longer, anyrnmore than Luxembourg, had the powerrnto decide on matters of war and peace.rnWith the end of the Gold War thatrnpower is reviving, and we all hope thatrnthe peace can be maintained. But thernproblem was never “national quarrels.”rnIn this century, no country on the westernrnfringe of Europe has threatened anotherrnwith war. The problems lay on thernother side of the Rhine. The questionrnthen is whether German democracy hasrncaught up with France and Britain inrnwhat might be called instinctive peacefulness.rnIf it has, there is no problem; if itrnhas not, there is. The European Union isrnnot relevant. NATO is more relevant.rnOCTOBER 1996/5rnrnrn