It happened today - January 4, 2016
That wasn’t very festive. But think of the high, pretentious, unrealistic hopes when this currency was instituted and its dismal course since and you realize the whole project was fatuously unsound from the get go.
Europe was meant to become a counterweight to America, as if that were what was really needed rather than a second vital centre of Western civilization as a counterweight to, say, China, or militant Islam, or a resurgent Russia. It was also set up to exclude the right from politics, on the theory that Naziism had been both right-wing and awful whereas Bolshevism was… um… yes, well, you see…
It is typical that the people behind the European project should have been looking backward, and inward. And at nothing.
For to me the most pointed, and poignant, thing about the Euro is that its banknotes depict imaginary scenes not real ones. To use real European things would have been divisive because they would have been located in particular nations. Which is only an issue if the larger Europe is essentially an illusion, foisted on ordinary people by arrogant political masters uninterested in how normal folks want to live.
The Euro stood for an integration not felt in the heart, not accomplished in the institutions and not successful economically. The crisis over Greece, temporarily submerged by the migrant crisis, revealed just how non-unified “Europe” is, how different is member nations and how poorly its supposed federalism coordinates policy at the centre while accommodating regional differences. It truly is the anti-America in how it works as in its fatuous theoretical foundations.
The Euro reached its late teens. But its prospects for getting to 20 don’t look good. Especially with a British referendum approaching not on the common currency, which Britain doesn’t even use, but on membership in the EU and subordination to its irrational rules especially on migration and welfare.
The thing is, the Euro like the EU was a bad solution to the wrong problem. It would actually be good to be rid of it, so Europeans could think more clearly about what if anything Europe is. It used to be “Christendom” and then it was the civilized world, the economically advanced world, and the world that took self-government seriously even if only to reject it indignantly rather than to laugh it off as in most of the rest.
It may not be any of those things anymore. Or perhaps it is. But it’s not a botched elitist bureaucratic experiment. And it should stop trying to be one because it’s getting nobody anywhere they want to be.
So long, Euro. The party’s over. Goodbye and get out.