The Kantian dream of undoing real nations keeps foundering on the shoals of human nature’s need for real attachments to place, says Acton research director Samuel Gregg in a new article for Law & Liberty:
If there’s anything that political earthquakes like Brexit and the ongoing spread of nationalist feeling throughout the European Union demonstrates, it’s that popular support for Europe’s integration project is floundering. In early 2018, France’s pro-EU president Emmanuel Macron publicly acknowledged that France would probably vote to leave the EU if given a simple in/out choice. Politics in a once stalwartly pro-EU nation like Italy is now dominated by Eurosceptic parties.
Advocates for deeper European integration like German chancellor Angela Merkel seldom pass up chances to insist, as she did in a November 2018 speech, that “Nation-states should be willing to give up their sovereignty today.” Many Europeans undoubtedly continue to favor the EU’s commercial conveniences. But outside an increasingly-isolated political class which dominates ever-weakening establishment political parties, vocal enthusiasts for a supranational European state are becoming scarce.