There is a reason why I left Europe more than 17 years ago. I always despised socialism.
The socialism that is incompatible with finding the outliers of (any kind of) innovation that can encircle the world, and thus the source of placing artificial limits on the opportunity for Europeans to play a more prominent and respected role in the evolution of the world.
I wanted my life to have meaning, and left for the country the world looks for answers:
“An inventor is a man who looks upon the world and is not contented with things as they are. He wants to improve whatever he sees; he wants to benefit the world.” — Alexander Graham Bell
It was with much more happy thoughts in mind that an advisor to the Kingdom of Belgium (after a conference) in a cigar-bar in Washington, DC asked me about my thoughts about the Eurozone. In the same way, many others (including my European friends) have asked me that question in light of Europe’s mounting problems, over the last six months quite frequently. Little did he know.
Before I dive in, I would hasten to say that I am not interested in downstream economics (of any economy) when its upstream logic does not make sense. I will explain it.
Quantitative easings and the like are at best recipes to stave off economic fires, not to prevent economic disasters from happening in the first place. The economic geniuses who implemented a plethora of artificial modulations and modifications to the economic constructs over the last decennia should be held responsible for fixing the unwanted economic outcome their changes have caused, or get fired.
Downstream economic optimizations are essential to both Europe and the U.S., as both upstream and downstream are needed to drive the cycle of evolution, and – not unimportant – to keep the people’s confidence in check. Downstream economic optimizations should, however, not be sold as the fever-suppressing medicine that now magically cures the economic equivalent of cancer.
The first problem I have with the Eurozone is a persuasive argument I borrowed from Nigel Farage, member of the European Parliament, whom I met with in person last September in London.
Nigel describes in no uncertain terms that the new leaders of Europe have not been voted on by public referendum (in fact: quite the opposite, by closed-door secret vote). That glaring omission, in my take, is roughly the profoundly undemocratic equivalent of The President of the United States secretly voted into office by Congress only.
That is the excess of European socialism at “its finest.” My friends in Europe are now confronted with a plethora of laws they did not, could not, and many would not vote on, nor find relevant.
Contrary to unstoppable evolution
The second problem I have with the Eurozone is one that relates to the evolution of power and merit. And that evolution requires an understanding of the role of (any kind of) innovation and the entrepreneurs driving it. Or better yet, the evolution of evolution.
With the internet as the distribution mechanism for universally accessible knowledge, the merit of new ideas that produce tangible socioeconomic value will fundamentally shift from countries with stark geographic and economic borders – to companies with specific product and services, crossing borders freely – to individuals, defining their unique merit independently, no matter where they live – ultimately. As that evolution is (already) taking shape, the global meritocracy becomes more granular, rather than concentrated in artificially constrained groupings of the outdated past.
The Eurozone is blissfully moving in the opposite direction, in which legislation deployed by (unelected) officials has torn apart the beauty, merit, and capabilities of each European country into an artificially uniform mold, contrary to the evolution of humanity. It fails to recognize that the Brits (not a Eurozone member) are not like the French, nor like the Germans, nor like the Dutch (I should know), and worse ignores the fact that economic prosperity is dependent not on more compliance to socialism but healthy defiance to it.
Repair upstream economics
The Eurozone, therefore, does not make sense macroeconomically, nullifying its downstream implementation. The best way I can see Europe start to repair itself macroeconomically is to:
- Hold a public referendum within the next six months for each citizen individually to vote for the election of membership to the Eurozone and if so, to elect parliament and leaders from a ballot (like the U.S.), and simultaneously elect country leadership in the way we elect senators, in this case, based on their allegiance to the Eurozone.
- Implement renewable economics that drives a meritocracy designed to weigh the opportunity, needs, and desires of each country to participate in a global economy independently, composed of the cumulative free-market powers of individual merit by its citizens.
The right to greater personal independence will drive the pursuit of individual merit and prosperity, and thus the realization of freedom as more than just a state of collective money, but of freedom as a state of the individual mind.
Yes, the Nobel Prize has lost my full respect in appointing Eurozone’s undemocratically elected leaders Jose Manuel Barroso, Herman Van Rompuy, and Martin Schulz the Nobel Peace Prize. For it demonstrates that the current Norwegian Storting (Parliament of Norway), that votes on the Nobel Peace Prize and has saliently elected not to join the Eurozone, really knows nothing about the evolution of freedom.
The people of the Eurozone should demand their right to have a vote. A vote to freedom that signifies their readiness to partake and compete globally. Not as a uniform nation of mediocrity, but as a nation that is called home by some very skilled individuals.