The EU: an obstacle to individual freedom
The EU wants to tell you what you are allowed to listen to, what to see and what to say on the Internet. That is one more attempt of the European Animal to become a huge Leviathan rising taxes and violating its citizens' liberties.
EU Commissioner for
What means "going too far"? Is this post going too far? Is Bretzelmann, comparing this with Stalinism, going too far? Should we all be shut down? Who's going to decide on this? Some selective Anti-Racism NGOs as it is already current in France? Some detached culture ministers?* An Internet police? Big Brother? I miss the old days when people merely spoke of a European Common Market and of promoting economic freedoms. The "Political Integration" however proves to be a Road to Serfdom. It is puzzling to remember that it was Reding who accused China of "not being ashamed of censorship" and stated that it was the EU's view that the Internet didn't belong to anyone. At the same time though, the French Member of the European Parliament Alain Lamassoure wants to tax SMS and e-mails (Hat tip: ILYS).
Yet, did you know that the people working at the European Commission pay exceptionally low personal income taxes? A small wage tax (around 10%) is levied by the Commission, the rest is taxfree (!). I do not even mention the considerable additional benefits that are granted to these people. But still, it is the Commission that defends the Union's tax interests by bullying low tax countries and calling effective tax competition "harmful" since such competition allegedly cuts the public funds needed to finance its "Social Model" (dixit a Commission official, whom I won't name. She didn't even grin while saying that). Could you imagine members of some national Parliament having a considerable influence on tax legislation and policy but paying no taxes themselves?
As Pan concisely points out, while the European Union tends to bloat and become virtually a totalitarian contradiction of individual liberty, a small Eastern European country (ironically one of the EU's new members) leads the way to more individual freedom. Indeed, Estonia's evolution from Communsim to prosperity was influenced by ideas of American libertarians, above all Milton Friedman, for whom the ultimate ennemy of freedom is always the government: the smaller its size, the better. Only then can a society overall be prosperous. The trend towards Centralisation, big Government and Socialism in the European Union is however a guarantee of failure.
* The Swiss minister of the Judiciary, Christoph Blocher, recently said that in a truly liberal country, a Ministry of Economy would not be needed. I would add that in a truly liberal country, culture ministers are superfluous too.
UPDATE I (21.05.2006, 18:00):
UPDATE II (22.05.200, 15:25): Zilch has a great comment on this:
Viviane Reding may be well meaning but at the heart of such initiatives there’s the basic idea that people are too stupid or weak to make a decision by themselves, they need to be protected by a higher power, A nanny state who can always look over their shoulder and check that they’re not misbehaving (God knows what they might do should they behave freely).