December 15, 2005


When talking about artificial countries I could not at the time think of one that is over 100 years old. Well I forgot the most obvious one in relation to the EU, Belgium! At 175 years old it still has nowhere near the track record of the UK or England for longevity but better than most. Not that this should be taken that an artificial country is more stable than one that has grown organically
In 1865, the year of his death, Leopold I, the prince who had been given the crown of Belgium, told his son that “nothing holds the country together” and that “it cannot continue to exist.” To his secretary, Jules Van Praet, he said “Belgium has no nationality and […] it can never have one. Basically, Belgium has no political reason to exist.”
The main thing holding it together at the moment is are large slices of pork, much like the EU.
Belgium needed economic expansion in order to be able to literally buy the adherence of the Flemings and the Walloons to their artificial state. The Belgicists were aware that Belgium could only become a viable country, if it was turned into a huge redistribution mechanism, a welfare state.
But for any welfare state someone has to pay, and as the current budget negotiations show, this is not an easy problem to solve. Especially with the demographic problems of the EU as increasing numbers end up retired compared to working, and it's structural problems of excessive socialist command and control economics.


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