The interesting example of Belgium | Samizdata.net

Friday, September 21, 2007
The interesting example of Belgium | Samizdata.net: "One hundred and three days after their general election, life goes on in Belgium. People go to work, they meet their friends, the beer is world class, the food is good, folks go about life as they always have. And there is still no government. Hopefully the country will provide an inspirational example to the rest of the EU and split under the pressure caused by increasing Flemish unwillingness to pay the parasitic leftists who dominate Wallonia. Of course things might get messy but more likely it will be a velvet divorce... but the really interesting thing for me is that society and the economy continues to function just fine without any active government at all. No new laws, no cabinet meetings, and yet somehow the sky has not caved in and the world keeps turning."

3 comments:

MeaninglessHotAir said...

Americans usually use the term "government" in two different senses, a distinction which is more precise in British English. Namely, there is the "ultimate authority" and the "state apparatus" or "bureaucracy" if you prefer. This posting seems to erroneously conflate the two. While the elected government is absent, the machinations of the state are continuing surely. Police are enforcing laws, judges are judging them, people are suing each other and getting driver's licenses. The problem with the libertarian view is that it seeks to remove this other part of "government", the state apparatus, and that will never happen.

Seneca the Younger said...

Or, as Brits, they could just be making a joke.

ambisinistral said...

The really interesting thing about the crisis in Belgium, in a perverse sort of a way, is that Belgium is so often held up by the EU as a miniature model of the EU.

After the Napoleonic wars (if I remember my history correctly) the Flemish and Walloon regions, with French and Dutch speakers respectively, were welded together in a Federation to serve as a buffer state.

It evolved into the modern EU model of a federal state with a high levrl of social services and taxes. Of course it hardly needs be mentioned, the capital of the EU is Brussels.

The irony of the artificially created Belgium falling apart, with parts absorbed by France, Holland perhaps Germany and the EU capital become a city state is a rich one. The EU elites are in the process of ramming through their constitution, or whatever they call it these days, without referendums as their model boings apart on them.