The doomed European Union

A faceless international bureaucracy will never replace the nation state

Britain, Dalrymple points out,

has a very different (and incompatible) political and legal tradition from that of the rest of Europe.

Moreover,

people need a sense of identity rooted in land and culture, and not just in an abstract idea. There may be some citizens of the world who feel equally at home anywhere, but they are few, and the majority of people feel a need for some kind of physical and cultural rootedness. The most satisfactory way of finding such rootedness in the modern world, that permits both freedom and a degree of democratic control, is via the nation state. It commands loyalty, affection and a sense of duty to a degree that no other polity does. It has its deformations, but it gives its citizens a sense that the polity under which they live is theirs and is capable of responding to their concerns.

By contrast,

a faceless international bureaucracy, composed of superannuated politicians of a variety of countries, clinging to unelected power and influence like limpets to a rock, will never replace the nation state in the affections of most people.

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