Todd applies his family structure analytic model to explain why the Euro is doomed to fail. He notes that the French and the Germans, for example, have little in common. He expressly says that the French individualism is much closer to the Anglo-American individualistic culture, distinct from the German authoritarian style. He says that the French elite caused the problem and they cannot admit their mistake or the entire foundation of the French political structure would collapse.
The European idea of a union of free and equal states has been destroyed by the Euro, and it is now an economic hierarchy, with the Germans at the top. Further, democracy itself is incompatible with the Euro.
Todd notes that the very low birth rates in Europe have a positive benefit: There will be no open or violent conflict to resolve the current political conflicts. Rather, contentious issues are kicked up to the “European level” — which means nothing whatsoever will happen.
He sympathizes with the British position. Britain is dependent on a dying content, Europe. “It is committing suicide under German leadership.” But Britain is part of a much larger Anglo-American world, which in ten years, on current trends, will have more people than all of Europe.
Of course, America 3.0 is based in large part on a “Toddean” understanding of American culture, and this talk is consistent with our understanding.
A fascinating talk.
3 thoughts on “Emmanuel Todd, Speaking in English, on Why the Euro is a Failure”
The euro is only incidentally a currency. The actual project is to create a common sense of identity, a sense that all countries using the euro are part of “we” and “us”. This is why it is unthinkable to get rid of the euro because separation is psychologically linked with the risk of great power war in the minds of the european elite.
The fundamental dilemma though is this:
when the Euro goes up it benefits Germany because it keeps inflation low, their bond rates low, and boosts their exports within the Eurozone, which is their sweet spot.
When the Euro goes down it benefits France because it boosts their exports outside the Eurozone. They don’t care as much about inflation because they import far less raw materials than Germany.
Something has got to give.
The observation that when something is to be handled at the European Level actually means nothing whatsoever will be done is no different than in the US, where the federal government can be counted on to do nothing to address real problems. In both cases, the ruling hierarchy is completely focused on maintaining and expanding their own wealth and power.
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