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Friday, August 5, 2011

What Is a Member-State?

It is easy to get locked into a certain way of viewing something, even if the perspective, it turns out, has more to do with one’s epoch than the thing itself, including how it came about and was designed. I contend that one of the main category mistakes left covered into the second decade of the twenty-first century is that wherein one Union is treated as equivalent to a state in another Union. It is astounding when citizens of the former acquiesce in the likening of “apples and oranges” at their own expense—in this case, citizens of the United States unwittingly treating their Union as though it were simply France with a very big backyard rather than a Union commensurate with the European Union (in which France is a state). The affable “going along” is caused in part by a willful indifference that relegates any study of the origins and history of the United States. I submit that a proper comparison between the U.S. and E.U. takes both after their respective first fifty years—hence most Americans are ill-equipped to refute the asseverations of European friends that the U.S. itself is somehow equivalent to a state in their own Union.

The complete essay is at Essays on Two Federal Empires.