All One's Eggs in One Basket Case; Review of John Laughland's The Tainted Source: The Undemocratic Origins of the European Idea

A specter is haunting Europe and John Laughland: the specter of Europe united, of nations abolished, of the administration of things replacing the government of people. He has written a book about it that is intriguing...

Issue: Summer 1997

All One's Eggs in One Basket Case; Review of John Laughland's The Tainted Source: The Undemocratic Origins of the European Idea (London: Little, Brown, 1997)
Eugen Weber

"As a by-product of recent moves toward some sort of international government, the direct control of the elector over national policy is becoming weaker. The spokesmen of the nation, meeting in council with those of other nations, may be outvoted or otherwise committed to agreements involving the country against the wishes of the electors." [Christabel Pankhurst, Pressing Problems of the Closing Age (London, 1924)]

A specter is haunting Europe: the specter of Europe united, of nations abolished, of the administration of things replacing the government of people. It certainly haunts John Laughland, and he has written a book about it that is intriguing, meandering, uneven, not always persuasive even if you agree with much of its argument, as I do, but well worth the detour nevertheless.

You must be a subscriber of The National Interest to access this article. If you are already a subscriber, please activate your online access. Not a subscriber? Become a subscriber today!