De Gaulle and the Death of Europe

De Gaulle and the Death of Europe

Mini Teaser: The French understanding of the "national interest," epitomized by De Gaulle's thinking, reminds realists of the necessity of reflection on national identity.

by Author(s): Daniel J. Mahoney

But de Gaulle's main aims were eminently political in character. He
wished to give the new community a specific political identity and to
separate it from the larger Atlantic community under American
direction or domination. For de Gaulle the arguments of free-market
economists in favor of the abundant economic advantages of free trade
were essentially irrelevant. His goal was to prevent France from
becoming an instrument of a larger movement of global standardization
and depoliticization, whatever the strictly economic rationality
accompanying that process. He would not allow Britain to enter the
Community because Britain's "special relationship" with the United
States and continuing ties with its dominions and Commonwealth
prevented it from giving itself wholeheartedly to Europe as a
cohesive political configuration. Despite the needlessly provocative
rhetoric justifying his vetoes of British membership in the
Community, one should recognize that, as subsequent events have
tended t

Essay Types: Essay