The Bruge Group is often responsible for spouting abject pap and inanities about the EU. This particular piece of nonsense, however, is based on so much non-logic that it is almost unbelievable.
Step One: Make a wildly over-the-top analogy in the very first sentence of a long and supposedly analytical piece on the constitution, and act as if that analogy is so accurate that is in on the level of indisputable truth.
To wit: “What is the meaning of the “constitution” of something resembling a new Soviet Union in Europe?”
By the simple addition of the word “Soviet” (which actually means, lest we forget, one of the legislative assemblies of the former USSR, and is not anything but superficially comparable to the various local, regional and national assemblies of any of the EU states), a hint of something sinister and anti-capitalist enters the analysis from the get-go.
Step Two: Ignore any concept of political philosophy or the history of ideas, ignore any concept of logic, and forget all you were ever told about that old nonsense about how the progression “All dogs are brown, Alfred is brown, therefore Alfred is a dog” makes no logical sense.
To wit: Now that we have “established” that the EU is effectively Soviet, that means it must be Marxist (which is obviously bad and with no redeeming features).
So now we claim that “The philosophical root of Marxism is found in Hegel,” which – in itself – is a moderately fair over-simplification of an incredibly complex philosophy of political economy.
Next, we claim “So is the philosophical root of racism [found in Hegel], and so too is the root of totalitarian nationalism,” thus heavily implying that “because we claim x and y have the same root, z, this means that a – which we claim also to have the same root as x and y – will necessarily follow the same paths as x and y. Even though x and y did not follow the same paths, and a neither has the same root nor is actually related to either x, y or z.”
Step three: Introduce an “if” factor which has no basis in current reality, and combine this with your implication based on a flawed over-simplification, from step two, to predict a worrying course of events.
To wit: “If the EU/NSU [I think they mean “New Soviet Union”] bans the nation-state, it risks leading either to the anarchy, the gangsterdom, of class, race, tribal, linguistic, or religious self-interest or to the authoritarian imposition of empire.”
Because after all, the EU is “Soviet”, and because “Soviet” means “Marxist” and because Marxism was rooted in Hegelian philosophy, which was also – we claim (based on very little actual fact) – the root cause of racism and totalitarianism, therefore the EU must inevitably lead to racism and totalitarianism.
Of course, the only relationship any of this incredible and turgid rubbish has to either Hegel or Marx is that it, like both of those political philosophers, swallows whole a teleological, linear approach to history which presupposes that there is some kind of overarching, unchangeable destiny controlling all events. It is on a par with a medieval peasant assuming the crops failed because God was angry, rather than because he forgot to water the bloody things.
I hereby declare The Bruge Group to be populated either by ill-educated morons or by devious bastards deliberately trying to distort the debate over the constitution with calculated and flagrant misrepresentations of the facts. If pushed, I’d probably opt for the former.