Last month, we reported in this space on the European Unions so-called document police. This new-age constabulary can walk without warning, and without a warrant, into any business in search of evidence of price fixing and abuse of market power. As if this proto-totalitarian policy were not bad enough, the EUs anti-trust investigators are seeking to expand their powers. For example, they want to be able to searchagain without warning or a warrantthe homes of business executives suspected of malfeasance and to question employees without granting them the right to remain silent or the right to an attorney.
This is hardly the only ominous news coming out of Brussels these days. If the unelected bureaucrats running the EU get their way, the document police will soon be joined by a brigade of thought police. As was recently reported in The Daily Telegraph, Brussels is proposing to make racism and xenophobia crimes that would carry a prison sentence of two or more years. The draft proposal defines racism and xenophobia as harboring an aversion to people based on race, colour, descent, religion or belief, national or ethnic origin. What counts as an aversion? Thats for the bureaucratsor perhaps the policeto decide. It will also criminalize any attempt to trivialize or deny the atrocities committed by the Nazis.
Nor is that all. The Telegraph also reported that Europe is attempting to harmonize its laws so that police can arrest and try citizens of the fifteen-member states anywhere in the EU. So if you are British and you say something nasty about the French while on vacation in Greece, you might wind up in a Greek jail for two or more years. Since the EU made it illegal for journalists to criticize its policies a year or two ago, it is not clear what sort of debate this latest piece of totalitarian legislation will spark. Of course, this is not the first time that Europe has attempted to harmonize its laws. Beginning in 1933, there was a concerted effort to harmonize not only the laws but also all of social life. The German word for the process was Gleichschaltung. That time the effort came out of Berlin. It almost worked. It took the combined military might of England, the United States, and the Soviet Union to stop that earlier push for harmony. It is anyones guess what it will take to stop this new, Brussels-based effort. The new generation's fools -->
This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 20 Number 9, on page 1
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