When Jean Monet and Robert Schuman (and some other guys) dreamed up the EU, their dream was of a federal United States of Europe. Now, WWII was still a recent memory, and anyway, it was perfectly obvious to them that all these different countries, cultures, languages, peoples, etc. were not--not even in peacetime--just going to sign over the deed to some Brussels bureaucracy and go merrily back to beerdrinking and cheesemaking and autobahning or whathaveyou. So they contrived an economic union, ahem: "Through the consolidation of basic production and the institution of a new High Authority, whose decisions will bind France, Germany and the other countries that join, this proposal represents the first concrete step towards a European federation, imperative for the preservation of peace." And if you dig into the little known codicils of the Faber charter, you find one of the few plans ever laid down that is visionary and devious enough really to deserve the title: conspiracy. Bref: Monet and company knew that deepening economic ties would force a series of crises which would compel European nations to either flee the union or else embrace political integration. That has been the entire history from Brussels to Rome to Maastricht to Lisbon, and now on to the next one. So the next time you read some scare piece about the uncontrollable whatnot in Europe, just remember: it's all part of the plan. The crises, the depression, the seemingly uncoordinated and insufficient responses, the misery of the Greeks and Spanish and Portuguese and Irish and soon the Italians . . . these are not the unintended consequences of bad policies or stupid and greedy leaders. They are the intended consequences. This is why the liberal and social democratic dreams are so futile and destructive: ever searching for the right kind of people to put in charge, they never quite appreciate what is required of a man . . . or a Merkel . . . to be in charge.