Saturday, January 5, 2013

The Holy Roman Empire: European disunion done right | The Economist

The Holy Roman Empire: European disunion done right | The Economist

Such a reading would warn leaders of the EU today against repeating history: Thou shalt not let the euro crisis turn centripetal forces (“ever closer union”) into centrifugal ones, with member countries exiting from the euro zone or even the EU. For this would lead to a gradual break-up of the EU similar to the erstwhile dissolution of the empire, and deliver the continent to its old curse of Kleinstaaterei (small-statism) in a world of giants such as America, China and India. 

The European Union is V-Bi cooperation with some stagnation tending to become Y-Ro in some areas. For example battles with Ro left wing demonstrators and unions in Spain and Greece. There is a V-Bi Iv-B split with leaders with some advocating more cooperation and stagnation while other want to split the Eurozone up and cause more tipping points, such as letting Greece collapse.

This so-called Thirty Years War began as an attempt to answer the unresolved question about sovereignty, then took on the guise of a faith war between Protestants and Catholics, before drawing in the other European powers in a general free-for-all, with kings, princes and enterprising generals slaughtering, raping and plundering as they could. The empire lost about a third of its population. 

The evolution of a V aristocracy combined with scarce resources can turn them into Y lion like teams plundering for territory.

The bigger idea was the “juridical” principle. It simply said that conflicts were to be resolved by lawyers rather than soldiers. Whenever disputes arose between territories, the parties had recourse to two imperial courts, one usually in Speyer and one in Vienna, which are analogous to today’s European Court of Justice in Luxembourg. Even peasants could appeal in the courts.
The Reichstag itself was the other vehicle for conflict resolution.

Territorial ambitions can be settled in wars of attrition leaving everyone exhausted and in debt, this can lead to a resurgence of the I-O police to settle disputes in a neutral way. The previous wars tend to occur when I-O becomes weak.

It thus fell to the Kreise to police monetary naughtiness. Typically, a prince tried to inflate away his own debt or make himself nominally rich by mixing bits of lead or copper into the gold or silver coins coming out of his mint, so that he could produce more of them. This debased the currency, until the coins were carefully weighed again at a Kreistag. The results were captured on conversion charts, in effect the new exchange-rate pegs.

The evolution of a sophisticated I-O market with exchange rates, the I market polices the Iv deceptive debasement of the currency by exposing it to transparency.

 Rather, the problem was that Prussia became so powerful that the empire could no longer discipline it. While it cooperated with Austria, as Germany and France have done in the EU, the duo maintained order. But once Prussia began putting its own interest above the empire’s, even fighting against Austria, a far-sighted observer could have seen the beginning of the end.

Because of demographics and geography some areas can be a better territory for Y and V eventually leading to deception and chaos.

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