After seeing this post on the Devil's Kitchen I have to lament what seems to becoming a truism for most students of the day. Europe has won, not through argument or any tangible benefit for the various nations but through the conceptual reality that it is the exciting new project that brings peace, love and bunny rabbits to all of its peoples.
Watch this vid and you will understand I think.
This chimes a chord with my experience of those that have been given a glimpse of the European project in my life. It is basic brainwashing of the most positive kind. Politics students in Lancaster University were given a chance to go and see the project face to face, discuss its pros and cons and come to their own conclusions of whether Europe is a good things or not. I didn't go, but a friend of mine did and in reality what he came across was a summer camp which touched on none of the real issues facing Europe and its constituent member states. Instead the discussion was on the large issue, the fun issues, the conceptual immaterial idealist prospects of what a perfect Europe would be like.
And this is the point. From what little I know (admittedly) those that seem to be whole heartedly won over by Europe are done so first on these idealist grounds of a peaceful perfectly formed federalist state - much in the same way the leftists are won over by their flawed drives towards equality. Just in the same way that the left held the minds of the youth in the second half of the 20th century it is the European project which will be the extravagance of our leaders of tomorrow. And though it will be a flawed understanding, and though it is something which many will grow out of in later life what this does mean is that Europe has in this sense become us. Is now an accepted reality of the British state's existence and not something which we join and continually renew our commitment to, but in the only sense that is real, it is now an institution within 'our' minds.