Monday, 22 November 2010

Statism is at odds with diversity

A common argument against the EU is that it is not possible or beneficial to have a centralized authority controlling such a diverse group of peoples and cultures.

The idea is that the same governmental policies will not work over the whole of Europe. Laws will have to be different in different areas, because in different areas people have different cultures and values. It is recognition that values are subjective; nothing is ‘inherently’ valuable; if something is valuable, it means it is valuable to someone.

But when you think about it, there is no such thing as ‘group values’. Saying Scottish people like haggis is not literally true of all Scots and of no one else. It is a broad generalization. Italian people don’t value pasta as a group, although many of them value it as individuals. No two individuals have exactly the same values or opinions; we are a wonderfully diverse species.

So the above argument against the EU in favor of nationalism works equally well as an argument against nationalism and in favour of localism and ultimately individualism/anarchism.

If the people of Scotland should not have the same laws as the people of Turkey, why should they have the same laws as the people of England? The counties of Scotland each have their distinct character, where people have different values, so why should all of Scotland be controlled centrally from Edinburgh (or anywhere else)?

This line of thinking leads directly to individualism/anarchism: why should any two individuals have to live under the same laws if they don’t want to? After all, they have different values.

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