While chewing on my Frosted Shredded Wheat this morning, I read a thought-provoking speech by the president of the Czech Republic, Vaclav Klaus.
A highly educated economist as well as a top politician in his country, Dr. Klaus says that Europe’s current economic malaise is the result of a decadent and paternalistic economic culture, especially in the wake of increased unification and the implementation of a single currency.
After distinguishing between integration (a good thing) and centralization (an ominous turn away from democracy), he spoke the line that really caught my eye:
It was forgotten that states are the only institutions where real democracy is possible.
His ideas are an interesting counterpoint to my last post, Morality, Fractals and the Arab Spring, where I waxed optimistic about the increasing scale of democracy in the world.
You can read his speech here: The Crisis of the European Union: Causes and Significance.
What do you think? Can democracy function at a super-national level, or is the nation-state the largest scale where it can be accountable to the people?