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The nation became more than a language. It became a moral bond and a universal administrative system. The Europeans, with their empires, were now operating on a global scale in a world filled with other powers of vaster size and organization. The European Union intended to achieve what the Romans, Charlemagne, Napoleon, and Hitler had all failed to do: create a united Europe. The Maastricht Treaty bound together 6 countries—France, German, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, and Italy in a European Community (EC). After WWII Europe boiled down all its dreams to safety and wealth. For the most part, every language now had its own nation. Since 1945 Europeans have tried to achieve a collective amnesia, but memory is reemerging. You see this most clearly in the borderlands--the underlying problem of the EU. Families are each hardened by history and conflict, never forgetting, rarely forgiving. All post-Soviet post-Maastricht wars occurred here where Christianity and Islam mixed, the first harbingers of a resurrected issue—Islam within Europe. The Balkans are a fragmented region caught between 3 great powers: Turkey, Russia, and the Germanic countries. You can probe as deeply as you like for the reason behind the hatreds, but in the end, each loved his own and that is who he was. Events 500 years before are as if they had happened yesterday. Germany intends to have an economic policy without political and military consequences. Southern Europeans will resist the discipline, and they have the power of all debtors—default. Germany will eventually become a full-fledged power, first flexing its political muscles and in time its military ones as pressures develop. Whereas the peninsula has diversity that can’t be overcome, Russia has homogeneity that cannot be destroyed. The fundamental question of the relationship between Germany and Russia is a question that will define Europe as a whole. It is the relationship between the mainland and the peninsula. When Germany demanded austerity, it addressed its own needs and constraints, and alienated those who would bear the burden. The concept of nation is shared blood, language, or at least common birth. In Europe, where the stranger remains the stranger because of birth, friction is not the problem of the wealthier Europeans who can insulate themselves from the lower class. It is the problem of the lower middle class and the poor, who cannot ignore the foreigners’ presence. Muslims are sufficiently religious to put them at odds with the secularism of Europe. The maniacal efficiency of northern Europeans, the culture of work as life, is not compatible with those of their Arab neighbors across the Mediterranean, with whom they have fought and traded for millennia. Being rich and weak is a dangerous combination. Virtually any country that wishes to pose a military challenge can force the Europeans to try to buy their way out of the problem, ignore the problem in the hopes it goes away, or capitulate, but not to fight. The engine of conflict—a romantic nationalism that challenges the legitimacy of transferring authority to multinational institutions and resurrects old national conflicts—is stirring again.