Drakopoulos, Pan: The Way to Unity

[Extract from Pan Drakopoulos, The Biography of Europe ©]

matisse lenlevement d europe

1915: Fr. Naumann: Mitteleuropa

Friedrich Naumann courageously publishes his book Mitteleuropa in time of war. Having the history of Zollverein (German integration) on his mind, he provides the vision of a federal Central European political unit. He advocates for a supra-national custom union as a starting point of a political unity. Later, Fr. Naumann will found the Liberal Democratic Party -still a German political power.

1923: Coudenhove-Kalergi:”Pan-Europa”

Count Richard N. Coudenhove-Kalergi publishes his book “Pan-Europa” in Vienna. The 29 years old Austrian Count, descendant of German and Byzantine nobles, having in his mind the dangerous strategic chaos in Central Europe which followed the fall of the Empire, argues that, “the unification of the nations of the European subcontinent with its diminished importance will either come about voluntarily through the formation of a European federation or will be forced on Europe by a Russian conquest. Whether the European question will be solved by Europe or by Russia, in neither case can the European system of small states be maintained alongside the giant empires of the future.” It is significant that Russia and Britain were left out of Pan-Europa. Coudenhove changed his negative attitude towards Britain to facilitate Aristide Briand’s policy, and after the Second War, because of the British struggle against Nazism.

Salvator de Madariaga writes in his Morning without Noon: “Count Coudenhove-Kalergi was the first active European who conceived and proposed a European federation. This idea was his brainchild and he is entitled to be considered as the father of Europe. His charm was so exceptional , his skill as a writer -one of the few who can lend spring, speed and sprightliness to the heavy German language- his gift for exposition and his ability to handle human beings -not by the thousand, but in small groups- were so remarkable that his ideas made considerable progress and in the end he was able to persuade Briand to do something.”

1925: Alfred Weber on the End of State

The German sociologist Alfred Weber in his book The Crisis of the Modern State Idea in Europe shows how the idea of a national state collapsed as a result of the First World War. His argument is clearly summarized in his statement: “Nothing is so urgent as the creation of ideal, realistic and political conditions for a European federation”.

1926, October: The Founding Congress of Pan-Europa

The first Congress of “Pan-Europa” in Vienna. More than 2,000 European politicians, scholars, businessmen, professionals and journalists take part. “Pan-Europa” is the first multinational pro-European organization. Count Coudenhove-Kalergi’s program demands “the political and economic unification of all states from Portugal to Poland”, the creation of “the United States of Europe on the model of the United States of America.”

1929: J.Ortega y Gasset:”The Revolt of the Masses”

The great Spaniard philosopher of history Jose Ortega y Gasset publishes his work The Revolt of the Masses . The book is translated in nearly all European languages, has a particular influence on the intellectuals, and inspires the supporters of the European movement. Ortega y Gasset writes: “The European cannot live unless embarked upon some great unifying enterprise. When this is lacking, he becomes degraded, grows slack, his soul is paralyzed. […] Nationalism is nothing but a mania, a pretext to escape from the necessity of inventing something new, some great enterprise. Its primitive methods of action and the type of men it exalts reveal abundantly that it is the opposite of a historical creation. Only the determination to construct a great nation from the group of peoples of the Continent would give new life to the pulses of Europe. She would start to believe in herself again,and automatically to make demands on, to discipline, herself.”

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