‘The work of J.S. Mill shows the danger in eliminating the differences between European nations’ | S. Glendinning- LSE

‘The work of J.S. Mill shows the danger in eliminating the differences between European nations’ | S. Glendinning- LSE

While Mill does not explore the idea directly, the creation of a European Union that wants both to preserve and secure the diversity of Europe’s nations and to reduce their “extreme intolerance of one another” is something he would welcome. So his text offers a timely warning for the present generation of European liberals: that its courageous efforts to achieve “ever closer union between the peoples [sic] of Europe” carries inside itself the threat of wanting the plurality invoked here finally to be eliminated – a final overcoming of what Habermas sees as the debilitating effects of “national particularisms” in European politics – as if the ideal telos of European integration would be the creation of a “European people” that really is one because it really is one.

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