Europe’s Ancien Régime Returns
The politics of the European Union, however, look increasingly pre-democratic. In this new Ancien Régime – much as in the old one – officials condemn petty theft while absolving themselves of more serious crimes. Countries that wish to join the EU are instructed to scrub their institutions of corruption before they can even be considered for accession. Without the slightest hesitation, however, the EU now promotes candidates with a clear record of kickbacks and other dirty deals, as long as they are already senior members of the political class.