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EU: a Nobel Peace Prize?

I am left speechless by the information that the EU has won the Nobel peace prize (Reuters; Nobel prize website). After Arafat, Gore+IPCC, and Obama, among a few others, it's yet another incredible choice. The 2012 Nobel prize in literature was just fine – a Chinese writer may be official but he's still successful in the world and the success isn't due to his OK links with the Chinese communist leadership. But a Nobel prize for the EU?



Picture from Market Watch, "EU’s Peace Prize and the mockery of timing" (click at it)

It's not even clear what it means for the EU to win the prize. What is the EU? I mean: Who is the EU? I am surely the EU. I've voted to incorporate my country into it and I became one of the 450 million citizens of this confederation. Is the prize supposed to be picked by some officials like the ex-commie and future-fascist Barroso? Why is he more representative of the EU than myself, for example? Or at least my favorite members of the European Parliament (who are surely against most things that Barroso stands for)? What the hell does it mean in the context of the EU that claims to be a democracy where people are created equal?




One thing is that I don't understand what it means for a confederation of countries – that, according to some of the naive proponents, even wants to become a single federal country – to win a Nobel Peace Prize. Why hasn't the U.S. won the prize? Or Czechoslovakia, for the Velvet Divorce? Or other countries?

Another question is why exactly the EU. In the recent two years, the EU has been the most important source of tension in the world among comparably large regions. The main source of the tension – the fiscal problems that spread everywhere – are exactly the attempts to unify countries that can't be united because they're very different, and exactly this source of global tension seems to be what the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded for. The EU is getting a previously prestigious prize for having destroyed the stability of the global economy, for destroying trillions of dollars in people's investments across the world, for suppressing the legitimate rights and freedoms of nations and individuals on the old continent, and for bringing the nations to hate each other, and all these "achievements" are being legitimized by the Nobel committee in the name of peace.

As I wrote many times, it's not even true that the European integration "caused" peace after the war. The causal relationship was the other way around: nations began to trade and be friends with each other because they no longer found fighting constructive. Also, the peace persisted for such a long time mainly because of fears of nuclear destruction that a conflict between European powers could lead to. So the U.S. and the USSR should really get the Nobel prize for the Cold War if this is the justification.

Just unbelievable – nevertheless, the crazy decision was actually unanimous. The Nobel Peace Prize has become a giant joke. Every decent citizen of a European nation should spit on every member of the Nobel Peace Prize committee whom she or he meets on the street.

One hour before the announcement, a Norwegian TV channel leaked the information about the 2012 Peace Nobel Prize winner. Czech president Klaus was reported to say that he didn't believe the information and he considered the report of the Norwegian TV to have been a joke. Internet polls at leading Czech news servers show that about 80% of Czechs disagree with the choice of the winner.

After the announcement, Klaus answered the journalists here:



Let me translate it for you:

Journalists: How would you react to the Peace Nobel Prize for the EU?

Klaus: Well, I made my first reaction around 10:56 or 10:57 am when it was just an internet report and I honestly thought it was a canard, a hoax, or a prank because even in my wildest dreams I couldn't imagine someone who meant it seriously. And this was my response before the official announcement. When I talk after the event, let me state that I think it is a tragic blunder.

The Nobel prize has always been meaningful because it was given to a human, to an individual, to a well-defined person for a particular achievement – a unique achievement. To reward an institution, in this case a bureaucratic institution, is an empty honor. I am not sure whether someone will even have the courage to dare to accept this prize. So please, this is probably not a recipe how to give the Nobel prizes.
Within 12 hours, the discussion at iDNES under this video attracted about 2,000 comments.

We have regional elections in Czechia and I am going to vote now.



Also, Iraq decided to buy 28 pieces of L-159 A, mostly new copies (4 old, 24 new) of a Czech combat aircraft, for 1 billion dollars. I wonder whether the folks who claim that an "imperfect" contract that a defense minister does and that removes a few million dollars from the treasury means "corruption" note that in this case, they actually added this impressive contract. A corruption may only occur if the corrupt person does or may actually benefit in some way. Anything else is just the inefficiency of the government – one of its basic and most universal properties.

A Capuchin joins the 99% movement

Peter F. sent this hilarious video showing a South African monkey who joined the Occupy Wall Street movement, unlike its friend:

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snail feedback (34) :


reader hidethedecline said...

I happen to reside in the EU country of Norway the most narcissistic country in the world.
You don’t know that Norway is an EU country?
Well you right, apart from the fact that EU laws written by the EU bureaucrats have precedence over Norwegian laws trough the so call EES treaty.
I wouldn’t be to surprised if at the next year these clowns are going to give the Nobel Peace Price to the Kingdom of Norway or maybe they give it to Gro Harlem Bruntland, the Agenda 21 and UN global warming wacko.


reader Luboš Motl said...

Hi, just a technicality. Norway may be a member of many European things but it is surely not a member of the European Union.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Union


reader hidethedecline said...

Yes technically you are right. However the weird thing is that EU laws through the EES treaty is law in Norway, while whatever one can say about the democracy of the EU, the electorate in Norway has nada-say how these laws are made.
How this works is that while Norway is outside the EU and protect their expensive agriculture, fish industry and make sure the EU has no access to the oil revenue everything else is under EU roles.
Quite a weird construction.


reader Gordon Wilson said...

Unbelievable! Are you sure that the Reuters story isn't a plant by the Onion? :)
Maybe next year's Peace Prize will go to Gaia.


reader Gene said...

Czechia and Slovakia are, together, deserving of a Nobel peace prize. I can think of no better examples than the Velvet Revolution and the Velvet Divorce for settling deep differences peacefully.


reader Shannon said...

Gordon, I propose to give it to the universal Female gender next time. After all women have rarely directly initiated any wars...


reader Zdenek said...

I don't understand how they can justify that the EU did something for peace? Membership in the EU does not guarantee at all that if e.g. France decides to attack England that all other EU countries will support England. NATO does that: the reason behind peace in Europe is mostly the fact that European countries are members of NATO and not the EU. Furthermore, the current way of EU's approach to handling the huge debts of some of its countries, like Greece, have shown that Europe has not learned anything from its own history. Forcing Greece to stay in the Eurozone by demanding harsh austerity measures increases hate of Greek people towards other countries (especially Germany). In this respect the situation is very similar to the one of Germany after the WWI which led to the escalation of extremist parties and subsequently to WWII. The same things are happening in Greece right now! No, there is absolutely no contribution of the current EU to peace...


reader Ann said...

Who will receive the prize money? Some central EU bank? Nobel Peace Prize is losing its significance by these repeated awards to individuals/entities that are not deserving. It's become a wishful thinking award.


reader Maybe said...

The next logical step is that they will award the Nobel Peace Prize to the Nobel Peace Prize jury themselves for awarding the Nobel Peace Prizes over the years... ;)


reader Shannon said...

...posthumously ;-)


reader Josualdo said...

I'm still shocked and possibly will so say, and so are several people I talked to.


reader Pepa said...

Czech president Václav Klaus calls it a mistake, error and fault (also a joke) - to translate the word "omyl" correctly.
I take it he will never run for EU office ... :-)


reader Gordon Wilson said...

Next year they had better give the Nobel Prize committee IQ tests or else we will end up with someone like Cornel West being "honored". I am sure they left the "Ig" prefix off of the announcement.


reader HenryBowman419 said...

I saw this story this morning, and assumed it was a joke. The reality is quite bizarre. I guess this action, in conjunction with the committee's giving B.O. the Peace Price for having done absolutely nothing, means that the Nobel Peace Price Committee is the WORLD'S BIGGEST JOKE.


reader Jim Snape said...

Next year I'm nominating "Peace" for the Nobel Peace Prize.


reader Soylent Green said...

The next step is obviously to give the 2013 award to the Taliban--for their commitment to destroying priceless historical, cultural and artistic relics and their furthering of humanitarian murder.


reader Brian G Valentine said...

I wonder how Alfred Nobel would feel today, knowing he left his entire fortune to a collection of crackpots and Communists


reader Lucky Larry said...

The Nobel Peace Prize has become such an absurd farce that it is utterly disgusting. Next time around they will award it to the Cat in the Hat.


reader Gordon Wilson said...

The only rational explanation I can think of is that Al Qaeda terrorists have sleepers amongst the Norwegian Prize Committee. To root them out, we have to get each committee member to draw a cartoon of the Prophet :)
Really though, this is sad. The prize has been so demeaned that it should be dropped entirely.
Even Obama was totally mystified when he was awarded the prize, and after Gore got one, I did not think it could get any more insane.


reader Luboš Motl said...

It's not just an omyl. It's a tragic blunder: :-)


http://zpravy.idnes.cz/vyjadreni-klause-k-udeleni-nobelovy-ceny-evropske-unii-pin-/domaci.aspx?c=A121012_181114_domaci_cen



On the other hand, I guess that he would accept a high position of the EU if he could be given one, and reformed Europe back to a Europe of sovereign nation states.


reader Eugene S said...

Sadly, this year's IgNobel prizes did not get featured on The Reference Frame, but the Nobel Peace Prize took care of that by its voluntary self-destruction.

For 2013, I am nominating this paper for Nutrition: a study of last meals ordered by prisoners on death row, which shows that last meals are shockingly unhealthy :)


reader Luboš Motl said...

Apologies for the omission, Eugene. I now consider the Ig Nobel Prize and the Peace Nobel Prize to be equally serious - and the Peace Nobel Prize is linked to a greater amount of money which is why I wrote about this one. ;-)


reader Peter F. said...

:-)))


reader Luboš Motl said...

Nice, JIm, still a discrimination against physics. What about a prize for equilibrium? Wherever there is equilibrium, wars stop and everyone lives in peace.


reader papertiger0 said...

Sort of an admission by the committee that there have been nobody worth pointing out, promoting peace and harmony the last several years.


Harmony, harmony (hmm...). Another word for equilibrium.
I nominate for next years award, interference patterns.


reader Antonio said...

Could have been worse Lubos. They might award EU Nobel Prize in Economic...


reader scooby said...

Ha, what about Helen of Troy? But your proposal is a good one Shannon, I support it for 2014. Next year peace Nobel prize should go to my cat, a very peaceful and contemplative creature who has never harmed anyone or anything (excepting mices, rats, moles, birds and the occasional rabbit or bat). I will make sure that the prize money is put to good use..


reader woodnfish said...

They have awarded themselves into irrelevancy. I'm okay with the NPP becoming and international joke. Maybe while the world is laughing at them it will be, for a short period of time, a little better.


reader Richard deSousa said...

Hahaha! The Nobel committee must have inhaled too much CO@!


reader Seele said...

I propose an award for the wave function. They could simultaneously award it and not award it. Perhaps the idiots on the committee thought they were doing just that - after all the EU is also about to collapse.


reader MikeNov said...

Are you going to go and accept your prize in person?


reader Shannon said...

A Russian video on the peaceful "living together' in France... thanks to the EU.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rcwelikqMFc


reader Walter Schneider said...

However, women gave birth to all of the people who ever started a war....


reader Shannon said...

You must be a bitter gay man to say that Walter ;-)