As you probably know, some American politicians and American journalists refer to Washington, D.C., as the “capital of the free world.” But it seems to me that this great city, which boasts 1,000 years of history and which serves as the capital of Belgium, the home of the European Union, and the headquarters for NATO, this city has its own legitimate claim to that title.James Lileks comments:
Capital of the free world? That’s quite an assertion, but Joe backs it up. A thousand years of history, for example. A fine criteria. Often one finds one’s self at the border of a foreign county, wondering: how free is this place, anyway? The border guard explains: Mongolia is 4,000 years old. Well then! Must be four times more free than Brussels by the Biden Metric. It serves as the capital of Belgium. That’s something Washington can’t claim...
The EU is the greatest guarantor of freedom the world has ever known, because they have grasped the essential truth of our times: only by constructing inorganic and bogglingly complex manifestations of statism, and imposing them on people who would otherwise cling to antiquarian notions like “countries” and “national cultures,” can bureaucrats be free to meddle in the lives of millions without fearing for their jobs. They have perfected stateless statism.
If you define “freedom” as something else, Brussels might disappoint...Indeed.