A Bizarre Peace Proposal: Slice Europe Up Like a Pie
All 24 cantons would meet at St Stephen's cathedral in Vienna
A unified Germany is both too big to be a 'normal' European country, and too small to conquer the entire continent. Its power must be dissolved in a supranational structure – which will be all the more powerful by having Germany at its centre.
That's solving a problem by turning it into a paradox. It could be a shorthand definition of the European Union. But the EU, which grew out of the European Coal and Steel Community (°1951), was not the first such proposal.
Here's an extraordinary suggestion to prevent future conflict in Europe, proposed shortly after the end of the First World War. The 1920 map, in German, envisions a new Europe with lasting peace (Das neue Europa mit dem daurenden Frieden), via the means of political unification of Central Europe (Die Unionisierung Mitteleuropas).
The bulk of the European mainland would be united in a unitary state, governed from Vienna, renamed Unionshauptstadt Sankt Stephan (Union Capital St. Stephen). In this Union, there would be no place for 'traditional' member states as they had emerged from history, or could be construed by linguistic, ethnic or religious affiliation. It would do away with the traditional states of Europe. Instead, it would be sliced as a pie into 24 straight-bordered cantons radiating from the capital, all purposely ignoring the continent's variety of languages, religions and peoples.
Proposed flag for the Union - also radial.
This European Union would exclude Scandinavia, Ireland and the UK, Spain and Portugal, most of Italy (to be transformed into a Papal State) and the Russian Empire. Also independent: Bulgaria, Greece (including Sicily and the southern tip of Italy) and a Serbian-Albanian Empire. The three entry points to the Mediterranean would be turned into neutral zones: Suez, Gibraltar-Ceuta and Constantinople (including the Dardanelles). Palestine would be turned into a Hebrew Empire.
So, where does this fantastic map come from? The author is a P.A.M., tentatively identified as P.A. Maas, the son of Otto Maas, the Vienna-based printer of the 24-page pamphlet in which the map appears.
The pamphlet offers a critique of the recently-concluded Treaty of Versailles, which it sees as an obstacle to lasting peace. In my project, the author says,
“the nation states are definitely torn apart, but they are as it were joined together under one roof, by creating sub-regions in which all nations are fused (…), in which racial hatred does not prevail as before, but the love of the people wins out, thus bestowing happiness and blessings on all in that unitary nation”.
The arbitrariness of the 24 cantons, each named after their capital, was meant to “solve and bury forever” the traditional disputes between the peoples of Europe. All the cantons would meet at St Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna. The inset on the lower left hand side of the map seems to suggest that the authority of the cantons would not reach that far.
The cantons (almost) meeting up at the Union Capital of St Stephen (formerly known as Vienna).
The Union Capital formerly known as Vienna would form a circular capital territory, perhaps similar to the District of Columbia in the U.S., but conceived as a Gartenstadt ('Garden City'). On the circular border of the Union Capital would be built 24 gates, each corresponding to the canton to which it gave access (Tor Bruxelles, Tor München, Tor Budapest, etc).
Despite the deliberate division into 24 cantons, the Union would recognise four constituent Nations: Romans, Germans, Slavs and Magyars. The first three of these are to be further subdivided into different peoples. Each canton includes people from at least two Nations.
Further in the pamphlet, it is proposed that the colonies of the former states now composing the Union should be jointly administered; that the Union president serve a term of no more than three years; and that the presidency rotate between the four Nations recognised by the Union. All persons over 20 would have the vote, except married women. Esperanto was to be the common language of the Union, and used in classes throughout the Union for half of the available teaching time.
Some proposals for cantonal flags.
P.A. Maas – if he really is the author of the pamphlet – had great hopes for his vision, though not in the immediate future:
“Someday, though late, the knowledge of truth will gain the upper hand, and perhaps many things which have been stimulated by me here will be realised. This would be the most beautiful reward of my quite selfless, long, and elaborate intellectual work”.
If that fine day yet arrives, we will finally be sure of P.A.M.'s identity:
“I have informed a Notary of my name, profession and role as author and editor of this work of peace, and it will be announced only when the four principal Nations in the Union have expressed their judgment publicly”.
Greece without a trace of Thrace, but with the whole of Sicily, and a slice of Italy.
Strange Maps #851
Got a strange map? Let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Step inside the unlikely friendship of a former ACLU president and an ultra-conservative Supreme Court Justice.
- Former president of the ACLU Nadine Strossen and Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia were unlikely friends. They debated each other at events all over the world, and because of that developed a deep and rewarding friendship – despite their immense differences.
- Scalia, a famous conservative, was invited to circles that were not his "home territory", such as the ACLU, to debate his views. Here, Strossen expresses her gratitude and respect for his commitment to the exchange of ideas.
- "It's really sad that people seem to think that if you disagree with somebody on some issues you can't be mutually respectful, you can't enjoy each other's company, you can't learn from each other and grow in yourself," says Strossen.
- The opinions expressed in this video do not necessarily reflect the views of the Charles Koch Foundation, which encourages the expression of diverse viewpoints within a culture of civil discourse and mutual respect.
Learn how to redesign your job for maximum reward.
- Broaching the question "What is my purpose?" is daunting – it's a grandiose idea, but research can make it a little more approachable if work is where you find your meaning. It turns out you can redesign your job to have maximum purpose.
- There are 3 ways people find meaning at work, what Aaron Hurst calls the three elevations of impact. About a third of the population finds meaning at an individual level, from seeing the direct impact of their work on other people. Another third of people find their purpose at an organizational level. And the last third of people find meaning at a social level.
- "What's interesting about these three elevations of impact is they enable us to find meaning in any job if we approach it the right way. And it shows how accessible purpose can be when we take responsibility for it in our work," says Hurst.
Erik Verlinde has been compared to Einstein for completely rethinking the nature of gravity.
- The Dutch physicist Erik Verlinde's hypothesis describes gravity as an "emergent" force not fundamental.
- The scientist thinks his ideas describe the universe better than existing models, without resorting to "dark matter".
- While some question his previous papers, Verlinde is reworking his ideas as a full-fledged theory.
TuSimple, an autonomous trucking company, has also engaged in test programs with the United States Postal Service and Amazon.
PAUL RATJE / Contributor
- This week, UPS announced that it's working with autonomous trucking startup TuSimple on a pilot project to deliver cargo in Arizona using self-driving trucks.
- UPS has also acquired a minority stake in TuSimple.
- TuSimple hopes its trucks will be fully autonomous — without a human driver — by late 2020, though regulatory questions remain.