WSJ Notable + Quotable How Come Nobel Peace Prize Goes To European Union?

The first thing we did when the Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded its peace prize to the European Union was click on Wikipedia to look up the year in which the Norsemen had joined the union they were honoring.

Imagine our surprise when we discovered that the online encyclopedia offered a map and a list of members that seemed to suggest that Norway didn't belong to the European Union. Could we have forgotten something? ....

It seems the first time Norway considered joining, in the early 1970s, the measure lost by a very slim margin. A generation later, they tried again, and also lost. The leaders of the two major political parties like the idea of joining, but they are not so hot about the idea of putting it to another referendum. .....

We would observe that it's not hard to see at least one reason why Norway has demurred. Since its first vote against joining the EU, Norway has become a rich country, owing to all the North Sea oil.

Why in the world would a super-rich country like Norway want to join a European Union whose main mission these days seems to be to separate the rich countries from their hard earned and well-saved earnings and redistribute them to poor countries that are hostile to capitalism? And what are the rest of us to make of an award by Norway to a political contraption it won't join?

No doubt there are those who will suggest that in giving the prize to Europe, the Norwegians are seeking to bolster the idealists who dreamed of a united Europe at the EU's darkest hour.

Our own view is that it is an unconvincing gesture. Increasingly the Nobel Peace Prize is political prop (or poop?) -- its recent American winners have been Vice President Gore, President Obama, and President Carter -- whose lessening lustre will offer little to a European Union that itself has become a shackle of socialism.

It is a sad story. And maybe some day it will take a surprising turn. One can always hope. We intend no slight to the great strivers for a better Europe when we observe that in the coming generation the dreamers will look elsewhere than Brussels for the beacon of liberty.