Monday, February 6, 2017

The end of the antidemocratic European Union?

Europe is entering a shaky period in its history in which almost nothing seems certain anymore. But, as with a future financial crisis, we can be sure that people and nature and buildings and infrastructure and institutions remain, which are the essence of our existence and our communities.

There is much talk about the Europe and the world we live in, but little of it contributes to a good understanding and shows ways to solve our problems. Politicians prefer to defend or attack the existing order and many journalists and social scientists simply echo their opinions (especially of those who defend the existing order). Conformism is widespread in the media, universities, ministries and large corporations.

I like to read descriptions of realities and thought-provoking analyses of them. I also like to read analyses I do not (fully) agree with, and when I agree, I often wonder if there is reason to disagree.

The following analysis is stimulating. It is written by Greek journalist Dimitris Konstantakopoulos. You can read the full article here, End of Regime in Europe!  I highlight some of his thoughts below.

About Brexit and the European Union
The European Union, at least as it stands now and with the policies and the arrogance it is producing, is simply unacceptable not just by British, but by a clear majority of all European citizens. The Maastricht system, institutional incarnation of neoliberalism (and atlanticism), imposed in Western Europe in the wake, and under the enormous impact of the collapse of “Soviet socialism”, and also of the Mitterrand (and the British Left) defeat and capitulation and of the German reunification, as it was executed, proved to be a socially regressive, economically inefficient, politically oligarchic, antidemocratic structure.
The final political blow to the legitimacy of the European Union was inflicted last year [2015], when all the world saw the way Berlin and Brussels crashed Greece, a member of the European Union.
Greeks were too weak to succeed in their rebellion. British were too strong to accept such a Union. It was History, not the Left or the Right, which put European revolt on the order of the day. European Left proved in 2015 too hesitating, too weak, too unwilling to become the leader of the Revolt till the end. A part of the European Right was there to fill the vacuum, at least at that stage. And it did it.
By voting the way they voted, British did the same that did, before them, the citizens of Cyprus, of France, of Netherlands, of Ireland, of Greece, every time they had the opportunity. They rejected massively the policies produced and imposed by the elites, both national and European ones (the two more and more indistinguishable), in spite of the enormous terror and propaganda campaigns to do the opposite.

About today's revolts in Europe
It is not a coincidence, that those revolts are happening mainly in nations which have, more or less, a strong national tradition. Cypriots have done one of the first anti-colonial revolutions after the 2nd World War, in spite of being a handful of people opposing an Empire. In the administration councils of French multinationals they speak now English, still France remains the country of the Marseillaise and it has a tendency to remember it, every time it feels the need. By the way, the first communist revolution in modern European history, the Paris commune, begun because French bourgeoisie wanted to handle the capital to the Germans. Netherlands is one of the birthplaces of European freedom, the country of Spinoza. Ireland as a country has been defined by the revolt against foreign rule. Greeks have mounted a ferocious resistance against Hitler, when most European nations had compromised with him. They inflicted in 1940-41 the first military defeat in Europe to the Axis and their subsequent resistance has provided to the Soviets and the “General Winter” precious time, while it disturbed seriously Rommel’ s logistics in Africa.

About the collapse of the neoliberal EU
Neoliberals have been able to control nearly all the media and political landscape, intellectuals and the public opinion. They were even capable of erasing mush of History from the program of western universities. You can be a graduated economist nowadays, but ignore completely Keynes or Galbraith...
By controlling everything, they fell victim of their success, believing finally blindly their own propaganda.
In the environment of prosperity of the ’90s, all that seemed extremely strong and successful. But as both the middle classes and more oppressed social strata felt the pressure of the economic crisis and then of the financial crisis of 2008, the material conditions for neoliberal hegemony begun to collapse and with them the political and ideological foundations of the European Union.

About the solution
For various reasons, the simple return of Europe to its nation-states, cannot be the solution. And even if British, French and Germans can as a minimum think and try it, nobody else can seriously believe to such a perspective. This is why, the defense of the nation-states and of what remains of democracy in their context is absolutely necessary, but in the same time is impossible without the emergence of a new project, socio-economic and international, able to replace the collapsing neoliberal Order.

1 comment:

enric batiste said...

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