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What if is not an if anymore?
by Thanos Kalamidas
2014-03-08 14:25:08
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Perhaps Ukraine, beyond the conflict and consequences of the tense between west and east, has opened another kind can of worms. While Europeans and Americans refuse to talk with anybody who shows even a hint of prejudice and racism especially anti-Semitism and no Nazism in their own countries, they are all too keen into photographed with the neo-Nazi partner of the new Ukrainian government.

I mean, can you imagine François Hollande drinking wine with Mariana Le Pen and Barack Obama inviting the grand knight of KKK for breakfast in the White House? I’m sure you think that this moment I exaggerate to make a point. I wish I was!

thanos01_400A few years ago Austria elected in the chancellorship Jörg Haider, the long leader of the Austrian Freedom Party. A controversial politician with xenophobic, often discriminating and occasionally racist rhetoric. The man was in office for two years between 1989 and 1991 making everybody in Europe feeling uncomfortable. The Union tried to isolate him but it was little they could do since Austria was a full EU member. Thankfully he didn’t do anything serious – after all Austria is not exactly Sweden, a deeply conservative country which careful avoids her past and veils her present – and soon democratic order – at least at what we see - returned to Austria.

This was the first time the Union faced with this problem. A full member state that violates fundamental criteria of the European Union. And Haider was one of the first state representatives to discriminate Muslims before 9/11 spreads Islamophobia globally. And he was definitely the first mainstream politicians – especially Germanic politician – to talk about the Jewish “danger”.

How EU reacted? There were some announcement here and there but nothing was done. Absolutely nothing. And if this case could work as a warning, EU did absolutely nothing to prevent similar or worst cases for the future. There was no plan B, there is no Plan B. so what will happen if a little Hitler rises in the leadership of any European state, full EU member?

Again, I’m sure you think I exaggerate. I think this is based in the feeling that Europe is UK, Germany, France and perhaps Italy with Sweden and the feeling that none of these countries would ever have a little Hitler. But Europe is not just these seven or ten countries; the European Union is consisting by 28 member states – for now, more to come soon - with all of them having equal rights and equal influence in the decisions. Perhaps not the same weight but nevertheless equal status.

Now, saying that we must always remember that political decisions in the EU are coming from the Prime Minister’s council and the commission in cooperation with the president state, but the institution that legislates every single move – including the decisions of the commission - in the Union is the European Parliament. In this parliament Poland for example – a country that has brought in the parliament some really controversial suggestions in the parliament – is represented by 51 EMPs, less than the 96 from Germany and the 73 from UK but much more from Sweden’s 20 or Belgium’s 22. If Poland – as an example - could create a pact with other east European countries in a law that will make illegal any left party in EU the 96 Germans and the 73 British will look suddenly very few to do anything.

In less than a month and a little before the euro-elections Hungary is heading for general elections with the present Prime Minister Viktor Orban most likely to win them. But who is Mr. Orban? An ultra conservative politician who rules with absolutely authoritarianism thanks to the two thirds majority in the Hungarian parliament he got the last time. The opposition is heading for elections bullied, discriminated, threaten and excluded from all public communications that fortunately for Mr. Orban are controlled wither form the government or his oligarch friends.

Still all this are in the limits of tolerance but Mr. Orban has a brother in arms with black uniform. A parliamentarian partner and ideological ally which apparently has an organized and armed militia to support him ideologically. The only reason their embrace has become more public is that Mr. Orban tries to be sometimes “political correct” afraid that he might lose the EU subsidies to Hungary. And I’m talking about the neo-Nazi Jobbik party.

A few years ago, Marton Gyongyosi, the leader of the Jobbik Party, urged the government to draw up a list with Jews who “pose a national security risk” including parliamentarians and the delay of rejection from the Mr. Orban proves that he was actually thinking about it. What stopped him was the pressure from abroad. This moment troops of the Jobbik militia patrol the country side hunting gypsies and immigrants and there are cases where serious crimes happened, fast covered from the local police.

The opposition in Hungary has absolutely no chance, and Jobbik has taken care of it. Terrorising, threatening and using violence is their ideology; xenophobia, anti-Semitism, homophobia, racism and discrimination their practice. Do you still think that I exaggerate?

And please don’t limit it in Hungary; from Estonia to Latvia, to Croatia even in the former East German areas, neo-Nazism rises. They infiltrate governments and parliaments aiming one day - not in the far-far future in another galaxy – to govern. And EU has absolutely no plan about them. No defences. Mrs. Merkel has dinners with Mr. Orban and Mr. Gyongyosi because the important thing is to strengthen the Europe ignoring intentionally that in the meantime democracy is weaken in Europe.

So in the future you will probably never see Barack Obama having breakfast with the grand knight of KKK in the White House but don’t be surprise if you see photographs with the Hungarian Mr. Gyongyosi in the Oval Office. It will be our fault!


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Emanuel Paparella2014-03-08 15:42:30
What is apparent from what you write Thanos is that indeed ideology, even extreme right, or left, ideology is what people with passionate convictions are left with once they have rejected a universal cultural identity as is the case for the present EU. Which is to say, that the ability to vote and send representatives to Parliament not only does not necessarily indicate Democracy but can be a way of establishing xenophobic and racists institutions “democratically” by sheer majority rule. Those institutions will be “legitimate” because voted upon, the way Socrates’ trial was "legitimate" because voted upon.

I am afraid that there is no real substitute to a real cultural identity which could function as a glue of sort for the whole EU. I am talking about the original spiritual, cultural roots of Europe as identified by an Edmund Husserl (who by the way was no advocate for Christianity), the philosopher who in the 30s before he died predicted the coming catastrophe of the 40s.

But there was another man who prophesized perhaps even more powerfully than Husserl in an apocalyptical fashion. I refer to the poet W. B. Yeats who way back in 1920 predicts the horror of what’s coming with these verses:

“…Things fall apart; the center cannot hold;/Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,/The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere/The ceremony of innocence is drowned;/The best lack all conviction, while the worst/Are full of passionate intensity.”

Lawrence Nannery2014-03-09 19:42:51
With the exception of CNN, the media here in the USA is the worst I have seen in 65 years.
All the politicians are palying out, once again, the hate Russian rag. OUr people are being misled even worse than during the cold war!!!

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