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EU's dark ages
by Thanos Kalamidas
2014-06-21 10:23:24
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An institution – just like everything else - doesn’t earn respect by flashing a name or showing masculinity, everything earns respect gradually with a lot of work and series of acts. In the case of an institution especially, respect is often part of the respect its members show to its foundations. I think when it comes to the latest argument on the person who should take the place of the next president of the European commission and the European leadership we should look for the antonym of the word respect.

The Lisbon Treaty, the latest addition in the fundamental rules that constitute EU, points that when the European Council proposes a candidate for EU Commission president, the council should take into account the results of the European parliamentary election. It also points out that the commission president will be elected by the European Parliament. This was added as a major show of the democratic way that European institutions should work and the idea is that it will gradually lead to the election of the president straight from the European people.

Despite reports it was the German chancellor, Angela Merkel the first to doubt the rules. The centre-right political group gained most of the seats in the EU Parliament and their nominee Mr Jean-Claude Junker is the candidate for the position. But Merkel had other ideas and she had already let rumours leak that she favoured Christine Lagarde for the position. But it was the French that didn’t want her; always according to the leaks.

Cameron came after a few days. And he stubbornly insisted that there was no way to accept Junker for president pointing that he has the whole British political spectrum behind him and actually indirectly blackmailing that if the EU wouldn’t accept his objections then he would go forward with the referendum and endanger the British membership in the EU. Here we are talking about the total disgrace of the EU foundations and the European citizens.

The European Union has changed dramatically the last decade, actually is not the same anymore. From an example of democracy and human rights has become an authoritarian zone where ambitious local lords just like dark ages warlords try to expand their influence.

Manors with Machiavellian princes, satellites and zones of influence. The game of the many thrones. The beginning of the end of a Union as we knew it. And I’m wondering if by keep insisting that what it will take is a return to fundamentals that built Europe is enough.

I also wonder if this new uprising of fascism and neo-Nazism in Europe is not convenient for all those Machiavellian princes and their ambitions and in the end if it is not them who support it from the background. I wonder if it is not really 2014 but 1934 and is not history that repeats herself but some repeating history for exactly the same causes and aims.

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Emanuel Paparella2014-06-21 13:12:43
Indeed, Thanos. Plenty of food for thought here! Enough to keep one musing for hours, and while we muse and reason about history and its meaning, Grillo, La Farge, and Le Pen, will be making history at the EU parliament.

A new Dark Ages may indeed be in the making, but to be aware of that is to remember one’s history first. Ultimately the problem may turn out to be one of amnesia. To know that the EU is no longer the same polity it used to be, that it has gone astray, one needs to remember how it was before, what the original vision was in the early 50s. I dare say that until one remembers the original vision one cannot make progress, one will in fact go backward. Which is to say that the past not only is not dead, it is not even past yet. It will be dead at the end of time, as Michelangelo teaches us with the portrayal of the Last Judgment in the Sistine Chapel.

When Cameron proposes a return to fundamentals, is he remembering the vision of the EU's founding fathers, or the good old days of good old English nationalism and imperialism? That may be also a relevant question for Mr. Cameron and all the ultranationalists who are now gathering in the citadel of democracy at the EU Parliament to build the Trojan horse of democracy.

History repeats itself and the second time as a farce, quipped Karl Marx. Perhaps Marx had a valid point after all: In Italy, for example, we have had Mussolini, fancying himself a Roman emperor, now we have Silvio Berlusconi and Beppe Grillo who has just allied himself with La Farge and sent men for the Trojan horse to the EU parliament. Machiavelli would probably say: so what else is new since the Borgias and the Medici, and he would probably advice to send in the clowns. A Nero would probably go further and advice circus, bread and soccer games. That will keep them happy and their minds away from the demise of democracy.

Emanuel Paparella2014-06-22 17:39:09
Errata: The name La Farge in the first paragraph is misspelled: it should be Farage.

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