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That old skeptism
by Thanos Kalamidas
2015-03-04 09:04:32
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One thing we seem to lose lately, is the actual meaning of the words we are using to delimiter a meaning or a term. What does sceptic or scepticism means? The most common answer is that a sceptic is the person who questions or doubts something. Furthermore, is an overall approach that requires all information to be well supported by evidence.

Here, I’m not going to travel you back to the 5th century B.C. and talk about sceptics and sophists; this is more appropriate for a philosophical conversation or a symposium; but I will remain to the fact that sceptic is the one who questions, doubts and requires information to be well supported.

Contemporary European Union gives me every evidence to doubt its connection or continuality with the foundations of the Union. It has actually failed even in its secondary agenda. And by that I mean its aim to unite Europe into avoid another continental war and control German ambitions for another continental domination. It has failed to prioritize the wellbeing of its citizens to the profits of private interests and it has failed in gigantic proportions to be the champion of human rights as it was from 1970s to the mid of 1980s. The failure of the Union to play any role during the Lebanese crisis a few years ago, when it was the only “power” with access to become a credible mediator, is the best proof.

The euro-crisis, the lack of empathy and solidarity between the partners and actually the fact that some partners made financial profits from the others misery, is highly worrisome. The same time while the bankers and industrialists are protected in the name of competition and market growth, elements like health coverage, minimum salary, 40 hours’ work week, sick leave, protected retirement seem to have become relics of the past. The Europe of its citizens has become a relic form the past.

The power of the banks in EU has become so tremendously high that they can strangle a member state just to make sure that they can satisfy their loathsome exploitations, their games with the interests and set an example for others that might dream a rebellion. They prefer to see a country increase its number of the already unacceptable unemployed and the number of suicides than decrease their demands in usurious interests. And this in full support of the dominant Merkelism dogma that rules Europe at the moment.

eurosc01In Hungary and Poland freedom of press is something with very local understanding. You either agree with whatever the government does or says or you going to prison. For Poland, Estonia, Latvia and Belarus the world is divided in two; the ones who hate Putin and they want to invade and turn Russia into ruins and the others, doesn’t matter what the others have to say. For Romania, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Slovenia and Slovakia the absolutely corrupted juridical system is social accepted and nothing changes it. Finland in an economic balloon ready to explode any minute and Italy, France, Belgium Spain with Portugal live on borrowed time. Germany and the German dogmas dominate Europe for one more time and this time the new Reich uses a currency instead of tanks to dominate, rule and divide.

This is the Europe I don’t want to be part of. This is not about Greece, Finland or UK; this is about me. I don’t want to be part of this Europe and I don’t care how this will influence the London stock market tomorrow or the French exchange market next week.

But for that now I have to face a new situation that serves the bankers, the EU bureaucracy and establishment and of course the radicals. Even though I am the one who doubts and requires a well-supported by evidence opposition that could persuade me that I’m wrong and what I see is the continuity of the EU fundamentals, I cannot be a sceptic. Because the word sceptic is used the last decade and more, to semantically veil all the ones who oppose the existence of the Union due to their nationalistic, chauvinistic, fascist, Nazi, racist, isolator, xenophobic and other similar ideologies.

I’m not any of the above and actually what makes me sceptic is the fact that I support the idea of a United Europe for a variety of reasons including cultural, social and common evolution but I doubt its practices today. Sadly pressed between an establishment that moves away from the European fundamentals and the so called euro-sceptics, I have lost my voice. And I’m not alone.

Most of the people like me are gradually isolated, not finding a voice between the two monsters, often blamed for the failure or the success of the one or the other. If I don’t support a hideous establishment it means that I support a murderous opposition and if I support a murderous opposition that opposes every single principal of mine, it means that I fight an establishment that thinks that it keeps Europe united while violates every single principal of mine.

The truth is that they both use its other to survive, the sad news is that Europe is gradually slides in the arms of the euro-skeptic fascists. And don’t fool yourself, Marianne Le Pen, Nigel Farage, Václav Klaus (the Czech President), Timo Soini, Niko Michaloliakos, the Hungarian Victor Orban have absolutely nothing to do with the euro-skeptism for example Margaret thatcher often shown. These people are fascist, Nazis in the core, xenophobes and racists.

Timo Soini and his anti-constitutional by definition True Finns, are the third party in the Finnish parliament and they hope that in the coming elections they will strengthen their position. To what end? Nikos Michaloliakos and the Nazi Golden Dawn is the third party in Greece despite the fact that its leadership is in prison accused for murders and series of hate crimes. Marianne Le Pen is getting ready for the presidential palace in France and Farage will probably be the one who will determine what will happen in UK in the next two months. Václav Klaus is president and Victor Orban government.

The establishment continues to use the euro-sceptics calling any opposition euro-sceptics and straight away pile them in the same category with Le Pen and Farage. They did it with the new Greek government which doesn’t oppose a united Europe but doubts the policies of the establishment, they do it with the rising Podemos in Spain. They think that by flattening all the opposition they will make any healthy opposition unattractive to the voters. As a consequence they give more power to the fascists like Timo Soini and Michaloliakos.

In the meantime the only ones who could really defend a united Europe, the only ones who could really defend a pan-European democracy and our cultural heritage, we are isolated, powerless and without a voice.

But the right for equality, the right for freedom in speech, the right for democracy is not just European, is global. And if I cannot be a euro-sceptic due to the semantics that have been built on the world for opportunistic reasons, what am I? If I think that the world that surround me this moment, starting from Europe is not the world I like, what does this make me? Just a sceptic?

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Emanuel Paparella2015-03-04 14:03:58
Indeed Thanos, your question may be rhetorical to relieve the frustration that all those who believe in universal principles of justice feel presently when confronted with the present EU political reality, but perhaps it deserves to be pondered and addressed in some fashion, be it only philosophically. You have it on target when you identify the problem as one of semantics or language in general. The Euro-skeptics have in fact co-opted the word “skeptic” and have distorted its meaning so that it does not mean any longer what used to mean for a Socrates or a Plato who insisted on clarifying the terms of a discussion before engaging in it. The defeat of skepticism, sophistry or cynicism was certainly one of their main concerns. Without their defeat epistemology cannot even begin.
In Orwell’s novel 1984 there is a new language in Oceania called Newspeak where good means bad and vice versa. I am afraid that the present Euro-skeptics mostly on the political right, nostalgic for the good old days of rabid nationalism, fascism and xenophobia use language as Newspeak, that is to say the way Big Brother uses it in Orwell’s Oceania. So they take a perfectly good word as “skepticism” and subvert it by assigning it a different contrary meaning, just as in 1984 Big Brother and his party attempt to eliminate all words related to political rebellion, in effect setting up “thought police” which monitors the worst of all crimes: thought crimes. You change thought and you change the political reality.
So the problem is ultimately a linguistic-philosophical one and is well delineated in Orwell’s 1984. The founding fathers of the EU, who dreamed of a union built not on banks and savage capitalism but on solidarity must be turning in their grave since even that word—solidarity—has suffered the same fate as skeptic. But thought-police notwithstanding, I wager that political rebellion and free speech will prove difficult to suppress. The fact that it has not yet been suppressed is the silver lining here. Silone, who like Orwell was a prophet of sort, called it “the conspiracy of hope” which may be a bit utopian but utopian language is surely preferable to newspeak.

Leah Sellers2015-03-05 08:07:42
Yes ! Yes ! To both of you fine Gentlemen ! You are both Attuned to the difficulties at hand within the EU and all Mega-Banking, Mega-Corporate, Elitist Power Structures. They are geared to preseve and enrich Themselves - not the Whole of Humanity at a multitude of levels. It is a Gigantic Ponzi scheme. And the ones beneath them will always suffer in one way or another. And yes, the Originators of the EU (and other systems) are rolling around in their graves over all of this. And they are not the only Ones Rolling, Rumbling and Grumbling around.....

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