At Night: Thinking of Europe.

Thinking “Europe” at night,
gives me more than a little fright …
(Heinrich Heine)

flagge-europaeische-union-euCatalonia wants independence from Spain. Scotland wanted to leave Great Britain. After having received threats and fear having been spread all over the place, they now did not get a majority. Now they are sad because they did not succeed.

GB as a state with a great democratic tradition, on top of having been a founding member, now wants to leave the EU. However, leaving is not something they regulated in any way (this is true both for leaving the EU and the EURO). It seems doubtful if this is possible at all as far as laws go.
National and European law is too tightly interwoven. Nobody seems to know a solution – but nothing will change.

The Mediterranean countries stagger. The FRG, too, is still European champion when it comes to the federal deficit. Bavaria has not felt well in the FRG for a long time, yet they keep financing Berlin/Brandenburg. More often than not, the “coalition disagreements” look like harbingers of a “Bavarian Exit” to me.

More and more EU countries show an extreme lack of solidarity. Everybody wants to preserve what they have. At the Eastern borders, they rattle their sabres because of an (allegedly?) increased threat from neighbours. At the Southern borders, they feel threatened by refugees and solve the problem with dubious deals.

Regardless of knowing better, Europe keeps sticking to the mantra “growth”. More and more soil is sealed by layers of concrete, the individual traffic has total priority over all else and some countries actually want to return to nuclear energy. Europe is soundly in the grip of global concerns for whom the shareholder value – more than ever – has absolute priority. The enterprises are no longer here to serve the humans. Instead, the humans have to serve the enterprises. People are just a herd of consumers who can be manipulated at will through marketing.

Regardless of being absolutely against the trend, agreements such as CETA and TTIP that propagate total, world-wide and limitless competition get signed. Such behaviour is based on the division of labour and will, naturally, promote the exploitation of humans and entire countries. And the predictable conflicts are to be ruled upon not by independent courts but by courts selected by business representatives.

In the meantime, the Euro again pushes entire regions towards bankruptcy. It is all financed by a state bank that creates a huge balloon. Sooner or later, this balloon will explode – and then everybody will again start lamenting about the next world-wide economic crisis.

Politically, the concept of self-interest will lead towards more and more populist regimes that mock democracy and humanitarianism. The way people communicate with each
other has become cold. The European nations have started accusing each other of misbehaviour, the first slogans demanding that individual countries be excluded have already been heard – regardless of the fact that an exclusion, just like an exit, is not regulated anywhere and probably not legally possible. But that is not what mattes, as long as the money flow is intact.

More and more, the EU shows that it is a very un-democratic system. With a powerless mega parliament and commissioners who keep exposing themselves to ridicule. All the institutions that control Europe have become buffaloes of the concern lobby and the capital, all the powerful European bodies and associations are in the hands of capital and business. Politics have been high-jacked, the politicians have to serve their masters. The law of the moment is: you do not bite the hand that feeds you. And whenever there is a situation that might turn out critical for the “Big Ones”, then the EuGH will see to it that the laws are interpreted in a way that supports the leaders.

New legislation is passed all the time. Sometimes the laws contradict each other. Due to legislation inflation, nobody takes them seriously any more. This is how they are more detrimental than useful. The consequence is a degradation bureaucracy all over Europe as we used to know it from the “socialist countries” of Eastern Europe. It died because of its bureaucracy. Change was no longer possible and the division of labour on state-level had destroyed all diversity.

If a huge concern massively and intentionally violates a law that was supposed to protect humans against poisonous gasses and particles, then nobody is interested. Even if said concern cheated on millions of customers. The big ones will go home free. After all, you depend on them.

Once in a while, they make an example with a small enterprise. Just like the modern messengers who carry sad news, the whistle-blowers, are punished while the tax evaders go home free. Because their behaviour was “inside the law”. Regardless of the fact that they built constructs for no other purpose than tax evasion that have nothing whatsoever to do with reality. One of the reasons why they did this was that they knew how powerful they are and that nobody would dare to make them unhappy. After all, their revenge would be an existential threat to smaller countries.

The “rich FRG” heals its own financial situation through a very strange interest policy from the top but to the detriment of a doomed southern alliance. Subsidies are handed out, not just to the “system relevant” financial industry – but always at the cost of the future and thus of the citizens. The fact that this will always make the majority of the poor and of the middle classes poorer and the few rich ones richer does not interest anybody.

Much is preached about values. But nobody lives what they preach. Christian roots are preached. Enlightenment as a value hardly plays any role any more. More and more freedom is sacrificed in the name of allegedly more security.

Tolerance is demanded but not granted, solidarity called for but not given, democracy undermined and human rights reduced. They demand attentiveness and promote enemy concepts.

That is not the Europe I had dreamed of. Basically, I do not feel German, nor European. The national anthem, Federal Eagle and Black-Red-Gold colours do not give me special feelings. To be sure, the yellow stars on blue may look a little more attractive than the bland “black-red-gold”, but they, too, are not my colours. Nor do I see any reason to be proud of being German. Just like there is no reason for me to be proud of the colour of my skin.

I am a person from, in and bred by this world. Where I come from and what language I speak is irrelevant. I like and appreciate all humans equally. I am in favour of peace. I used to be glad that we had Europe, because it was my impression that Europe did a good job. Unfortunately, that is a thing of the past. What currently happens in Europe gives me pause. The trend is evil.

Since my early adolescence, I was always traveling Europe. First as an exchange student, then on vacation, and soon mostly riding my bike. I particularly liked the Mediterranean regions, such as Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Greece and Cyprus. And I always met friendly people who gave me a warm welcome – and who helped me whenever I had a problem. The same happened to me in The Netherlands and Belgium, later in the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Romania and Lithuania.

That is enough reason for me to love Europe – I do not need to have one currency for this. But also outside the EU, for instance in Kenia, Tunisia or Morocco and China, Cuba and India, I had many nice and beautiful experiences. Wherever I went, the people accepted me and I felt they understood me.

As I saw it, the people were always very much ahead of their governments.

Consequently, what I would wish for is a world of connected regions, without national countries and military agreements. A world full of diversity and without levelling. A world where the useless oppositions and fear will disappear more and more, making room for the celebration of an all-encompassing friendship.

(Translated by EG)

In my next post, I want to explain to you why I like small, de-centralized systems better than the big, central ones. Especially when it comes to actually solving our problems.

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