Thursday, June 09, 2005

There's Something About Europe

"What do you know about freedom? You think freedom means doing what you like. Well, you’re wrong. That isn’t true freedom. True freedom means doing what I tell you."
~ C.S. Lewis, The Last Battle

In the past week or so, even though the French stuck two fingers up to the establishment and the Dutch packed up their toys and ran home, various members of the European political elite have all been urging member-states to continue the process of ratifying the EU constitutional treaty. That the British government has decided it won't be holding a referendum, simply because it knows now it wouldn't get the answer it wanted, is neither here nor there - while Blighty may have put on hold the veritable circus that would ensue during a referendum, this latest display of apathy towards the people highlights the major defect of the Union. Quite frankly, whatever your political beliefs, unless you're absolutely deluded, you will have realised that the careerist bureaucrats and professional politicians of the EU are absolutely insane.


Not content with the unaccountable Rich Men's Club they've already managed to create against a background of political apathy and disillusionment amongst the European workers, they have now been exposed as having absolutely no respect for the people they supposedly represent. Their hope behind attempting to continue the ratification process is a simple one - go back to the French and the Dutch in a few years, and ask them to vote: but this time please tick the correct option. Some of these people even have the gall to utter that "Europe is not any one country", as though the European Union suddenlt stands for justice and defending the majority of honest, intelligent people (i.e. those who voted yes) from some uppity locals who are causing trouble.

Well guess what - they built the EU along national lines, now it's time to pay the price. Instead of a cooperative association of European peoples, these bastards modelled the European Union on the same undemocratic, authoritarian principles by which its members govern. Instead of promoting internationalism and solidarity, they promoted markets and an emerging super state. Of course France is Europe, or at least the European Union: when you base an organisation on the State, the biggest one wins. You can't suddenly decide that the EU is opposed to nationally orientated decisions, when the only reason your emerging technocracy exists is because you pander to national sentiments. Listen to Chirac - Europe wasn't good for the French workers, it was good for "France", that abstract collective of politicians, enforcers and profiteers.

Twenty-five different flavours,
none fit for human consumption.

I must admit, deep down I'm glad the referendum in Britain has been held off - because were it to be held next year, the opposition movement would be fought by reactionaries and xenophobes - a national solution to a supranational problem. It would set British people back even further in their view of the world - associating, say, the French or Germans with the un-elected bureaucrats who govern all of us, instead of realising they are similar victims of neo-liberalism and a "representative democracy" that is neither representative nor democratic. Even in France, the constitution was denounced as Anglo-Saxon. Europe will always suffer when nationalism, however diluted, is allowed to fester unnoticed and uncontested.

I am not against Europe, far from it. What I am against is nationalism and division, authority and unaccountability. Whether it's "Europe" or France, Germany or England - the establishment will throw abstractions at us when they need us to comply, to confuse and divide people. Internationalism is the only principle that can save Europe from collapsing into xenophobia or expanding into a monstrous bureaucratic parasite. That one noble ideal is what separates the Left from both the mainstream supporters and opponents of the constitution.

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