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Sunday, 18 May 2014

Is the European Union in the Early Stages of Disintegration?

With the elections for the European Parliament taking place in the coming week, this is a good time to consider matters European.

All across Europe there is a growth in support for what are called populist nationalistic parties. Here in the UK we have a few of these, with UKIP being the most notorious. I use this word deliberately, for (as in the past) with nationalism comes xenophobia and racism, and in the case of UKIP a lot of other unsavoury aspects like sexism, and probably many other things that they try to keep hidden. What they cannot hide however is their lunacy. UKIP, as is the case with other nationalist parties across Europe, have leaders and representatives that are plain barmy, making mainstream politicians – the ones we love to lampoon – appear quite reasonable and sensible!

I do not want to see such barmy people elected into the European Parliament, but you might think that in Brussels, in the European Institutions, there would be an understanding of the reasons why citizens in the Member States are supporting lunatics. Even though I am involved with European Institutions, I have yet to encounter anyone with an understanding of why this backlash against the EU is happening. Instead what I see is a polarisation, with those in favour of the EU retreating into what I can only describe as dogma. Sound familiar? It should, because this is what Europeans do, because they have an either/or mindset. One is either with the nationalists, or with the Europeans. How peculiar!

Yes indeed, Europeans are a most strange people, which I think most cultures that have come into contact with Europe over the past centuries have come to realise, usually at great cost, for when Europeans are not engaging in internal conflicts and killing one another in great numbers, they are doing it elsewhere, usually in the name of the legitimate pursuit of profit. Yes, a very peculiar lot they are.

These days the internal killings are less frequent, but still happen – recall the break-up of Yugoslavia, and more recently the Russians in Ukraine (yes they too are Europeans). The focus now for Europeans and their off-shoots elsewhere (mainly I mean the US and Australia, and others who have foolishly adopted the European way), is on new ways of destroying in their legitimate pursuit of profit. At the moment they are destroying nature and this will in time lead to the more familiar killings that litter European history. It is of course the case that others are doing the same, for Europeans have taught them well, exporting their destructive mind-set to other cultures who probably feel that they have no choice but to behave like Europeans, lest they loose out in the race to be the next superpower, the next bully on the block, to be part of the materially affluence world, that is with regard to the most important issues, bankrupt – morally and spiritually.

I am myself supportive of the European experiment, but not in the form that it is now, for without doubt this is out of date and increasingly irrelevant, but so is nationalism, so I say a plague on both your houses, for you are but the same thing in different guises. I am in the business of moving beyond this sterile and irrelevant discussion and the building of worlds that matter, ones that ordinary people want. And about this over the coming weeks I will say a little more, for this matter too is relevant to sustainability, and yet again it raises the issue of behavioural change.

So my message to both the nationalist and the Europeans is change, for your day is over. Now is the time to build a different type of society, a new civilisation – one that renders nationalist versus European supra-state discussions, obsolete. And as for the question of whether the EU is in the early stages of disintegration. The answer is probably yes, but so is the nation state!

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