How can Europe Meet its Responsibilities in the World ? - commentaires How can Europe Meet its Responsibilities in the World ? 2006-09-13T22:36:16Z 2006-09-13T22:36:16Z <p>The French Revolution was born out of a few parisian riots that were used by the members of the Etats Généraux to take power. The idea that there was a popular will to support the whole process is a myth. There was merely a popular discontent with the economical situation.</p> <p>The « national » ideology was used to pretend that the whole population of the kingdom had something gathering it. A lie and a myth to maintain the state as those populations were ruled by the same monarch as a series of historical incidents. It took another century of « national » ideology and state repression of minorities to obtain a kind of « national » homogeneity in the country. There never ever were people in the street asking for French national institutions, only people asking the king for more bread.</p> <p>If you uncover the myth you discover the fact that the State is merely an institution aimed at providing serrvices to a population. It is no different from a city council, only bigger. Why not then organize larger institutions for larger issues ?</p> <p>We have global problems that call for global solutions. the laternative is between having those solutions being dealt with through traditional undemocratic diplomatic means - or through a new international democracy.</p> <p>It there is a rule of law at the international level - and they are greatly needed - then I want to be able to vote on them through an international democratic process.</p> <p>About your « Do we see the European people out in the streets demanding the creation of European institutions ? » : yes we do. This happens everytime federalist organisations gather at a European summit.</p> How can Europe Meet its Responsibilities in the World ? 2006-08-07T10:50:57Z 2006-08-07T10:50:57Z <p>The concept of the nation was not invented simply as a way of filling in the vacum left by the fallen European monarchs. Take the French revolution. The monarchy was overthrown by popular mobilisation and action. We then saw a long battle over what name to give this popular force. Robespierre and the Jacobins refused the concept of the nation, and wanted only to speak of the people. Sieyes felt it was safer to have the nation as the people's representative, and to build 'national' institutions. The nation emerged as the name we have given to popular will. My problem with postnational politics is that we are trying to create political communities without any popular will as our starting point. Do we have a European people that can fill the vessel of a postnational European political system ? We don't. Do we see the European people out in the streets demanding the creation of European institutions ? We do not. Until that happens, notions of postnational politics merely pushes us closer towards supranational rules and regulations, disconnected from people. It is a move away from the democratic forms that exist, in however limited a form, at the national level. Rather than a false optimism, I would prefer Gramsci's invocation of « pessimism of the intellect, optimism of the will ».</p> How can Europe Meet its Responsibilities in the World ? 2006-08-02T13:15:02Z 2006-08-02T13:15:02Z <p>The French government is a part of the problem and has been for a long time but definitely not in the ways you mention that are extremely far-fetched.</p> <p>It is a problem because the present French political Elite, like in Britain, are convinced that their country embodies everything that's great in this world. They share a centralised national-state political and diplomatic culture and fail to see that the world has evolved around them.</p> <p>Europe needs to be European : it is a new political process that cannot be influenced by a single national political culture - not French - nor British - nor German... and this is why it has such a great potential as we can build upon past experience - the goos and the bad - a better post-national democracy.</p> How can Europe Meet its Responsibilities in the World ? 2006-08-02T12:28:51Z 2006-08-02T12:28:51Z <p>Yes.</p> <p>The Nation-State ideology states that the human race is bound almost « naturally » to be a permanent set of dividing lines within mankind.</p> <p>The Nation-State however is merely a period of time in history : it has not been invented for a long time and may as well disappear for other forms of political organisations.</p> <p>Its foundation is linked to the disappearance of traditionnal monarchies : where the king was the unifing factor, a post-monarchy state was to find a bound between individual, hence the invention of the concept of nation and the idea of the Nation State : it is the ideology that claims that citizens have a strong link between them and their State. This link was artificial and theoretical at first, the governements made it real though education, propaganda and war. It is now a political realtity as most citizens in many states actually refer themselves to it but it is in deep crisis as it is not appropriate for the global environment we live in : too small or too big, the Nation State has no longer either the monopoly of global action as private companies, NGOs and even private citizens are now also able to have a global action.</p> <p>And the global world needs rules. A post-national democracy must allow decisions to be taken at an higher level and a democratic process to be developped beyons the national boudaries. The European Union is the most advanced experimentation on that field.</p> <p>This new kind of political environment requires first that the faith in the old political model should weaken. This means also the faith in the values it stands for : ie national interest and Raison d'Etat. Postnational politics mean committing a new political approach and that is also valid for international relations as a whole.</p> <p>In addition, policies in a post-national political organisation can only be led by common purpose to be defined in advance : as such, the darker motives of politics can less easily be made in to policies.</p> <p>This hence does not make the idea of postnational politics naive : what you could say is merely that it is optimistic. This optimism is about the chance of such a new era to take place in a close future. We are in the midst of an extended transition period and in the midst of a crisis of the old model. The best is never a sure outcome. But pessimism leads to inaction and conservatism. Optimism leads to action and progress.</p> How can Europe Meet its Responsibilities in the World ? 2006-08-01T19:05:17Z 2006-08-01T19:05:17Z <p>This article begins by being very critical of nation states and national sovereignty. The national is bad, whilst presumably the supranational is good. But then it ends by saying that we need an EU, with a single voice in world affairs, in order to counterbalance the United States. The supranational here seems just like a slightly bigger version of the national. Why would this be such an improvement ? Why would the EU, if it had just one voice, use it to such great effect ? Do we have so much faith in Javier Solana and his team of Brussels civil servants ? In these kind of discussions about the EU in world politics, it always seems that the jump beyond the 'merely national' opens up a whole field of wonderful possibilities for ethical foreign policies. This strikes me as a little naive : our disillusion with nation states is simply recast in terms of enthusiasm for the supranational. Are the world's problems really attributable to the existence of nation states ?</p> How can Europe Meet its Responsibilities in the World ? 2006-08-01T09:07:12Z 2006-08-01T09:07:12Z <p>I think within Europe the main problem is France. The French government sees the EU as an ideal means to get more money, funding and geopolitical clout in the world, and it manipulates the EU into giving just that by using high-aiming, idealistic vocabulary. People are first tricked into believing it, then realize their wallets are drained, are unable to localize the culprit, and thus loose their confidence in the European Ideal. The EU would gain legitimacy around the member states if it would be less French.</p>