Two speed society: One EU2
Imagine a town where a buzz has been created about some land of milk and honey that has led to a general feeling of get-up-and-go.
On the big day all gather on the platform at the train station to commence the voyage to the promised land. Obviously, the elite are allowed to board first. Then the train is off…
Hang on, hang on! All the elite – the rich and the powerful – may be aboard, the rest of the people are still on the platform!
Some start running after the train to see if they can still catch it. The vast majority though head home, disappointed and with a feeling in retrospect that they were jockeyed into some scheme or other – “I told you those places aren’t for people like us!”
Now, isn’t that exactly what’s happening all the time when it comes to great ideas?
Take for instance the idea of globalisation…
Yes sirree, it’s been a bloody marvel for multinational companies, and for scientists, and for nerds. But the public in general feel they have not reaped any benefits. No pay rise, no fiscal advantages – no diddly! On the contrary, the gap between have-yachts and have-naughts only widened. The latter feel they’ve been left out in the cold. And although they might not admit it, another feeling has been creeping up on them, a feeling of nostalgia for their old lives. As back in the old days everything used to have human dimensions, on a nice and cosy scale. So different to all that global stuff.
Or take the idea that the Founding Fathers had…
They would be rolling over in their graves if they knew what has become of their optimistic views about human nature. Back then, with so many disparate groups in their society, sharing so few similarities, they realised there was hardly any ‘common ground’ to build on. Therefore, they went for a set of ideas. Brilliant! In their optimism they actually believed that the notions of what was binding them together could slowly trickle down into the hearts and attitudes of all fellow Americans and overcome ethnic, religious, and political differences.
Well, I guess we don’t need to look very hard to see how that ‘experiment’ turned out, do we now.
And then all of a sudden somebody dare say it out loud: Fuck globalisation!
That ‘somebody’ may well be a populist demagogue – who TF cares! He or she verbalises what they all have been feeling for a long time without having the audacity (or vocabulary) to put it into words: Fuck globalisation! Fuck Europe! Fuck it all! Populist demagogue for president! We are no misfits, we are patriots – populist demagogue just said so! Haha! We love populist demagogue!
Action is reaction, scientists say, it’s a law of nature.
So I guess that goes for economics and politics as well. And I’m afraid that in those areas if the action has been badly planned – or poorly executed for that matter (corruption/nepotism in Brussels plus what’s seen as small solutions to big problems) – the backlash may be unexpected and fierce.
The general idea behind the concept of One EU has to be widely accepted. Or, as Bono put it, “the thought needs to become a feeling”.
We’ve lost that loving feeling
Once upon a time it actually was feeling. After WWII the concept of One Europe looked good to everybody, as it was an antidote to war.
However, in large parts of today’s society the reality of war has lost its significance. And peace has lost its feeling. It has become merely a word. As war has become a mere word.
And in the meantime One thriving Europe has become a threat to others. Those others started swaying the public opinion about One Europe by working on basic human instincts: fear and greed. The means: real fake news.
Benjamin Franklin predicted: “Those who are prepared to surrender their freedom to win security shall lose… both.”