Europe: End of a Bad Year

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Fascism and racism are still holding up on the Old Continent

Europe: End of a Bad Year

Written by Miroslav Lazanski; Appeared at Politika.rs; Translated by A. Đurić exclusively for SouthFront

The Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban announced that Hungary will block any EU sanctions to Poland due to recent media law, which was adopted in Warsaw, which has already drawn condemnation from Brussels. After discord and lack of consensus during the vote within the EU in terms of the migrant crisis, even about sanctions against Russia, and the reintroduction of border controls within the Schengen zone, we could ask a question whether as of 1989, in fact, we live in a projected fool’s paradise? Triumphing about the future which greeted the collapse of communism proved to be entirely unjustified, fascism and racism are still holding on the Old Continent, and the world we live in today is in a state of corrosion. The truth is that the old Marxist and socialist ideology failed, though they have described to perfection all future worlds, as they were moved by the philosophical belief that they have the exclusive truth. From the philosophy of history to funny predictions about the “end of history” it is always assumed that there will be a transition from one epoch to another, and their fatal shift.

Thus, the arrogant platitude of western lifestyle states that all evils of the modern world – authoritarianism, ethnic conflicts, non-liberalism – are reserved for developing countries. After September 11, 2001, there are talks about the civilized world, which implies the existence of the other, uncivilized, dark-skinned world of residual cultures. It remains unclear how the European right-oriented political wing fits into this vision of the world, because Europe has always been  just as much cradle of the barbarism, racism and ethnic cleansing as a cradle of civilization, the Renaissance and democracy. Racism and fascism are part of Europe`s history and are still here in her present. Racist extreme right-wing parties have been given the momentum due to migrant crisis and New Year’s wave of attacks on women in the cities of the EU.

Does this mean that with the New Year we step in a new dark age? Is it a factor strengthening the right-wing political parties actually a weak left-wing movement within the EU? For most of the last century the democratic politics in Europe were dominated by a competition between left and right, which offered some choice. The choice today is gone, European social democracy found itself in the center of the political spectrum, where it is not easily separated from the center-right parties. The European middle-class is increasingly defined by a political promiscuity, no fundamental criticism of society, as well as any other visions of the future.

So we come to the disintegration of democracy, where the ethical claims made towards democracy have always been the driving wish of entire nations. Today everything is exposed to corrosion from the inside as a result of this degradation status of European politics and European politicians. The result is that politics becomes interesting for smaller part of the population, those who do not vote in elections consider that nothing depends on voting, political circumstances are determined by privileged classes and scope of debated questions are all the more determined in advance. Politics are becoming sour and is increasingly dominated by the liberal market. The market and democracy are dangerously intertwined, politicians are both economy and media bosses.

In a continent infused in racist tradition, anti-Semitic and anti-Roma, the strengthening of the right-wing parties and the new racism will be boosted by current waves of immigrants. In this context, there is a strong feeling of loss of the European identity. There has been a dramatic decline of the European global influence, as Brussels and Berlin do not have the strength to emerge from the shadow of the arrogant American power. The European Union consistently shows a conceptual humility toward the United States. In the European Union, with the exception of the integration project, there’s not a lot to be proud of, and accordingly declined European self-confidence. Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic defy Brussels and Berlin, and there is not an adequate instrument to discipline them, because who would vote against themselves? Multiculturalism and diversity have certainly gained many new friends in the EU, but the resent events show that it is not the dominant tendency, nor the passage of time solve this problem.

Western policy after September 11, 2001 and the war against terrorism were from the beginning quite racist, anti-Muslim and anti-Arab colored. Military intervention the United States, France and Great Britain against Libya in 2011, performed in the name of democracy, but in fact on behalf of the oil and the dollar, created the belief in the Muslim world that, in fact, it was done in the name of race and ethnicity and that, after Iraq, was a new attempt to give legitimacy to the idea of ​​colonialism. Libya was followed by Syria, where France was particularly engaged, the old colonial master Syria. The result was a stampede of refugees to the EU and the question of Vladimir Putin sent to the West from the rostrum of the UN in New York: “Do you realize what you’ve done in the Arab world?”

The consequence is the intensification of racism across the European Union. This is not a passing phenomenon anymore, but herald of a new and alarming configurations in the European politics. Racism has become part of the dominant political discourse in many European societies. And all that goes with frightening speed. Is this a society of the future?

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