Originally appeared on a-specto on June 9, 2016. Translated by Yoana Manoilova exclusively for SouthFront
Report from Professor Valentin Vatsev from a conference on the topic of ‘’Will the European Union come to an end?’’
There is something extremely politically incorrect in the whole scenario of the eventual, possible, not excluded end of the European Union. Even the positive sound of the name of this conference at first (EU? – Crisis? – Change? and etc.) have something scandalous about it, something- to use this old and inappropriate word- dissident.
And for real, who dares to doubt in ‘‘our everything’’? Who dares to ask these not scandalous, but sacrilegious questions? Who dares to touch our bright future with their dirty, totalitarian hands and where are the services in this situation?
In a paradox way, today, the euro problematics in Bulgaria (even though this started a couple of years ago), reminds amazingly- at least to these who still have some memory left, and not to the mass of the stamped ‘new Bulgarians’ (people, who are freed from the burden of the memory), to the culturally political situation in Bulgaria during the 80s (and especially during the second half of the 80s) of the previous century. There will probably be someone not that happy with his or her new acquisition- the lack of memory, and will remember the 80s- the endless seminars on the ‘’IRSO dialectics’’ (Bulgarian: диалектиката ИРСО)- for those who do not remember, this abbreviation was used for the so called back then ‘’current stage’’- the stage of Developing of the Socialistic Society- for the specific Aesopian language of the socialistic intellectuals of the time, who were torn apart between the momently reached stage of social privileges and the dreams not for their removal, but for their rise as laws (and we know that wherever the privilege turns into law, the law turns into privilege). We can see that this is so relevant nowadays, and this means that the trends of the Bulgarian eighth decade- the last one for the Bulgarian socialism by the way- are not rejected, but triumph even today.
During the 80s, at these half-dissident and quarter-dissident meetings, Bulgaria was saying goodbye to its official ideology for that time.
And this is why the political conjuncture of that time used to result successfully in that kind of, deadly for the officious of that time, formulas- witticism such as ‘’Through the formal perspective everything is real, but through the real perspective- everything is formal’’. The main reason for this real-socialist Voltairianism and for the whole late militant social intelligence Fronde, was the approaching- today this a wide known fact for us- end of the regime.
The socialism was leaving during the whole eighth decade of the twentieth century, and on the surface of the public life the insufficiency of the officious ideology was becoming more and more obvious.
And then came Chernobyl- by the way this year we can note its round anniversary.
For the ones, who are already asking themselves why I start my saying in this weird and even inappropriate historical way for some, I will explain. I begin in the way I am because:
Firstly, history again, unsuccessfully of course, is trying to teach us something, Clio is desperately trying to tell us something very important, but BNT, BTV, Nova TV (Bulgaria’s biggest medias), and all the other dominating medias are not giving her the word- why is this not normal…
Secondly, because Aristotle is right after all- ‘’the future of the past is similar’’. Actually, I am talking not about the past, of course, I think and talk about the future- in a long and in a short term.
Thirdly, because the circles of our new history will continue to get narrower and repeat again and again, until they gather in a static point out of the history- this, obviously, is going to be the moment, in which the successful Bulgarian (the only left hero of today’s times), will shout in a Faustian manner: ‘’Oh, wonderful moment, stop!’’
It is wide known what happens when the hero of the time wants to stop it…
As I end this historical overture, I feel obliged to give an answer to the question: And where is today the Chernobyl catastrophe? And all in all what kind of irresponsible historical parallels between normally incomparable eras- the era of the ending communistic totalitarianism and the era of the approaching millennium kingdom of the democracy and the universal human rights, i.e. of the victorious Europeanism?
The answer is simple- the Europeanism replaced (with a typical click) the mystique of the late real socialism. How can we remember the then definition of the communism: ‘’More fully satisfying of the constantly growing material and other needs of the population’’. And how can we not mention here the way everyone expected the material good to flow like a deep river during the communism…
The Europeanism as a communism, free of its transcendent, hidden point and its apocalyptic sounding, but for that reason build from one separate euro bureaucracy, i.e. such as an exclusive communism- just for right, chosen people, without the International, of course, but with the Ninth, without the pentagram, but with the thirteen yellow stars (and why?) on blue background…
The consumerism of the Bulgarian ruling feudalistic class during the 80s found its Canaan, its holly land- it turned out that it is called Brussels. And in order to have place in this holly land, it wasn’t a pity to kill, in a completely biblical way, thirty-three Bulgarian tribes, together with the women, the elderly, and the children.
As for Chernobyl- yes, it happened, but not in the form of an explosion of a reactor. The thing that exploded was the European law and humanitarian status quo, smashed from the hundreds of thousands refugees from the Middle East.
Powerless, bureaucratic absurdness, political uncertainty, double standards, deep and fundamentally unresolvable confrontations in the sanctum of the European Holly land- the land of the won Kantianism, in which land:
- The man in always an aim, not a tool (if he is born west of Vienna, and not west of Zimbabwe or Ruanda for example).
- Peace has dominated over the war for good (if we exclude Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syrian, and the others that are yet to come…)
- The values have Sollen, not Sein, and therefore, the truth is not a value, or at least it is valuable together with the untruth.
- God has dies, but everyone is acting as if he hasn’t. And only when some Euro Pop asks why God is not mentioned in even one Eurodocument, this fact can be whispered to him- in the most discrete way, because in Europe God has indeed died, but this should not be said out loud, so that the Nietzsche followers cannot come (to revalue every value), and after them- God forbid!- the followers of Spengler and all the others bad people, who don’t understand how values work, and only lead us to the dawn of Europe…
Yes, and there’s one more spicy analogy- the real socialism was dying, observed with ambiguous smile from Moscow. Today, the ambiguous smile can be seen again, but from the Washington side- because the Europeans have to choose between the TTIP and the Islam in the heart of Europe- what is more it is armed.
So- the first, which is the closest, but it is the most difficult to realize (the old reactionary Heidegger was right- the closest is the one that is the most distanced), is that the Europeanism is in a crisis and it is not theoretical, but existential, not intellectual or moral, but fundamental, crisis not in the meaning of the EU, but in its point.
And before we elaborate on the crisis in the EU (it is not going to be anything new, didn’t so many people from Lessing and Humboldt, through Husserl and Spengler to Heidegger, Ortega y Gasset and Sartre- all of them enemies to the progress), let’s admit our own crisis in Bulgaria of the Europeanism such as a ‘’The pillar and affirmation’’ of everything that was done with us on us, and it was not done by hostile forces, but by Bulgarians to Bulgarians. Here we can paraphrase Strashimirov- Bulgarians destroyed the Bulgarians in a way that even the Turks couldn’t.
Under the sound of the Ode to Joy one small predatory group of Bulgarians declared a genocide to the majority of Bulgaria. ‘’Zhelyu Zhelev (the first Bulgarian non-communist president) or civil war’’- this wasn’t a political exaggeration, this was the secret truth of the democratic heart. The Bulgarians were about to get punished for:
- Having consumed the sin of communism
- Having multiplied themselves to the shameful number of 9 million
- And for the fact that they just exist, i.e. that they use important land without anyone’s permission
The Europeanism (using this or some other synonymic name) was actually the ideology of the rout over Bulgaria, over everything Bulgarian, over everything that can be related to the thought of Bulgaria. In the lives of the Bulgarians over the last 25 years there is nothing left that is important, that is valuable, that is saint, that is valid, that is sacral, or that is meaningful- nothing in the daily life, nor in the mind of the Bulgarians- something that is not confronted, retooled, hermeneutically represented or just destroyed and contaminated. All of this happened under the flag of the militant and everwinning Europeanism.
The Europeanism is our ‘’everything’’- that’s how the so called today ‘’successful Bulgarians’’ can call their most-inside and most intimate truth.
In the name of the one, only and saint Europeanism, Bulgaria pledged to take all the disasters, all the destitutions, and all the possible thinkable and unthinkable humiliations.
Said shortly and in a simple way- today, the Bulgarian Europeanism is the ruling ideology over the Bulgarian upper-class, which is anti-national, anti-state, anti-Bulgarian, oligarchical, and which is incompatible not just with the wellbeing of the Bulgarian society, but with its existence, by nature. It is incompatible with the historically conquered right of the Bulgarians to live in their own history and to live in their own land.
There simply isn’t such abomination and hellhole, that is caused to the Bulgarians (or that is yet to be caused) and that hasn’t received European sanction, meaning, dedication, or blessing.
These dependents were realized in Hungary and there started a fight for overcoming the liberal lack of memory. And this new consciousness today is developed in every angle in the EU. Bulgaria, however, continues its timeless agonizing, among the ruins of its own illusions.
But together with observing this, that is the closest, but is perceived (as Heidegger says) as the farthest, there is a point to observe the same processes from the opposite perspective. In other words, for the same things can be talked as for this ‘’distant’’, which is becoming closer and closer, sweeping us irreversible.
What is fatal is the fact that the financial capital, from a power, primordially serving to the integrity of the life of the capital and long cherished functioning as a simple (even though extremely important) mediator to the industrialization (i.e. to the industrial capital), today is finally and irreversibly emancipated. Today, we serve to the servant, the mediator doesn’t mediates anything but himself, mediates himself as a ghost, which has every human body on his disposal.
The transition from industrial capitalism to ‘’global financialism’’ (let’s call it that way) is a transition to new logic, new theology, and new anthropology. To the language of science, which is front of our eyes misses its subject, because it becomes more and more elusive and unaccountable, i.e. to the language of sociology (we all remember the shadow of the silenced majority, explained exactly like this by Baudillard), we can say that the social structure is changing in an unrecognizable way. The candidate to be the leader of the hegemony of the industrial era, the middle class, is moving towards its world-historically dawn, the new sovereign- the financial capital doesn’t need it anymore, and worse- it is a problem, because it creates social communities and national states, and all in all they are just obstacles towards the way to the financial globalization.
For the occurrence of this radically new age, for this fundamental change as in the world’s fundamental structure, the forms of their realization had warned us back in the 70s ‘’The talking crickets’’; in the extremely weirdly sounding documents of the so called ‘’Roman club’’ could be predicted the threatening roar of the upcoming globalized financial apocalypses. Back in the middle of the 70s the ‘’Roman club’’ predicted the ‘’death of the great Pan’’. The sociology back then, however, preferred to listen to the lying flutes of the progress, to accept its lying promises for its own globalism.
But the financial globalization, as it actually wasn’t very difficult to see that back then, means that not global progress, but a transition (unconditional and irreversible) or inclusive to the exclusive progress, i.e. going from a progress for everyone to a progress to someone. The vague, metaphysical speculation of the protestant theology that God had primordially the sentenced to success and the fated to be unsuccessful, found its terrible practical explanation. The financial globalism materialized, gave a soul and body to the protestant ideas for the fact that not everything is for everyone, that the primordially in loved and the primordially outcasts cannot live on the same universe.
The new globalism was equal to the end of the Christian universalism, to the place of the Christian confidence in the fact that the sufferings of Jesus actually happened to atone the sins of everyone, here comes the disgusting confidence in the fact that some are primordially saved, others can be saved, but it is more likely for them to fail, and some (and that’s the majority of the people on Earth) have no reason to be saved, because they are soma, biomass, i.e. fertilizer of the earth.
The financial capital during its victorious globalization meets its first adversary and exactly in the face of the middle class, exactly where it is developed in the best way possible- in the EU and the USA. The thing that started (but that was visible only to the experts) during the second half of the 70s in the EU, won institutionally and organization-politically in the beginning of the 90s. The decisions from the Maastricht that seemingly were accepted as developing the then united Europe, actually were a new track of developing of the society. The ghostly shadow of the ‘’United European states’’, for which the Trotskyites haven’t stopped dreaming about since the end of the 19th century, exactly after Maastricht started to get its body.
On the place of the union of nations that nonetheless doesn’t want to say goodbye to their sovereignty, appeared the ugly and claiming for the ontological density abstraction of the ‘’Something’’ which calls itself ‘’politeya sui generis’’, whatever that means- any attempt however to ask what actually that means are rejected categorically with suspicion of backwardness. That same ‘’Something’’ started saying that it doesn’t overbuild the sovereignty of the state members of the EU, but that it displaces them and the most important- it replaces them for good. The idea of the sovereignty as a result of the clerical accord and for the citizenship not as a fundamental-political connection of the person with his nation but as a formal-law responsibility, which acquires its reality in the act of paying taxes, appeared.
But in that way the produces United European states were primordially born dead. The thing that cannot be shown with any political analysis, which is inaudible with the institutional analytics and which is invisible for the specialists in the ‘’organized problems’’- i.e. the power that is invisible if observed through the optic of the vulgar materialism (or as it is accepted to be named: the economic determinism) is something completely different. Actually, the thing that destroyed the European Union are not the economic processes, nor the institutional nosedive, nor the bureaucratic everyday self-replicating absurd things, nor the so hard looking organizational problems.
The powers, that are now taking revenge on today’s EU (i.e. on that, that calls itself, my apologies on the term, ‘’politeia sui generis’’) are just the ideas.
In its happiest times, in the years of glorious success, when the development seemed seamlessly and boundlessly- i.e. in its ‘’Les trete glorieuses’’, the EU actually, was a living, triumphing avatar of the three main ideas of the European modernity:
- In its glorious years, the EU was embodying the spirit of the British free trading, which floods the world with goods and doesn’t meet any obstacles or discrimination.
- Again during the same years, the EU was embodying the glory of the German idea for the Leistung- the literal translation of which is ‘’production’’, but the verb is related to the creation of the world by God. The German idea for industrial panoply (that in fact influenced the Marxist understanding of development as a development of the production), for a stable industrial power, for limit deployment of the human, innovative industrial potential.
- And, of course, the French idea for the victory of the Mind in its bodily form of one rational statehood, in which everything is give a thought- to the most negligible detail, everything embodies the enlighten ideals of the French revolution. The state as one of the volonté générale, raison d’état and raison d’être, as a French reading of the famous Hegelian identity of the common sense and reality, but free of the perfidy of the German dialectic. In simple words, the French ideal for the State as an embodiment of the Mind, as an earthly kingdom of the common sense.
Today, this ideal triad demonstrates its visible collapse: the British freetrade is replaced by the arbitrariness of WTO and from the mystic and absolutely incomprehensible hocus-pocus of the clerk-trading quotas. Behind this absurd, of course, sneaks the made in front of our eyes TTIP contact, whose purpose is more than obvious: re-modernization of America with the cost of the de-modernization of Europe.
Replacing the German dreams of boundless, innovative industrialism, for ‘’Leistung’’ (this is the creativity), now comes the German deindustrialization, and replacing the French ideal for rational country, triumphs the idea of the not transparent Euro parliamentary government, which is not explaining itself before any nation. Replacing the French dreams of the statehood as the kingdom of the Mind, now the creepy practical abstraction has appeared, whereby the French country doesn’t owe any explanations to its citizens, but for that reason it regularly gives explanations to the administration of Brussels.
Today’s EU, claiming to be the decisive step towards the United European states is definitely postmodern. But of the power of its postmodernity, it is also post European. Simply because the bureaucratic Brussels’ mysteries are inherently sterile and cannot create any community, and just because the today ruling EU political clique is deeply and incurably unrepresentative. And a politic without representativeness is an absurd- practically round square.
The post European as a parade to the Euroliberalism demonstrates truths that for a few thousand years now, from the time of Ancient Hellas are obvious- that the Demos, freed of the ethnic connections and replaced with the rational union of the ‘’liberal citizens’’ is turning itself into ipso facto. For this reason, today’s Europe, in which the national citizenship is systematically underestimated when being declared obsolete by the not liberal past, and the supranational citizenship has appeared only in the dissertations, written by the eurobureaucration, but not in the reality- instead of this, today, in the EU, the hero of the victorious Europeanism, in other words ‘the perfect European’ , is actually the lumpen Algerian, who has already managed to break the connections with its ethnoreligious mind, but has not created any citizen relations with anyone, because no one forced him to do so.
Today’s European experiments with the citizenship illustrate us the classic historical formulas: Demos minus ethnos equals ochlos.
The ideal citizen of Europe in reality is the person with no citizenship-the one that is trying to replace his citizenship (and this is for sure a combination of rights and obligations) with his human rights, because he has believed in the American Constitution for the fact that ‘’the person is born with his rights’’.
For this reason, there is nothing weird in the historical tendency of Europe being systematically settled with people with no citizenship but with rich set of human rights. And this is exactly today’s main hero of the European life- the refugee. From Syria, Libya, Afghanistan, Eritrea- having no citizenship, but armed with unshakeable faith in his rights.
In this way the era of the triumphing Modernity in the European lands starts the New Middle Ages. After the Enlightenment, influenced by Horkheimer and Adorno, comes the black-out of the Lovecraft, after the end of the triumph of the Mind, comes the small devils. Replacing the critique of the judicial power, comes the arguments of Sprenger and Institoris, and the critique itself has led it to court, for which it is clear from now that it won’t find him innocent. After the death of God, so confidently announced back in the end of the 19th century, on its place in a natural way comes the Cthulhu, for whom we know that it won’t die. The doubts that there has ever been a New Age are multiplying. Moreover Jameson, completely evidently proves that the globalized financial capital doesn’t allow any representation, from which we can conclude that not only it cannot afford any political life, but it also, which is more important, doesn’t have any own vision of itself, therefore, there any discourse for it cannot be proportionate, nor adequate.
The circle has closed itself: the epistemic problems, with which the New age had tried to live with- and united Europe had realized that it is a middle point of that New Age- are turning into postmodern and post historical ontological disasters.
The United European states are going steadily on their road- and this is the road to the Shigalyovism, i.e. that hero from Dostoevsky’s ‘’Devils’’, which complains before his left radical liberal workshop- ‘’I am starting my theory with complete freedom for everyone, but she- without my desire- ends with absolute lack of freedom for everyone’’.
Probably for this reason, Dostoevsky is right when saying at the beginning of ‘’Winter notes on summer impressions’’ that ‘’Europe is a cemetery for beloved dead’’.
No, of course that Europe will not fall apart. Europe is a cemetery- or a museum if it sounds better to you, in which the barbarians will have the chance to meet with every historical lesson that they deserve.