European Union is dead! Or the new beginning of lost illusions

Posted: Vilis Normanas Date: 2013-08-02 10:21

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A well-known Friedrich Nietzsche’s phrase – God is dead! – should not fool us with its external simplicity: it does not hide the fact that somebody destroyed the fantasy of God or that religion has died. It should not be understood as the demise of the Catholic Church either. It rather expresses a more important idea: dead is the belief that God is still alive, that God is possible.

In other words, people started to doubt the basic axiom of religion: that you cannot experience God. Death of God was being experienced in the 19th century through people’s disappointment and despair. God is alive when people hope (that is why Nietzsche thought that religion is the biggest evil), when they are not sure about their future, when there is no sense of God in the present except the projects of the future and there is no denial of God in the “experiencing the present”.

Paradoxically, the belief is possible only because of the unreal fantasy. The fantasy which cannot be checked, which was never fulfilled, and which is only possible in the future. To put it simply, any belief is the fantasy of something that did not happen yet and something that is not here. Every religion is utopia which is ruined when the last illusion that God will manifest itself is lost – and for the short period of time a vaccum appears, an open situation in which waits to be filled with a new ideology. Later this empty spot is filled with new hope , dead God is replaced with a new one and everything continues as before. Rethinking hope is the time when we are able to show our will to power.

This is why it is worth remembering the birth of Nazism, the end of Cold War, September 11th and the economic crisis in 2008: these were the breaking points of our history which founded democracy, liberal capitalism and at the same time denied them and left them barely alive.In other words, while people’s disappointment did not reach the critical level even the dead God may be celebrated until it is rotten completely. History always repeats itself, in accordance with Karl Marx’s words, first of all, as a farce, later – as a tragedy. Usually, everybody does not believe in change until it actually happens and all the hopes are destroyed by reality and materialization of its realpolitik: every religion is doomed to fail and that is why you are most disappointed by the thing you believe in. Doxa ( a common belief or popular opinion) did not cause any world war, any serious argument. If everybody would just express their opinions, we would all live in heaven (therefore, there would be no need to seek the heaven after death). However, our reality is based on fanatics we often live in fanatic hell. The less we know, the more we believe. God does not have to believe in something because he knows everything: paradoxically, a human believes in the one who does not believe in anything. It means that humans believe in atheist God.

When it comes to the EU, its death would not be totally unexpected but the problem is different here: people who want the death of the EU cannot really tell what would take place instead of it. Will the EU be replaced by radical nationalism? Will we experience something similar to the Second World War? This uncertainty makes the judgment day of the system in crisis even farther; instead, the disappointment continues to increase. The longer you wait to get rid of the body, the more it stinks. Unemployment increases, the problems of the emigrants begin to threaten security; China is keen to dictate the rules of the game and shows clearly that she will not keep up with the EU’s caprices, Russia, ruled by madmen, is completely unpredictable and can impose economic sanctions anytime. It is obvious that the old continent which previously played the biggest role in slicing up the world has now itself become a little piece of cake and it impossible not to notice this. But how changes should begin? Can European states fight against the whole world without the EU? Vladimir Lenin who invited to “start from the beginning” did not have an idea that this revolutionary logic of the invite is perfectly suitable not only for revolution but also for the returning to the past. Every time before the death of the old God we need to stop and think what is waiting for us because farce does not take long to turn into tragedy. It is not difficult to destroy the EU because nobody believes in it anymore. It is a corpse which is not buried yet simply because of this awful truth – there is no better idea which could replace it, so it means that we are forced to smell the stink of the EU, so we don’t find ourselves in the sociopolitical chaos later. The lost illusions hit Europe really hard: it punished Europe for seeking economic gain, emigrants talk about their rights louder and louder, nationalism increases, the tension among states becomes obvious. And at the same time no one wants to be responsible for this.

After the collapse of the Berlin Wall Europe waited for the democracy, capitalism, welfare and these objectives were fine; however, it could not be done with existing means. Now no one cares what Plato or Aristotle wrote about democracy: in pragmatic and boring nowadays world every problem is seen as a little malfunction which only proves the quality of the system. It is not usually asked what kind of quality is this. Critics who call themselves lefties stupidly argue that capitalism is systemically bad. However, there is no systemic evil in capitalism (you should read Karl Marx more carefully). What is wrong with capitalism is this: when it reaches the ceiling of welfare, it begins to destroy itself and that is why humanitarian aid is needed. It does not help anyone but helps to create an illusion that rich understand and help the poor. The catastrophe of today is that there is no need to try to reach a bigger welfare because there is no time even to buy new smart phones every couple months, of course, if you have loads of money. If you have loads of money, the social welfare grows which supports the emigrants. But it leads directly to unemployment, immigration and soon it is realized that the situation is worse: the workers have to work more in order to support the non-working ones; emigrants openly make fun of states that provided them with home and security. Chaos only gets bigger. Free market gets unregulated – social welfare and humanitarian aid creates even more problems. It is not clear whether intentionally or not but intellectuals do not mention that the capitalism survives on one condition – it has to get bigger and bigger. Logic says that it does not matter how much profit a capitalist will make he will have to make his business even bigger because money loose value because of the politics of the banks.

It results in increasing job rates. More work needs to be done, competition grows, and after we reach the high level of civilization, we have a problem – how to sustain this high level and change the negative characteristics of the system? This question is essential because if we won’t change anything we will lose the good life and maybe even nationalists will take over to rule the country. We should not laugh at the EU – it was a naïve idea and it served this idea well. France, Germany and United Kingdom wanted more welfare and got it. Now they will have to pay for it. When the standards of living are high basically nothing happens in the everyday life.

In the recently published book “The Price of Inequality” Joseph Stiglitz points out that inequality grows proportionally the economic growth. America is ruled by a couple of rich families and even rich people’s neighborhoods are being build which are unreachable to the poor. Nowadays world has more poor people than ever in human history so there is no point to talk about the progress. Those who try to show their lives full of comfort have nothing else to brag about. This is the only way to be different.

It has nothing to do with a conspiracy: not people are so clever to adjust to the system which gets more complicated each day. That is where the longing for the USSR comes from – people long the times when everybody were equally idiots and no one had to work.  The death of the EU marks the price we have to pay for our illusions. It also will cause changes in world politics. Finally, people will understand that all the ruling systems are not suitable. Words of Winston Churchill about democracy “Democracy is bad but it is the best we’ve got” could be changed a little bit like this – “Democracy is bad and we couldn’t have anything better”. Because if we did not have anything, we would not be so afraid to mess everything up. Now everyone who tries to criticize the EU not from the nationalist perspective is told back that the EU brought welfare to the Eastern Europe and so on. And no one wants to think what the price of this welfare was. What price will the US pay for conquering the Third World? What is the price of the welfare? No one argues that we have lots but we should not forget the question – what is the price? Measuring people economically is the result of the illusions of the creators of the US. Illusions that have become cruel reality. The novel “American psychopath” is about a young American who resembles Anders Behring Breivik, who sees the world through the lenses of commercials and labels, who suffocates from the welfare and finds if quite frightening because no one can escape the reality of the “American dream”, ideology covered all exits. That is why the main character starts to kill – revenging for this despair. He sees killing is the only way to escape the reality. Who will read Karl Popper now and agree with him that nothing can push a man towards happiness and freedom? People now have to agree with the western ideology and the US, the use of the EU and the beauty of the humanitarian aid because if they disagree they are called the supporters of North Korea, Russia. Funny, but the West is the biggest totalitarian regime in the human history which managed to melt any antagonism inside down. For example, opposition exists in Russia but what about the US? Only those who would protest because of the economic gain. Those people do not believe in their “Occupy Wall Street” idea because they do not seek revolution (unlike Russians), but to also become that 1%. The American dream has become the nightmare but it will reach its critical point later. Now it’s the EU’s turn.

The EU, as the result of the capitalism, reminds over-eating when food which needed to survive can easily become a reason for death. The death is caused not directly by capitalism but how it is used. To put it simply, the cause of death is over-stuffing. And the advertisements scream 24/7 – die or shop! It does not warn about over-stuffing. And now at the edge of the EU’s death we have to think not only about Europe but also about our country. Unfortunately, instead of rationally thinking about the situation and creating some sort of plan, everybody pretends that there are no signs of the EU’s death. Talks continue about euro, and long-term responsibilities to the EU, further integration and even federation. The reality is strongly rejected and as it happened many times Lithuania will again have nothing because after the death of the EU Russia will put even more pressure on the Baltic States. These, instead of learning the art of diplomacy and ensuring economic security will balance between conservatives and social democrats. Farce becomes tragedy. Slaves, no matter under what ideology, remain in the lost illusions of reality.