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Emet m'Tsiyon

Sunday, July 15, 2018

The European Dream Is Exhausted -- Regis Debray

Once upon a time in the 1960s, when many 20th century fairy tales were told or concocted, Regis Debray was a true believer in violent revolution in the style of Fidel Castro and Ernesto "Che" Guevara. He believed that Castro-Guevara style guerrilla warfare could and would liberate the world and install a socialist paradise on earth.

Since then he has mellowed and become disillusioned with those ideas of his innocent youth, full of half-baked theories from France's elite academic institutions.

Now he tells us that after the mystique of revolution has disappointed him, The European Dream, that is,  the dream of a European Union that would bring the ever warring Europeans into a future of peace and harmony and prosperity, has died. He says there has been an "exhaustion of the European dream" which has led many in Europe back towards nationalism and he sees that as a danger. But an EU internally unified might be more of a danger to the rest of the world than a disunified EU where people in many countries resent the domination of the EU by Germany to the detriment of other countries. And where many resent the loss of democracy in the various member states because power in the EU has been concentrated in Brussels and Frankfurt (for the Eurozone currency area). It may be a healthy sign, encouraging for the rest of the world that the Eurodream has lost its angelic sheen, what with the Eurozone's torture of Greece and further impoverishment of the already poor and the loss of democratic control over decisions that affect the lives of many millions. Nevertheless, even the UK vote to leave and the disillusionment in the member states do not mean that the EU will fall apart or disappear any time soon.

See here the excerpt from Debray's interview in LeFigaro. Debray, we can say, has grown wiser with age. But not entirely.
LeFigaro: À côté de l'Europe post-démocratique et post-historique, on assiste au retour de l'histoire et des nations. . .
Régis Debray: Oui. Et pas toujours pour le meilleur. C'est l'inconvénient avec le retour du refoulé. Ça peut tourner à l'aigre et au méchant. Que le retour du national et la revanche du politique sur le management, inéluctable après l'épuisement du rêve européen, tournent à un indigénisme identitaire et bas de plafond, c'est bien le danger.
[emphasis added. LeFigaro, 2 Mai 2018]