The election season in Europe has now formally confirmed what had been widely known for many years: the important low-hanging candidates can always be recruited into the geopolitical economy. There is still faith amongst them that the democratic provocations of Brexit and President Trump can be neutralised, or, in the words of the American Secretary of State, John Kerry, “walked back”.
Das Volk ist jeder, der in diesem Lande lebt. There was something almost lascivious about Angela Merkel’s delivery of this staged line: “The ‘people’ includes anyone who lives in this country”. As though the confident final breaching of an already moribund taboo had provided some residual frisson. On the other hand, Emmanuel Macron’s similar provocation, I’ve never seen French art, seemed to have been delivered with a speck of anxiety: although the faithful quickly sensed the cue to cheer.
There was something almost lascivious about Angela Merkel’s delivery of this staged line: “The ‘people’ includes anyone who lives in this country”.
The captains of Europe are determined that the motion of the ship shall not change: not this election year, not ever. The domestic social costs of globalisation will be borne by the people, no matter what. The German MEP David McAllister explains the case against Brexit thus. The Baltic states, for example, know that they are small. But so too do Britain, France and Germany, when individually they look up at the continental powers and feel dwarfed. Unless Europe federates, it will not be taken seriously.
This would make perfect sense but for one detail, but for the mere cavil that pushed England over the top into Brexit: Europe has made only clownish feints at foreign and defence policy, all designed to fail. Its splintered diplomacy cannot handle Turkey, a fellow NATO member; the Balkans remain undefended against infiltration; the Union has no grand agenda, and the plain fact is that it is structurally incapable of forming one. The federalist imperative is as urgently expounded as it is otiose.
Two complementary political therapies have come together in Europe.
Europe is split down the middle. Half of the people know the real score; while the other half take a hypnotic soma¹-therapy, made freely available by the state and the press. These latter, in France, are for the most part the Macronistas and the hard Left; in Germany, they are the true believers, come what may, in Mutti. Two complementary political therapies have come together in Europe: Moralin² for the agents of the state, Soma for the people. Nietzsche and Huxley: by appointment, suppliers of psychotropic agents to the mountebank-elites of contemporary Europe.
¹Soma: In Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, soma is the opiate that allows the people to escape from reality by thinking uncritically.
²Moralin: the concentrated essence of virtue, as pharmaceutical extract. A satirical invention of Nietzsche’s. ◼︎
Categories: Political Diary