The German EU Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger came forth a few days ago with some highly revealing propositions to solve the ever-deepening European debt crisis. Oettinger suggested that the flags of the crisis countries, or “deficit sinners” as he called them, should be flown at half mast in front of EU buildings. He also suggested that the “obviously ineffective administrators” of these countries responsible for tax collection and selling of state-owned assets should be replaced with experts coming from other EU countries. These experts would be then able to “operate without concern for resistance and end the inefficiency.”
It should by now be obvious to everyone that the European political elite has long since stepped out of the realm of common sense and modern secular democracy, and turned the debt crisis into, quite literally, a theological problem. It’s no longer that the crisis countries have simply failed to create a sustainable national economy, but that they have actually engaged in blasphemy against some divine principle, for which they should do penance publicly.
As Susan George well pointed out, what we are witnessing here is a new kind of colonialism. As with the colonialism of the 19th century, also in this case the colonising powers are justifying their oppression in moral and theological terms. It is the divine duty of the colonisers to force their religion and culture upon the colonised people. After all, those people are nothing but ignorant children that need to be guided onto the correct path by a firm parental hand or they shall perish. Therefore, it’s only with a genuine concern for the benefit of those people that they should be deprived of sovereignty and dignity.
The fact that this kind of thinking is surfacing again in Europe is a clear signal that the post-war European project is failing. We are already seeing the consequences of this failure in the rise of the nationalist parties around Europe. The political elite has no recourse for this situation since it no longer has any actual contact with the people. All we are getting from them is empty phrases and pretensions to moral superiority. The only hope we have to avoid reverting back to racial-nationalist bigotry and totalitarianism is for the people of Europe to unite at the grassroots level, outside all existing power structures. It’s up to us to save the European civilization, the elite is not going to help us in this.