On 1st of March BBC broadcasted the 17 edition of Storyville 2014-2015 titled The Great European Disaster Movie. The program was created by Bill Emmott and Annalisa Piras, two liberals whose centre left politics are known in previous programs such as Coma and their work in The Economist.
The program discusses the threat from the rise of the anti-establishment parties in Europe and the producers express their interest in highlighting the dangers of the movement and the real possibility of disintegration of the EU.
They argue for the European project in order to create a supranational institution that can project power in the world by emphasizing on collective security at 01:03:00 Philppe Legrain Author of European spring comments that “Europe is not a postmodern Lalaland, we have real security threats and need to cooperate much more in order to guarantee our security.” Security is a very common reason given by the centre-left to justify intervention in other countries and advocate EU expansion. This expansionist vision in itself is a manifestation of the Neo-European quasi imperialism. The EU and its member states use military and economic tools to undermine or influence sovereign states in the periphery of the EU. I believe this is a departure from the traditional left approach that emphasized on collaboration and dialogue to resolve conflicts and security challenges.
The Program continues with 01:03:40 Radek Sikorski, Former foreign minister of Poland who commented, “We have security challenges and actually civilisational challenges all around Europe, from Mali to … Syria to … Caucasus...”
This Huntington style approach is fundamentally flawed since it attributes traits qualities that are actually determined by context. There are no civilisational challenges, people do not live in distinct blocks of civilisation but are simply responding to their predicament in order to survive. People in Muslim countries are living under regimes that rule by fear. In these circumstances, most people share the conspiracy mongering and political passivity that has been cultivated for hundreds of years. This is intermittently marked by populist outrage in the form of revolution that in turn is suppressed and reinforces the view that political oppression is the only answer for stability.
People whether they are Protestant, Buddhist, Orthodox, Jewish or Muslim have multiple authentic selves. In some circumstances, one set of identities manifests itself, but when those circumstances change, other equally authentic identities and desires get activated. Its wrong to perceive people as enemies because they have a different religion, this again is contrary to traditional left views which emphasised on solidarity and equality.
The most troubling of all is at 51:40:00 the scene on the plane where a man tells his daughter that the beard he holds belongs to Conchita Wurst, he continues “when some homophobic Russians try to kick her out of the euro vision song content, the whole of Europe was outraged so they deliberately voted for her so she won.” This is racial profiling; this line of reasoning portrays Russians as homophobic that need to be confronted by the superior Europeans.
Understanding people of particular nation, religion, colour, race and gender by a set of attributes is lazy and backward. Any of these attributes are important, but underneath cultural differences there are universal aspirations for dignity and respect. Each of us is like every person on earth; in some ways, each of us is like the members of our culture and group; and, in some ways, each of us is unique. This is where programs like this waltz on the margins of legality. The Hate Crime Act sets out to protect people from hostility and prejudice based on a personal character. Although the program appends the word “some” to stop it from outright statement of hatred, as far as racial social discourse is concerned comments of this nature has detrimental impact on public perception of minority group.
The Elites have become so invested in their projects and discourse that they cannot gain a perspective on the wider issues. Their rhetoric has sunk into racism in order to further their ideological aims. The EU expansion has degenerated from a tool for furthering European values and objectives to a policy on its own right. Instead of addressing the democratic deficit created by the EU and mass immigration from the poor to rich countries, the elites have been too busy brewing tension with Russia in a ploy to divert attention. This is not an isolated view but signified by the popularity of anti establishment parties in the far right and left.
Its ironic that the progressive politics of creating the European Union to facilitated regional integration is also the main reason for the rise of anti political movement whose main ethos is nationalism quite often bordering xenophobia.