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notes from no w here
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Nov 20th, 2009 at 07:15:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, I don't understand.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Nov 20th, 2009 at 07:22:35 AM EST
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The traffic stopper is needed - allegedly - because it's impossible to think of a state, or a superstate, without a charismatic newsworthy figurehead.

The figurehead isn't there to write policy notes and have meetings, but to embody a political narrative, so that people know what they're a part of - giving them a chance to feel they can at least agree or disagree, in that traditionally powerless democratic way.

If there are no figureheads, the process becomes remote to the point of disinterest.

The EU does a lot of this already, so picking Van Rompuy and Ashton is in character - more so than picking Blair would have been.

That doesn't mean 'The best we could have expected, considering' is really all that admirable, or the ideal template for the future.

The EU is good at functional politics, but very bad at narrative politics, with theatre and pageantry. Theatre and pageantry are stupid and annoying, but very necessary.

Brussels doesn't want to believe this, but I think it's a mistake to ignore it.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Nov 20th, 2009 at 08:04:48 AM EST
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Some of the most inept campaigns I have seen was aimed at strengthening european identity. Like one were the EU sponsored some campaign about giving flowers to your loved ones with big billboard posters. It was embarrassingly bad. I have wondered why - with all those resources at command - it was so horribly badly performed. I could - and have - done better political campaigns on a shoestring budget.

ThatBritGuy:

Brussels doesn't want to believe this

This sounds like a plausible explanation. If you do not believe something, you might develop a structural incompetence in the area, because you prioritize wrong and give promotions to the wrong people.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Fri Nov 20th, 2009 at 09:44:21 AM EST
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Perhaps on ET too, we have a bias toward rational policy analysis and "administrative competence" and a disdain for the emotional, imaginative, identity, and need for belongingness that popular politics is also partially about.  I sometimes feel that that the debates we have here are intra-elite or aspiring elite and that we have an inability or unwillingness to comprehend or engage with non-believers in the European ideal.

notes from no w here
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Nov 20th, 2009 at 10:05:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The EU is good at functional politics, but very bad at narrative politics, with theatre and pageantry. Theatre and pageantry are stupid and annoying, but very necessary.

Brussels doesn't want to believe this, but I think it's a mistake to ignore it.

There is also the fact that every time the EU tries to build a pan-European demos - with EU flag days or whatever - you get all kinds of nationalist neanderthals up in arms about the Evil International Jewish/Communist conspiracy "undemocratic, unelected Bruxelles bureaucrats seeking to subvert people's national identity."

And those nationalist neanderthals quite often have a strong say over the federal purse strings...

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Nov 20th, 2009 at 07:38:02 PM EST
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