Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
I think that people fail to understand that historic context is fundamental in all this mess.

Our grand-fathers had direct contact with the horrors of WWII, fascism and stalinism. That shapes a certain kind of individual.

Their mistake (and, it seems to me, the mistake of some here) was to forget that their descendants would be born in a completely (better) different world. Thus, a different kind of individual.

An individual breed in good times cannot easily foresee that it is shaping a path back to horror because (s)he does not know how such horror feels like.

I think a leader of the WWII generation would NEVER allow the current crisis to be shaped with a narrative of "nation versus nation" or "rich nations vs poor nations" or <put your national variant here>.

Sometimes the argument here seems to amount to "if we had the proper leaders, this would be alright". This is naive at best: (i) In a democracy we are bound to have, over time, leaders of different persuasions, it is not always the "old fashioned, historically sensitive, social democrat"; sometimes you get the "banker owned, ideology obsessed, short-sighted neo-liberal", this is NORMAL in a democracy. and (ii) we are having the generational leaders that know little about horrors.

This is why I think that the "European Dream" is turning into a "bloody nightmare": We Europeans designed (with good intention) a system that is too tight-coupled (think Portuguese bailout in the hands of Finnish parliament). We are too connected without sharing nothing resembling a "national identity". This is bound to be problematic in a time of crisis.

A more cautious approach would have serve us much better. It might not have been the utopia of a "united Europe", but would have avoided the problems that are coming (because they have not really started yet).

by cagatacos on Mon May 9th, 2011 at 08:17:22 AM EST
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