My near philosophical musings about the world in general its problems and possible ways out.

2012-05-24

The Radical European Manifesto

A European radical movement? Yes, exactly! Such thing, we think, is needed now. But why radical? Why European? Why movement? 

Ok, here come the answers − one by one

1 Why radical?

We are living in an era that shows all characteristics of a turning point where a paradigm shift becomes necessary. On a variety of new and old questions the old answers no longer fit. In day-to-day politics we can perfectly observe an increasingly cluelessness, a helplessness. Obviously, the old policies no longer suffice. Or are their roots just not properly understood? 

If there are fundamental shifts happening, it may help to fundamentally re-think the situation. We want to come up with radically new responses derived from a few basic philosophical beliefs. The basic moral foundation needs to be applied radically different than in our current political parties.

Radical? No, we do not intend to send violent extremists onto the streets, burning flags and shouting hateful slogans, build barricades and forming political street gangs to fight with others on the streets.

It's about the radicalism of thought, mentally go back again to the root (radix) and think through some important complex of social life once again - a re-boot so. That would be radical enough.

It should be very clear; there is no one else who can do that, except the all of us. It must be a grass-roots movement.

This approach appears to be sufficiently radical anyway.

2 Why European?

The question could be countered: "Why not act globally from the beginning? The problems our world is facing can be solved − if at all - globally only. "

That's true. States that do not represent political heavy-weights like China, India or the U.S. will probably have little impact on the future course of the world. But on one hand, the idea of creating a Europe wide movement is sufficiently megalomaniacal already.
On the other hand, there is something specific European, which is valuable enough to be declared to become the program: ideas going back to the thinkers of the period of Enlightenment like civil rights, freedom, equality, and - hmmm - with the fraternity, it seems to be not that easy - separation of powers and separation of church and state, liberalism, democracy, but are fundamental values of European origin. They need to become radically rethought and re-applied at least in Europe.
So we do not end but still self-inflicted immaturity.

What should be the geographical extend of this Europe? Until the Bosporus, the Ural, or just until the Vistula? After having expressed our guiding ideas it appears to be only logical to see Europe as a philosophical trademark. Anyone who supports these basic principles may join the European radical movement.

And who does not have the heart − my just stay outside.

3 Why movement?

The question can be split into
  • Why a new movement?
  • Why not party?

3.1 Why a new movement?

Because the current, more or less outdated, political parties which dominate the scene do not provide the right answers.

Let's examine them one by one.

Ultra-right-wing:

Here the distinction is easiest. Blood & Soil nationalist movements are not of yesterday, no, of pre-before-yesterday. No enlightened society can be built founded on crude ideas such as the Aryan race, chosen people or other archaic nationalisms. The political implications of the implementation of such a body of thought have so far proved to be extremely ugly. Unfortunately we do have sufficient experience to say so.

Hence the conclusion is clear: The brownish primordial soup needs to be locked away to the poison cabinet.

Ultra left-wing

"Heartless, who hasn't been a communist when young. Brainless, who is a communist when grown up." It can hardly be illustrated more aptly, that "good intentions" quite often end-up with contrary results - when not taking the principles into account which underlie the interactions within human societies. 

With left-wing utopianism too, we have enough experience, sufficient anyway to ban them and restrict them to a museum of failed policy models.

Conclusion: confined to museums so that future generations can learn from it!

C-Parties:

To our opinion Religion ('C' here stands for 'Christian') and politics should be strictly separated. Policy affects the public space: the res publica, religion must be a private matter.

Following this idea religious parties are a contradiction in itself. They convey yesterday's convictions, highly dangerous in their effect, simply not electable.

Additionally they claim to be conservative. Less that they were trying to preserve what is worth protecting, the foundations of our lives, for instance, but rather try to preserve outdated social models and future political structures. 

Conclusion: Politics and religion are an explosive mixture. Stay away - not electable.

S-Parties:

Historically interesting: they themselves once represented an international response to the urgent international problems. The "red" or "left wing" political spectrum who calls itself social democrat and socialist, is based on traditional social antagonisms whose boundaries begin to blur.

In their dualistic perception of the world in an ancient oriental tradition they recognize two fundamentally hostile powers, which cannot exist without each other's, workers and employers - the good and evil - are forever caught in an everlasting epic fight.

Since the S-parties always on are the side of good, they try, once in power, to abolish the evil - and more or less consistently - to replace it by the state. By doing so they usually make things much worse.

It is rather obvious the S-parties in their perception of the state again and again run into problems to keep the rule-making state and the actors in the market apart,

Conclusion: the world is not dual. The S model is old news. Thank you comrades! And the last one may please turn off the light!

Liberals:

The liberal idea is one of the most important and most viable philosophical movements of modern Europe, one of the few European products to which we can truly be proud of.

Unfortunately, the parties which hold up the liberal banner in many European countries are degenerated and generally in a bad shape. Dominated by ambitious career politicians with no moral content and clue of the founding forefather's guiding principles they are caught in dirty day-to-day politics unable to convey any message.

Meanwhile they fail to address the current policy issues that should preoccupy real liberals. Otherwise, would there be a Pirate Party today.

Conclusion: completely ruined, probably beyond repair, too bad!

Green parties:

"Its purpose is fulfilled club may be dissolved." It could be put bluntly. That doesn't mean that suddenly the world works sustainably. No, this goal still lies far ahead. To reach it perhaps some quite radical decisions have to be taken. "No nukes!", societal dropouts and romantic back-to-the-roots bio-farmers: when it came to protecting the environment, the green movement always had the right intentions, but not always the right answers.

By today they have finally been arrived in daily business. No longer are they young and hungry, but conceivably sated and established. The more senior parties have copied the topics of this one-product company and integrated them seamlessly into their agendas. Why not, it might help but can't do any harm!

And finally, such spectacular U-turns like the German energy turnaround for sustainability past the Fukushima disaster: A late success of the green movement perhaps. 

Conclusion: Obviously the greens have met their original the "purpose".

Pirates:

The pirate parties without any doubt currently represent the most interesting of all political moves: an international response to pressing international problems.

The introduction of the printing press later led to the series of fundamental social upheavals and in turn to changes. The Internet has potential of causing such a turning point as well. Started as a free and completely unregulated medium, it has the potential for Orwellian total surveillance of mankind, as well as to his liberation. Examples can be found for both directions already.

Good that the pirate parties do address this subject. It is quite easy to comprehend that they become recalcitrant when driven out of their digital paradise. Thankfully they tackle this thorny issue.

But is it just enough? It is noticeable that the pirates still lack the answers to many more traditional political questions. After being displaced from their digital paradise they still rub their eyes in disbelief and try to orient in this cruel dirty physical world. Still they are yet another one-product company, without firm moral base. Still they don't carry much historical burden.

Conclusion: In this case they are perhaps well advised to re-think things radically. We are ready to offer them a helping hand.

3.2 Why not a party?

The established political landscape − regardless of all international approaches - so far remained a purely national one. Few things are so regulated so tightly on national level, just as formation and management of political parties. And the elections, which these parties may participate in, also occur at the national level only. Take this as an indication, that the European "Union", that strange, half-heartedly integrated structure just has a very indirect democratic legitimation.

Therefore at European level, we currently can act only as an opinion-shaping movement. But if we want to be elected we will have go back to the institution of a political party. Done in a "tried and tested way" through the creation of many small parties in many small countries - until there will be one dine day a democratically legitimated political Europe.

4 The principles

All right, now just the content is still missing, right? Here it comes:
  1. A radical European approach, because any European stat alone is just tiny little country on the edge of the universe. It cannot build a perfect world just for itself. The unification of Europe is one of the best ideas that have ever been created in this this blood-drenched. Unfortunately during implementation we have put the cart before the horse. Instead of starting with the constitution followed by the decision-making bodies and finally the numerous decisions themselves, we tried to do it the other way round − and got stuck in the political morass when we were half way through. We should put an end to the absurd attempt to achieve consensus in a polyphonic chorus of national egoists and political egomaniacs in a variety of detailed questions.

  2. A radical secularism, which confines any religion, and other absolute authority claiming irrationalities to the private sector and prevents any outbreak into the public domain. Religions may be useful indeed for personal salvation. We should assign those movements a sheltered sanctuary in the private domain. If we don't want to write our history, but again with our blood, we must be very careful to ensure that they cannot leave their reserves.

  3. A radical sustainability in all areas of life: in the finances, so we don't leave our children with unbearable debts, in the environment, so that posterity inherits a sound and healthy living environment, in economy, so that we neither accumulate garbage nor consume more resources, as sustainably grow.

  4. A radically simplified tax system, a flat tax of, say, 25% without many additional rules and exceptions. Tax declarations must be possible again without employing a tax adviser − just on a single sheet of paper.

  5. The end of the "politician" as a profession. We, who now have expressed our opinions, during implementation don't want to be undermined by career politicians, who synthesize their opinions from regular polls. With "leaders" on the other hand who are obsessed by their mission, don't have a good record as well. We should instead invest more energy into a good political system - "A system made by geniuses to be run by idiots" - and should less rely on our elected representatives.

  6. A kind of separation of powers between state and economy whereby the state sets the rules of the game and the markets defines the players. We need this principle by a few simple and clear rules that must be strictly adhered to. Where there is a functioning market, neither the state may act as a player nor should a business lobby influence the rules.

  7. Pirate goals, i.e. the protection of civil rights in the Internet age, as defined by the "Pirate Parties" regarding the topics civil rights, informational self-determination, transparency, open access, intellectual property and patent law, patents and education - in a sufficiently radical way. Who by incident grew up in a village may still know that there everybody always knew everything about the lives of each other's. Perfect monitoring. All of them were victims and offenders at the same time - and no one happy with it. Only finally "city air made free". Thanks to new monitoring techniques the global village our early visionaries dreamed about, could end up where it started − in total supervision. This must be prevented!

  8. Future oriented - Our conviction is that we are living in times of radical change. This change still hasn't begun. But it inevitable will come, if we like it or not. It is investment where we should spend our money − not consumption. The best investment is education. There is no reason why a banker should have a higher reputation than a teacher. An education start much earlier: before establishing elite universities we should first have elite kindergardens.

  9. Neutrality − Europe should not fight American − or anyone else's - wars at the Hindukush or in Iraq. Neutrality may appear to be an exclusive luxury for some small countries like Switzerland − who are surrounded by − well, more or less − friendly states. If a political unit is big enough however, like a united (cultural) Europe could, neutrality can become an affordable luxury.

1 comment:

Moritz Fraisl said...

We need a big change for europe