An alternative to what Europe could and should be exists to the one Emmanuel Macron described last week. If there is a need for a rebirth, then let it be of the sovereignty of the people, of enlightenment against the obscurantism of money and religion.
In Europe, the time has come to speak the only truly international language capable of motivating peoples widely diverse in history, languages and culture. It is the language of common good, of its defence and its extension, of living together, of rebuilding after 30 years of ransacked rights and public services, and free and undistorted competition. It is a language for peace, in the face of frenzied belligerent, anti-Russian, warlike Nato provocations.
There is urgency, for we are threatened by a system of production and exchange that is destroying not only the Earth but also the human beings who live on it. Has the time not come for solidarity that will save us from the impending ecological disaster?
Europeans can insist environmental rules be respected everywhere: that not more is taken from nature than she can replenish. We can abandon pesticides, which kill biodiversity, immediately. We can decide to eradicate poverty, guarantee a decent wage for everyone, and restrict the income gap to stop inequality. We can extend women’s rights.
We can bind the hands of those who steal by tax evasion, those who misappropriate thousands of billions of euros every year. In short, it is possible to begin a new age of human civilisation here, on the richest and best educated continent. We can make humanist norms the new horizon for billions.
Europe should no longer have anything to do with the Franco-German alliance controlled by Germany’s Christian Democrats. It humiliates the other 26 EU member states and isolates French people from their natural family in the south.
We should not fear the Russians, who are our partners. If democracy is threatened, it is more by the tyranny of finance and the brutal methods used to rule, which paved the way for the suffering in Greece and the hounding of opponents of the EU in Poland or Hungary.
The problem posed to our democracy in France does not come from Moscow, but from Paris itself, with a president who has been leading fierce repression against the “gilets jaunes” for 17 weeks. How can Macron lecture on democracy when the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Council of Europe and the European Parliament have publicly voiced deep concern about police violence in France?
And what about the illusion that fortress Europe may be protected from economic and ecological refugees by letting them drown in the Mediterranean? The fact that Viktor Orbán welcomed Macron’s recent proposals as a starting point for discussion should be worrying. Instead, an immediate policy is needed to examine the causes that lead to forced exile: wars, climate change and economic plunder.
All these social miseries have their common origin in the content of the European treaties, which have frozen economic policy in the absurd dogma of ordoliberalism – Germany’s variant of social liberalism so dear to the Merkel government. Cooperation in Europe will need an exit from these treaties.
A change of direction is urgently called for. Macron and Angela Merkel embody the old, morbid recipes. Europeans need to get back their political rights. If France can be of any use at all, it is in being seen as a partner in this process, rather than acting as a preacher who thinks it knows better.