Is this guy a former DDR apparatchik or what? What we need is more liberty and freedom, based upon constitutional republicanism, not on totalitarian socialist statism, nor on pure democracy. This should send chills up the spine of every freedom loving individual, the statist speaks:
“Despite all mistakes and ineptitudes, it is the elites who are keeping Europe together. Rather than thinking about democratization, then, should we not be looking at ways to improve the capabilities of the elites instead?”
You see folks, according to this Professor of Political Theory at Humboldt University in Berlin, we’re to give the statist self anointed elites even more power to correct the disaster called the EU. In other words, throw the bums in and on top of that give them even more of our liberty. These crack pot academic totalitarians are our worst nightmare. I advise everyone to read Jonah Goldberg’s excellent book Liberal Fascism to understand the mindset we are facing. Stunning. KGS
Democratization Can’t Save Europe
The Need for a Centralization of Power
An Essay by Herfried Münkler
Europe’s political elites are a pathetic sight at the moment, from their contradictory reactions to the rebellions in the Arab world to their timid handling of the euro crisis. Either they persist in doing nothing or they flee from one falsehood to the next, all in the expectation that this will enable them to gain control over the markets. Now that the European elites have had to produce proof of their long-held claim that Europe is a capable player on the global political and economic stage, they have done nothing but flounder. And because they refuse to believe that this is the case, they celebrate every stumbling move as the salvation of Europe and the euro. The poor image Europe is currently projecting is largely the result of the impotence of its elites .
In light of this failure of the elites, it is hardly surprising that we are hearing renewed calls for the democratization of Europe. Suddenly, the people are expected to fix what the elites have botched. Since they are already being asked to pay for the problems caused by the elites, many believe that the people should have more say in how and by whom Europe is controlled.
As reasonable as this might sound, by no means does it make as much sense as it seems at first glance. Even after the democratization of Europe, the elites in Brussels and Strasbourg will still be in charge. The only option available to the European people, to the extent that they can be referred to as such, would be to react to obvious failure by voting their leaders out of office — and to vote an opposing elite to take their place. Whether this would fundamentally change anything is open to question.
Brussels, also the capital of Belgium, is particularly well suited to show that democracy does not automatically lead to the installation of capable elites. Since last summer’s elections, Belgium’s political parties have been unable to form a functioning new government. Belgium’s democracy suffers from ethnic quotas and political parceling. It has long been incapable of reaching the most basic decisions. And, now, not even compromises are feasible.
Playing a Reckless Game
It is to be feared that a more extensive democratization of Europe would lead to a very similar situation because Europe is at least as diverse as Belgium on national and economic issues. Pushing for the democratization of Europe is akin to playing a reckless game that can quickly lead to European disintegration. Those who see democratization as a logical reaction to the crisis may not even be aware of this risk. They see democratization as an automatic reflex in response to the crisis. But democracy needs the kinds of conditions that do not exist in Europe today.
Read in amazement and shudder, there are many more academics and politicians just like him.