Three funerals in European Civilization and One Resurrection (Part 1)

Egidijus Vareikis
DELFI / Valdas Kopūstas

There are two camps forming a debate about the misunderstandings concerning current European political understanding, today and for the bright or not so bright future: pessimists say that the end of the EU and all European prosperity is just a matter of time, and optimists believe that it has never been as good as it has been, and it will be even better.

In Lithuania, we can throw ourselves into domestic politics, give birth to and bury coalitions, however we must acknowledge that our destiny influences how our entire civilization will exist. At least the part in which we are integrated “up to our necks”, and we will never shake off its fate. I am a cautious optimist, so I will leave positive prognosis for the finale.

First, for a bit of bad news, concerning fulfilled wishes. We are Europeans; as such, we are still the trustees of democracy. Modern democracy with its human rights has not been a phenomenon that is centuries old. It has essentially become part of the world order since the Second World War. Democracy’s axiom states that a person is intelligent, responsible, and knows what he wants. On our planet, there are already seven and a half billion smart inhabitants. Despite the spectacular global mind, many complain that life begins to recall the hard-won balaclava, in which we no longer feel like we are responsible for anyone and whomever’s guilt.

Increasingly, there is talk of funerals for democracy – post-democracy, global anarchy, etc. Perhaps Plato was correct, who predicted that democracy would change into tyranny. Even with the belief in the integrity of democracy, we must recognize that there are serious problems. In recent years, the big politicians (and the media) have cried out that they “did not choose current political ideologies and regulations. They hope for some sort of “non-systemic policy” – the pirate, non-neoconservative, and “alternative” parties, personalities that the “classical” political scientists would not list them all.

Politologists and other “interpreters” can be refuted quite simply: there is no system-wide policy, but you still do not understand that the system which you paid for, the one still written about in textbooks, has retired.

A new system has come and your duty is not to blame historical facts or fool the voters, but to understand that system. The new political logic, which we observe in genesis today, is no longer the basis of economic well-being and non-dogmatic perception of human rights. The public (or so-called electorate) has already realized that the main problems of the world are not financial and not legal. They are moral, and the grunts of that morality policy are the envy, hatred, contempt and indifference of the society … the Internet, which found all of our friends, also made us full of suspicions and mistrust. What politicians still call random opposition voices, the unshakable logic of the 20th century, is a reality of new politics, with which one will need to live another life once again. The ongoing discussion of why the British electorate chose Brexit can actually end. It was neither a financially nor geopolitically measurable solution. It was a non-systemic rebellion against the EU system. It’s very likely that the rebels wanted to arouse and jerk, but now they are forced to screw in their pigtails. It’s clear to everyone that Brexit is non-systemic. And it will be difficult to regulate it in the EU system through normal negotiations. Europeans can not write good reports with recommendations on how to reorganize undemocratic countries, how the Abkhazians or Tibetans should deal, but how democratic Spain should work and how the Catalans should behave, the European Union does not know. This is another “non-system” case. Non-nuclear policy shows: Europe has time to end the illusion that politics can be replaced by trade deals, so that commissioners and foreign policy leaders may be selected not according to their competence, but according to gender, national and national criteria. The 21st century is no longer a pragmatic life and quota system, but an age of political illusions. We congratulate our relatives on well wishes or when they give us a popular, charming cultural product. This preference, a concert program, is by definition … hedonistic. It is not true that hedonism is something modern and that this is a product of the current bad European system. Its genesis needs to be sought as much as a written story or a truth of faith.

The idea that the greatest happiness of human life is pleasure is as old as human beings themselves. The history of culture and politics tries to prove that the dream of all rulers is to attain a state in which leaders could be offered simply trivial games rather than requiring true obligations.

Thus, the goal of all civilizations is nothing else than the possibility of “living for a long time and happily”. The most interesting concept is that people who, in their power, see typical deniers, narcissists and other slavers, do not usually condemn them, but admire them. This requires from a government not a model of morality, but rather a set of procedures that allows them to gather their crumbles from a table of hedonistic power. The same historical model also shows the destruction of hedonism itself. Civilization is strong and resilient as long as it does not diminish the good ruler’s intention to facilitate life with social guarantees and other benefits provided by civilization.

This was the case in almost every prosperous civilization, which, having started to enjoy its advantages, slip backwards. Moving to the so-called qualitative development, disconnecting from the “barbaric world” and glorifies itself, enjoying the opportunity to not work or fight. Not having wars with neighbors or military defeats are the causes of the collapse of civilizations, they are all the consequence of this.

Civilization, having decided to live for a substantial period happily, degrades from the inside, and degradation, which has become visible, eventually encourages neighbors to attack former strong and insurmountable countries. Thus, hedonism is not a pleasure; it is a political disease of civilization. The current wave of hedonism in Europe is really tied to the process of European integration.

European integration has created a hedonistic community proving that the ideals of a peaceful, comfortable, safe life, and not an ideal defense. So the Germans with the French were reconciled by offering markets instead of looking for historical truth. It is worth discussing which forces ruined the Soviet system. It is clear from what we have seen that the main sign of the road is freedom, and everything that comes from it must be good or very good. Today, more and more people are saying that the desire to translate the dictate was far more banal – you just wanted to live better and richer. Central Europeans (such as us), spectacularly fighting the regimes, have often become pragmatic, pragmatic in the most unpopular form, on their own initiative.

Really not all but enough to provoke the patriotism and human rights defamation called idiocy … And how is it that otherwise even the so-called livelihood or human development index that is most often measured by how much money a person has and how comfortable he can afford to live everyday life.

A quarter century ago, when our country regained its independence, people responded quite politically and unpopularly to the issue of statehood. To answer the question of what the state of Lithuania needs to do to be fully fortunate, an absolute majority replied that it was necessary to secure security through membership in NATO, prosperity through membership in the European Union, to build a border with Russia and to demolish the border with Poland. So the whole picture was pretty clear.

Today, the answer to the question is murky, but in general, it sounds very similar to this: our country needs to live for a long time happily, in other words, it needs more food and entertainment, or hedonistic pleasures. Even before the restoration of the Lithuanian state, it was said that we would soon live “like in Sweden”. Of course, the public perceives life “as in Sweden” more as a calm and rich life of little responsibility, but not life without corruption or compliance to the law. There has already been talk of the forthcoming presidential election.

Political commentators are convinced that it will be best to offer Lithuanians a cheap hedonistic pill again – how to get more, more fun; softer and warmer by doing nothing- merely by voting for this or that, or another candidate. Candidates are not oriented to any real value propositions, but to the “new people”, “voter turnout”, or the like.

We all know that the best, and the easiest way would be to think how to make more money and not break a sweat, but it seems that we’ll again only chew on the repertoire of the pleasant wishes of the concerts. This position is partially beneficial for everyone. It’s easier to organize a fun concert and a “pleasant action” than to make pleasant, easy, filler things unnecessary.

Yet the omnipotent voters perceive that democracy is no longer a declaration of responsibility, but simply a political concert. They want the concert, already knowing that their desires will not be fulfilled – instead of the great dream of dreams, they will eventually receive a funeral march.

But that’s not for today and not for tomorrow, so what’s there to worry about?

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