Reviving Schaeuble’s Augean Stables?

The other day, I was writing in a mail to colleague, saying I would soon send some comments on what had been suggested to be

the great vision on E future ! A very stimulating
document !

the White Paper on the future of Europe announced here, actually not agreeing with such an assessment. In that mail I stated as well:
We have had last weekend the annual meeting of the European academy – by accident I could take part. Surely many good “large visions”, but again some lack of realism – you may have read the Europe-book I published several years ago – it was not about providing a vision, but at least I guess some of the obstacles that remain in place and play a fundamental, i.e. structural role.
And indeed it is a challenge to present “the large vision”, and be nevertheless concrete and also vice versa, to ending in some trap of policy making technology.
And just when I revisited Juncker’s meagre ‘vision’, I received a mail, with the link to Paul Mason’s article. Though I may agree in both cases with many details, I do not agree with the point of departure also of the “6th vision”, i.e. Paul’s proposal (https://www.socialeurope.eu/2017/03/option-six-a-europe-of-democracy-and-social-justice/), suggesting

What follows, the Option Six Proposal, is a genuine attempt to preserve the EU and the Eurozone as global institutions.

Why is such attempt worthwhile? Isn’t any analysis challenged first and foremost to state that any of these goals is first and foremost asked to define and clearly answer cui bono, not least in terms of what is the overall and genuine “benefit”, the common wheal, the additional value … . in the present formulation it sounds very much like “we have to have it because …. we have to have it was everything else did not work and seems not to work …, and paradoxically: we always have had it, more or less as matter of Rostow in Brussels  (to allude to Arrighi’s “Smith in Beijing”).

In this way, the Juncker proposal is very much abut accepting “the end of history”, making a few more or less technical proposals to manage this end.

BUT:
  • It is about the economic “model”
  • not the economic reality which is characterised by being able to utilise indeed exceptional conditions to establish – name it as you like: a strong city or a tentatively emerging world empire
  • So far, in other words, the “success” was by and large established as systematically driven by exception, (at most) only little by a a stabled, lasting, and sustainable normality (including norm)
  • This supposed strength is defined as matter of emerging from defining itself against others, not by taking a suggested genuine “own stronghold” as point of reference
  • and in reality it is just contrary to what is stated as needed for the future: “they deliberately make no mention of legal or institutional processes – the form will follow the function.” (page 15)
  • That suggests to change – but does not really reflect from the outset why this is/was so far exactly the instituionalist perspective, determining even most of the (affirmative and critical) theoretical reflection, few exceptions granted (as of course most the SQ work, humbly my own work etc., but missing here are many approaches that would claim to be fundamentally critical …)

State of the Union Address 2016: Towards a better Europe – a Europe that protects, empowers and defends

is little convincing, suggesting that

The next twelve months are the crucial time to deliver a better Europe: 

a Europe that protects;

a Europe that preserves the European way of life;

a Europe that empowers our citizens,

a Europe that defends at home and abroad; and

a Europe that takes responsibility.

A very benevolent reading suggesting at most the vision of an institutionalist setting FOR the citizens, but not of Europe and by Europeans.
And speaking there also about
A EUROPE THAT PRESERVES OUR WAY OF LIFE
overlooks that this way of life is characterised more and more and systematically by tensions, exclusion, and a process of peripheralisation of many, allowing a Mr Schaeuble (referring now to the metaphors of those disrespect they use) to act as if he would be herdsman of PIIGS, forgetting that HE and the likes are those who behaved like King Augeas – mind what the story says:
Now King Augeas owned more cattle than anyone in Greece. Some say that he was a son of one of the great gods, and others that he was a son of a mortal; whosever son he was, Augeas was very rich, and he had many herds of cows, bulls, goats, sheep and horses.
And
Every night the cowherds, goatherds and shepherds drove the thousands of animals to the stables.
It is not very likely from this that the King was hard working – not to obtain the large numbers and not by looking after the animals…
I guess, more has to be done than waiting for better administrators.
Annunci

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