[There is a story told, that when a reporter asked him what he thought of Western Civilization, Gandhi replied: “I think it would be a good idea.” Whether this is an accurate recounting or not, many have wished for more “civilized” conduct by Western powers, and Western imperialists have long claimed to be the civilizing force throughout the world it has colonized and subjugated for so long. Now, the leaves are dropping from the Western imperial trees, and the roots of some dying trees are strangling the roots of others. As some mourn the loss, others celebrate. In this time and spirit, we re-post this article (from BEFORE the Brexit) by Kalundi Serumaga. — Frontlines ed.]
Counterpunch, June 23, 2016
Former Greek Finance Minister Yiannis Varoufakis’ crusade to help save the 60 year old European Union from a growing potential disintegration is intriguing. He, and the other activists talk ultimately about the collapse of Western civilization, and more so as if it would necessarily be a bad thing. Some of us –for whom the world is a catastrophe already-, are not so sure.
Coming from a far left perspective, Dr Varoufakis argues that the purpose of the campaign is to prevent the emergence of something worse. That such a rescue mission will inevitably also bolster the economic system upon which the EU rests, not to mention many of the super-rich who derive disproportionate benefits from it, is regarded as a necessary evil.
This could be a mistake.
Certainly, an unraveling of the EU, even partially, would be momentous, particularly in terms of the economic impact on lives and communities there. Those arguing for its preservation –especially those on the Left of the political spectrum- are probably also correct about a resultant vastly increased risk of a return to the earlier pan-European penchant for large-scale war and extreme intolerance as methods of managing political problems.
However, if the matter of the future of the EU continues be treated as a matter for its member states and their citizens alone, then these advocates of progress will find they have become the advocates of the very evils they seek to strike down. Dr Varoufakis may well find himself committing the same kind of betrayal of which he accuses his former boss (Greek Prime Minister) Alex Tsipiras: sacrificing a pig or two so the big bad corporate wolf does not blow the whole house down.