Research on Concepts for a "New Europe"


#1

Hello everybody,

My name is Christian and I’m engaged in DiEM.

I thought about sharing a list of political concepts, essays, speeches etc. all related to the idea of establishing a “New Europe”.

My intention on the one hand is to get feedback on it, by people who are interested or even more qualified than I am (any historians or political scientists, who btw know about the european “Ideengeschichte”? out there?) On the other hand I think it may not be well know just how much you can find about this and therefore interesting for others. The list is somewhat subjective and probably not meeting scientific standards (for example concerning the criteria of my selection). Think of it as artistic research, as it’s meant to be part of an exhibition where, as a counterpart, photos that I made in Czech Republic are involved.

The documents I upload are in english and german/english (mixed). I haven’t got the time right now to deliver more translations. Please mind that it’s work in progress and thus may contain typos (typing errors), translation errors etc.

Questions I have would be:

  • does the selection somehow make sense?
  • which part could be left out ? (I need to break it down a bit, although it’s all excerpts…)
  • do you discover factual errors: dates, names, sources etc.
  • do you have things to add?
  • do you have any commentaries, thoughts or questions?

I will continue to work on this and would be willing to share the final list, when it’s possible.

Thanks for your attention!
Christian

new_europe_forum.pdf (57.5 KB)
neues_europa_forum.pdf (62.9 KB)


#2

Hello.
I am not familiar to those documents, but I am familiar to the “new things” skepticism. In my life and in my line of work even more (because I think politics in democracy is a job to offer service to the many), I try to be practical and up to date.
My point is that most of those essays and thoughts, didn’t and couldn’t take into account empirical data of the next 6 to 10 decades. The changes are so radical, that perhaps only the way of thinking could be useful, if applied to nowadays circumstances.

To the matters of Europe and of people:

  1. Democracy means that people make educated choices on real data. Transparency is part of term or concept “democracy”. I wouldn’t need transdemocracy as a term.
  2. The clash of classes field is international now. The people couldn’t stay behind, if they want to have a fighting chance. The reason is that the few and rich, work together as one and united. The states need the same level and extend of unification, just to level the field.
  3. States of Europe isn’t a matter of Utopia or a wishful thinking. It is the only viable choice to the path of a chance on prosperity.

Later documents you mention, are thinking to that direction, because of new data and circumstances and I believe first of all matters, we need to fight for the right in democracy. Since there are matters of different levels (local, national, international and others in between) we need established governments and access to public opinion on the relative matters on all levels.


#3

I appreciate the idea, but how to pick the relevant articles, documents etc.? There are virtually millions. Which ones are the best? Seen from which perspective?

The idea the individual citizen will make rational decitions founded on real data is as old as the idea of democracy. So are the methods to manipulate and simplify “reality”. We can merely read the ancient discussions on sophistry by Plato and Aristotle, and observe how the modern industrialized sophistry “media” is employed to blame someone else, never our own inability to unite on real common interests.

From my point of view it is not about “explaining” with many words, but about how to communicate a better and superior perspective enabling our societies to develop for the future. In the words of Ronald Reagan: “When you start to explain you have lost”.

From my point of view the Neo-con/liberal deregulated and privatized debt economy represents a dead-end in human evolution and an end to any kind of democracy. The neo-con economy is about personally owning and controlling existing assets and natural ressources, not about investments in a viable collective future. It promises the believers they can be free from collective responsibility, if they manage to grab enough. Unfortunately the neo-con economy quite successfully has managed to concentrate wealth and income worldwide on a scale never seen before in human history. And the still smaller class of “owners” successfully employ a large number of “clients” blaming the deplored living conditions and the increasing climate challenges on some convenient scapegoats.

But how to present such a perspective? Without merely preaching to the already convinced? How to communicate the simple fact, that in the end we are all responsible for our collective future? And it is never going to be a free gift, without abandoning the obsession with personal possessions and the convenient blame on someone else for our predictable personal failure? It is really simple, each “winner” takes hundreds if not thousands of “losers”.

“Money” is nothing but a promise of future spending. If no one can produce what you want and need to buy, money is worthless. How to transform the ongoing quantitative easing with real investments in green sustainable productions and infrastructure? How to invest in our populations instead of treating each other as potential debt slaves? How to stop the concentration of everything in still fewer centers, and revive the abandoned regions? It is possible, and frankly it has been done before.

But we must take collective responsibility, not search for someone else to blame.


#4

Thank you very much for both answers so far. I will think about them and maybe get back to you later.


#5

Just very quickly: the essay Transdemocracy is very interesting and it alludes to the idea of transnationalism and selfgovernance if I understood correctly. So I think it ideally “democracy” as a term would suffice, but as the ideal democracy has not yet been realised, “transdemocracy” is a good term till we get there.


#6

If the “trans” part comes with transnationalism, then I guess the term is fine. Regarding ideal democracy, it all began in ancient Athens, where the citizens were gathered in a public space, some spoke proposals, defending them and the crowd voted in favor or against them. The crowd consisted from everyone having the right to participate in public matters. Their numbers were significantly low, so this was possible just by gathering and shouting.
When the state was expanded, and about 2 millenia later, 10ths o millions of people being conjured in the same place to do the same, wasn’t possible. The need in democracy converted the direct democracy to democracy with representatives in various elctoral forms, all over the world.
Nowadays, DiEM25 proved that there is again another way for all the peope to gather in the same place and decide directly. This same place is called the internet.

Technically now it is possible to have decisions like this.
The current political systems that support democracy, go around the concept of sending someone we trust, make those decisions for us. The downside of this, is that those persons are getting elected come with a package of “things to do” in every matter, which cannot be the majority preference on each matter.

The DiEM version is better, allowing the people to decide on each major matter individually.

Going even further and have each and everyone of the citizens decide on everything, even the smallest things, will take more valueable time from many citizens.

There are three levels of voting:

  • The traditional (person/party with pre-decided package of decisions on all matters)
  • The DiEM25 way (major matters and goals)
  • the 3rd way (vote on minor matters coming from the major - voting on implemetation details)

I think that setting the goals binds substancially the governments to the people’s will. Following the goals and figuring out the details on their own, should be fine, more effective and should give them speeding flexibility to maneuver around changing situations in favor of the goals.
The DiEM system can support frequent referrendums on the goals, if situations demand change of goals. That in my opinion is high level democracy, with great efficiency of expediting matters.


#7

Updates to the list above:

Wand_8_Forum_en.pdf (89.7 KB)
_Partially translated with deepl.com, not proofread

Wand_8_ger,en.pdf (79.0 KB)
_File with original quotes in german or english

I’m still interested in comments, thoughts, ideas etc… Didn’t have the time yet to reply to the comments so far. This doesn’t mean that I don’t think about them.


#8

Hi Sven,

just reading through the comments again I have to little remarks/answers to yours:

“I appreciate the idea, but how to pick the relevant articles, documents etc.? There are virtually millions. Which ones are the best? Seen from which perspective?”

The selection is made upon reading various sources related to the history of ideas for Europe. It is quite subjective and is not meant to be objective or display the “best”. It is not a scientific research, it’s rather situated in an art context. I selected the positions on basis of whether I think they seem relevant to me an possibly interesting to others. Many people know that there were different evolutions of what we call the EU, but I guess not so many know of things besides the canon (unless you’re interested in political history e. g.)

“From my point of view it is not about “explaining” with many words, but about how to communicate a better and superior perspective enabling our societies to develop for the future.”

Certainly it’s about better communication and “advertising”, before the EU vote there were some tweets on twitter how established political parties have financial corporate funding while e. g. DiEM doesn’t. In this context I’d just like to quote this from the program of the SPD of the Weimar Republic (because it is part of my list):

“When Hugenberg [media entrepreneur propagating for national socialsim] took over the Ufa, the Tele-Union News Office and the General-Anzeiger-Presse, the greatest means of mass influence were in the hands of the opponents of the Weimar Republic. The circulation of all Social Democratic newspapers, on the other hand, was only a fraction of the Social Democratic vote.
This is probably the decisive mistake. The power of the idea is not sufficient if it cannot be brought to the masses in a form corresponding to the masses. Hardly a year after National Socialism is shattered and on the ground tens of thousands flock to football matches, while the halls are by no means full for lectures by well-known professors dealing with spiritual problems or excellent symphony concerts by classical masters. This should be borne in mind. All the more so as the SPD as a democratic party must stand on the position that it receives its mandate from the people.” [Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator]


#9

Just re-reading your comment.

“My point is that most of those essays and thoughts, didn’t and couldn’t take into account empirical data of the next 6 to 10 decades. The changes are so radical, that perhaps only the way of thinking could be useful, if applied to nowadays circumstances.”

The research is not about listing up-to-date concepts that apply to the current situation, but rather to hint at the eveolution, complexity, and contradicitions in the development of political ideas for Europe. I think that this can be very helpful to make sense of current developments and it is also meant to 2nd guess the term of “New Europe”, as BTW used by the german Greens in the EU elections (ca. Let’s build a new Europe, or something like that). Maybe this was even used by other parties??


#10

Please allow me to update this with a current version of my research and an invitation to comment or propose anything that comes to your mind. It will get the form of posters and is one part of an art project I’m working on. The other part is a photobook with pictures taken only in Czech republic. It will be shown in a touring exhibition in Germany starting 2020. I post this here hoping for some swarm-intelligence and because I think it could be quite interesting for some of you.

0_190818_Wandarbeit.pdf (161.7 KB)

  • Moreover I’d like to ask, if anybody has or can point me to a written transcript of Julian Assange’s speech during the founding of DiEM25 in Berlin 2016
  • I’m also interested in hints about Tito, the partisans of Yugoslavia and the Non-Alignment-movement (as mentioned by @Srecko_H) in a very interesting episode of the intercepted podast.
  • Moreover I’d be interested in representing more female authors, groups or concepts

The research is not aiming at getting anywhere near “completion”, it’s subjective and necessarily abbreviating the chosen positions to short phrases or quotes.

[If i manage, I’ll translate everything to english later and add a new only english file.]