At the End of the Day

Towers of Babel come in all the sizes and all the colours

I was reading a piece called ‘Why we should be wary of Parliamentising EU legislation’ earlier today. If you’d said to me in those heady days of 1968 that one day an Italian would write stuff like this, I’d probably have said “Yes, and Benito Mussolini is living in Alpha Centauri and has recently learned to fly”.

But there the article sits, suffused in respectability on a widely-read mainstream EU site, its introduction alone telling you that the content is unlikely to impress:

antidemoeyetieOddly, Signor Fabbrini seems on the one hand worried that the elected legislators are being sidelined, but despite this reaches the conclusion that there is no alternative:

‘Regardless of the parliamentary rhetoric celebrated in the Treaties, parliamentarism cannot give a feasible answer to the two main systemic constraints within the EU: the demographic asymmetries between its member states and the national differentiation between the latter’s citizens. Given these systemic constraints, it would be unacceptable to recognise only the European Parliament as the source of governmental authority in the EU, if not as the source of the EU’s democratic legitimacy.’

Or – if I can just put into words what Sergio wrote – ‘Democracy doesn’t work beyond a certain size of unit’.

I’d agree wholeheartedly with that, citing the US, Russia and China as obvious examples of the problem. But I’m at a loss to understand where the author ends up. For instead of suggesting that superstate is bad, he writes this as some kind of closing:

‘Between the intergovernmental union and the parliamentary union, there is an ocean to sail. Because of a lack of comparative knowledge and an abundance of intellectual indolence, the partisans of parliamentarism have become prisoners of their own rhetoric. A rhetoric that is not sufficient for unmasking the fallacy of intergovernmentalism. Without a new political theory, it will be impossible to find an original solution to the dual nature of the EU.’

Surely it is Sergio Fabbrini who is guilty of ‘intellectual indolence’ here: for his mind is not open to acceptance of the idea that community is a better unit – that small creative is more vital than big process – and that it is a cultural, not political, solution we need. The econo-political solutions on offer lack both originality and a contemporary social perspective. They are, in turn, State collectivism and Global neoliberalism. Community mutualism has a better track record and is far more socially democratic….without being in any real sense socialist, because it has a much more humanely entrepreneurial perspective.

I must confess that I am now fed up of the word ‘systemic’. Five years ago it was ‘markets’. Both terms try to promote the idea that somehow there are factors working above people. This is bollocks: systems and markets are nothing more than collections of people responding to stimuli and revising their behaviour accordingly. The best one can hope for is the creation of a culture that reduces dysfunctional revisions to a minimum.

It’s been my good luck and occasional misfortune over four decades to know dozens of very successful entrepreneurs. Only a tiny proportion of them did what they did for the money. They did it for fun, because they knew that they were good at it; and on the whole, they were fiercely loyal to their long-term staff. Given an uncomplicated reason to contribute to the community around them, all the ones I liked joined in enthusiastically. For they instinctively grasped the need to give the widest possible franchise freedom from dog-eat-dog survival.

If we cannot rise above that sort of survival, then we need a new species name – because ‘sapiens’ is clearly out of place.

Both Collectivism and Neoliberalism have failed to keep us civilised. As the old Russian gag has it, “Under neoliberalism man exploits man, and under Collectivism it’s the other way round”. Those thinking about the State of the world do not lack a political perspective: on the whole, they lack a hierarchy of importance.

For me, the the hierarchy is as simple as this:

  1. Educating the individual to think for himself
  2. Giving that individual a respect for the community that engenders a sense of personal responsibility
  3. Allowing people who get 1 and 2 to give all the help they can to creative endeavours designed to feed the enlightenment and well-being of the community.

It’s what we call a culture.

The idea that either the State or the Company are more important than communities, families and individual citizens is utterly ridiculous. That and that alone is what we all need to appreciate.

19 thoughts on “At the End of the Day

  1. “Giving that individual a respect for the community that engenders a sense of personal responsibility”

    Try telling that to the workshy British on Benefits Street . Try also telling the phalanx of economic migrants swarming into Europe thst they should work because it s fun . Indeed try telling them to pay taxes because it s the
    ” communally correct ” way to go. The words ” pissing ” and ” wind” spring instantly to mind.

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  2. I’ve signed on a few times in my life, in a working class area in Manchester, and I can say hand on heart, that this stereotype this almost completely false. There will always be people who play the system but the numbers are far smaller than people imagine. A very visible underclass DID grow under New Labour but their relationship to work was usually one of the bloke being in and out of crappy low paid, low skill work and the bird staying at home with a couple of kids. I don’t think it’s anything to be proud of but if you embark on the biggest de-industrialisation / de-skilling campaign in the Western world, there will be social consequences…

    Try life in the bottom quintile in the UK and post again.

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  3. ”Allowing people who get 1 and 2 to give all the help they can to creative endeavours designed to feed the enlightenment entitlement and well-being of the community.”
    We’re all in this mess of OPC together.

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  4. Allowing people who get 1 and 2 to give all the help they can to creative endeavours designed to feed the enlightenment entitlementand well-being of the community.
    We’re all in this mess together with OPC.

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  5. “…. but despite this he reaches the conclusion that there is no alternative.”
    That’s because [a] he and his ilk are so convinced that the EU is the equivalent of Douglas Adams’ ’42’ – (the answer to the Great Question of Life, the Universe and Everything) that they cannot conceive of an alternative and [b] with such an ideological construct as the EU, there IS no alternative – it is as incompatible with democracy as Islam.

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  6. And in other news….Jeremy Corbyn is now anti-semitic and Fairy Liquid is dangerous, haha!
    Where but in the Western world would you want to live with and miss out on all this good stuff fed to us constantly by the propaganda machine widely known as the MSM?

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  7. Not criticising those genunely looking for work or real-need asylum seekers but those who make it their lifes mission to never work at all for forty years then pick up a pension paid for by NI paynents that I finance thriugh the taxes imposed on me durimg
    my ( real !) working life . Take your pick of TV /press documentaries uncovering pondlife who make a career of supplying fake doctors notes, sick notes, hospital letters etc to their fraternity so they can get enhanced dusability money for life etc whilst 100 percent fit .

    Again , try telling immigrants who turn up at Calais in Ray Bans and Adidas trainers having paid thousands for the voyage here that they shoukd paytax once they get a job here out if a sense of ” duty”. Risible. They already have black economy openings waiting on arrival …

    And whilst on the subject I also detest the hordes of pramfabces dragging along illegitimate sprogs spawned as a result of a long forgotten alcohol fuelled weekend where father is unknown and/or dissapears when confronted with upbringing responsibilities knowing full well mummy and baby(ies) will be IMMEDIATELY accomodated with state housing and sustenance for the next minimum twelve years at which point mummy will a rrange to gestate avgain to recomnence /enhance the dependency cycle. No …. I do nnot believe these slices of humanity will evet buy in to JW s magnanimity to others doctrine as they are just out for themselves . Bring back the orphanages and the Madgalene Laundries. It will be cheaper for me tax wise and at least I will get my laundry bill subsidised !!

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  8. The vast undemocratic Eurocentric superstate called The E.U. and Hitlers dream of a vast undemocratic Eurocentric superstate called the Third Reich….. differ how exactly?
    So glad everyone in the wider population ‘gets it’…..
    I think the term ‘facepalm’ is entirely applicable in this case.

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