“Let’s cancel the name of Europe in our minds and in our hearts”, por Franco Berardi (Bifo)

franco-bifoA bitter week

On Sunday 5th July, the victory of OXI gave us the illusion that breaking the financial chain was possible. One week later, we discover that the chain is more stringent than ever. The week of humiliation for the Greeks has been a week of humiliation for decency and democracy all over Europe.

For the third time in the space of a century, Germany has destroyed Europe.

But we should learn some lessons from the experience of this bitter week. The first lesson is this: those who believe in the unity of Europe are losing. Those who despise the idea of Europe are winning. The Greeks have accepted misery and humiliation because they believe in Europe. The Germans have never accepted European solidarity; they have always been persuaded that the lazy southern scum are just after their money. Their refusal to accept responsibility for the migrants who come from the Mediterranean, their refusal to pay war compensation to Greece, and the violence against the Tsipras government are all evidence of their utter rejection of European solidarity. This is why they are winning.

We have to learn a lesson: let’s cancel the name of Europe in our minds and in our hearts.

The second lesson we have to draw is that the political Left is dead. The defeat of Syriza is the umpteenth proof of the impossibility of fighting financial capitalism in a democratic manner. The way of democratic elections has been barred by German acts of terrorism. The Spanish, the Italians and the Portuguese now know that voting Left is dangerous, because it’s exposing them to the violent retaliation of the Finazis.

In Italy as in France, the only alternative to this form of colonial financial oppression is nationalism: Lega Nord, Front National and UKIP are the only forces who have some credibility against the Finazis.

Now we can see, crystal clear, that the European Union implies simultaneously the enforced neoliberal disempowerment of labour and the colonial imposition of financial predation.

I know very well that hatred of the colonialists is fostering nationalism in the colonised nations. This has always been the limit of anti-colonial movements: the danger of being trapped within a national identification, and the inability to see that capitalism is the real source of colonialist oppression. Nevertheless, we cannot refuse to see that German economic nationalism is the oppressive force that impoverishes the colonised countries of Europe.

German nationalism is not like other nationalisms. It is based on an insensibility to the suffering of others, and on the absolute primacy of automated rule. The extermination of the dysfunctional is the essential feature of its cultural history.

We try not to see this simple evidence, and we say to ourselves: Schäuble and Merkel are not killing people. True, but we’ve not yet seen the last act of the tragedy—and anyway, don’t forget that suicide is skyrocketing in Greece, and that the Yugoslavian slaughter of the ‘90s was first of all the effect of German provocation. They don’t send the Schutzstaffel anymore. They send money, and some local Ustascia (or Golden Dawn?) will do the job.

The future of Europe is dark. What can we do?

As a comment on the Syriza defeat, in the beautiful web-magazine calledEuronomade, I read the headline: “We’ll continue to fight.” Unfortunately these words sound pathetic. What do they mean, Euronomadic friends? What is the meaning of the word: “continue”? We have been unable to fight.

What did we do during the Greek martyrdom? Did we occupy German embassies? Did we destroy BMW shops? Did we organise mass strikes?

I did not see a fight in the streets of Italy and France. The saddest thing about the bitter week of humiliation has been the silence in the cities of Europe: impotence and depression. Why should we deny this simple truth? I think we had better accept the lesson of humiliation; we should start from this lesson, and build on it.

Firstly, the social movement has to think of itself as a military hospital (as Francis has said of the Church): creating spaces for self-healing, for care and for solidarity with the humiliated.

Secondly, we have to launch the powerful offensive of the disempowered: insolvency, withdrawal, abandonment of the political scene, and defeatism in the wake of the war that is already looming in every niche of the world.

And during the withdrawal, during the devastation that war is bringing about, we have to prepare the conditions for the communist aftermath.

Exiting Europe is impossible, as we have seen, because Europe is a well-guarded jail. The only exit from the European trap is the exit from capitalism.

Via VersoBooks

2 thoughts on ““Let’s cancel the name of Europe in our minds and in our hearts”, por Franco Berardi (Bifo)

  1. I quite agree with our friend Franco except in one point. He thorowly dismisses the idea of Europe and equals it to capitalism. No quite so, my friends. I think that here he misses the point. Sure there’s the Europe of banks and corporations, of Merkels and the like. But what I say is that there’s another Europe. There’s a continent of citizens, civilian organizations and institutions. And that’s the one I really believe. Now as we are talking, more than 480 organizations and movements of people have gathered on a permanent coordinated net, exchanging information and preparing actions on site against the spearhead of capitalism, or say the international free-trade agreements secretely underway. There has never been such a movement in the past. In just a few months, we gathered more than 2,3 million signatures against those treaties. Again, that never happened before. More than 400 municipalities and reagions have also declared themselves against. That’s another clear sign that there are growing sectors of our societies, even institutions, taking a clear stand against the path of capitalism in the sense that it wants to control and smash all nations and their values through these agreements like The Transatlantic Treaty, The Transpacific Treaty, CETA, TISA and others. Several parliaments, both local regional and national have also passed motions with the same idea. So the movement of citizens is clearly reaching more and more institutions and growing fast as we talk. Never in history such a reality came about. We are surely in the eve of a severe confrontation. I don’t know who will be winning, but I know we are fighting hard and the enemy will use all weapons he can. I think we should to.
    José Oliveira from the Portuguese Platform No to TTIP

  2. O comentário de Eric Alliez a este texto (parece-me um bom complemento):

    “But, my dearest friend, the fact that it is more or less 20 years that you are writing the same Exodus text, with different shifters and footnotes, is a bit downloading the Greek threshold (or threshole, if you prefer) that everybody around is feeling. (To see BMW showrooms in fire would be certainly a great pleasure that we could share, but it would not change that much the ambient feeling and reality we are faced with… Quite sad for both of us, Merkel & Co are for now more annoyed by Schmidt and Habermas statements than by the perspective of a few burning cars.) I could sign with you and with my blood EXIT FROM CAPITALISM, but I still meet you at the Documenta or at the Serpentine Gallery, on which I am in situ infinitely more distant and critical than you seem to be… (This is not a personal attack, it is just to underline the difficulty to find the EXIT). Caro Franco, carissimo Bifo, my real point is : Should we really compete the nationalists with the FINAZI formula, which, beyond the great branding, largely misses the point of the neoliberal realities of the financial wars post 2008 AND THE WHOLE WAR HISTORY OF CAPITALISM? It may be exactly where the strategy of our greek friends (including Varoufakis, who first explained that Hollande was an ally, and just accepted an invitation from Montebourg — you know the Ikea guy with a social-nationalist marinière)… failed. Bien fraternellement à toi, Eric. PS We both know, that a certain Félix would have fought back to your text. En toute fidélité, donc.”

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