Over the last few years, I have been watching with utter disbelief the extent to which the democratic process in this country has been dismantled. It has now come to a point where governmental business-as-usual is an impossibility. If the media narrative is to be believed, this is so because HMG have lost their majority in Parliament.
If you look for evidence behind the scenes and employ a healthy dose of deductive logic and critical thinking, you will find there are reasons for the present predicament HMG find themselves in. At a guess, they seem to fall in three categories: collaboration with an enemy power (aka treason), muhfeelz-thinking mixed with lofty idealism (aka idiocy) and being in the “wrong” party. All individual MPs display these characteristics to a varying degree, much like their constituents and indeed everyone else.
But although fallibility is an inherent part of the human condition, why would it play out like this over the past few years, particularly the last few weeks, before the result of the 2016 plebiscite was supposed to be enacted and the UK had left the EU?
All these years, leaving the EU (aka Brexit) has been a policy without an identifiable representation in Parliament. Nobody owned the idea except the extra-parliamentary opposition led by Nigel Farage. But suddenly – at least as per the 2017 party manifestos – everybody did. In a way, the case of Brexit was akin to a central reservation along a dual carriageway: nobody owned it, so anybody could throw their litter on it while everybody complained it didn’t get cleaned. Put national sovereignty in the place of that central reservation and you get the idea.
What’s more: a good deal of the people, along with their representatives in Parliament, dispute the fact that this central reservation (= national sovereignty) even exists, and actively seeks to see it dissolved in something they like to call “shared” or “pooled” sovereignty. While anyone who’s ever looked for unkempt public spaces knows where to find them: running along the border between two local authorities where it’s always the other council what’s to blame.
Of course, the attack on national sovereignty does not come out of the blue. It is the logical and quite inevitable consequence of having a supranational power attempting to step in the place of the nation state. The latter being the erstwhile defender of its citizens, their liberties, their properties and their democratic rights and freedoms. So the current crisis is exactly what would happen, and probably what was supposed to have happened all along with sovereignty “shared” or “pooled” under the EU’s antidemocratic auspices (= under German leadership).
The dilution of the democratic franchise is quite obvious when a parliament of say 650 members is now supposed to represent the will of 500 million EU citizens instead of 65 million British subjects. But as if this wasn’t bad enough, the EU parliament is in absolutely no position to decide anything. It lacks legislative power and is supposed to rubber stamp what an appointed, not elected, EU Commission puts before it.
This democracy deficit is not there by chance but by design. It serves a useful purpose to the EU by rendering any and all opposition to their self-arrogated mandate and policies meaningless and void: the EU actively seeks to destroy democracy on a national level in its member states. Which over time will become branch offices of the central EU authority.
This is the true meaning of federalisation and it is containing a vast mass of power at the top of the EU apparatus. Power without any accountability at all, and out to destroy any and all opposition to it eagerly. What the next few weeks will show is whether – and if yes, to which extent – it is still possible to peacefully reverse the democratic disenfranchisement of the public pursued by the EU.
This is the point where Hannah Arendt and her observations and thoughts concerning totalitarianism are relevant once more. Mrs Arendt, (born 1906 in Hanover, died 1975 in New York) based her opus magnus “The Origin of Totalitarianism” on her personal experience with and close observation of Hitlerism and Stalinism. The term “totalitarianism” harks back to Franz Borkenau who, in 1938, argued that fascism and communism had more in common than divided them. This is such an obvious truism that Lefties are still outraged by anyone who reminds them of this fact.
Totalitarianism works by centring around an elaborate ideology or narrative: according to national socialism, life is but an ongoing race struggle. Whereas according to international socialism, history is nothing but a class struggle. Both seem reductionist to the point of being silly but simplifications like these spared their adherents and contemporaries a lot of thinking one must assume. In this regard, they’re much like today’s ideologies.
Narratives presenting a simple answer to life’s many questions are continuously competing for attention on the free market of ideas and opinions. Some of them attain a sort of privileged status when they are broadly communicated, shielded from criticism and officially enforced as the rationale for state action (or inaction) along certain political lines. That’s when they become useful for specific interests.
More Europe (meaning more EU) and “ever closer union” (meaning the destruction of its member states) are such ideologies and they are becoming totalitarian. The term itself is obviously derived from the word “total” (= fully, utterly) and was at first employed affirmatively by Italian fascists in the 1920s, calling for a “total state”. Then understood mainly as a state that involves itself in all aspects of its citizens’ lives: regulating, supporting, proscribing and punishing their actions and inactions incessantly and without right to redress.
One could argue that most modern states have become quasi totalitarian because they may still be kept in check by democratic balances and afford their citizens means to lawful redress to some extent. When it comes to its citizens’ democratic rights and liberties, the EU isn’t in the same league as China, yet. But it is getting there – and not a bit ironically in the name of “European values”, so for the best of reasons.
According to current polling, “Euroscepticism” – which really ought to be called “a chronic disbelief in the EU as a force for good” – is prevalent in many of its member states. Only in seven countries, an absolute majority of the population would welcome further federalisation of Das Projekt Europa. Namely Hungary, Poland, Romania, Greece, Croatia, Belgium and Portugal. A further seven countries do not want a federal EU (among them Sweden, Finland, Denmark, the UK and the ROI). The rest of about fourteen countries is stuck somewhere in the middle – yes, but no but yes, but no.
But for all the want of satisfaction with official EU policy, political parties fail to make political hay of the disbelief in the EU. Recent EU elections for that useless pseudo-parliament in Brussels and Strasbourg showed the vote being evenly split into thirds between pro nation state and pro EU parties, with a further third of the vote caught in the middle.
But in practical terms, this only meant that the centre of moderate belief/disbelief in the EU more than evened itself out and went along with the official mantra of “More EU” and “ever closer union”. Result: status quo retained, EU establishment safe for now – and at a critical moment too, when a reversal of the adverse effects of the EU’s “integrationist” policies could still be possible.
So effectively, there is a single pro EU party in its “parliament” even if it comes under many guises: as long as it isn’t an outright refusal of further federalisation with the democratic disenfranchisement this is supposed to bring along, a vote for any of the established Lib-Lab-Con parties means an endorsement of the destruction of the nation state and nation state democracy.
The notable difference with most totalitarian regimes is that this single pro EU party can do without a charismatic leader such as Pol Pot or Mao Zedong at its head. For now, there’s only good old Jean-Clown Juncker and that German woman incarnating “EU values” (= a useless life at other peoples’ expense).
When it comes to its sanctioning power, its power to observe and punish its inhabitants, the EU isn’t fully comparable to totalitarian regimes of the past. But it’s getting there. It works by an army of self-appointed guardians of the public discourse who have thoroughly infiltrated the public education system and have nothing better to do with their lives than being on the permanent look-out for any and all, real or imagined, transgression against the rules of good taste, eager to enforce the party line when it comes to fashionable topics from climate change to transgenderism.
Find yourself on the “wrong” side of the argument and end up in Twitter Gulag, that special place in hell run by those wannabe death camp commanders doing their deeds in the name of “equality”, “diversity” and “social justice”.
People have already lost their jobs for reminding the public of the obvious biological differences between the male and female members of our species. Which is intended to remind you, dear reader, that the first goal of totalitarian propaganda isn’t to make the public accept one thing or the other as the truth. But to make them accept insanity as the new normal.
Of course, all modern states except the US have a monopoly on weapons. Supposedly, the American states have nothing to fear from their citizens so protect their liberty to bear arms. The EU on the other hand is eagerly striving for an EU army – which critics think will mainly be used to quell opposition to further subjugation under EU rule and not to bring peace to the world.
The monopoly on communications is near total. The official state broadcasters in the EU’s member states set the official news narrative (e.g. “Orange Man Baaaad”) which is repeated and amplified by their private fake competition who have by now completely forgotten just what independent journalism is supposed to be about. It is doubtlessly possible to switch off all “alternative” channels of information whenever needs must, e.g. to avert a Tahir Square style “European Spring” before things do get a bit out of hand.
Particularly, the UK is seeing travel restrictions against dissidents and critics of the status quo, prosecution on legally dubious but politically convenient grounds and political prisoners. Another hallmark of totalitarianism.
To sum up, according to the generally accepted indicators of totalitarianism, the EU scores:
Elaborate guiding ideology: 9 out of 10.
The mantra of “More EU” and “ever closer union” as the answer to all problems (which, rather ironically, are mainly caused by strict adherence to these principles) is nearly total and even criticism of the EU can still be turned into a suggestion for further improvement of the status quo.
Single mass party: 8 out of 10
There isn’t one single EU party, in fact there are several stretching from the moderate left across the centrist parties to the faux conservatives. True refusal of the EU doctrine is isolated, stigmatised and rendered politically quite impotent.
System of terror: 8 out of 10
The EU’s rule of terror so far doesn’t affect the average citizen physically, but psychologically. It works on the public’s mind by making examples of prominent figureheads pour encourager les autres. And there’s an army of self-appointed little busy bodies and guardians of public opinion, a petty Gestapo entrenched in academia, education and the media – the “open society” with a “common purpose”. It still appears wise to assume that the people running this show would gladly repeat Auschwitz – in the name of avoiding another Auschwitz. And without realising their cruel irony.
Monopoly on weapons: 9 out of 10
On nation state level, the state monopoly on violence has been total for many decades now in all EU member states. As they are bound to follow EU directives (= diktats), EU member states would have to remove physical opposition to EU policies and/or the EU by force. Should national governments fail to comply, an EU army intervention seems likely in future.
Monopoly on means of communication: 8 out of 10
The state broadcasters are setting the official news narrative and it’s only by virtue of the fact that by now, most people simply don’t care for the news anymore that organisations like the BBC cannot reign supreme. Most alternative media are little more than controlled opposition, a number might even be false flag operations.
Centrally planned economy: 7 out of 10
Apart from state run enterprises and state service providers (health, care, education, safety, state management, etc.) the EU doesn’t plan most of the economy, but it is setting most (if not all) of the regulatory framework in which private business operates.
This is the one point where the new totalitarianism seems to have learned the lessons from its past: in that it appears unwise to micromanage the economy to within an inch of its life.
All in all, the result looks dire. Yet, the EU isn’t a totalitarian state along the lines of Hitler’s Germany or Stalin’s Russia. If only for want of its own EU death camps. It is much more akin to China though, where political unruliness will land people in jail and where it just doesn’t matter at all what people vote for: the party will decide what’s best for you, comrade, because it knows what’s best for everybody (or indeed for anybody).
The most likely thing to happen to dissidents in the EU is a gradual erosion of civil liberties, aimed at landing people who don’t toe the party line in an extremely awkward place, depending on the public profile of their case with public “naming and shaming” (= smearing people with dirt manufactured from faux outrage) gratuitously added on top. A still tongue shall make a happy life.
The EU, we must remind ourselves, is nascent totalitarianism and it will grow into its developed form it if isn’t stopped in time. And time is running short. Interestingly, most of Das Projekt Europa can be pursued in the name of an “European values” – so for the very best or reasons. And none of it is being publicly questioned – least of all by those who claim critical thinking as their true calling in life.
© Guardian Council 2019