Saturday, January 09, 2010



By Kevin Anthony Stoda, Wiesbaden, Germany

It is too bad that the head editorialist for DIE ZEIT didn’t publish his work, “WE HAD A DREAM”, months earlier.

The piece came out on the 30th of December 2009. In it, Head-Editor Jan Ross notes, “For the entire year [2009] the 20th anniversary [of the mostly peaceful revolutions] of 1989 has been celebrated across Europe: [However,] We Europeans missed the main message [of 1989].”

Namely, where did the European dream or vision go (1) for a greater democracy for all? and (2) for a global future with a peaceful Europe making many more global partnerships in Post-Cold War world while opening its arms wide to others seeking to build the new European dream?


Jan Ross appropriately noted in “WE HAD A DREAM” that most of continental Europe has seen successes and strides in the area of social democracy over the past. Economic improvements have been observed, too, over the past two or more decades.

For example, even nationalist-dominated countries, like Serbia, want to be part of the European Union idea and experiment. This idea is inculcated in a broad identity that has galvanized a continent of nearly 500 million individuals. These European peoples want not only an economically successful Europe but a Europe of justice, fairness and fraternity. In fact, like any federal state around the world today, in Europe one country is bailed out by others when it is in trouble. This is a sense of fraternity that Europe could and should use to greater advantage in Africa, Asia, and around the globe.

However, the Europe of 2009-2010 is now a continent frozen in time and looking inwards.

France’s recent call to make the Mediterranean Sea region (including the Middle East and North Africa) of nations and states into a mirror image has been stopped in its tracks as great ships of the EU keep would-be European dreamers and immigrants from other continents away at all cost. As another example of this cold and self-isolating modern Europe in 2010, it now appears that the European peoples of 2010 are more interested in pushing Turkey into the arms of (or political sphere) of Tehran than they are in integrating one of the more western Islamic peoples into a European Dream of social democracy, fair-trade, and justice. Even the current Pope criticizes the current European fear of Islam and its fear of both economic and political refugees. (Both are seeking a European Dream).

Pope Benedict XVI stated on Christmas Day 2009: “May his [Allah’s] love guide every people on earth and strengthen their common consciousness of being a ‘family’ called to foster relationships of trust and mutual support. A united humanity will be able to confront the many troubling problems of the present time: from the menace of terrorism to the humiliating poverty in which millions of human beings live, from the proliferation of weapons to the pandemics and the environmental destruction which threatens the future of our planet.” Europeans should see this German-born pope’s message as a message they wish to pass on to their children and to their political leadership.

Currently, the European family, instead of striving towards universal dreams and ideals is seeking more and more to isolate itself through restrictionist emigration and integrationist policies.

Moreover, for some strange reason, many Europeans are insecure in the face of Islam and the growth of Islamic peoples inside Europe and without. The European response to-date has focused more on redeveloping its Christian heritage than it has in terms of understanding or learning what common grounds exist between the two Abrahimic faiths exist, so that Islamic nations might be moved towards more social democracy within the heritage of Islam.

This current European path is a separatist and insecure path, warns Jan Ross and the current Pope (in numerous messages, such as in his 2009 Peace Day Speech). This we-versus-them mentality is certainly no universalist dream for 2010 Europe.

Appropriately, by raising the question of “what happened to the 1989 universalist dreams of Europe and Europeans?”. editor Jan Ross provides a starting point in this new decade to discuss and a create great forum to bring the dream of social democracy and wealth-for-all back to the forefront of the European national and international identity.

This is the kind of European Dream which attracts peoples, including Russians, to Europe.

However, instead of integrating Russia and Turkey, for example, many European states and peoples continue to seek ways to keep these peoples outside of the European Union and European Dream forever. Likewise, when one nation has certain foreign affairs issues, Europeans still seldom identify with their neighbors. Ross noted that when Russian agents killed a Russian-immigrant in London that Germans saw it as a UK problem or matter—not a German one.

This isolationist reactionary trend opposing a greater European dream needs to be terminated. Moreover, paths to build-up European alternative to the arms races and culture wars of the present and past decades must be rediscovered. These more inclusive European dreams and identities are what really need to drive the new Europe for decades to come. Such a European Dream must become words written on the hearts of every single peace and social justice oriented European. Each European needs to learn to articulate and build that European Dream—a dream to embody and embolden an alternative to the status quo. i.e. an isolationist and inward looking Europe.



Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home