Let’s consider

“These articles never consider that perhaps, if there really is a popular desire for smaller states, it might be good to respect it.” – Craig Murray

This is an interesting observation. The media “never consider” anything outside the box of the comfortably familiar. One wonders whether they are actually capable of doing so. Or are the media, and the established power for which they speak, prevented by their very nature from ever imagining a world in any significant way different from the one that they have always known? Is it a defining characteristic of established power to imagine that all innovation is done?

The complacently well-placed disparage dreamers as all dreams are considered unworthy other than those that have already been proved worthy by being realised. In a downward spiral of despairing realism, the smallest of dreams become the worthiest and the pettiest of personal gains become the pinnacle of human achievement. What we have is the best that we can hope for because to hope for more is to put at risk what we have.

The daily victory which sustains established power is the defeat of dreams. So long as enough of us remain sufficiently convinced that to dream is only and irrationally to deny reality, then established power remains secure. So long as we are kept from the realisation that the dream is the crucial precursor to change, then we cannot see meaningful change as a realistic possibility. The day we lose our fear to dream is the day that the citadels of established power begin to tremble.

So long as we swim in a media sea of ‘never consider’, we are no threat.

But suppose we stop to consider the possibility that other arrangements are possible. Suppose, for example, we consider the proposition that ‘separatism’ may not be nearly so unthinkable if we think of it simply as separation into parts which sit comfortably as the constituent parts of a whole which is more coherent and cohesive for its constituent parts sitting more comfortably within it. Suppose we consider it, not as breaking, but as reconstituting. Why should this be anathema to the EU? Why should this be anathema to anyone, other than those who have a vested interest in maintaining a generalised belief that all possible innovation is done?

In the context of Scotland’s constitutional debate, a Unionist is someone who has never questioned the Union, while a British Nationalist is someone who insists that the Union should never be questioned. In the wider European context, might it be that developments in Catalonia prompt more people to question the status quo? Might it even be that these developments, in conjunction with the irrepressible urging of Scotland’s Yes Movement and its counterparts elsewhere, weaken that obdurate resistance to questioning present constitutional arrangements?

Let’s reject the stultifying culture of ‘never consider’. Let’s instead consider the possibility that now is the time for the EU to abandon attitudes to secessionist movements which hark back to a dark age of European imperialism and adopt the enlightened principles set out in the UN Charter.

If the EU and the governments of European nations regard the current situation only as crisis and respond with defensive aggression, then it is difficult to see anything other than a protracted tragedy ensuing. But if they see it as an opportunity to embrace change and move immediately and with a sense of urgency to establish procedures by which that change might be managed, then the prospect opens up of a more stable, sustainable, prosperous and peaceful Europe.

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About Peter A Bell

Thinker. Listener. Talker. Reader. Writer. No attitude immutable. No conclusion final. No opinion humble. Lifelong campaigner for the restoration of Scotland's independence.
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3 Responses to Let’s consider

  1. “a world in any significant way different from the one that they have always known” People actually forget that the world map now is very different to what it was post 1945, or pre 1939, which differed to maps prior to that. I holidayed in Yugoslavia which is no more. The Berlin wall came down. Czechoslovakia split. When it comes to countries of the world it seems there is no status quo. What is at stake is power, the power enjoyed by certain countries and people who want to retain that at all costs and against all rational arguments. That’s why there is such an outcry and closing of ranks when Catalonia or Scotland want independence. It threatens the power of others especially if other areas to were to campaign for independence.

    As for the 95 states cited by Junker (wonder where the figure came from, if it was merely plucked from the air or is based on the formation of likely new states?) an EU comprised of smaller countries rather than dominated by certain large ones, could be regarded as more democratic and better representing wishes of those who stay in the EU area. After all, small is said to be beautiful, especially when they can work together in the interests of the wider world.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. russellbruce says:

    A thoughtful and insightful piece. I think Juncker’s comment was unconsidered. He is thinking of how having 95 heads of state would increase his workload. One of the key strengths of the EU is it a Europe of the nations and regions. Some regions over time may want to progress to full nation status – others will be content as there are. Sovereignty can not be denied when there is support for change. To do so undermines the development of a modern Europe. The EU as it stands is a work in progress. Instead ‘of ever closer union’ we must rethink because that is too close to the territorial expansionist aggression of the last 2000 years. Perhaps administratively convenient just not in the interests of a plural democrat consortium. The goal should and must be ‘ever closer collaboration’ if we are finally to achieve a Europe that breaks from our geopolitical history.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Holebender says:

    I have been convinced for a long time that once we achieve independence that will become the new status quo and, as such, will immediately command massive majority support. Most people fear change and stick with what they know and a great many of today’s unionists will become die-hard independentists very quickly once that becomes the new established order. The trick is achieving independence; once we have it it’ll be secure.

    Liked by 1 person

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