Europe must seize the vast opportunity for self-determination that has presented itself in Trump’s destructive re-configuration of the post-War international order.
In the wake of the vandalism of the Trump presidency, an end-game has been revealed which will allow Europe to reclaim its sovereignty as an independent world power – and as another counter-balance to American hegemony.
If Europe will not, however, embrace this possibility, if it does not have the courage to take charge of its own destiny, it will face two existential possibilities: full assimilation into the American empire or destruction through war. There is no middle course if Europe will not embrace the truth of its oft-preached slogans and oft-publicised philosophies of freedom.
There may never be a better moment for Europe to take its destiny back into its hands. Trump wants to frighten, intimidate, expecting that we will always back down, that we will always choose the unimaginative stability of the status quo – or, that our elites will always be susceptible of blackmail, bribery or bullying to toe the line.
But, is this how we want our history to be told to our children: that we were knaves, cowards and accomplices to the most destructively narcissistic nation in history?
America has ruled Europe since its victory in the Second World War. NSA, NATO, IMF, CIA, MOD, DEA, FBI – some of the alphabet city which the US has created to orchestrate its worldly affairs, among these being the “liberal” occupation of Europe. All of these agencies operate freely in Europe, inexorably working to suppress any trace of resistance to US hegemony. America listens to all of our telephone conversations and reads all of our e-mails. Even the UN has been, since its inception, effectively neutered by American manifest destiny. The “West” is a totalitarian construct, orchestrated as an imperial regime.
America still has thousands of soldiers in Europe, countless military facilities, controls the Eurozone through its 188 member IMF, and via the other alphabetic entities, constantly interferes with and pressures Europe and European nations to become more like itself – unregulated, feral, corrupt – where might is always right. America is only in it for itself and will not be happy until it has created the United States of the World.
The American occupation began with Western Europe and Great Britain, but has now extended to the borders of Russia – the spoils of the protracted “Cold” war. That is not even to mention the rest of the Occupation in Africa, Asia, Middle East, Latin America with some 1000 military bases around the world.
Europe remains wedged in the vice grip of American expansionism and empire building – and without any recourse to what is an increasingly illusory international law. The rogue status of the American experiment has become a threat to the very foundations of the new era of European democracy since WWII.
Europe can no longer swallow “Americanism” – We really need only mention austerity, the remedy of the IMF for global banking corruption, an ideological cruelty and collective punishment that has clearly bred fascism throughout Europe and the world. Or, we could denounce NATO adventurism, in which Europe remains suspended in a persistently hostile environment. Merely pawns in the foreign policy machinations of the United States, we are expected only to nod and desperately struggle to mitigate the collateral damage of US foreign policy, such as the refugee crisis – a direct consequence of NATO aggression in the Middle East and North Africa.
Europe is the passive and unequal partner in a submissive, degrading and humiliating relationship with the ever exceptional America.
Europe certainly cannot exercise authentic self-determination as long as it is occupied by the United States – as long as it remains a compliant cog in the American imperial machine. Europe’s institutions and constitutional operations will never truly reflect the desires of citizens if the meta-context of control is always in the hands of a hostile, occupying, and self-serving power.
But, things have become different just now – we live in moment in which great decisions can be made, in which great truths can be revealed.
Indeed, Europe can decide to once again become independent – it can also reveal that it is truly a free association of sovereign democratic states.
In light of the fatal American contradiction between “America First” and its unipolar matrix of globalised hegemony, Europe must assert its own self-determination in an explicit embrace of the insurgent multi-polar world order.
The United States has found itself at the top of a hill which only looks down on all sides. With the explicit fact of an insurgent polycentric global order, America has decided, due to its own existential bankruptcy (and hence its inherent inability to embrace other nations as equals), to assert its direct authority upon all the nations of the world in an over-extended project which has already unleashed multiple, simultaneous wars.
But, America’s sedition has not gone unanswered – we do not live in a consequence free environment. Indeed, a global resistance is emerging to American hegemony through the economic, political and military cooperation of nations across the globe, as for instance in BRICS, in which alternative institutions have emerged, independent of the American hydra.
It is clearly time for a radically post-colonial Europe to stand with the overwhelming majority of the world in the construction of a multi-polar world order of freedom, equality, social justice and well-being. An immediate gesture in this direction would be support for the recent Venezuelan elections, diverging from yet another American path toward war.
We must work to help captive American citizens as well, who are becoming increasingly aware of the tyranny of their fraudulent, corrupt “system” of government, one which is neither representative, nor democratic.
Europe is staring into the abyss, one which beckons vast possibility. These are not merely the idle thoughts of a philosopher, but ideas which have begun to gain traction among mainstream politicians like Merkel and Juncker. We must comprehend the significance of this historical opportunity for radical change and encourage our leaders and fellow citizens that it is time for Europe to return to its historic adulthood.
Assuming Europe has learned a few things during its seven decade captivity, or better un-learned some things, it is quite possible that another, better, more democratic Europe can emerge, liberated from the monstrous site that is American exceptionalism – a Europe no longer ethically compromised, politically and culturally debased, and condemned to merely follow the orders of the “West”, the orders of America.
This essay was originally published in Counterpunch on 24 May 2018.