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Re: <nettime> notes from the DIEM25 launch
Alexander Karschnia on Sun, 14 Feb 2016 03:37:16 +0100 (CET)


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Re: <nettime> notes from the DIEM25 launch


   As a person who watched the evening on live-stream, but spend the day
   in the Volksbühne to listen to the discussions of the âworking groupâ
   I just want to add: the âworking groupâ was not working â too many
   people who spoke too short, no real discussion. BUT it was good to get
   an impression on who-is-who of the activist scene in Europe. Not big
   names (âIs Negri not coming?â), but groups and initiatives. To catch
   the spirit of the Catalanian municipalities, the determination of the
   Irish RIGHT2CHANGE-movement, the Belgian Alter Summit (to name only a
   few). Their contribution made it very clear that an European
   democracy-movement has to combine both: pushing for the transformation
   into a transnational democracy AND strengthening the local level at the
   same time (municipalities, town hall meeting etc.) Striving towards a
   constitutional assembly to turn the EU into a real republic AND working
   on the ground in assemblies. Peaceful co-existence between a sovereign
   European parliament (not just a loose collection of national parties
   vaguely working together) AND a network of ârebel citiesâ (like
   Barcelona) as well as a wide-spread network of smaller assemblies: a
   âthird wayâ between representative democracy and direct, basic or
   âpresentistâ democracy. This is also a question for the âthought
   collectiveâ that Geert proposed.

   So much about the future, now about the past - the future of the past.
   I want to mention Boris Buden's contribution who spoke very strongly
   about the far-right government of Croatia, pointing towards their
   mission of historical revisionism. The discourse on âtotalitarianismâ
   that was developed in Germany during the 80's to relativize the German
   guilt-question, now has become a political weapon in the hands of the
   successors of their former collaborators. Buden's resumee: âIt is not
   yet clear anymore who won the second world war: ANOTHER PAST IS
   POSSIBLE!â It is clear who were the forces that had a vision for a
   democratic Europe: the antifascist resistance-movements. A movement to
   democratise Europe ought to be â no: IS an antifascist movement! It is
   the merit of Stephane Hessel to have called this legacy back into mind.
   Hannah Arendt had written about that long before. It was also her who
   worried that a pan-European movement would inevitably develop into an
   anti-American one. The anti-American affect was not very present at all
   at DiEM, that is already a lot taking into consideration how strong it
   is in some of the contemporary movements: the so-called âpeace-movement
   2.0â (around Ken Jebsen) in Germany has been mentioned before, there
   are other examples of right-wing movements who want to join forces with
   left-wing movements to form a so-called âQuerfrontâ (political
   crossover-front). DiEM might be an alternative to this
   left-right-crossovers by trying to open a âpopular front 2.0â from
   liberals and greens, socialdemocrats and socialists to the
   post-autonomous movements such as blockupy, anarchists with the little
    {AT} ) or Bookchin-style democratic federalists. I hope my impression is
   correct, because that is what is urgently needed from my point of view.

   A central theme was, of course, the ârefugee-crisisâ: Europe once was
   not a place to escape to, but to escape from. The concept of âfortress
   Europeâ has this background: Nazi-Germany at the end of WWII. In the
   late 70's a book was published by the new nazi-networks in Germany
   called âEurofascismâ which elaborated on how many European volunteers
   came to Germany to join the German army to fight against Russians and
   Americans. The author distanced himself from Hitler and most of the
   nazis for being too german-centric, but he praised some fringe of the
   German army to develop a âEuropean visionâ. The concept of âfortress
   Europeâ has to be seen as the manifestation of what Buden called
   âanother pastâ.

   Last, not least: EU-colonialism. It was a Belgian artist Sven
   Augustijnen who pointed out that the EU was not only founded by civil
   servants who made their experiences as administrators in Congo, but
   also the EU-flagg resembles the flagg of Belgian-Congo! The EU was a
   neocolonial project. And it is our duty to change it into a
   postcolonial one. For these reasons I am hoping for a DiEM25 meeting in
   the near future in Brussels and I would suggest to invite Sven
   Augustijnen. All in all there were not enough artists involved, I felt.
   But most of all: there was a real lack of involving
   Europeans-without-European-background for a movement that says: ANOTHER
   EUROPE IS POSSIBLE!

   2016-02-13 20:42 GMT+01:00 Felix Stalder <felix {AT} openflows.com>:

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     On 2016-02-13 19:05, morlockelloi {AT} yahoo.com wrote:

     > The trend(s) that Europe is seeing itself dragged to are not result
     > of 'wrong' thinking and misbehaviour of supposedly powerful masses.
     > They are the result of material circumstances, and no amount of
     > magical (group)thinking will change that.
     > Material circumstances are mostly related to technologies of
     > social control,

     I think you are overrating technologies of control, neither the Stasi
     nor the KGB could save their systems from collapse (though the ruined
     a lot of lives....).
 <...>

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