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Institut za Europske i Globalizacijske Studije

Institute for European and globalization studies

Institute for European and Globalization Studies

Lost in the political macro cosmos of EU


Lost in the political macro cosmos of EU

Second Modernity

Anđelko Milardović


The text offers a short blogosphere anatomy of a condition which I hope will turn out as a temporary failure. I intend to analyse values and provide rational guidelines for further action. I shall try to outline ethical individualism and pragmatism in the following description as well as my personal concern about the destiny of the society in which I live. And that is not an irrelevant thing to do! Two years ago, political microcosm called Croatia has become a part of political macrocosm called the EU or the Eurosphere as a political construction of second modernity in a globalized world. And that is not irrelevant as well! The Republic of Croatia became a full member state of the EU today, on 1 July AD 2013. From that day on, in terms of phenomenological sociology focused on the analysis of everyday life, there are only few things that indicate the fact that the Republic of Croatia forms part of the everyday political reality of the EU or the Eurosphere. Croatia acts as if it is not a member of the EU and experiences serious problems with semiotics and its own interpretation to which political space does it belong. It affiliates with the Region and lives in an undefined interspace between the EU (Eurosphere) and the Region as a newly constructed imaginary geography of depersonalized states. But let's take one thing at a time!

New political reality and troubles with detecting it

New political reality once again presupposes the need to interpret a new meaning of political microcosm (The Republic of Croatia) in the Eurosphere (the EU), theoretical approach to cultural identity and definition of foreign policy interest in correspondance with new political realities. Prior to that, we should be reminded of pros and cons regarding Croatia's accession to the EU, hard and soft euroscepticism in the society, consensus of right and left centre on this issue and the question of modernity and antimodernity. After the accession, the shock followed the issue of European arrest warrant in the case Perković, the conflict with the EU and investment stalemate with further deepening of the crisis. The situation created a disrupted balance in interpreting and practicing a cultural identity which is composed of Central European, Mediterranean and partially Balkan features. That can be observed in deflection and lack of emphasis in politics towards Central European and Mediterranean countries while giving importance and putting emphasis on politics towards the Region regardless of announcements made by the current Croatian president during her electoral campaign that ''This is Croatia and not some Region''. It seems that foreign policy led by Vesna Pusić and Croatian president Kolinda Grabar Kitarović cannot unstick from that. Doesn't it look like ladies from political elite, regardless of (simulated?) ideological differences, have to do the job of their mentors from the brave new world? Or, in other words, be happy to implement a ''conception from above''? A society which implements a conception from above is, by definition, a society without conception at all.

A society without conception?

The indisputable fact is that for the last twenty years Croatian society has been without conception in the Big World, it has shown signs of serf mentality and it has not defined its stance on the developmental philosophy of the European project Horizon 2020 which is based upon sustainable development, knowledge, education and inclusive development. Consequences that follow a society without conception are rather pessimistic and dystopian instead of being optimistic. It is a society that resembles a group of collectors of empty bottles in which there are more collectors than bottles to be found. We are not talking about a minor and insignificant sociological fact but rather an alarming one! We are talking about a poor society, a wretched and almost declassed middle class, mighty oligarchy or profiteers from war and economic transition being regarded as new pillars of society. Features of such society lost in political macrocosm of the EU (Eurosphere) include inefficient and slow public administration, high unemployment rate (in April 2015 it amounted to 17.5% or 310 936), mass emigration of younger population (around 48 000 recently emigrated) with European Comission forecast stating that 166-217 thousand of the most educated will leave the country in seven years from now on. It is a society sentenced to demographic deterioration and disappearance unless dystopian tendencies finally stop. Meanwhile prominent politicians holding executive power communicate poorly or not at all. This relates to the lack of communication from the PM and the president as well as irrational discussions on historical issues without any willingness and wish to move toward the future.

Trapped in historical policies

A society without conception implies the sense of being lost in social space and time. It hides behind the masks of historical policies because it cannot offer a valid solution for present and future. Historical policies exploit history for everyday political purposes. Political elite or detestable oligarchy, because we cannot speak of an elite in the full sense of that word, skillfully manipulates masses via media in confronting them with totalitarian history of the society and segregating them along ideological lines while exploiting history in everyday political and electoral fights. Such technique deepens actual bipolarisation of the society with stench of a controlled ''civil war'' and radicalizes it by using failed historical ideologies. We are held hostage by unsurmounted and unobjectified history. We are hardly able to get out of jaws of the politics which constantly slams into reverse gear and such regressive politics and situation is even harder because our divided academic community also exploits it. Instead of that, it should objectify history or, in other words, provide a scientific and objective explanation of what happened. Political oligarchies, both right and left, that force historical policies in a constructed bipolar society trapped in Fascist, Communist and Yugoslavian history have created conditions for a deficient and hopeless present and future with additional dystopian features of such society. This society can be put into context of the second antimodernity in many aspects. And these thoughts might be deemed pessimistic. But they are, essentially, a pure reflection upon nauseous condition (realism) into which we have been thrown, into which they have thrown us and forced each one of us to seek his or her own way of escape. Or maybe all together? If we still form a society?

The identity of resistance as an answer and freedom of choice

To run as fast as one can like the aforementioned 48 000 who emigrated means salvation and getting out of jaws of such insane, irrational, hostage situation as well as escaping life oriented towards history. Let's be real, why should we accept such condition? In the end, we only have one life worthy of living it. And, most of all, we cannot relive it! No individual should allow someone else to play games with his or her own life, freedom of choice, decisions and quality of life. So, no democratically elected political oligarchy which simulates democracy, no artificial intelligence or Leviathan should be allowed to do that. Each one of us chooses his or her own identity of resistance. Those who left have shown their resistance against irrationalism, hostage crisis, historical enchainment, egoistic oligarchy and inefficient public leviathanic administration which only guards its own privileges. Those who stay and who are literally robbed of their most productive period of life have to create their own identity of resistance to confront irrationalism, human stupidity, greed and oligarchy that considers itself a unique mighty power that everyone must obey in a simulated democracy. Better yet, they think that 95% of the society must be in function of their interests. Let's go back to the beginning! To enter an elite club such as the EU (Eurosphere), not to use its advantages and to have problems with new political realities means to be lost in the Eurosphere, to be trapped by its own incompetences, history and the mentality of the Region from which we can hardly unstick, despite being a full member state of the EU. Meanwhile, have we also become a natural disaster and calamity of the EU, similar to the Greek scenario? Or Titanic scenario? So far this frowned society without smiles on people's faces, without joy and hope, is not ready for change, modernization and creation of a society with conception and strictly defined (national) interests within the Eurosphere. It would be rational to define a conception of development, identity and interests and manage to function and finally survive in the Eurosphere as well as in a globalized world instead of losing time on badly defined goals. So, some kind of conception should finally occur in the society!

Escapism into blogosphere to save freedom of thought in the real world

So far we have not come across such conception. Since it has not yet been found, it had to be replaced with something else. It has been replaced with historical enchainment, antimodernist paradigm, egoism of oligarchy and manipulations of media by bigshots belonging to previous media which are so ''free'' that we are bound to escape into blogosphere or new cybernetic pathlessness and vastness, i.e. new media. In dealing with them moguls cannot say that famous phrase: Stop Reuters! And so the second modernity with its new media, in communicative action on individual level, is superior to irrationalism (antimodernity) of each government which tries to decide on life and death, success and failure, sustenance of existence and its endangering.

[translated by Vinko Vego]

Institute for European and globalization studies

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