Other signatories: Vassilis Alexakis (Athens), Svetlana Alexievich (Minsk), Anne Applebaum (Warsaw), Jens Christian Grøndahl (Copenhagen), David Grossman (Jerusalem), Ágnes Heller (Budapest), Ismaïl Kadaré (Tirana), György Konrád (Debrecen), António Lobo Antunes (Lisbon), Claudio Magris (Trieste), Ian McEwan (London), Adam Michnik (Warsaw), Herta Müller (Berlin), Ludmila Oulitskaïa (Moscow), Rob Riemen (Amsterdam), Fernando Savater (San Sebastián), Roberto Saviano (Naples), Eugenio Scalfari (Rome), Simon Schama (London), Peter Schneider (Berlin), Abdulah Sidran (Sarajevo), Leïla Slimani (Paris), Colm Tóibín (Dublin), Mario Vargas Llosa (Madrid), Adam Zagajewski (Cracow)
dis gon b gud
“Wrecking” was the term used under Stalinism to designate scapegoats for the failure of projects that were unrealistic to begin with.
One wonders if they got the idea from co-signer Svetlana Alexievich, a talentless novelist who used to write glowing odes to Soviet secret police founder Felix Dzerzhinsky before bashing Russia became more handshakeworthy.
“Enough of ‘building Europe’!” is the cry. Let’s reconnect instead with our “national soul”! Let’s rediscover our “lost identity”! This is the agenda shared by the populist forces washing over the continent. Never mind that abstractions such as “soul” and “identity” often exist only in the imagination of demagogues.
Just to clarify what these people mean by identity: “BHL” is the guy who feels closer to an Afghan than a French FN voter.
The continent is vulnerable to the increasingly brazen meddling by the occupant of the Kremlin. Europe as an idea is falling apart before our eyes.
Of course, in their world, Obama visiting Britain to campaign against Brexit is not “meddling,” let alone “brazen.”
For those who still believe in the legacy of Erasmus, Dante, Goethe and Comenius there will be only ignominious defeat. A politics of disdain for intelligence and culture will have triumphed. There will be explosions of xenophobia and antisemitism. Disaster will have befallen us.
I think this is pretty problematic. Dante was a bigot who consigned Muslims and homosexuals to hell.
Hence this exhortation to carry once more the torch of a Europe that, despite its mistakes, its lapses, and its occasional acts of cowardice, remains a beacon for every free man and woman on the planet.
Back in 2011, BHL wrote op-ed after op-ed urging Western military intervention in Libya, which apart from plunging that country into a civil war that last to today also opened up the sluice gates to African migrants.
This is presumably what they mean by carrying “the torch of Europe.” They carry said torch, toss it on woodpiles, then blame Russians and Nazis (but I repeat myself) for the resulting arson.