Academic journal article Geopolitics, History and International Relations

Has History Ever Been on Holidays? Europe of Sarajevo 100 Years Later - from Wwi to WWW

Academic journal article Geopolitics, History and International Relations

Has History Ever Been on Holidays? Europe of Sarajevo 100 Years Later - from Wwi to WWW

Article excerpt

1. Introduction

Europe of June 1914 and of June 2014. Hundred years in between, two hot and one cold war. The League of Nations, Cristal Night, Eurosong and Helsinki Decalogue; Coco Chanel, VW, Marshall Aid, Tito, Yuri Gagarin, Tolkien's troll, Berlin wall and Euro-toll; ideologies, purges, repeated genocides, the latest one coinciding with the Maastricht birth of the Union...; a televised slaughterhouse and the Olympic city besieged for 1,000 days, just one hour flight from Brussels.

E non so più pregare

E nell 'amore non so più sperare

E quell 'amore non so più aspettare.1

Key words in 1914: Jingoism, booming trade and lack of trust, assassination, imminent collision, grand war; 100 years later; Europe absorbed by the EU project, demographic and economic decline, chauvinism reloaded ...

Twisting between the world of (Gavrilo) PRINCIP and global village of (instant) MONETISATION (of every-thing and everyone)... Are our past hundred years an indication of what to expect throughout this century?! What is our roadmap?! Is it of any help to reflect on the Sarajevo event of June 28th, 1914 which has finally fractured a fragile equilibrium of La Belle Epoque, and set the Old Continent (and its world) into the series of motions that lasted for almost a century, before ending with the unique unionistic form of today's Europe?

Four men leading one man bound

One man whom the four men hound

One man counted bound and led

One man whom the four men dread}

The following lines are not a comprehensive account on all of the events. Rather interpretative by its nature, this is a modest reminder of what Europe used and still tends to be, despite all our passions and hopes, visions and targets, institutions and instruments.

Is the EU a post-Westphalian conglomerate and post-Mettemich concert of different Europes, the world's last cosmopolitan enjoying its postmodern holiday from history?3 Is that possibly the lost Atlántida or mythical Arcadia - a Hegelian end of history world? Thus, should this OZ be a mix of the locally domesticated Marx-Engels grand utopia and Kennedy's dream-world "where the weak are safe and the strong are jusf'? Or, is it maybe as Charles Kupchan calls it a 'postmodem imperium' (exhorting its well-off status quo by notoriously exporting its transformative powers of free trade dogma and human rights stigma4 - a modified continuation of colonial legacy when the European conquerors, with fire and sword, spread commerce,5 Christianity and civilization overseas), a kind of 'new Byzantium', or is that more of a Richard Young's declining, unreformed and rigid Rome? Hence, is this a post-Hobbesian (yet, not quite a Kantian) world, in which the letzte Mensch expelled Übermensch? Could it be as one old graffiti in Prague implies: EU=SU2? Does the EU-ization of Europe equals to a restoration of the universalistic world of Rome's Papacy? Is the Union a Leonard's runner of the 21st century, or is it perhaps Kagan's 'Venus'- gloomy and opaque world, warmer but equally distant and unforeseen like 'Mars'?6

Is this Brussels-headquartered construct, the 20th century's version of Zollverein with standardized tariffs and trade, but of an autonomous fiscal policy and politics? Thus, is the EU a political and economic re-approachment of sovereign states or maybe just an(other) enterprise of the borderless financial capital? Ergo, would that be a pure construct of financial oligarchy whose invisible hand tacitly corrupted the Maastricht Treaty as to web-up a borderless, limitless, wireless and careless power hub, while at the same time entrenching, silencing and rarefying labour within each nation state?

Is this a supersized Switzerland (ruled by the cacophony of many languages and enveloped in economic egotism of its self-centered people), with the cantons (MS, Council of EU) still far more powerful than the central government (the EU Parliament, Brussels' Commission, ECJ), while Swiss themselves - although in the geographic heart of that Union - stubbornly continue to defy any membership. …

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