June 23, 2013
For the past few weeks, due to a very busy schedule, I’ve been less active than of late. But, as it seems, this has provided me with quite an unique outlook on what is going on with European Federalism lately. And I think I needed this to properly understand why federalism is not picking up volumes of supporters and why european citizens that would favor a federal construct steer away from the matter. What follows are a couple of my findings, as some I prefer to keep for myself for the time being.
1. langue de bois
There is plenty of it. Everywhere you turn in the federalist domain there is so much langue de bois that most people loose interest within the first 5 minutes. I have, and I am interested and active in the field, and thus supposedly I should take this in fairly easy – I don’t. Over the last couple of months a certain number of slogans (for lack of better word) have flooded the online federalist scene – from hashtags to FB groups there is a plethora of short phrases that amount at the end of the day to nothing. Because what they lack is not character or catchiness but substances – yes, you can claim something but you have to come up with the data and substance that is needed to keep people interested. Otherwise, it shall all turn to nice messages that pop up on our friends wall on FB, annoying and let’s face it pointless. While slogans have their purpose, as they can unite people under a banner, behind an idea, the mere utterance of said slogan does not suffice. Put some work into it people!
Some of the most active “federalists” out there behave like this is a competition to see who can produce the most colored, identity lacking graphical messages possible. When putting out a message, that you want people to follow, make sure it looks proper. Like no comic sans please. As Apple has proven in the business world, consistent and principle guided design can create quite the united following. And while this might be a technicality, I will also stress out that this matter should be enlarged to include flashiness of speech and a sense of modesty – let’s face it people, we are a minority. Yet or still depending on how you want to interpret this. So please stop acting like we are hundreds of millions of unhappy federalists out there, because that is false. And in order to build “a more perfect union” we should not rely on false truths, accept our shortcomings and work to improve our movement [i’ll explain this at point no. 3].
3. lack of unified message
One things is obviously and painfully true – there are as many initiatives as federalists across the EU. We have failed, and apparently still do, to create a strong unified movement. While I agree that there are a million variations possible to any federalist construct (it being quite complex to begin with) I fail to see why we can’t agree on a set of core, common values, that we could start promoting. This in turn should give us the much needed time to debate and decide on the best type of federation suited for the EU, and then, with these two separate chapters settled on, we could start doing what we should actually do – educate and lobby. That should be the primary goal of the federalist movement right now – to educate the citizens with regard to federalism, its ups and downs, its qualities and shortcomings so that when and if we ever reach the point where a vote on this shall be called upon, we will rest easy on the thought that we have sparred no effort in providing the people with the proper tools to decide on their future. And the “when and if” is directly connected to the lobbying activity – because a federation might be desired by the people, but without proper political support from what is now and then mainstream politics, it will never happen.
4. federal movement apparently politically unbalanced
I am a right wing libertarian, and have made no secret of this. I think it’s important for partners in a dialogue regarding their future to understand where the other is coming from. In this way it’s easier to eliminate conflict and work constructively towards a proposed goal. However, it has been my experience that the federalist movement is now completely unbalanced in appearance and the way it communicates. On the one had you have federalists coming from the left side of the political spectrum, who are very vocal and present on all types of media – blogs, FB, Twitter and on the other hand you have right wing federalists that seem to lie in the shadows, content only to produce reports that, while being informative and valid, tend to be less popular with the crowds. And this is wrong – the federalist movement does not belong to either the left nor the right political spectrum. It belongs to all of us, and I have no worries that if ever a federation will emerge, it shall continue to see a left and right political balance. Thus we, as federalists, should find ways to put aside our political denomination and come to terms on issues that we can all support – see point no.3.
These are some of my findings. I feel that somebody should have talked about this a long time ago. To the best of my knowledge nobody has, but I am willing to stand corrected. Hopefully, in the not so distant future, we can come to terms with our shortcomings, and as I have previously stated, work together to better ourselves and our Union, so that we can work together “in the pursuit of happiness”.