February 3, 2018Posted by on
This week on Facebook: I decided to post the articles from a special series by National Public Radio (npr) with the title of: Midlife Crisis — State Of The European Union (presented in an audio format and an included transcript).
We will have these great United States of Europe, that are the crown of the old world just as the United States of America are the crown of the new one. We will have … a country without frontiers, a budget without parasitism, a commerce without duties … youth without barracks … justice without scaffold … truth without dogma. Victor Hugo — Peace Congress, Lugano, 1872
January 27, 2018Posted by on
This week on Facebook: Mainly for the benefit of my children, I should like to point out that German reunification refers to that of 1989 and the fall of the Berlin Wall,which led to Tag der Deutschen Einheit. This is not the same as Bismarck’s German Unification of 1850 to 1871 nor is it the 1938 Anschluss. Read more of this post
January 20, 2018Posted by on
This week on Facebook: Having began the year on the topic of the EU I was attracted to an article published in Europe’s Journal of Psychology (EJOP) — Vol 1, No 4 (2005) with the title ‘The French Vision of Europe from Victor Hugo’s United States of Europe to the No to the Constitution’ from which this week’s extracts have been taken. The EJOP contribution by Michel Viegnes offers an insight into the French psyche and the influence that Victor Hugo continues to have on it.
This EJOP article is rather long, which I have made it more readable by breaking down the paragraphs, some editorial arrangements and adding a number of links. However, despite these modifications, the paper is still intended to represent the views as written by the author. Should you wish to read the published article in EJOP, a link to it is also included below. Read more of this post
January 19, 2018Posted by on
Finally, the French NO at the 2005 referendum that was a serious drawback for the construction of a real political Europe, if not a lethal strike. It brought together distinct political forces and even conflicting ones, in the shared fear that the identity of Europe (from the French perspective) would be subsumed in a world that is always growing more and more globalised. For those who said NO, whether they came from the right or the left, the constitutional model led to an American globalisation that is simultaneously fascinating and detested, religious and mercantile it is seen as the driving force of this internationalism. One where historical identities seem to be brought into a global culture that is consumerist and technological and in which, former powers of the old continent can no longer play a major role by themselves. Read more of this post
January 18, 2018Posted by on
It is startling to see that Hugo has a rather singular view on the European issue when compared with great authors and intellectuals of the 19th century. It is not until the next century and primarily not until the great catastrophe of the 1914/18 war that one could hear in France important figures giving their opinion on the European idea. Whether we should regret it or not, the perspectives on this are very dissimilar. Read more of this post
January 17, 2018Posted by on
For Hugo, the single guarantee of inviolable peace was the normal state of work, that is the exchange, the offer and the demand, the production and the consumption, the vast common effort, the attraction of industries, the circulation of ideas, the human flux and reflux. Indeed, this confidence in the rationality of the market, in what Adam Smith called the invisible hand, this certainty that economic freedom engenders or consolidates civic freedoms are typically Anglo-Saxon. They are not part of the French tradition, although France had its own brilliant defenders, especially in the encyclopaedic movement of the 18th century with Quesnay and Turgot. But we should remember that the Former Regime was extremely directive: today, each time the French State launches great initiatives in order to stimulate the economy, we speak of Colbertism. Read more of this post
January 16, 2018Posted by on
We can notice these days, following the 60th anniversary of the United Nations, that Hugo primarily justifies the idea of a Union of European states by the need to preserve peace, as the ONU Charter did in 1946; Europe should first be a space without war, its genius should imagine nonviolent solutions for unavoidable litigation. Read more of this post