Europe is a small corner of a vast continent called Eurasia stretching from Cape Roca to Cape Dezhnyov – a vast continent with a very rich history. In that small corner, what we call the Iberian Peninsula is even smaller. For millennia, this was a minor space to which no possible conqueror gave much importance. It was the end of the Ptolemaic world – a dead end. The Romans used this corner of the world to weaken the Carthaginians and draw them away from the Italian peninsula. Many centuries later, when the Visigoths held sway here, it was the Muslims from North Africa who came to culturally enrich this marginal region of Europe. Without the multicultural richness of Al-Andalus, Western culture as we know it would not exist.
From the 15th century onwards, Europe began to lose the priority given to its centuries-old ties with Eurasia and to invade other regions of the world, separated by oceans, and expand in new directions, by sea, to the West and South, and to the far East. The story of the winners of this history is a huge trophy cabinet. The story of the losers took a long time to become known, and even today it is only partially known. Europe’s “way of living together” with these new worlds has almost always been characterized by appropriation, pillage, and violence, always in the name of noble ideologies (Christianity, civilization, progress, development, human rights, democracy). Without being unimportant, such ideologies never had the strength to counteract the essence of coexistence, which required permanent war.
Less well known is the fact that this “way of living together” was followed for both external and internal use. That’s why the longest period of peace that Europe has ever enjoyed lasted just over a hundred years (1815-1914), and even then there was the Franco-Prussian War in between. The second period, which began in 1945, doesn’t seem to be able to last that long. The reason lies in the original sin of European civilization considering itself superior without a global consensus on the criterion of superiority or on who had the legitimacy to define and impose it. For this reason, since the 15th century, Europe has only been able to define itself through reciprocal exclusions. Russia has sometimes been Europe, sometimes the other side of Europe. And Russia has either seen Europe as its home or as the home of the enemy. The same happened with the Balkans. Eastern Europe was barbarism for Hitler (the Poles had no Kultur) and Southern Europe was the backyard of Northern Europe, half-African by blood and lifestyle. Ireland, on the other hand, was a colony of England and was subjected to famines as severe as those Stalin imposed on Ukraine. During the Cold War, the problem of Russia was solved, not by dividing Russia, but by dividing Europe into two blocs.
Once the Cold War was over, Europe’s real historic defeat began. Once again, Europe was unable to unite except against Russia. This time, it wasn’t on its own initiative (which was actually going in the opposite direction, Willy Brandt’s Ostpolitik), but on the initiative of the USA, which was ready to collect on the European debt it had incurred from the Second World War. The failure to put an end to NATO (and, on the contrary, expanding it after the end of the Warsaw Pact) was the instrument used to separate Europe from Russia. The end of historical colonialism had made it more difficult to gain cheap and unconditional access to the natural resources that Europe had always lacked. For twenty years, starting with Vladimir Putin’s accession to power in 2009, this difficulty was solved by Russia, which supplied Europe with 35% of its natural gas at prices that favored the international competitiveness of European (mainly German) companies. This solution came to an end with the explosion of the gas pipelines on September 26, 2022. If the US didn’t cause the explosion (many claim it did), it was at least the one who benefited most from it, making Europe much more dependent on the US, and in such a way as to make the European economy less competitive.
The continuation of the war in Ukraine, i.e. Europe’s inability to build a just peace against US geostrategic interests, has been the most visible manifestation of Europe’s historic decline. It certainly won’t be the last. Colonialism is a ghost that will haunt Europe for a long time to come. Its most recent outcropping is the criminal final solution imposed by Israel on the martyred people of Palestine. Zionism became a convenience of the British Empire to prevent the emergence of a strong Arab state in the Middle East and expanded thanks to European anti-Semitism, a long and cruel history that goes from the 16th century Inquisition to Nazism, via the 1881 pogroms in Russia and the Dreyfus Affair in France (1894). Just remember that one of the founding books of Zionism was published in 1896 (The Jewish State by Theodor Herzl). Today, the Zionism installed in the Israeli government is a toxic mixture of two of the worst legacies of European civilization: colonialism and fascism. Israel is a colonialist state divided by an abyssal line: democracy for the Jews, fascism for the Palestinians, whether or not they are citizens of Israel. Politically, Israel continues to serve the interests of Western imperialism in the Middle East, this time not the British Empire, but the US Empire. On an ethical-ideological level, Israel is Europe seen in the cruel mirror of the worst of its history, a history that stubbornly refuses to remember the accounts it doesn’t want to settle with the world. Watching the images from Gaza on TV and social media, the world that has been colonized by Europe has the feeling of déja vu. It remembers the following facts: the human life of the colonizers is worth immeasurably more than that of the colonized; the colonized, when they resist with some effectiveness, are terrorists, and for terrorists the solution is always conceived as final – extermination; while the colonizer acts on principle, the colonized act with barbarity, so the contradiction between the colonizer’s principles and the colonizer’s barbarity are never the subject of discussion; there is no point in investigating individual responsibilities because guilt and punishment are collective, since the colonized are not punished for what they do but for what they are (inferior, disposable); when they are not terrorists, the colonized are obstacles to development, and so the ground may have to be cleared for the alternative to the (Chinese) silk route to reach the port of Haifa safely; there is no point in asking other colonizing countries for help as long as they benefit from the dirty work done by others.
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