Book Review: What Does Europe Want?

What Does Europe Want?:  The Union And Its Discontents, edited by Slavoj Zizek & Srecko Horvat

It may not be clear what Europe wants, but it is all too clear what these unreconstructed Communists want, and that is an end to European neo-liberalism pushed by Germany and a return to good old Soviet hegemony.  I wish I was joking as I wrote that, but this book–mercifully short at only around 220 pages including its lengthy intro–makes it pretty clear that the authors, an openly socialist Balkan lot including at least one Slovene and one Croat among them, have a variety of agendas to deal with our social woes to bring a worker’s paradise into being with big government and an end to corruption.  Stop me if you’ve heard that before [1].  If this book deserves to be read at all, it is for the breathtaking hypocrisy of the authors, which is the sort of hypocrisy one gets from the left in general.  The authors claim that they have no hostility to people by class or religious faith–unlike the nationalists/right-wing populists they oppose, only to immediately engage in libelous anti-Christian (and especially anti-Catholic) rhetoric and show hatred for people because they belong to a banker class or something of that kind.  Pot, meet kettle.

In terms of its contents and structure, this book is a pretty rambling and repetitive series of essays that largely repeats leftist talking points from a Balkan point of view.  The authors clearly believe that they are writing to people who are in fundamental agreement with them, as they save their harshest rhetoric for mainstream politicians, bankers with human faces, Catholic priests as pedophiles, the Judeo-Christian God and both law and grace, and those who destroy Communist statues.  Considering that I identify far more with most of those who the authors are attacking than with Occupy activists and Communists and others of that ilk, this book was definitely not calculated to appeal to me.  When it comes to what the writers suggest, this book offers more of the same discredited policies of the left–support unrestricted immigration to destabilize existing regimes, support a powerful Russia, increase bankrupt policies of social welfare, default on debts, and so on.  Over and over again the authors point to Venezuela and other South American kerplunkistans as a hope for European socialists faced with a rising tide of discontent over austerity but unable to channel it into electoral victory.

Personally, I find books like this, as tedious and as bad as they are, to be far more worthwhile than books written by leftists to those who are of other worldviews.  There is something refreshingly brazen about the hypocrisy here, something that demonstrates just how little unrepentant former Communists and their acolytes have learned from the catastrophic failure of socialism and Communism wherever it is tried.  While the authors argue that the left needs a certain confidence in order to recover its power, and looks in contemporary hard times as as way of gaining power, there is perhaps more cause to suspect that the politics of the left remain discredited and the refusal to admit the failure is keeping them from moving forward.  The fact that the writers show a great deal of scorn for moderate leftists of the kind of Labor’s third way or Obama suggests that these are people who don’t want to be a part of a mainstream and certainly do not want anything approaching a Christian mindset, but want to continue the Cold War in a new phase.  Lacking powerful state sponsors, they write books and whine about it.  This way only readers, and not the populations of nations, suffer as a result.

[1] See, for example:

https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2017/06/06/book-review-hitler-is-no-fool/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2017/03/26/book-review-how-we-forgot-the-cold-war/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2017/03/05/book-review-appeal-to-the-nations/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2012/06/11/book-review-i-was-a-slave-in-russia/

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
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