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Journal the Idea of Europe University of Oregon The idea of Europe Professors Fabienne Moore and Evlyn Gould

Luz Romero

Weeks 1-2 -3 INTRODUCCION TO an idea of Europe


Europe has played a fundamental role in the configuration of the named western. However, how it is possible to determine what western means and, even more, what Europe is; under what criteria is it possible to describe Europe? Is it a consolidate unity? or is it a fragmentation of identities?. In this entry, I propose to describe Europe as a mirage, as an illusion of water in the dessert impossible to reach but still present to our eyes. Like a mirage, Europe seems to be consolidated and present, but is it really present?. One of the factors that allows to see Europe as a unity is its colonialist past; from history we know that many of European events have had direct repercussions in other regions. For instance, the French revolution inspired the independence movements in European colonies and the industrial revolution promoted the beginning of capitalism. Obviously, those influences are due to the power hold by the European kingdoms in places where they established colonies or protectorates, where its dominant power established canonic ideas about everything: economics, art, education, and politics. For example, the contemporary model of nation-states, as territories governed thanks to their own constitutional law and controlling of their apparatus of

Reading Engaging Europe The book calls out on the question what is Europe ? and how to understand it; it refers to euro centrism and anti-euro centrism as academic approaches that have changed philosophical paradigms in academic debates. It also remarks the postcolonial institutions like languages- as a possible or fundamental in the debate on European identity. Chapter eight is an interpretation of the essays written by Derrida and Levinas on the scope of the Shoah as an example of the implications of ethics in political philosophy. The utopia of a common European identity seemed to starts with the idea of building a community, however it is only through uncomfortable encounters with complete strangers whose values we do not share . It raises questions on how to respond to those encounters, on how to include or exclude- that Other in the project of a community. 1

Journal the Idea of Europe

Luz Romero

education and violence, are not only a result of European politic processes but also an application taken by non European countries. European colonialist past is what is behind the mirage of Europe as a unity. Besides loosing colonial power, within Europe, the idea of unity becomes problematic because, at least during the 19th and 20th centuries, European forms of government faced strong transformations that had consequences in their territories as well as in the identity of the people that occupied them. For example, Russia expanded its domain and the Soviet Union de-unified, big empires as the Austro-Hungarian and ottoman empire are dissolute, Ireland separated from England, and independent states joined together to form countries like Italy and Germany. Yugoslavia existed as the conformation of three countries in one: Croatia, Bosnia, and Serbia; but whit the fall of the Iron Curtain they became three separated countries. Different from Czechoslovakia, the impossibility of diplomatic exit to internal conflicts has taken other European countries into war. Those cases illustrate how European unity is an illusion. That fragmentation had consequences in the economy of those countries. In order to balance the growing dominance of United States, countries like French, West Germany, Belgium, Luxemburg, and Italy join in an European economic community that later became the European Union. Apparently, the EU implies more than trading agreements; there are agreements for international policies and justice cooperation. The EU seems to be an exclusivity club that has raised new issues: some country members have refused to establish a common constitution; some of their economies have been affected by the distribution of the common budget; some other countries from the East Islamic countries like Turkey- are only candidates to be members.

Journal the Idea of Europe -DERRIDA and levinas on responsibility

Luz Romero

Levinas drew the convergence of the ancient Greeks and the Bible in the articulation of a hybrid European identity. On one hand, the

passed over the responsibility for the other and gave birth to the rigor of civilian classification. Derrida translates to philosophical terms his

Greeks represent western universality with perception on La Runion, which he perceives concepts or constructs of civil order; on the as a result of the fallacy about having a other, the Bible historically has acted as the common provider of spiritual axiology and individual indirectly goes to the problem of history as a values and feelings on the good and the bad. narration and, at the end of the day, as a Responsibility is therefore the link between language product. Another of his observations subjects, no matter how different they are; is about the direction and the responsibility of responsibility lies beyond an individualist basis that project of unification, in which certain and social rules because it implies at least the events from the past seem to be condemned to understanding of the other, the uniqueness of oblivion. Responsibility is then a self criticism on the other person. The extreme rationalism the way the other is perceived and ruled. European identity. His inside


y I was taught Spanish colonization as the discovery of America ; important emphasis was given to the classification of human by skin color: blanco, negro, zambo, mulato, indgena, mestizo. My school celebrated Colon and the Queen Isabel. Nowadays, schools have adopted a different perspective and less attention to those models of dominance is given. It is interesting how people from Europe accentuate their place of origin by adding words with resonant connotations as south, north, east, west .

Journal the Idea of Europe -THE EUROPEAN UNIONShaping a new form of government?

Luz Romero

The EU was born as a postwar community oriented to keep peace and forms of trading in order to satisfy basic consume needs. The EU started to be a reality through an administrative form that resembles the democratic governmental ones; however, it could be easily assimilated to a nation-state since, besides the administrative component, it has institutional symbols and currency. Different from a nation-state, the territory of the EU is virtual rather than actual; it means that it only exists while there are treaties that ratify the existence of the Union; without those treaties, the virtual territoriality would not exist as well as the Union. Secondly, the population is not totally defined by a committed citizenship ruled by a constitution that ensures civilian rights and duties; though population from the country members can hold a passport that certifies the membership of the countrys passport holder to the EU. Visitors to the country members can also apply for EU visa. In other words, the population of the EU is linked to it thanks to the affiliation of their countries to the EU instead of birth rights. Nevertheless, the commitments that the EU has with the citizens of the country members are limited to the economic sphere, which is to say that their treaties are addressed to people or institutions within the economy framework. Even though, the EU guarantees rights for the citizens and the corporate bodies, it is not committed to provide the means to ensure those rights to civilians, because that is a task of the governments of the country members. Therefore, the EU is not a modern nation state and cannot function under modern paradigms. It is an experiment of federalism that challenges modern concepts as: citizen, territory, proceedings of LA COMUNIDAD ANDINA and MERCOSUR
Within the same framework of the EU, South American countries opted for the establishment of the Comunidad Andina in 1969. Different from the EU, it does not have a common currency and is weak in the peace achievement. Therefore, armed and political internal conflicts of the country members have had repercussions in its functioning: Venezuela resigned its membership. The CA is also trying to extend its priorities as a provider of the means that can ensure citizens rights. On the other hand, Mercosur operates as a free trade commission. One wonders what could happen if these two organizations give birth to a new one.

Journal the Idea of Europe

Luz Romero

democracy, nationalism. According to prof. Parsons one clear message sent by todays EU is that more education about it is necessary , not only because it is one of the least understood political systems but also because it is maybe a new system that is shaping itself thanks to its own pragmatism and it is pointing out a possible political rupture with modernity.

Reading Engaging Europe In chapter two, Prof. Sheridan speaks about the mythical mind of Europe as groundwork of what Europe could be. The pillar ideals of the foundation of Europe -expansionism, ethics, and order- are found in the canonic texts that represent a hermeneutics of human axiology. I still do not understand why Prof. Sheridan does not speak about ideologies or refer to them as ideologies.


Journal the Idea of Europe University of Oregon The idea of Europe Professors Fabienne Moore and Evlyn Gould

Luz Romero

Weeks 4-5 -6 the idea of Europe

Orientalism in Spain

and in my discourse

Prof. Wacks demonstrates that the idea of west is unsteady from a literary criticism perspective. His theoretical framework is based on Eduard Saids work Orientalism, which is the discourse of imaginary constructions about Orient that reinforce power and domination over Orient as an image of the different Other. It implies that European culture gained in strength and identity by setting itself off against Orient. A little bit different from a wide Orientalism, Spanish Orientalism is an internal process in which it is possible to find not only the radical distance from the Oriental other, but also a celebration of it. Both of these positions, the celebration of the other as well as the radical differentiation from the other, raised the ambiguity of the question Who is European?. The methodological approach that Prof. Wacks used is based on meta-criticism, which means the study of the literary criticism about literary production. By analyzing what some critics said during the 19th century about a book El libro del buen amor- written during the Middle Ages, Prof. Wacks shows that critics were attached to an idea of Spain as part of the west, and that some of them felt on the orientalist discourse. Some other critics did not perceived that distinction and appreciated the book as part of the Hispanic richness. prevail in literature and in criticism. One of the conclusions of Prof. Wacks study is that ideologies

Journal the Idea of Europe

Luz Romero

That conclusion is meaningful to me because as a prospective professor and critic I should wonder about the ideology that I might perpetuate the discourse that I might support, and the consequences of it beyond the academy. That would be, then, my ethical attitude: to question myself how do I assume responsibility -in Levinass sense- on other subjects every time that I teach o write criticism? Lets remember here that Said claims that Orientalism lives on academically through its

doctrines and theses about the Orient and the Oriental . SPEAKING OF THE DEVIL LEVINAS AND KING LEAR In the foreword of Humanism of the Other, Levinas queries the individual empiricism as source of sense. On the contrary, he thinks that the intelligibility is the fulfillment of the being in action; his conception of being goes beyond the essentiality of it, because it is not being centered on the I. It means that the human being is a subject because it is actual, coexistent, related to others, and consentient of differences. And, as a subject, the I is est sobreentendido en todo hago y aun en el pienso y soy 1(16). Prof. Shankman explains that Levinas notion of ethical human being proposes a new

humanism, which is based on the rights of the other beings rather than in the individual rights. He also argues that a phenomenology of the I also evidences an individualist obsession, whose preoccupation for holding oneself rights do not give raise to the importance of the other s rights. Levinas humanism was insinuated in Shakespeares plays, which reflect the

responsible for other subjects. Subsequently, the experience of the being is not only existential, but also ethical because El hablo

skepticism of the self centered being and its

Le je parle est sous-entendu dans tout je fais et mme dans le je pense et je suis .

Journal the Idea of Europe

philosophical bequests: knowledge, reason, and individualism. The understanding of the being through phenomenology allows admitting its existence. Beyond it, there is the awareness of other beings existence; the only mean of

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psychological foundations of the I-. When his oldest daughters deny him care and protection he becomes mad because he is vulnerable; his vulnerability comes from lack of the stimulation to his narcissism: LEAR: [] I have a cause of weeping; but this heart shall break into a hundred thousand flaws Or ere Ill weep .O fool, I shall go mad! CORN: Let us withdraw; twill a storm.

approaching the relation among beings is by considering an ethical relation. If the being as an entity of self-sufficient knowledge remains isolated, the indifference to the responsibility for the other would generate madness, for example. In this order of ideas, madness could be defined as a product of a unique self that is not responsible for other beings. King Lear is a character that represents the transformation of the self from the self centrism to the responsibility for the other. First, he is sovereign and supreme because, after all he is a king the highest representation of sovereignty and self governance, the selfsufficient I. In order to distribute his kingdom, he demands from his daughters to express affection for him, which is not other thing but the stimulation of his egotism and narcissism

King Lears madness makes him to realize that he had not been conscious about others, that there are other people vulnerable to others caprices, and that there are other people who are not protected from the storm . That is expressed when Lear meets Edgar the poor Tom- under the storm: LEAR: What, have his daughters brought him to this pass? Couldst thou save nothing? Didst thou give em all?

King Lear shows his solidarity with Edgar. However, along the play the Count Kent and Lear s youngest daughter have shown their loyalty and their care to him. Those characters represent that responsibility for the other. 8

Journal the Idea of Europe

The last point of Prof. Shankman s lecture he says that maternity is the material responsibility for what one has and shares with others. Lear s responsibility failed when he abandoned, rejected and put a curse on his own daughter.

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The isolation of the being, the isolation of knowing leads to a world of cyborgs who can not distinguish and query its own actions. If this new humanism were applied to the theories of conflicts and war, probably atrocious crimes like genocide would not happen.


REGIONALISM More than pieces of land Prof. Murphy studies Belgium as one example of the failure in understanding regionalism and geography: western social science has largely failed to acknowledge regionalism as a force in industrialized societies . Belgium was declared independent state in 1830 and its state functioning is based on French idiosyncrasy; however the country is divided in Flanders and Wallonia, whose ethnicities are different. As a consequence, politic participation and policies on exclusion or inclusion are problematic. Prof. Murphy explains that Belgium case brings out a dynamic of substate nationalism that is present in more cases and has not been deeply study. So, for social sciences the challenge is to acquire a better understanding of the ways in which regionalism and regional change shape the context in which identities and understandings are formed, and in which individual groups interact (51). Understanding a nation-state as the convergence of political territory in which people see themselves as one, leaves aside the importance of regionalism particularly, when linguistic features are involved because the communication and the interregional interaction may receive a negative impact. On the other hand, territory and national borders represent only a political space that was conceivable and possible during the 20th century.

Journal the Idea of Europe

Luz Romero

Europe has built its borders according to different perceptions of time along its history. During the middle ages, land had a symbolic importance; during the 18th century, the symbolism of land is displaced by the importance of physical features of landscape; and during the 20th century the land is divided according to political borders. In that way, geographical delimitations come from ideological constructions rather than objective measurements. Regionalism does not take for granted that in a nation people see themselves as one. Different ethnicities have their own history and culture, and a nation formed by different ethnicities should be aware of the negotiations in order to share the same territory. When ethnicities are simplified in a nationalism that does not recognizes differences or that pretends to mix them in a forced syncretism, government policies of inclusion and exclusion would always fail.


Europe and Paradox of reasoning

Vivo sin vivir en m, y tan alta vida espero que muero porque no muero.

Bougainvilles voyage by Diderot

The old mans Farewell is a narration of an explorer in Tahitian family. There is a speech that warns the Tahitian population about the danger of the encounter and further relations among foreign explorers and the native population, who may be in risk of slavery and extinction. Tahitian customs are exposed as a counter moral of western moral. The text portrays Tahitians as noble savages. They have rescue him from the shores of the beach and have taken good care of are generous and women are especially willing to have sex with the foreigner, who feels scared of and have different conventions for family and society. and war; many of those ideals were utopist but

Santa Teresa de Jess These verses by Santa Teresa could be put in the mouth of a personification of Europe in the 18th century. However, while Santa Teresa was thinking in life beyond death, Europe is trapped in the paradox of its own enlightened present. That is conclusion by Prof. McNeely: The age of reason failed to examine critically the idea of Europe . The age of reason rationalized politics


Journal the Idea of Europe

they implied an approach on administrating violence, which gave birth to theories as the balance of power. Also, Christianity was criticized by movements that intended the reconciliation of faith and reason. Bible was approach from perspectives that rejected divine miracles, related it to other new mythologies, hermeneutics and with

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comparison with the other under the scope of barbarism and civilization. Diderot, for example, imagined those chronicles of travels; he exposed people in a natural condition, it means, free of the neurosis about sexuality or preoccupations of social class. The contact with cultures with ancient traditions rises up the idea that antiquity was abundant in wisdom, which Enlightenment was rediscovering. According to Prof. McNeely, in spite of the sciences oriented to the study of the other, European identity was not a category that catches the attention of philosophical or scientific debate during the Enlightenment.


scientific approaches. Traveling and exploration allow the contact of Europeans with non Europeans, from which they could redefine themselves. The observation of other communities implied the

DIDEROTS SEX STORY More present than ever There is not doubt that chronicles about unknown communities influence the ideas and stereotypes on them. Based on the subjective experience of the traveler, they become a word of authority a narrative that no many would dare to question- and whose evidences must be taken a barbarian indigenous person

for granted. Colon diaries initiated the idea of the noble savage

that could be instructed on Christian faith and be servant to the crown- ; the term by itself implies that there are barbarians and civilized people. Next to the idea of noble savage , binary oppositions like barbarian-civilized, Christian-non Christian, prevailed during the European colonial enterprise.


Journal the Idea of Europe

Luz Romero

The prevalence of those ideas seems to be very resistant to time. Currently, scholars give accounts of the presence of colonial imaginary after political independence was achieved; they are also uncovering the continuity of colonial structures in nation-states institutions. One of those stereotypes that still prevails in contemporary imaginary is the one about exotic women. For example, in Bougainville s travels, Diderot describes Tahitian women as providers of sexual comfort and almost desperate to be Bougainville s sex partner. Understanding that the colonial mind works in metonymical signification mode the part explains the whole- it could be possible to find an explanation for the origins of sexual tourism. In Colonial description like Diderots, non white women are portrayed as women whose sexuality is not attached to any moral punition; virginity and marriage are not linked in any manner and women are free to have sexual relations, which they seem to enjoy without the requirement of any long term commitment. This description is not that far of contemporary market around sexual tourism, in which the stereotype of easy sex in tropical zones exploits those exotized bodies and lands: for example, in 2009 the Organizacin Panamericana de Salud declared that, after the tsumani of 2005 in south east pacific, la oferta de turismo sexual infantil se ha desplazado en gran medida a Mxico (con 250.000 menores atrapados en el comercio sexual), Brasil (que cuenta ms de 500.000 nias prostituidas) y Repblica Dominicana (con 250.000 casos).

DID NOT EUROPE THINK OF ITSELF? REALLY? Even though, the European philosophy did not have a great resonance about possible debates on European identity, it does not mean that ideas about it were not produced. Prof. Moore presents Germaine de Stael, a woman of letters and very active thinker of the Enlightenment. Her ideas are based on social determinism, in which actions of subjects are conditioned by the contexts were the subjects are. She finds that literature is a link among different cultures that, perhaps, like French and Germany 12

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shared part of their history and similar worries in spite of the precise historical events. One of the most interesting facts of her life was his relationship with Napoleon; she was exiled because she did not participate as a cultural puppet of his empire, on the contrary she criticized him and his regime of tyranny. According to her, Napoleon had promised himself to stamp out French liberty and European independence day by day; he did not lose sight of this goal It was by alternating trickery and force that he conquered Europe (377).

Pepe Botella: Napoleons oldest brother who was designated as emperor of Spain. He was also known as Pepino. The nickname Botella was given because of the abolition of taxes to alcoholic drinks.

THE MEANING OF EUROPE IN MAPS Heffernan argues that an Idea of Europe could be perceived from a historical geography perspective. The model of nation-state requires a territory, however before demarking a territory the concept of imagined communities quoted from Anderson and Bhabha by imagined communities constructed through widely-accepted narratives which hold together disparate constituencies in a common bond of belonging (2). This concept allows an approach to the Idea of Europe in terms of history and geography. Heffernan suggests that Europeans saw other communities 13 only from a

Heffernan should be considered: nations are

Journal the Idea of Europe

geographical lent: places were space and nature; however the way Europeans defined themselves could be found thanks to their historical lent. explain how So, Heffernan pretends to Europeans have imagined sense of totalitarism

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as an analogy of the

human body-, it means that there were maps with some areas that demark control or dominance. It could be very interesting to go beyond and find the explanation to map under conceptions of up and down position, in other words, to find how unthinkable was for cartography to draw maps upside down.

themselves geographically by revealing the ideologies behind cartography. One

observation, perhaps the most revealing in my opinion, is the conception of land as a body, in a



Prof. Schultz article provides a detail account of the Moorish vases made in Spain. Their production and their printed

contexts in which they were objects of cultural re-appropriation. By request of the Royal Academy, drawings of the

reproduction exemplify the re-appropriation of cultural products in the project of building national identity for the Bourbon Spain. La Alhambra had developed its own clay techniques and designs; it exported vases and similar products around the Mediterranean. The Gazelle Vase and the Vase of la Banda are considered as significant pieces due to the historical

architectural and sculptural pieces made in the old Andalusia are commissioned in order to keep an inventory of Spanish cultural properties. Among those drawings, two of them captured the attention of King Charles III; they were The Gazelle Vase and The Vase of la Banda. The kings expressed his fascination for them by ordering their reproduction in porcelain. However, that

Journal the Idea of Europe was not ever achieved because the

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considered himself to be the owner of the factories that produced that kind of porcelain pieces in Italy; when he went to govern Spain he carried it with him. Objects that had a link to the past were seen by the Royal Academy as our antiquities regardless of their origin and

techniques used are different in spite of being invented in Asia, among other reasons. In most of the kingdoms and courts, porcelain was high popular. It was a significant part of the rococo movement; through it, the exotic visions on orient were clearly depicted. There was a tendency of owing chinoiserie , which are pieces with those exotic visions made by using Chinese porcelain techniques. The King Charles III was familiarized with this last tendency, he

more importantly they become components of a multi-faceted national cultural

narrative (411). Even, the printed versions of the vases will become part of that national narrative of identity.



Journal the Idea of Europe

Luz Romero

University of Oregon The idea of Europe Professors Fabienne Moore and Evlyn Gould
Weeks 7-8-9-10 the idea of Europe



Prof. Herv Tchumkams lecture was entitled Barbarians are back . He started his presentation with two anecdotes in order to exemplify the Fear of the other in France. According to his perspective, African Diasporas are invisible minorities for French institutions; for them, the foreigner is not a citizen but a migrant marginalized in a racial hierarchy, where Jews and European migrants seem to occupy higher positions than the Africans. The latter are seen as colonial subjects who must fight for rights. French institutional policies try to silence the colonial past by discriminating a postcolonial subject or by making official misinformed ideas from the ex-colonies. Prof. Tchumkam declared that the French national identity has stigmatized the African as immigrant labor force without considering that African migration represents a pillar in the French economy, and as a consequence the only value of the African immigrant is on their bodies rather that in their minds. Prof. Tchumkam s anger comes from his still colonial interpretation of French policies. He compares African immigrants within racial hierarchy (inherited from colonialist mind) and blame colonial past as the main cause of struggle for African immigrants. The self victimization


Journal the Idea of Europe

Luz Romero

is the result of the implicit acceptance of a superior other, who is still on power. Prof. Tchumkams lecture is still constructed within colonial aporias like, for example, considering the African immigrant inside a frame of racial hierarchy to demonstrate French power, or considering only the perpetuation of ex-colonizer power as the only or main cause of African immigration. Decolonizing the mind from the ideologies imposed by colonialism is not only part of the process of postcolonialism but also a process that allows to see different variables in the problems that cause African immigration.


SPANISH CIVIL WAR and the diaries by Enjuto Ferrn

The Spanish Civil War is fundamental to understand the ideological transitions that initiated World War II. During the war, Spain was a laboratory of arms experiments that ended with Francos dictatorship and the propagation of fascism. The national narratives of Spain had a tendency of conservatism and nationalism; however during 1808 new ideologies came to the peninsula and they change the perspective on the monarchy system. With the invasion of Napoleon and the governance of his brother, a new nationalism emerged. That nationalism had to overcome the loss of Cuba, tensions in African colonies, and the confrontation of a parliamentary monarchy and republicanism. The king Alfonso XIII conspired in order to make a coup dtat possible and pro-monarchy. However, republicanism was established from 1931 to 1936 and it brought new reforms. The menace of closing the military academies generated a coup dtat in 1936 that abolished coalition of political parties bourgeois, communist, socialist and catholic- , revised civil rights, and imposed new measures in social relations the abolition of divorce

Journal the Idea of Europe

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among them-. The civil war exploited and continued all over the peninsula; the Soviet Union supported the republican branch, while Germany supported the military branch. Prof. Garca Caro and Cecilia Enjuto presented a diary written by the attorney in Jos Antonio Primo de Riveras trial. The attorney was Federico Enjuto Ferrn, Prof. Enjuto ancestor. Jos Antonio Primo de Rivera was the founder of the Falange Espaola a fascist military party. He was captured by the republicans and submitted to justice. Enjuto Ferrn s diaries exposed his preoccupation for the security of the fascist leader, to whom he had to protect from the republicans anger. The non published diaries could have affected the republican s resentment and the construction of a monarchy. Enjuto Ferrn believed in the democracy that gives the accused person an opportunity to defend, after all, he was a lawyer. His major preoccupation was to allow democracy adopting tyrannys measures. Prof. Garca Caro and Cecilia Enjuto s research is an example of the academic tendency in revisiting the past. The new historiography paradigm is based on the approach of the dialogue between the narrations of history and the historic events. Every document, included its ideological mediations, is a trace of what happened in the past. New generations of academics go into several kind of archives in order to research contexts and clarify the latent wounds of the present. --


Ian Buruma wrote a journalistic chronicle on tolerance and social order regarding to the symbolism of a filmmakers murder. His

writing captures the attention of the reader due to its resemblance to the detective novel narrative strategies: first, the crime is

Journal the Idea of Europe described in detail, and then it comes the descriptions of the victim and the criminal, and the crime motives. Suddenly, the reader has the role of a jury, and is pushed to take part on the conflict, in order words, to decide over whos shoulders the guilt should be put: Islam? the filmmaker? the murderer? the democratic rhetoric? Hoping that the reader-jury would make an informed

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within counter clash of different values. However, pretending to be the jury in this case is an illusion, because Buruma has already taken his side: his use of language is clear enough to understand his rejection of any kind of transculturation and his fear of the other. Some examples: this is not just a Dutch story but a Middle Eastern one imported to the heart of Europe ha! as if the heart of Europe was the sacred place for tolerance!-, Now the turbulent world has come to Holland at last, crashing into an idyll that astonished the citizens of less favored nations. Its a shame that this had to happen, but navet is the wrong state of mind for defending one of the oldest and most liberal democracies against those who wish to destroy it there is no doubt that his position is kind of warlike against those (one wonders their denomination) that have come.

judgment, Buruma explores the position of politicians and public opinion. Among the arguments one see words as immigration, segregation, tolerance, values. Buruma

reveals that the easy exit door is the construction of a politics of tolerance. Even though, it seems to be a fair decision, it has also revealed that the government is not capable of guarantying a social order and, as a consequence, the responsibility of

tolerance falls in the shoulders of the citizens, who, on the other hand, must decide their own levels for tolerance --


Journal the Idea of Europe

Luz Romero


Alexander Blok (1880-1921) was a Russian poet often referred as poet of the Silver Age, an equivalent of the Russian modernism. Prof. Jenifer Presto explains that Bloks aesthetics could be named aesthetics of disaster because his works refer to the natural disasters as forces that resituate the comfort of human reason into the challenges of existence. Natural disasters, as the Messina earthquake, prevail in the social imagination and lead to the confirmation of the decadence of nature and culture stands; they reveal that certain forces are not to be overcome. They bring memories of weakness and pain, and also they show the decline of civilization and powerful centers, as Russia. Bloks essay Nature and Culture expresses his concern on the barrier between people and intelligentsia. It remarks a distance between people, the population that belongs to a region and work for it, and the intellectuals who plan to guide that people into a politic program. As the scientific development is powerless in front of the forces of nature, the intelligentsia is ignorant about the forces of people that pretend to govern. Science and intelligentsia domination are that pursuing could a kind of be


devastated by forces they are not able to explain. The capacity of resistance is present in both poles: science-intelligentsia and people-nature; the disasters generated by the second one are very difficult to overcome by the first one. In that way is how Blok objected bourgeois ideology. An apocalyptic disaster was then the opposition of the hordes to their objectification. Bloks ideas are linked to Gramscis idea of the organic intellectual, one wonder if there were any communication bridge or were only coincidence


Journal the Idea of Europe

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Le silence de la mer
During the Nazi occupation of France, a German officer installs himself at the house of a French family, whose only inhabitants left are an uncle and a niece. The officer knows that the house is not his house, and he does not expect anyone to be friendly, as effectively happens, neither the uncle nor the niece speak to him. Little by little he familiarizes himself with the house and the broken family, who express their resistance by a determined silence. The soldier is very enthusiastic about a cultural spirit that he sees between Germany and France; in fact, he is very idealistic imaging a possible symbolic marriage between the two nations that will enhance the spirit of art. He explains that unification with the fairy tale la Bte et la Belle : Si la belle voulait!...La Belle met longtemps vouloir. Pourtant, peu peu, elle dcouvre au fond des yeux du gelier ha une lueur, - un reflet ou peuvent se lire la prire et l amour. Elle sent moins la patte pesante, moins les chaines de sa prison Elle cesse de har, cette constance la touche, elle tend la main Aussitt la Bte se transforme, le sortilge que la maintenait dans ce pelage barbare est dissip : c est maintenant un chevalier trs beau et trs pur, dlicat et cultive, que chaque baiser la Belle pare de toujours plus rayonnantes Leur union dtermine un bonheur sublime. Leurs enfants, qui additionnent et mlent les dons de leurs parents, sont le plus beaux que la terre ait ports. As a metaphor the fairy tale justifies the horror of the war if the results are going to be sublime and have a happy ending. The soldier is therefore a personification of the German spirit that gives the war a noble cause. He understands the silence of the hosting family as a resistance to the means of what he represents as both German and soldier. The soldier remains in France six months during which the family keeps the resolute silence. The last evening, he comes to them, he had changed his familiarized manners and this last time he waits for the family to reply his courtesy with equal manners. They do it. Werner von Ebrennac, disappointed and ashamed, ask

Journal the Idea of Europe them to forget his words: ont entendu faut

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Tout ce que jai dit ces six mois, tout ce que les murs de cette pice -il

-il respira, avec un effort dasthmatique, garda un instant la poitrine gonfle

il respira :

il faut loublier . Something happened that made him realized that such a

war that he saw with nobility was a potential destructive mechanism to eradicate the noble spirit France as well as the German one: jai parl longtemps, avec beaucoup de vhmence. Ils

faisaient: ts! ts! ils on dit: la politique nest pas un rve de pote. Pourquoi supposez-vous que nous avons fait la guerre ? Pour leur vieux Marechal ? ils ont encore ri : nous ne sont pas des fous ni des niais : nous avons loccasion de dtruire la France, elle le sera. Pas seulement sa puissance : son me aussi. Son me surtout. Son me est le plus grand danger. Cest notre travail en ce moment: ne vous y trompez pas, mon cher! Nous la pourrirons par nos sourires er nos mnagements. Nous en ferons une chienne rampante. Seeing how his friend, who was educated to have the same artistic sensibility as him, had become in a barbarian that rejected the value of France, its spirit, makes the young officer to retract about his idealistic views and reinterpret the hosting familys silence not only as a passive silence, but as a resistance one. As a consequence, he feels ashamed of himself, of what he is still representing as German soldier and leaves. Because he is a personification of a noble German spirit, he does not stay in the house; leaving it is, therefore, a dignifying action. --

The art of survival

Prof. Robert Kyr declares that technology has change the way new generations are exposed to music. New music genres sang in a variety of languages are more accessible than some years ago. Music is becoming an intercultural phenomenon and a multicultural phenomenon: it is intercultural because



Journal the Idea of Europe different parts of the world have more chances to be listened everywhere; it is multicultural because genres from

Luz Romero

with the representation offered by the piece. Prof. Kyr expresses that one of the pieces that fully reach the audience into a collective experience is a Survivor from Warsaw written by Schoenbergs , Jew musician exiled in United States. describes Survivor from Prof.

different origins are now mixed. Different from the 19th century, music production is now less enclosed in rules of production. For Prof. Kyr interculturalism is the social aspect of music due to the expansion of the musical productions to broader audience, who as listener- will be part of the musical experience at four levels unthinkable during the 19th century: physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. The possibility of listening to the same musical piece at the same time changes the sense of community of the audience; it makes the musical experience to be also a collective experience that implies a re-appropriation of feelings physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. The final effect is the

Warsaw as

memorial to the victims of anti-Semitism and genocide: Although it mentions

neither Jews nor Nazis, the singing of the prisoners in Hebrew and the brutal acts of German-speaking officers undeniably

connect the work to the Shoah while also suggesting its universality (120). The

piece is a seven minutes drama in which the main character narrates his war experience as a prisoner; his narration, sometimes unconscious, revives the war into broken traumatic memories. The audience cannot escape from it unless the playing device is shut off because: From the outset of the piece, the listener is

audiences involvement and solidarity

Journal the Idea of Europe forced to stand in the shoes of the survivor, in essence, to inhabit the domain of the witness himself. Together both listener and survivor struggle to comprehend the nature of a reality that is recalled as a succession of partial memories contrasted with bold images of alarming clarity (121). The piece

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includes a chorus interpreting the Shma, a Jew martyrs creed, which sees divinity in one god and calls for the reunion of everything in god. That same symbolic inclusion is the one that the piece evocates: the listener is an active witness, and an active survivor.

My experience When I listened to the piece in class I was horrified; it was disturbing to my mind a violent to my physical perception. I wanted to leave the room, but I waited It was tortuous. I felt accused and persecuted, I felt that there were no places to hide, that there was not anywhere to find peace. I wanted it to be over. When it finished, I did not feel relief, I could not speak for a long time. I had experienced war and violence before; but the fear was different this time. Before, I had the certainty that it could be a random act of violence wrong person in the wrong time-. This time I felt the fear of deliberated persecution. I have never thought that music could de-automate experience in such an extreme way.


Mongo Beti: Human rights hypocrisy and decolonization on the hands of the colonized subjects
Mongo Beti denounces that the discourse on human rights is a beautiful mask for French expansionism. In his article, he argues that French intellectuals and public opinion are concerned about the violations of human rights in Eastern Europe and Latin America while Africa is left aside. Mongo Beti adds that Cameroonian president and institutions

Journal the Idea of Europe were put and function under the patronage of French government, and because of that reason, French public opinion do not get informed about the massacres and the violations of human rights. As a response to that forced silence, he wrote a book that testifies all the abuses made in Cameroon but it was censured, and a process of deportation was initiated. He concludes that the defense of human rights in Eastern Europe and in Latin America is a way to emphasized on the imperialist policies of the United States, the economic menace for France. Mongo Betis discourse seems to be framed within an implicit acceptance of colonialism since it is urging for attention and somehow mediation of French opinion in the conflicts that Cameroonians face. In the same discourse, Africa seems to have a sub-region called the francophone

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language of the colonizer. These implicit allegations make his discourse idealistic since it implies an emendation from the French side while the Africans are portrayed like passive victims of power institutions. Prof. Andr Djiffack introduces

Mongo Beti as an artist and activist not very well known, whose works challenged

traditional or canonical scholarly. Prof. Djiffack does not take Mongo Beti s ideas as a totalizing truth, but as part of an ambiguous epistemology in a decolonizing process: I dont pretend he was always right or wrong said Prof. Djiffack and

explains that Mongo Beti s discourse is only a tiny part of his works in spite of the implications mentioned before. Other Beti s works are addressed to Africans in order to make them conscious of their submissive situation because decolonizing is also a responsibility of the colonized subjects.

Africa, a denomination that accepts the


Journal the Idea of Europe

Human rights hypocrisy

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Human rights hypocrisy is more present than one thinks. The discourse on human rights sounds harmonious as a policy of adherence. However, in contexts of political conflicts solved with military solutions, it is possible to see how the concept of human rights is not extendable to the enemy and beyond, how easily a person becomes an enemy . Colombia, for example, is a case in which the violations of human rights are an internal issue with a counter face of international repercussions due to the military aid sent form USA. To weight up the situation, the USA congress has decided that Colombia cannot sign a FTA agreement with USA until multiple denounces on human rights are solved. Those denounces were sent to the Hague and only a very few cases have been processed. Another example is Guantamo prison, and the treatment that US military forces use to capture and process suspects.

-A SPECIAL REPORT ON TURKEY ON BULLET POINTS In its rally to be an EU member, Turkey has promoted all the policies the policies required to satisfy Brussels bureaucracy. However, Turkish market focused exclusive on Europe and the internal political disagreements could be a menace to the stability of the EU. On the other hand, Turkish population is losing their expectations and it is possible that they do not support government measures to keep a candidacy as prospective EU member. The economist published on October 2010 a report on Turkey. Here, I present the main arguments included in the report, which emphasizes on the Turkeys trajectory as a submissive petitioner and leaves aside the arguments that EU has to deny Turkeys admission. Turkey has increased his economic and politic development in order to become EU member. Economy in progress and young population Strategic location Special place in Muslim world

y y y y


Journal the Idea of Europe y

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Slippery development: economy in process, high corruption rates, high risk of political turmoil, unsatisfied population needs.

y y y y

Intervention of IMF and EU in internal policies. National skepticism of being part of EU High risk of populist economic measures vs. a free market liberal democracy New framework for Turkish monetary and fiscal policies after the 2000-1 economic meltdown.

Those policies made it more resistant to the Mediterranean crisis and a target for foreign investors.

y y y y y

National companies are succeeding in international markets. IMF policies are not fully applied. Inflation Current-account deficit. In order to overcome risks of inflation and deficit, Turkey needs to review employment policies and international markets.

y y y

Peace keeper in Middle East and eastern countries. Regional buffering of combustible supplies among east and west. Peace relationships do not have a straight and coherent diplomacy, which makes ambiguous relations with other countries.

y y

Public opinion does not support America EU does not approve Turkey diplomatic policies, which does not seem to be totally in peace with other Middle East countries.


Journal the Idea of Europe y

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Turkeys admission in the EU is taking longer than Turkish expected. EU members always find buts for Turkey.

y y y y y

Turkey would not agree a second class membership. EU is afraid of the responsibilities with Turkey. Cyprus division forces Turkey to be an allied of Turkish-Cypriot in international scenery Turkeys internal politic parties have agreement difficulties to establish democracy. Kurdish people claim to be discriminated or non counted as Turkish. Their accusations came far and ended up in a guerilla movement. Negotiations are taking a long path.

Turkey is critically analyzed from EU and its internal troubles are magnified as a menace for the EU well functioning.

Turkey, as Prof. Paul Bessemer explains, has a lax diplomacy with eastern countries that would commit the EU to be Turkeys ally. The EU is not ready to and, probably, not interested in understanding the politics inside a diverse Islamic world. For the EU, Turkeys history has shown how the imposed secularism can have military consequences and affect the development of a democracy. Neither the EU nor Turkey has an answer on the integration of Islam and its diverse sects- in a democracy that can guarantee the stability of long term agreements. Turkeys case is an interesting case that raises questions on the possibility of Islamic political parties, not only in Turkey but in other Islamic countries. Turkey would probably be a prospective candidate of the EU when: a. the economic stability and welfare of the population do not become an immigration conflict and therefore a responsibility for the EU. And b. when the political conditions have reached an agreement with the Islamic world view, so the democracy would be able of keeping the long term agreements with the EU.