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Type of publication: Straipsnis / Article
Author(s): Laučius, Vladimiras
Title: Permąstytas patriotizmas: politinė galimybė Europai
Other Title: Patriotism reconceived: a political opportunity for Europe
Is part of: Darbai ir dienos, 2012, nr. 57, p. 87-120
Date: 2012
Keywords: Patriotizmas;Patriotism;Europe
Abstract: Using a concept coined by Friedrich Nietzsche, today it is becoming particularly relevant to answer the question: What is “a good European”? What is his citizenship based on, what is his patriotic commitment directed at? This issue is related to the kind of political regime we want and the political principles we rely on when constructing a united Europe. Understanding patriotism and the political regime is at stake when we ask the question of what a good European is. This essay deals with the possibilities of two kinds of patriotism. One is love for that which is one’s own, for one’s country, language, culture, and traditions; and pride in one’s nation and its past. Another kind of patriotism is a commitment to the principles of the political regime. Two heroes of the U.S. civil war – President Lincoln and General Lee – represented these two kinds of patriotism: Lee, that of the first kind and Lincoln that of the second. The EU, as it now stands, has neither nurtured, nor seeks to nurture, a patriotism of either the Lee or the Lincoln type. The European project, as it is has been elaborated for the past several decades, is very nebulous in respect to the political shape pursued. The EU’s political objective is ambiguous: on the one hand, Europe seeks to acquire the shape of a nation-state that would put it within the ranks of great global powers such as the U.S. and China. On the other hand, this objective is shadowed by another one, whereby European matters are devolved from the political level to the level of civic society (as Hegel understood it) with its needs, rights, and rules. In such a depoliticized world of human rights and consumer interests, on the one hand, there is a spirit of pure humanism; on the other hand, the rules are dictated by an economism that will replace politics. Such a Europe, says Manent, is “the institutionalization of the end of politics” promising participants of this project life beyond politics. The project of Europe as the institutionalization of the end of politics is today led by the powerful bureaucracy of Brussels, which has successfully taken over the old French tradition of the “despotism of administrators.” The EU offers no meaningful role for a good European as a patriot, because the despotism of administrators; a Europe lacking in a true body politic; and a society just of consumers of human rights and material welfare do not require (they even preclude) true patriotism of a political, that is, not an abstract, sort.
Appears in Collections:Darbai ir dienos / Deeds and Days 2012, nr. 57

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