Franco "Bifo" Berardi: Democracy is not possible in Europe

Image via moderndiplomacy.eu
Having just come back from conducting the wedding of two close friends (one French, one Tasmanian) in France my mind was, once again, very much preoccupied with the complex set of issues surrounding what it is to consider oneself a European (which I have for many years), the parlous state of the (neoliberal) European Union itself and the meaning and possible consequences of Brexit and the election of Donald Trump to the Presidency of the United States of America.

As readers of this blog will know, both before and after the EU Referendum in the UK, I threw myself into Yanis Varoufakis' and Srećko Horvat's Democracy in Europe Movement (DiEM25). Indeed, I worked directly with them both and group of about ten UK-based volunteers to organize the British launch event in London in January 2017 (you can read my report of this event on the DiEM25 website at this link).

However, since then, both here in the UK and in the EU as a whole, many things have happened that have caused me slowly to distance myself from the DiEM25 project. Then, this morning, I read Franco "Bifo" Berardi's "mournful and damning open letter to resign from his position on the advisor board of DIEM25, a pan-European organization that aims to make the European Union truly democratic."  (It's important to say at this point that over the last seven years Berardi has become one of the most important influences upon my own, still developing, political theology.)

Bifo tells us he has resigned because he no longer believes that democracy is possible in Europe. In his letter he compares the deadly ongoing refugee crisis in Europe to the Holocaust, and denounces Europe as "nothing but nationalism colonialism capitalism and fascism." He ultimately renounces his European identity as well: "I declare that I’m not European anymore, and I declare that I have never been European."

Bifo's letter is a powerful, if deeply shocking and saddening one, but I have no choice but to confess that I find myself in broad, general agreement with him and this means I feel it's probably the right time to signal my own departure from DiEM25—not that this makes much difference to anyone anywhere. Bifo's letter is a stark reminder of the sad, dark, dreadful times through which we are currently living and it makes the joyous explosion of light and love that I experienced conducting the wedding of my friends in the French Alps all the more necessary, precious and beautiful. Next week, as a much needed antidote to this post, I'll post some photos of this wonderful day as well as a copy the ceremony itself (in both English and French).

But, until then, for those interested (and brave enough) to read on you can find Bifo's letter at the following link:

Bifo: Democracy is not possible in Europe

ADDENDUM: Here's Yanis Varioufakis' reply to Bifo's letter:

Yanis Varoufakis' reply
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