In the Greek idea there lived a geographical place where the sun goes down, called Europe. Where the sun goes down, “foresight” rises – this is how arbitrarily the Greeks interpreted the name Europe. Those far away from Greece they called “barbarians” – the Nordic peoples for instance, who they homogenized in the term “Germanics”.
The territory of “Europe” expanded, the Teutons soon belonged to it, the myth of superiority in tow. This time they called it “Enlightenment”. The myth created further contrasts. In addition, an ideology has come into being which Immanuel Kant decisively shaped: The apparently anthropological justification of human “races”, with the “white race” as physically and mentally superior.
Europe geographically expamded to include the USA – a union of oppressive Europeans. Kant’s race doctrine and liberal philosophy brought being white and exercising power to the same level. The combination of white and power justified Kant, Hegel, Voltaire and further Europeans after them to plunder non-Europeans, to regard their resulting misery as “self-inflicted”, to finally ignore it. On to today.
The 2018 debate in the German weekly newspaper “Die Zeit” on private sea rescue in the Mediterranean is an example of this.
The position of the author Mariam Lau, that private sea rescue increases the problem, speaks white-oppressive. For the question of who is affected by private or non-private sea rescue, and for whom it is increasing, is quickly answered. The author speaks from the point of view of the representatives of oppression: “Whoever is in need must be rescued, this is prescribed by law and humanity. Neither, however, prescribes that private individuals take over what should be the task of states.”
Where Europe could best prove its held up humane values, in rescuing people in need, Mariam Laus’s position explains rescue operations as an injustice with an injustice: people should not be rescued because they are not saved. The fact that politicians fail to save is not presented as a problem. Because it suits the author that politicians refuse to save.
She explains her defence of Europe as follows: “Let us imagine for two minutes where Europe would now stand if we had given in to the pressure from human rights organisations to legalise all migratory movements, whether escape or poverty-migration. For a Europe without borders. One million, two million, three millions. How long would it take for the last democratic government to fall?”
Imagine what the world would be like if this were to happen: like now. Because the number of emigrants does not yet say anything about the possible consequences for societies. The consequences, which Mariam Lau cites, that “the last democratic government will fall” rather says something about Europe’s social model, and in Europe this is not based on participation but on profit. Europe needs borders to continue the exploitation on the other side of the globe. In order to be able to carry the fairy tale of democracy further – on its shores, in its discourses.
Humanity reaches then as now to its self-created borders – ideological, political, geographical. And that is exactly where Europe’s demise is taking place today. Centuries too late. Europe, this obsession, has functioned for too long, and yet never lived. In Greek mythology, a princess, daughter of a Phoenician, lives here. She is kidnapped by Zeus, the Greek god who becomes her husband. When Europe dies, Zeus is inconsolable. To commemorate her, he gives her name to the earths on which she lived: Europa.