Thursday, February 20, 2020

EU: Václav Klaus' prophetic talk 11 years ago

Today, it's 2020/02/20 but let us look 11 years, 1 day, and 1 hour to the past when Czech president Václav Klaus gave a speech in the European Union's Parliament (Czech video):
Speech of the President of the Czech Republic Václav Klaus in the European Parliament (English transcript)
I encourage you to read all those 20+ paragraphs. The fundamental problems with the European Union look self-evident to all the sane people today but it wasn't always like that and in 2009, almost everybody – including most of us, I think – viewed Klaus' warnings as remote.

Petr Macinka (IVK) has picked some statements from the speech.



Klaus said, among other things:
[...] I fear that the attempts to speed up and deepen integration and to move decisions about the lives of the citizens of the member countries up to the European level can have effects that will endanger all the positive things achieved in Europe in the last half a century. Let us not underestimate the fears of the citizens of many member countries who are afraid that their problems are again decided elsewhere and without them, and that their ability to influence these decisions is very limited. [...] Let us not allow a situation where the citizens of member countries would live their lives with a resigned feeling that the EU project is not their own; that it is developing differently than they would wish, that they are only forced to accept it. [...]


Another paragraph said:
The present decision-making system of the European Union is different from a classic parliamentary democracy, tested and proven by history. In a normal parliamentary system, part of the MPs support the government and part support the opposition. In the European Parliament, this arrangement has been missing. Here, only one single alternative is being promoted, and those who dare think about a different option are labelled as enemies of European integration. Not so long ago, in our part of Europe we lived in a political system that permitted no alternatives and therefore also no parliamentary opposition. It was through this experience that we learned the bitter lesson that with no opposition, there is no freedom. That is why political alternatives must exist.
And in the last portion, we heard:
At this moment in time, the most important task is to make sure that free discussion [...] is not silenced as an attack on the very idea of European integration. We have always believed that being allowed to discuss such serious issues, being heard, defending everyone’s right to present a different than “the only correct opinion” – no matter how much we may disagree with it – is at the very core of the democracy we were denied for over four decades. We who went through the involuntary experience that taught us that a free exchange of opinions and ideas is the basic condition for a healthy democracy do hope that this condition will be met and respected also in the future. This is the opportunity and the only method for making the European Union more free, more democratic and more prosperous.
Many years in advance, Klaus has really predicted the broad processes such as Brexit proving the democratic deficit of the EU and the detachment of the EU officials from the citizens. When the suppression of a free discussion wasn't obvious yet, Klaus made it clear that the EU has chosen the strategy to suppress a free discussion. Needless to say, this suppression has grown to dramatic proportions and Klaus' 2009 speech may be more relevant for the present, the year 2020, than it was eleven years ago.

In 2009, the Eurofanatics and the overlapping set of the postmodern Leftists were leaving the hall while Klaus' soulmates were greeting his observations with standing ovations. The situation hasn't changed too much in this respect – except that the European Union's authorities have managed to expel or suppress the sane people much more than in 2009.

Klaus was a very early pundit who has pointed out many interpretations that gradually became common sense. He was a fighter against the Lisbon Treaty that introduced the majority votes to many EU decisions – a major change that dramatically reduced the sovereignty of the EU member states. He was surely right to be worried about those things and we have seen particular grave examples of the destructive power of these new rules of the EU (especially attempts to redistribute illegal immigrants to EU member countries).

Quite generally, he's been quite a prophet. I don't claim that he was the first man in the world who has clearly articulated the idea that the climate alarmism isn't about the climate or Nature – but about the power and the restriction of the individual (and corporate etc.) freedom. Many others tended to agree when they heard such an assertion but his was a relatively rare voice that actively formulated these important ideas whose validity has become more than obvious by 2020 and who emphasized that they were important.

Maybe you want to read some of his texts at klaus.cz because you may find ideas that will be even more important in 2031 than they are today. ;-)

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