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General Interest and Colonel Dividend


General Interest and Colonel Dividend

One of our texts has attracted critical comment in an editorial. That is an opportunity to elaborate what got some people upset.

"Dans un tract syndical, on peut lire en effet le commentaire méprisant suivant : "Much has been written about the new EEAS. Some of the sillier statements included references to the "general interest" of the 500.000.000 EU citizens. When did you last see half a billion people from 27 countries agree on something beyond "2+2=4?...". Plus grave: ce tract brocarde également la méthode communautaire ainsi que l'indépendance de la Fonction publique européenne…
A l'euroscepticisme de cette position de type "patronal" de ce syndicat s'oppose l'engagement du président Van Rompuy (voir supra) qui remarque deux choses à propos du SEAE:
-d'une part, "il ne faut pas surestimer l'importance de ce service: ce sera un instrument structuré, mais cela restera un instrument" et,
-d'autre part, "si nous partons du principe qu'il faut une politique étrangère commune, alors nous raterons tout. Nous devons identifier des intérêts communs et mettre en oeuvre des politiques, c'est-à-dire nous mettre d'accord sur le climat, sur l'Iran, ou sur le Proche-Orient…"

As for the "méprisant" and the "brocarde", not to worry, plenty more where that came from.

No shortages of sarcasm as long as SID is around.

And we can scarf up what we dish out; it is quite satirical when a union that agrees so strongly with BEPA as to republish its material without critical comment quotes the President of the European Council with approval, then accuses SID of being a yellow "patronal" union, only to quote Mr President a second time.

I am not quite sure in what universe that could be true, or even consistent. But hey, laughter boosts the immune response and lowers blood pressure. So it's all good.

Flatterers do not always note the details adequately; "Nous devons identifier des intérêts communs …"
translates to
"We must identify the common interests …"
and is really not light years away from our doubts. Statesmen tend to express themselves in dignified ways, while SID just shoves its version of the truth in your face.

It would have been easy to make SID look foolish; just list ten or twenty ideas beyond the third graders' level of understanding that 500,000,000 Europeans agree to be their "general interest".

Okay, call it five. Three, at least? One, come on, you can come up with one. Remember the link to BEPA? If anyone knew one practical example of "Europe's general interest", it would be Mr Barroso's think tankers. They came up empty. They list exactly zero (0) examples in support of their argument.

Will our readers please send in examples of "Europe's common interest"? The button is near the upper left of our TikiWiki? pages at .

There are many open questions about "Europe's common interest". What color is it? At what longitude and latitude can one find it? How much does it weigh? What volume? How hot or cold is it? The absurdity of these questions shows that it is definitely not an object. If it is not physical then it must be mental; a concept, an idea.

According to ordinary language philosophy, the Vienna circle, Wittgenstein etc. the meaning of a word is the set of rules that allow us to decide whether any sentence involving that word is true or false.

Now, how to decide whether the sentence "Project X is in Europe's common interest!" is true or false? Hitler and Mussolini may have had other ideas, but SID suggests a democratic vote.

Very seriously, for once; "general interest" is just a complicated, misleading way of saying "democracy".
We go for straight talk.

Michael Ashbrook

Created by: admin last modification: Tuesday 15 of June, 2010 [14:37:17 UTC] by admin

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