«The European elections are a way to combat populism»

«The European elections are a way to combat populism»


You may still think that there is much left for a European election to which, as a rule, the census comes – if it comes – by simple democratic inertia and without any conviction. Less than four months – a world, seeing the national ups and downs of the polls in recent times – for that May 26 in which the bulk of the population introduces its ballot with the vague idea that "little or nothing we play." However, for Bernard-Henri Lévy (Beni Saf, Algeria, 1948), as for any convinced Europeanist, it is the opposite. We are already "fair" for a "crucial" date, he says. No trace in his words of being in front of a few insignificant elections, reason why this French philosopher and writer has taken to the road to begin the campaign of the «European patriot». The defense of values ​​that are listed downwards due to the impulse of populists and extremists. "False prophets drunk with resentment" so that Lévy – author of "The Rule of the Game" and "The Time of Europe" – takes charge of the tasks reserved up to now to the politicians.

«Attacked from within by those who believe that their time has come, abandoned from the outside by the two great allies who in the twentieth century saved her twice from suicide and prey to the increasingly less disguised maneuvers of the Kremlin lord, Europe, as idea, will and representation, is disintegrating before our eyes », Lévy signs in an open letter in which he had the support of intellectuals from all over the region: Svetlana Alexievitch, Milan Kundera, Fernando Savater, Roberto Saviano, Mario Vargas Llosa, Adam Zagajewski …

A pre-electoral environment that the thinker now moves to a monologue, "Looking for Europe" -written and interpreted by him-, in which in an hour and a half will try to "awaken consciences." "Impossible," he says, to solve Europe in such a short time, "but we can understand many of the issues that have brought us here." Halfway between the tour of a rock star and the election campaign to the European Parliament, this "showman" of thought intends to travel the continent in 24 appointments – three of them in Spain: Valencia (March 20), Barcelona (25) and Madrid (26) – to tell the benefits of a European Union that "makes us stronger": "I will show the beautiful Europe and I will warn that if we collapse it will be a total catastrophe".

-It seems like a politician's job.

-They should, because this is an election campaign. The difference is that I'm not a candidate for anything. The only thing I have clear is who should not vote: or Putin, or Trump, or Erdogan, or Salvini, or Le Pen, or Vox, or the Catalan independence movement, or We can … After , that each one chooses what interests him most, I do not care about the left. To everything that goes against the puppeteers (Trump, Putin and Erdogan) who have fueled anti-European forms.

-It is difficult for people to go to vote in European ones, how do you convince them?

– Here only has been taken to punish the leaders and do not realize that the Europe we know today can die. Brussels will be destroyed and filled with populism. It is no longer a battle of socialists against conservatives, but of all against populism.

– Has the punishment vote been underestimated?

– «Voilà!». It has been like a hammer blow. You have to vote with your heart and your head. Put aside the populisms that are damaging democracy to death.

This was one of the main reasons that led the British, among others, to the "scandal", defined, of the Brexit. Theme that Lévy tackled in June with another representation on the tables, «Last Exit Before Brexit». It was the doubts he observed in the supporters of the exit that led him to the new piece. "That was the victory of the hard right over the soft right and of the radical left over the liberal left; the revenge of angry Britain on the open Great Britain; the triumph of ignorance over knowledge, of what has no meaning over what is aware, of pettiness over greatness … », says Lévy of a« similar case »to that of Catalonia:« Everything seems full of demagoguery . Torra and Puigdemont came to take control and three years later everything is out of that control, the institutions, the economy … That's the truth. It is ridiculous, irresponsible and criminal. And who is the victim? Brussels or capitalism? No. It is the Catalan people, like English, in the case of Brexit. "

Citizens among whom the French find a "real awareness": "They have realized that some irresponsible have mocked them and, above, they have escaped abroad." A "clumsiness" on the part of the pro-independence movement, to which Torra's words of adhering to a possible Slovenian road add: "He was completely mistaken in dealing with such a war. For things like this I think they will lose strength in the coming months ». There, in Barcelona, ​​was Lévy on Tuesday. In the same place his father went to enlisted in the International Brigades "to combat fascism."

-How did you see the atmosphere in Barcelona?

-Sad, very sad. It is one of my favorite cities in Spain because I had always known it open, cosmopolitan.

– Everything that was behind?

-It was like entering a leaden atmosphere. I think that the Catalan will do well rebelling against all that they have imposed on them in recent years.

Because BHL denies that, like the rest of European nationalisms, in Catalonia they have been deprived of their identity. "In fact, I will say that it is one of the wisest towns," he added in line with his manifesto, in which he wrote that "to end European construction, rediscover the" soul of nations ", reconnect with a" lost identity " that it does not exist, many times, more than in the imagination of the demagogues, it is the common program of the populist forces that are flooding the continent ».

-What explanation does 30 years ago talk about the end of borders and now is the opposite?

-Easy: thing of the populismos and the reactionaries.

-In the first group you include both Podemos and Vox, two forces that here seem antagonistic.

-They have many similarities and, therefore, the three constitutional parties should agree with each other. Podemos is a victim of the fall of a model such as Venezuela and its internal struggles, while Vox is an inverted twin of the Catalan independence movement. They feed on each other. To more barbarities of Torra, better for them and vice versa. They fight for the same paradigm

– What part of Europe's own fault in all this?

-He has had certain breaches and has been cowardly at certain times. It has also been believed that democracy was going to stand alone and that is not the case.

– It seems a sacrilege to say it, but, is it necessary to look for another form of government?

-No, representative democracy is a good model. It was the tomb of fascism.

-On fascism, it bothers you that people use it as a bad word …

-Because it is not that, but a kind of regime like any other, with its particularities, of course.

For more than 70 years, the Europe of the Allies ended precisely with fascism and 30 that the Wall that separated Berlin – and, by extension, the continent – fell into two halves, and Lévy wants to bring yesterday to today, at least, in importance. Two milestones that the philosopher uses as a comparison to call "mobilization on the eve of an election that refuses to remain in the hands of the undertakers." To escape populism and to be "the second homeland of all the free people in the world", also of some Venezuelans whom he invites to continue with his support to Guaidó, to which Europe must give legitimacy: "Maduro to go to another part". Meanwhile, Europe will continue to search for its soul in the same way that Europe, the princess, was persecuted in mythological tales.

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