Nosemonkey's EUtopia

In search of a European identity

My return to blogging: A mission statement

There’s infinitely more being written about the EU these days than when I started this blog 9+ years ago. Some of it is excellent, some of it interesting, some of it utterly fatuous.

My aim with this blog has always been as much to discuss the discussion of the EU as to discuss the EU itself. As such, this passage from a recent piece on Roland Barthes in the New York Times struck a distinct chord:

“what angered Barthes more than anything was ‘common sense,’ which he identified as the philosophy of the bourgeoisie, a mode of thought that systematically pretends that complex things are simple, that puzzling things are obvious, that local things are universal – in short, that cultural fantasies shaped by all the dirty contingencies of power and money and history are in fact just the natural order of the universe. The critic’s job, in Barthes’s view, was not to revel in these common-sensical myths but to expose them as fraudulent. The critic had to side with history, not with culture.”

Strikes me as as good a mission statement as any. Barthes aimed to identify and demythologise cultural assumptions. My aim is to do the same for the EU. To be as critical – in the true sense of the word – of the EU’s analysts as of the EU itself (where merited, of course), as well as to highlight interesting EU-related content from all sources and all parts of the political spectrum.

This will likely mean re-examining my own prejudices just as much as it means dissecting those of others. Should be fun…

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