Saturday, August 20, 2011

Sometimes It’s Better to Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

More than four years ago Anders Bruun Laursen translated an article that had been published a few days previously in Världen idag. The author was critical of the European Union, and highlighted the undemocratic nature of the Lisbon Treaty, which had not yet been ratified at that time.

The translated article became part of a larger Gates of Vienna post on Euro-Med, a.k.a. the Mediterranean Union, which is a topic that has been covered in this space from time to time.

This afternoon we received a brief email from the author stating that we had published our translation without his permission, and demanding that we remove it. I was more than happy to comply, and as soon as I could locate the post in question, I excised the translation from it.

The article did not make as much sense without the translation, so I replaced it with a brief summary of its contents. The author’s criticism of the EU is at least as relevant today as it was four years ago, and the summary is worth reposting here:

The original article, first published at Världen idag on July 6, 2007, is no longer available. Therefore I have summarized its contents below.

Note: This is a précis of the original article, which provides the gist of what was said, but more briefly. It was written entirely in my own words:

EUSSRThe European Union is turning into a closed system, and is moving away from democracy.

Margot Wallström, Sweden’s commissioner in the EU is astonished at the lack of understanding about the EU constitution [now the Lisbon Treaty] and the fact that people see it as the project of “the elite”.

Since the constitution was rejected in previous referenda, the author writes that this time, for the new treaty, there will be no referendum. The leaders of the European Union do not like the opinions of their own people, so the people will not be permitted to have a say in the treaty. The super-state will be constructed without ordinary citizens having a say in it.

The people of Europe will have thus been trapped into losing their freedom.

The new treaty will have a foreign minister, called by another name. It will impose a common defense system, and its courts will supersede national courts. Power will be concentrated in the hands of the highest-ranking officials in the EU, who are virtually unaccountable to any electorate in any member state.

Parliamentarians in Sweden are to be given a verbal account by the EU Commission, but nothing in writing, and there are no legal guidelines for what must be contained in this verbal account.

Thus, the workings of the EU under the new treaty are decided by elite without popular advice or consent. The flow of information is impeded, and there is a lack of openness. This is obviously destructive of democracy.

Without consulting their people, the leaders of the European Union are moving away from democracy and entering a closed system which will be indistinguishable from dictatorship. This is true of Sweden and all other member states of the EU.

The author of the EU-critical article lives in Sweden, so we may assume that his heretical sentiments have put him under a lot of pressure from the elites to recant and repent. It’s possible that the recent public furor surrounding this blog — which was more intense in Norway and Sweden than anywhere else — drew attention to the translated version of his article, the Swedish version of which had already been removed from Världen idag.

He may not realize it, but nothing disappears from the internet completely. Researchers know how to recover missing posts from their cached versions, by using the “wayback machine”, or by consulting other resources that store archival material from the web. This is especially true of Gates of Vienna — over the last twenty-nine days, every post and comment in the entire history of our blog has been archived or screen-capped multiple times, so that there is unfortunately no way that I can obliterate his article entirely.

In fact, my altered version of the post went out over our RSS feed, alerting any sentinel bots that something had changed, and drawing further attention to the article. In this case it might have been better to let sleeping dogs lie.

It must be hell for anyone living in Sweden who publishes an opinion that lies outside the current consensus. Social pressure, public shame, shunning, ostracism, and the bully-boys of the “anti-fascists” await those who dare to step outside the marked boundaries of permissible thought. And all this before the government ever swings into action and files a hets mot folkgrupp charge against the offending freethinker.

I’m glad I live in the USA, where things are not quite that bad.

Not yet.

Update: At the request of the author of the article described above, his name has now been redacted from this post as well as the original one.


Dymphna said...

Poor fellow. The scrutiny and pressure must be intense indeed. I hope it doesn't affect his career.

In the EU it is now a matter of discretion -- valor having been surgically removed -- not to ever publish anything. Not anywhere. Not anytime. Sign your name to nothing that could ever possibly be public.

Because you never can tell when the rules will change and the tyrants in charge can and do make their draconian rules retroactive.

I remember waaay back, when Fjordman told me about the Lisbon Treaty and some of what it contained. I didn't believe him. But the sinking heart with which I read that codified bumf has never quite gone away.

When I tried to read some of the Obama legislation, that creepy feeling intensified. The EU "Constitution is crystal clear in comparison to our own new laws.

Hmm...are those jackboots I'm hearing on the front porch?

doxRaven said...

Interestingly, on the site against the Lisbon Treaty
it features front and center a quote from "broadcaster and journalist, Swedish Green Party Member of the Sweedish Patliament (2002 to 2006)" being quoted as saying

"We need to say no to the Lisbon Treaty and force the European elites to start working on a differt kind of cooperation, on the basis of public participation and democracy"

sounds like the same sentiment as in the excpert of the summary of the Världen idag on July 6, 2007 article:

"Thus, the workings of the EU under the new treaty are decided by elite without popular advice or consent. The flow of information is impeded, and there is a lack of openness. This is obviously destructive of democracy."

Expelliarmus13 said...

The situation wont get any better here in the EU. I even fear talking about these things with others. I am getting pretty paranoic, since i dont feel safe anymore. I feel that the EU and the member states arent fulfilling their primary duties, as in - guarantee the citizens their rights!
For the past few days i have been asking myself this question: Why is the EU allowing this islamic take over?
And how can we fight it?
I feel helpless.

Dymphna said...

I looked at the Say No website. So very, very sad.

Here are some of the voices, now stilled:
Voices From Europe

It is like visiting a graveyard. And why the mad scramble by politicians to sign on? Because they wanted in on the huge lashings of money if they made it to the EU Parliament. No accountability.

The biggest theft in Europe's history, and that's saying something.

All without a shot being fired...cuz one of the first things they did, way back when it was just the ECC was to take away most of the guns...

Dymphna said...

@ Expelliarmus13

This is probably darned cold comfort, but the EU is built on a financial ponzi scheme and it's beginning to crumble about the edges.

But does the general decline make you safer from micromanaged oversight, or more at risk with the rise of anarchy and wilding gangs like the ones we all witnesed in Britain? That's the big unknown...

All anyone will say is that it's going to fall apart. But no one knows how it will fall or what kind of vacuum will be created as it implodes...

Paranoia in such a political and economic climate is not pathological. It is a normal person's intuition that something is wrong, very wrong.

Even the cheery Baron, who has always thought we'd muddle thru somehow or other is less sanguine these days.

So at least enjoy your paranoia. Don't feel guilty about a normal response to a very dysfunctional environment.

Mother Effingby said...

From Anthem, by Ayn Rand

It is a sin to write this. It is a sin to think words no others think and to put them down upon a paper no others are to see. It is base and evil. It is as if we were speaking alone to no ears but our own. And we know well that there is no transgression blacker than to do or think alone. We have broken the laws. The laws say that men may not write unless the Council of Vocations bid them so. May we be forgiven!

But this is not the only sin upon us. We have committed a greater crime, and for this crime there is no name. What punishment awaits us if it be discovered we know not, for no such crime has come in the memory of men and there are no laws to provide for it.