Can Europe Make It?

Resignation letter from Franco ‘Bifo’ Berardi to DiEM25 and Yanis Varoufakis' reply

The writer, media theorist and activist wrote to say “I am no longer a European given Europe’s daily crimes” & “thus I resign from DiEM25”. Read his letter, and Yanis Varoufakis’ reply.

Yanis Varoufakis Franco Berardi
8 July 2017
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May 26, 2017: The ships of NGOs in the Mediterranean save thousands of lives. The Aquarius ship arrives in the port of Salerno with its load of about 1400 migrants. On board 170 minors and 21 pregnant women. Danilo Balducci/Zuma Press/Press Association. All rights reserved.

From Franco 'Bifo' Berardi:

Dear Yanis, dear friends and comrades of the Democracy in Europe Movement 25, 

After the shameful decisions of the Paris meeting of Minniti/ Collomb/ de Maziere – it’s time to understand that there is something flawed in our project of re-establishing democracy in Europe: this possibility does not exist.

Democratic Europe is an oxymoron, as Europe is the heart of financial dictatorship in the world. Peaceful Europe is an oxymoron, as Europe is the core of war, racism and aggressiveness. We have trusted that Europe could overcome its history of violence, but now it’s time to acknowledge the truth: Europe is nothing but nationalism, colonialism, capitalism and fascism.

During the Second World War not many protested against deportation, segregation, torture and extermination of Jews, Roma, communist militants and homosexuals. People had no information about the extermination.

Now we are daily acquainted about what is happening all around the Mediterranean basin, we know how deadly is the effect of European neglect and of the refusal to take responsibility for the migration wave that is a direct result of the wars provoked by two centuries of colonialism.

The Archipelago of Infamy is spreading all around the Mediterranean Sea.

Europeans are building concentration camps on their own territory, and they pay their Gauleiter of Turkey, Libya, Egypt and Israeli to do the dirty job on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, where salt water has replaced ZyklonB.

To stop the migratory, Euro-Nazism is going to build enormous extermination camps. The non-governmental organisations guilty of rescuing people from the sea will be contained, downsized, criminalised, repressed.

The externalisation of the European borders means extermination.

Extermination is the word that defines the historical mission of Europe.

Nazism is the only political form that corresponds to the soul of the European people.

In the last twenty-five years (since when, in February 1991, a ship loaded with 26,000 Albanians entered the port of Brindisi) we have known that the great migration had began. Two paths were possible at that point.

Opening its borders, starting a global distribution of resources, investing its wealth in a long-lasting process of reception and integration of young people coming massively from the sea. This was the first path.

The second was to reject, to dissuade, to make almost impossible the easy journey from Northern Africa to the coasts of Spain, Italy and Greece.

Europeans have chosen the second way, and they are daily drowning uncountable children and women and men.

Auschwitz on the beach.

With the exception of a minority of doctors, voluntary workers, activists and fishers, who now are accused of being the abetters of illegal migrants, the majority of the European population are refusing to deal with their own historical responsibility.

Therefore, I declare that I’m not European any more. And I declare that I have never been European.

We have naively expected that an alliance of British murderers, French killers, Italian stranglers, German slaughterers and Spanish slayers could give birth to a democratic peaceful friendly union. This pretence is over, and I’m sick of it.

Five centuries of colonialism, capitalism and nationalism have turned Europeans into the enemy of human kind. May they be cursed forever! May Europeans be swept away by the storm they have generated, by the weapons they are building, by the fire they have ignited, by the hatred they have cultivated!

Because of the aforementioned reasons I must renounce the honour of being part of the Advisory Panel of DIEM25.


From Yanis Varoufakis:

A few days ago, I received a letter from Franco ‘Bifo’ Berardi that works like a punch-in-the-stomach type of wake-up call addressed to all Europeans. To crown its tough message, Bifo concludes that his conscience cannot fathom being a European any longer, given Europe’s daily crimes against logic and humanity. Thus, Bifo concludes, he is compelled also to resign from DiEM25’s Advisory Panel. Here are my reasons why we, at DiEM25, refuse to accept his resignation.

Dear Franco ‘Bifo’ Berardi, dear friend, dear comrade,

Hannah Arendt once said that as long as one German died at Auschwitz because of her or his opposition to Nazism, the Germans are not responsible collectively for Nazism.

Your letter to us, renouncing the horrors perpetrated in Europe’s name and resigning from our Democracy in Europe Movement (DiEM25) in protest, offers Europeans the same kind of possibility of redemption that Arendt’s ‘single-German-dying-in-Auschwitz’ offered the people of Germany.

You wrote a splendid and timely “J’ accuse” letter to Europeans as a true, unreconstructed, fed-up, European. And in so doing you offered Europe a small, tiny but important chance to save its soul.

It is very likely, as you fear, that Europe will throw that chance away; that Europeans will fail to exploit the minuscule chance that you offered. But it does not matter.

What matters is, first, that you, an authentic European, are putting Europe in the dock while, at one and the same time, offering it a precious chance of redemption. Only a true European radical, democrat and humanist could do that.

Secondly, it matters that there are many others like you. And that DiEM25, on whose Advisory Panel you have served, and from which you are now resigning in a bid to shake up our collective and individual consciences, is full of Europeans like you.

  • Europeans who, like you, are mad as hell with our Europe, as it is and as it acts.
  • Europeans who, nevertheless, realise that to shed their ‘European’ label in disgust at what Europe is doing to its citizens and to the citizens of the rest of the world requires also declaring that they are no longer Italian, French, British, Greek, Italian… since it is the nation-states of Europe that perpetrate, in the first instance, the scandalous policies that you so powerfully, and rightly, denounce.
  • Europeans who, mad as we are at Europe’s crimes, understand that renouncing Europe but not Italy, France, Greece, Germany, Britain etc. only plays into the hands of those propagating the fantasy of returning to the bosom of our benevolent nation-states; a fantasy that I know you abhor and one that DiEM25 is railing against.
  • Europeans who, enraged by what is being perpetrated in their name, are determined to demonstrate that the only way of being good citizens of the world is to be IN and AGAINST this.

This is the reason we, at DiEM25, are proud of you and your “J’ accuse” letter of resignation from our Advisory Panel.

And it is the reason why we do not accept it!

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