European Concrete

Back in the communist period, the word beton (concrete) was used (originally approvingly) to refer to those party members who refused to deal with Solidarity and who leaned toward ‘inviting’ Warsaw pact armed forces into the country to deal with those anti-revolutionary upstarts. Later the word came to refer to any person stuck in a system, especially a corrupt one, who refused to contemplate the possibility of change (and/or sabotaged any and all attempts at change no matter how desperately needed).

More and more it seems that mentality has become deeply rooted in the EU. After the third election in a row won by UK citizens wanting out of the EU the message is still not getting through. Since UK citizens have not been compliant enough and UK leaders have not succeeded in turning the public away from the idea, the EU is now talking about taking the initiative in keeping the UK under EU rules for the foreseeable future.

It is precisely this mentality that leads to the downfall of systems. Where I live support for the EU is strong on paper but there’s nothing remotely sentimental about it, it’s 100% instrumental, a source of money for improving infrastructure and a way of being able to work in other countries (which remains the B plan of many, many people if things get too bad again in Poland). But there’s no slightest feeling or desire to replace Polish identity with ‘European’ identity, people don’t get goosebumps hearing the EU anthem and Brussels remains distant and unconnected to people’s lives (to be fair any government seems distant and unconnected to people’s lives here, that’s part of the lingering heritage of communism).

I’d rather the EU didn’t collapse but it’s doing everything it can to lead to that, not this year or the next but if I had to bet, my over/under would be between 5 and 10 years.

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