Tomas Kavaliauskas

Eurozine Logo
9 September 2009

Salvation fantasies

No one in eastern central Europe suspected that once the fight for independence was won, democracy would become a parody of itself, writes Tomas Kavaliauskas. Open disrespect for the public jars with the ideals of the Baltic Way that existed before and after 1989.

The desire for peace and political unity in Europe after WWII can be seen as the action of the Platonist Demiurge, creator of the ideal state. But today it seems the Demiurge is in thrall to realpolitik, and realpolitik sets not nearly so straight a course. A Lithuanian philospher asks what historical necessity might mean in today’s EU.

Only in en
1 2

The capitalist order implies that the ultimate objective of citizens is to be consumers. Yet consumerism grounded in indebtedness means financial dependence as opposed to democratic freedom, writes Tomas Kavaliauskas. In the consumerist system, the individual who asserts him or herself through authentic freedom is regarded as a non-efficient citizen.

Tomas Kavaliauskas outlines the reasons why the countries of “new Europe” such as Lithuania and Poland took a pro-war stance and considers the implications for the relations to “old Europe” and within Nato.
The main error committed by Western Europe, Kavaliauskas argues was to integrate the newcoming member states only in the areas of economics and culture while politically classifying them still as “post-socialist countries”, who are only slowly awakening to the values of “true” democracy. Meanwhile, Kavaliauskas questions the sense of moral superiority of the new members who like to pride themselves on the notion that they will restore Europe’s moral emptiness and replace consumerism with spiritual values.
The new member states, he concludes, must continue to tread carefully between Western European attitudes and their own to eventually bridge the gaps.

Only in en