The Economist this week talks about how men, especially uneducated men are underperforming in the current economic climate. It writes how their failure to adapt to the vanishing of traditional jobs. I look up to see that the dark cloud I watched on the horizon now fills the sky and I smile.
I relish a storm. When the field shifts rapidly and violently, opportunities can be snatched up and what was impossible yesterday, becomes reality today. I see such an opportunity for the EU in this present turmoil.
But first an anecdote: I remember sitting in a café, drinking beer with a Croatian friend of mine. We were toasting one another in anticipation of the spoils of being a mobile elite in a global market. We saw (see?) ourselves as kings in waiting, who were straining at the bit to grab the fruits of the coming age. We would go anywhere and do anything for anyone who saw our value. He ended up 10km down the road from that café and I ended up making free content for sophisticated, attractive and discerning readers, in the hopes of making paid content for sophisticated, attractive and discerning readers.
My jobs, as unpaid as they are, still leverage transnationalism to function. I’m a Canadian whose primary audience is 4000km away from his studio. This isn’t how it works for the people, about whom the Economist writes about this week. They aren’t bourgeois internationals, they are lower class, uneducated and sedentary. They are the coal of the engine of nationalism and Euroscepticism.
The EU can pull off a coup here. If the EU can help reverse this unemployment and put their stamp of the process, If the EU can be seen as the one who provides benefit, then the “hearts and minds” of the bastion of Euro-opposition can be taken. On discussing this post, my friend told me “such people do not care about the EU.” We’ll here’s an opportunity to make then care.
I do not pretend it will be easy. I do not pretend there is a button that can be pressed to make jobs. In fact, the EU is already making efforts to this end with the Juncker plan. However, people do not remember the easy victories, nor are they inspired by them. A victory under this storm cloud could go a long way in changing the narrative again back to a shining symbol of western civilisation.
Ladies and gentlemen, the eyes of the world are upon you. The EU is both a product of and a weapon against globalisation. Use this weapon and combat the worst of it’s excesses.C. Shannon