The Warsaw Voice » Society » Monthly - September 30, 2015
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From the editor
   
“A specter is haunting Europe, the specter of communism,” wrote Karl Marx in the introduction to The Communist Manifesto. The specter would go on ravaging the world until the Solidarity revolution broke out in Poland in 1989.

Now a new specter is haunting Europe, the specter of refugees, and its power is just as devastating. The specter is manifesting itself in so many areas of life in Europe and the rest of the world that its consequences could be terrible.

First, there is chaos. The human tsunami is crashing its way across the continent, breaking through national borders and breaking the law. Contained in one location, it finds weak spots elsewhere, opening new routes and bringing disruption in its wake.

Then there are the procedures under which joint decisions are made. These procedures are tortuous and slow and by themselves cause tensions between countries.

There are also international and domestic political games. After all, few politicians would miss the chance to use the current situation to push their own agenda.

We might differ from country to country, but on the whole we are afraid, lost and egotistical. The tidal wave of refugees could ruin the value system that underpins the European Union. Pressured by fear, both societies and states are again being haunted by their old demons—the kind of demons that the EU was supposed to lay to rest when it was founded.

But it is hard to imagine what Europe would be going through if there was no EU at all. The tensions could throw us into a widespread conflict and dangerously close to a point of no return.

If it’s true what they say that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, then the refugee crisis could teach us an important lesson. But then again, I am not that optimistic.