J.G.A. Pocock on ‘The Question of Europe’ written in 1991: a recommendation by Political Observer (Revised)

J.G.A. Pocock offers some telling insights in his essay of  1992, in a collection published in 1996 by Verso, on the ‘Question of Europe’ in his essay of the same name, in this collection of essays of the same title. I was only able to share page 308, as 309 was not in the Google preview. On page 309 Pocock offers the idea that Europe would become  ‘an ’empire’ of the market’ , a vital insight to the political present!


This collection of essays edited by Peter Gowan and Perry Anderson is a really worth your time and attention, and J.G. A. Pocock’s essay is  still a valuable meditation on historiography and the idea, the potential/actual practice of Europe, the EU. An absolute pleasure to read and contemplate it’s ideas, not to speak of a worthy challenge to the reader’s preconceptions and even that reader’s myopia.



It is absolutely appropriate to include in this essay Mr. Pocock’s comments on the Brexit:

J.G.A. Pocock

Profoundly anti-democratic and anti-constitutional, the EU obliges you to leave by the only act it recognises: the referendum, which can be ignored as a snap decision you didn’t really mean. If you are to go ahead, it must be by your own constitutional machinery: crown, parliament and people; election, debate and statute. This will take time and deliberation, which is the way decisions of any magnitude should be taken.

The Scots will come along, or not, deciding to live in their own history, which is not what the global market wants us to do. Avoid further referendums and act for yourselves as you know how to act and be.


Political Observer


About stephenkmacksd

Rootless cosmopolitan,down at heels intellectual;would be writer. 'Polemic is a discourse of conflict, whose effect depends on a delicate balance between the requirements of truth and the enticements of anger, the duty to argue and the zest to inflame. Its rhetoric allows, even enforces, a certain figurative licence. Like epitaphs in Johnson’s adage, it is not under oath.' https://www.lrb.co.uk/v15/n20/perry-anderson/diary
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