The Financial Times is fortunate to have Mr. Stubb, or Mr. 90%, as one of its stable of writers/propagandists. Whose made to measure definition Liberalism is puzzlingly simplistic, or just politically self-serving? ‘… who believe in a combination of democracy, market economy and globalisation.’ This in not a definition of Liberalism but of Neo-Liberalism: the project of that Neo-Liberalism is to supplant democracy, and its concept of the shared destiny of the Commonwealth and the vital role of citizenship, with the pallid and vacuous concept of the Entrepreneur, as stand-in for the irreplaceable role of citizen, as the vital actor in the life of the polis.
Mr. Stubb presents himself as “academic federalist”, “in practice a functionalist” in terms of his participation as EU bureaucrat.
While ignoring Yanis Varoufakis’ telling insight that the EU stated life as a cartel, with the trapping of democracy, and continues to be just that. Should the reader take that “in practice a functionalist” as a declaration of his settlement with the facts of the EU, as institutionally failed in terms of democratic practice?
True to form Mr. Stubb warns about what the Financial Times has characterized as The Rebellion Against the Elites, as the threat to the rational, not to speak of the ‘Vital Center’, as New Frontier poodle Schlesinger described it. A quote in defense of that ‘Center’
The litmus test for the moderate centre in 2016 is how it treats the current populist movements.
If that ‘moderate centre’ be represented by The Financial Times and it writers, that ‘litmus test’ is about a concerted, not to speak of an unrelenting campaign of hysteria mongering. Instead of coming to term with the fact of their advocacy of Free Market Utopianism, that crashed in 2008, as a explicable cause of the rise of the dread ‘Populists’ !
Mr. Stubb concludes his essay with an expression not of a ‘Liberal Internationalist Faith’ but of an actual Neo-Liberal Internationalist Faith in Neo-Liberal Rationalism: tautology comes to mind. But also the political facts of the TTP and TTIP, as the active subversion of the ‘rule of law’ and the Nation State, as the vital frame of the ‘rationalism’ Mr. Stubb celebrates. Indeed, Corporatism is the political end point of that Neo-Liberal Utopianism.
Liberal internationalists should not lose faith. At the end of the day it is a question of how we adapt to change and whether we have the courage to defend freedom and democracy. In the cacophony coming from social and mainstream media this will not be easy. The desire to go with the perceived flow is tempting.
I believe human beings are rational; we are able to figure out what is best for us. If history is anything to go by, authoritarian rule, protectionism and nationalism will fail in the long run. But in the short run they can do a lot of damage. Democracy, the market economy and globalisation are worth defending. To survive they must adapt to a world revolution happening faster than any before.