Reading the signs and times of History is certainly not easy, as we find ourselves, of necessity, set in a certain time and space. We certainly have a duty to try to imagine possible scenarios, to scrutinise them with our critical eye - to the best of our present possibilities - to ask ourselves... "what if?".
After all, isn't that why we have been reading and telling stories to each other since the dawn of time? Isn't it to put ourselves, at least for a few pages, in the shoes of the protagonist and ask ourselves... "what if?". What would I have done in that situation? What would he/she do?
So, on 9 May, the "Europe Day", I find myself once again wondering whether 9 May is a beginning, or a point of passage in a much longer story, one that has its roots long before 1950.
It is not a fashionable position, nor is it a posture to be able to say 'I told you so'.
It is, however, an apocalyptic position. (Me too) I have no hope.
But damn it, what is so fundamentally different about deciding to produce coal and steel together, 1950, after centuries of wars, from deciding to defend and assist each other together, as sanctioned in 1291 in the Grütli Pact in the meadows of lush Switzerland?
It seems to me that it is the same History, that of the European continent, which will only be if it knows how to recognise itself united in its diversity, or it will not be.
- in the map, a slight variation of the map made by Heineken/Van den Doel/Wesseling (Eurotopia)