The European Union (EU) is struggling to survive its economic crises. Chicago’s Neighborhood Watch’s are struggling to survive in gang-ravaged communities. The difference is the Watch groups have something very much in common — a common threat, need, mission. The EU has them too, only they think them more than feel them.
Feelings [aka, deep seated emotional attachments to a common history and mythology about yourselves] are the glue that bond and bind us. Be we neighborhoods, nations, races, or religions. What can’t always do this are ideas [aka, highly logical arrangements by highly rational experts who know what’s best for us].
Ever since the 18th C [during which Medievalism diminished and democratic revolutions in America and France flourished] the West has tended to make Reason supreme and Mythology suppressed. Seems to make good sense, but then as people we don’t always operate by our good-sense as much as by our emotional-sense. We are by nature a feeling more than a thinking species…we need our legends and their magic…lately even the thinkers in neurobiology are showing how we actually operate more with our hearts than our heads. Something any sports manager could confirm!
Maybe this is why the EU — built by brainy experts in Brussels after WWII — is mostly logical arrangements among countries whose different histories and mythologies have been left out of the equation. So while Neighborhood Watches take to the streets with a unifying sense of gusto, the nations of the EU often feel little gusto.
All head and no heart makes people and nations dulled to any higher causes and calls to destiny. Not a put down of the brainy experts who know what’s good for us; rather, an admission that says we have to feel as well as think our way to a common agenda worth fighting and maybe dying for. Which is why those who know how best to use our histories and mythologies, know best how to woo and win us.
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