Reactionary republicanism in a nutshell

Here, from Herfried Münkler in today’s Der Spiegel:

In light of this failure of the elites, it is hardly surprising that we are hearing renewed calls for the democratization of Europe. Suddenly the people are expected to fix what the elites have botched. Because they are already being asked to pay for the problems caused by the elites, many believe that the people should have more say in how and by whom Europe is controlled.

As reasonable as this might sound, by no means does it make as much sense as it seems at first glance. Even after the democratization of Europe, the elites in Brussels and Strasbourg will still be in charge. The only option available to the European people, to the extent that they can be referred to as such, would be to react to obvious failure by voting their leaders out of office — and to vote an opposing elite to take their place. Whether this would fundamentally change anything is open to question. …

Pushing for the democratization of Europe is akin to playing a reckless game that can quickly lead to European disintegration. Those who see democratization as a logical reaction to the crisis may not even aware of this risk. They see democratization as an automatic reflex in response to the crisis. But democracy needs the kinds of conditions that do not exist in Europe today.

The realism is this: the elites will always be in charge, so don’t change anything. And democracy has its conditions, and of course, Europe doesn’t have them. (This is a wonderful reductio ad absurdam of the usual argument that non-Western and/or European countries don’t have the conditions for democracy.)