The Fake Populist Threat to the Really Existing Maastricht Empire


  • Slawomir Magala Erasmus University Rotterdam (em.) Jagiellonian University Cracow



Populism, poststalinism, democracy, bureaucracy


A spectre is haunting Europe, the spectre of populism. All the forces of the globalized multinational corporations have united against it and all the forces of the European bureaucracy in Brussels complain about it in world media. Populists are supposed to close open minds and to lock open societies down. They are told to spread viruses by political mobilization. Progress must be defended, enlightened bureaucracies must be obeyed. Populists are accused of orchestrating Brexit. Top EU functionaries wash their hands. Poland modernizes the courts and reduces stalinist caste privileges. Populists are accused of winning elections there. Top EU officials blame the modernizers and fight to preserve stalinist rules of judicial games. Brexit and the rebellion of the postcommunist judges are lumped together as populist threats to a manageable democracy. Conservative British and Polish citizens are scapegoated as meritless enemies of the Brusselian meritocracy. Is Brusselian bureaucracy an embodiment of meritocracy? Of democracy? Not really, we see more bureaucracy and pecking order games than democracy in EU top institutions