The hollow of Brussels



Ulíses y las sirenas, Herbert James Draper, 1909.


“Whoever fightsmonsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.”                                                 

Friedrich Nietzsche, “Beyond good and evil”

By Iñigo Porras

Brussels is a city full of opportunities, a light for a lot of young people who comes everyday to the capital of Belgium with the objective of continuing their formation, finding a job and start their professional life. EU’s institutions and its ecosystem provides to this very young people a goal to reach and a place where they can develop themselves on a personal and professional way and share their multiple and rich visions in this heterogeneous institutional world, composed by people around the four corners of the Old World.

Youth, which is meant to be revolutionary[1], full of energy and life, has to be able to bring some fresh air to this eurocratic institutional mechanism, sometimes very far away from reality and from the context of this same youth and its families. This is not but a hard work mission. As Ulysses in Circe’s island, the spell of empty promises of stability, power and success is floating around ourselves threatening with transforming us on animals obsessed with a job, goal which may make us take the path of an selfish and atrocious individualism, on the edge of a rutinare and continue competence where there is no place for solidarity or community. Facing this reality and this disciplinary power[2], almost invisible but extremely coactive, has to be our first step in order to avoid the role wanted for us in this system: becoming an insensitive tool, another faceless number on their statistics of “success”.

On an exercise of serenity and good judgment, we have to put on practice our academic and vital experiences flying away from the shadows of prestige and reputation many times associated with/supposed to the different institutional works. Our will and desire to help building a better Europe, more human, and our sense of responsibility need to be the main motivation which impulse ourselves on working in the EU’s institutional world. Even if this is not the path followed by most of young aspirants arriving to Brussels, nowadays, in this context of crisis, is more important than ever to make a point on the essential weight of this fight especially when voices of stability and utilitarianism are raising strongly upper those of what is correct and moral. Facing the future with bravery, intelligence and honesty is the challenge of this generation of argonauts ready to plough through the turbulent seas of what is still to come and change what they told us it was unchangeable.

[1]Y no se nace joven: hay que adquirir la juventud. Y sin un ideal no se adquiere. Los idealistas suelen ser esquivos o rebeldes a los dogmatismos sociales que los oprimen. Resisten la tiranía del engranaje nivelador, aborrecen toda coacción, sienten el peso de los honores con que se intenta domesticarlos y hacerlos cómplices de los intereses creados, dóciles maleables, (…) uniformes en la común mediocridad” INGENIEROS, J. “El hombre mediocre”

[2] FOUCAULT, M.  “Folie et déraison. Histoire de la folie à l’âge classique”