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Is Josep Borrell the Frederick Lugard of Our Time? Setting the Record Straight on Borrell’s ‘Jungle’ Vs ‘Garden’ Metaphor

(Essay I : Mapping the Terrain)

Josep Borrell  _ Ethiopian News
Josep Borrell ( Picture soure : DW )

by Kindeneh Endeg

Here, Bruges is a good example of the European ‘garden’. Yes, Europe is a ‘garden’. We have built a ‘garden’. Everything works. It is the best combination of political freedom, economic prosperity and social cohesion that the humankind has been able to build – the three things together. And here, Bruges is maybe a good representation of beautiful things, intellectual life, wellbeing. 

The rest of the world – and you know this very well, Federica – is not exactly a ‘garden’. Most of the rest of the world is a ‘jungle’, and the ‘jungle’ could invade the ‘garden’. The ‘garden’ers should take care of it, but they will not protect the ‘garden’ by building walls. A nice small ‘garden’ surrounded by high walls in order to prevent the ‘jungle’ from coming in is not going to be a solution. Because the ‘jungle’ has a strong growth capacity, and the wall will never be high enough in order to protect the ‘garden’.  

Keep the ‘garden’, be good ‘garden’ers. But your duty will not be to take care of the ‘garden’ itself but [of] the ‘jungle’ outside. [1] 

The above is an excerpt from Josep Borrell’s, now infamous ‘jungle’ Vs ‘garden’ speech. Borrell delivered the speech on Oct.13, 2022 as the keynote address marking the inauguration of the European Diplomatic Academy, within the College of Europe in Burges, Belgium. Mr. Borrell is EU’s most senior diplomat with the title of High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. 

As can only be expected, it took no time for the speech to draw widespread condemnation as racist. Yet, if the reaction so far is anything to go by, it looks as though the main thrust of the speech rather managed to somehow avoid the extent of elaborate and critical scrutiny it deserves.

The international media has delivered little on that. In fact, some of the allegedly critical coverage rather reads more like an exercise at damage control, throwing Borrell under the bus, as it were, to EU’s benefit. Denouncing the ‘jungle’ Vs ‘garden’ metaphor as “childish rant”, Aljazeera for example concludes by saying “Europe deserves better representatives. The world deserves better from Europe.”[2] In the same vein, The New York Times regretted Borrell’s speech as unhelpful distraction, “a gift to Europe’s detractors”,[3] that came at a time when Europe needs to mobilize all its diplomatic resources to galvanize the world against Russia.[4]

If that were the case, one might as well dismiss Borrell’s metaphor lightly, as nothing more than unfortunate off-the-cuff diatribe, unbecoming of EU’s most senior diplomat. It is as though the incident badly reflects on Borrell, and Borrell  alone, as a poor choice to represent EU in such a high profile position as the bloc’s international face.

Again, if that were to be the case, one expects Borrell to suffer the most serious backlash from closer home. Namely the EU itself, steering clear of Borrell, scarifying him to the excesses of his “childish and utterly dreadful metaphor”.

That did not happen.

Not that Borrell’s colleagues and the higher ups in EU’s administrative hierarchy remained tight lipped, in the face of the mounting backlash. They did come out and weighed in. Only they did so in a display of solidarity, coming to Borrell’s defense.

Such is the case of Ursula von der Leyen, the President of the European Commission, the most senior official of the bloc, to whom Borrell is answerable. In a statement issued through her spokeswoman, Von der Leyen made it clear that the unfortunate diplomatic fallout caused by the speech notwithstanding, “she retained confidence in” Borrell. The statement also affirms that Von der Leyen does not see any need to “offer any corrections to the ‘garden’ metaphor”.[5] Borrell himself followed suit doubling down on his metaphor in an extended clarification entitled On Metaphor and geo-politics.[6]

Add to all that the subsequent bold move whereby Borrell’s speech is made available in its entirety in the relevant website of the bloc, with no edition or tempering with it whatsoever, so much as a sigh, or punctuation mark, omitted or changed, and EU has its position made crystal clear to both friends and foes alike, that when it comes to Borrell’s speech, it simply has nothing to hide or retract.[7]

So much then, for all the effort to come to EU’s defense at Borrell’s expense. Borrell being best of the breed, Europe could not have been served better. More importantly, that denied anyone the excuse of dismissing Borrell’s speech punctuated by the ‘jungle’ Vs ‘garden’ metaphor as a casual slip of the tongue.

That said, while the main thrust of it is about defending the ‘jungle’ metaphor as every bit appropriate, in the follow up clarification, Borrell did make a sort of lackadaisical attempt to distance himself from the outright charge of racism. He did so by attributing the ‘jungle’ metaphor to what he claims to be a growing tendency from some quarters to dictate the norms of international relations by resort to military might, as opposed to having, i.e., the ‘jungle’ metaphor, any “racist, cultural or geographical connotations”.[8]

But that is unlikely to stick or persuade anyone. Borrell wouldn’t seem to care either. More important to Borrell is undoubtedly the central message of his marching order to the aspirant diplomats, that their beloved ‘garden’ cannot be protected from the ever present danger of the ‘jungle’ engulfing it by building “high walls…Because the jungle has a strong growth capacity, and the wall will never be high enough in order to protect the garden”. Which shows that when it comes to what matters most, Borrell is not confused about the company where he feels more comfortably at home, say Lapouge, worth quoting at some length here;

Form the selectionist point of view, I would look upon it as unfortunate if there should be a very great numerical expansion of the yellow and black elements, which would be difficult to eliminate. However, if the society of the future is organized on a dualistic basis, with a ruling class of dolichocephalic blonds and a class of inferior races confined to the roughest labor, it is possible that this latter role will fall to the yellow and black elements. In this case more over they would not be an inconvenience for the dolichocephalic blonds but an advantage… . It must not be forgotten that [slavery] is no more abnormal than the domestication of the horse or the ox. It is therefore possible that it may reappear in the future in one form or another. It is probably even inevitable that this will happen if the simplistic solution does not come about instead, that of a single superior race leveled out by selection. [9]

Yet as much as he might come across as smug and racist, one has to grant credit where it is due, that Borrell is too smart and rather deftly consummate a diplomat at the same time to let his racism ran amuck just because he couldn’t help it.

He is not one to allow his racism compromise or cloud his judgment when it comes to the more important priorities of his diplomatic responsibilities. Meaning that he would not have insisted on the ‘jungle’ metaphor at the expense of the undeniably huge diplomatic cost, had it not been for the fact that something more important and consequential than simple racism hangs on it.

And that brings us to the preliminary observation of this essay. Which is that, unveiled at the ideal site for it, Borrell’s treatise, that opens and closes with the ‘jungle’ metaphor, is perhaps the most elaborate colonial doctrine coming out of Europe since Lugard’s Dual Mandate.[10]

In other words, what Borrell does with such high profile keynote address, is articulate at the ideal site, sequel of sorts of the Berlin Conference, The League of Nations Mandate System etc, for the 21st century. This is most evident in the section of Borrell’s speech quoted below, which, while the bombshell, is most likely to catch the reader off guard, as harmless and innocent, embellished as it is in the most altruistic and diplomatic language;

We are privileged people. We built a combination of these three things – political freedom, economic prosperity, social cohesion –…. It has to be a way of supporting the others facing the big challenges of our time.   

Hallelujah! Praise the Lord, maker of heaven and earth! How altruistic! How selfless! How benevolent!

Except, it so happens that, that is precisely the problem. For if there is one thing to be feared most from Europe/the West, it is altruism. It is selflessness. It is benevolence.

For a good reason, we might add here, history being our witness. That the last time Europe/the West, had the rest of world visited upon and showered with the generous overflow of humanitarian outreach inspired by the ideals of altruism, selflessness, benevolence etc, it so happened that all hell broke loose. And when that happened, it came to pass that the world had the darkest chapter of human history descended upon it. The result was slavery and colonialism, accompanied by countless genocide than the annals of history could recount. Not to speak of also the atrocities the likes of which the world has never witnessed since the dawning of creation.

Woe to the ‘jungle’ dwellers to be “taken care of” by Borrell’s “good gardeners”. For theirs shall be the fate of fifteen million Congolese, “taken care of” (read exterminated) by the Belgians (in whose motherland Burges is ideally situated) as they go claiming the ‘jungle’ of the equatorial rainforest to the “good ‘gardeners” of Europe.

Woe to the ‘jungle’ dwellers to be “taken care of” by the West’s “good ‘gardeners”. For theirs shall be the fate of calamity and disaster that befall countless Native Americans, “taken care of” (read extirpated), by the Spaniards (of whose extraction our very own Borrell also belongs), by the subjects of His Britannic Majesty, by the Holy Roman Empire and by the WASP (White Anglo-Saxon Protestants, who went on to make USA’s White majority), as they claim the ‘jungle’/wilderness of America to their “manifest destiny” of transplanting, the “European ‘garden’”, to North America from coast to shining coast. 

We can go on and on… but that should suffice to get the point across. Namely that is what Borrell has in store for the dwellers of the ‘jungle’ outside Europe/the West, if he were to have his way.

Indeed, in the section of his Burges keynote address quoted above, Borrell might as well be paraphrasing Article XXII of the Covenant of the League of Nations coached in unmistakably familiar, signature Lugardian “civilizational” lexicon as follows;

The wellbeing and development of peoples not yet able to stand by themselves under the strenuous conditions of the modern world form a sacred trust of civilization…best entrusted to advanced nations.[11]

Again let the reader be judge here for the validity of the parallel. Which demonstrates how indeed Borrell operates in Lugardian terms, the expertise of the latter the League of Nation had to solicit in formulating its Mandate System, exemplary for its altruism, subsequently passed on to the UN.[12]

Needless to say, Borrell is therefore positioning himself as the new Lugard articulating and updating “civilizing mission”, “white man’s burden”, to the coming age. Which is what he meant by enjoining the aspirant diplomats to support “the others facing the big challenges of our time” by going after the “‘jungle’”, and “taking care of it”.

Hence why denouncing Borrell’s speech as racist is not enough. In fact, ironically, a more serious approach should rather start by being grateful to Borrell. For to his credit, Borrell made it abundantly clear, leaving nothing to the imagination, as to what Europe has up its sleeves for the world of the ‘jungle’, this time around. That for Europe/the West, there is no such thing as a post colonial world order. That Europe/the West, has never come to terms with a World order where it has to face the danger of degenerating itself in a futile attempt to bring the ‘jungle’to the level and status of the ‘garden’.

What the ‘garden’ ought to do, as Borrell made it explicitly clear, is make sure that it has the ‘jungle’ kept at bay. That Europe/the West need to be always proactive, go out and “take care of the ‘jungle’” outside Europe.

That is why more dreadful and horrifying than Borrell’s speech is the deafening silence by which it is greeted around the world. For Europe/the West has done its part, telling us laud and clear what it has in store for us. The question becomes what we are going to do about it.

Making the deafening silence more horrifying than Borrell’s speech is therefore how, (burry the thought, የሰይጣን ጆሮ አይስማውና) it seems to suggest an intellectual asymmetry. That, if the evil cannot be convincingly ward off at the level of ideological abstraction and policy blue print, other than just decrying it as racist, one wonders if there is any guarantee that things would be any different when it is translated into actual (neo)colonial practice.

For the extent of apocalyptic show down between the forces of Good and Evil, implied in Borrell’s treatise (though, in the reverse order, as we shall see), is such that one cannot help wondering if Borrell’s prescription to the problem of the ‘jungle’, that the “good gardeners” of Europe had to “take care of”, is not in fact the euphemistic equivalence of Hitler’s “final solution”, to so and so’s problem.

That is how it needs to be called out.

Yet, as of this writing, only UAE did so, calling EU’s ambassador for clarification, the standard diplomatic protocol for an issue of such grave ramifications.

That should have been replicated throughout the rest of Asia and Africa. In the case of the African Union, as the appropriate counterpart of the EU bloc, no other business ought to keep the Chairperson himself more hard-pressed than issuing a rejoinder.

For the best way you can scare off a vampire is by letting it know that you know! ማስደንገጥ/ቀልቡን መግፈፍ ነው ምሱ!

Needless to say, this essay is no substitute for any such official rejoinder by the appropriate national and continental bodies. Instead the essay will have achieved its humble objective if it proves worth the readers while as እስከዛው መቆዘሚያ!

Accordingly, before we close for now, here is a brief summary of what the reader can expect from the next installment/s.

It will start by the observation that, as a point of departure, a careful scrutiny of Borrell’s metaphor will reveal that it may be to our benefit to play around with it for a bit than angrily dismiss it out of hand as racist. For doing so will reveal to our pleasant surprise that the ‘jungle’ Vs ‘garden’ metaphor is indeed an apt contrast, signifying the wide intellectual, moral and spiritual gulf, setting Europe/the West, apart from most of the rest of the world.

With one major caveat; namely, that in order to be such apt representation, the metaphor needs to be applied in the reverse order. When we do so, that is apply the metaphor in the reverse order, the extent of its aptness will prove such that, it simply ceases to be a metaphor, to become the very thing that the metaphor is supposed to represent. In other words, when we apply Borrell’s ‘jungle’ versus ‘garden’ metaphor in the reverse, it will turn out that, the metaphor ceases to be an allegory, as opposed to the very thing, the allegory or typology, is supposed to stand for or signify.[13]

Europe is the Heart of the ‘Jungle’

Which takes us to the main thesis of this critical essay; which is that Europe is a ‘jungle’. Not any ‘jungle’. No ordinary ‘jungle’. For as it turns out, there is a ‘jungle’, any ‘jungle’. And then you have Europe, the heart of the ‘jungle’. Wherein dwells cannibals who not just make ends meet, or pursue ordinary subsistence, but came down fattening themselves, making fortune by/out of devouring their own kind.

What we mean is that as an abode of wild beasts, the ‘jungle’ has a hierarchy to it. Hierarchy, delineated in terms of ferocity of the wild beasts residing therein. The level of ferociousness of the wild beasts declines as we move away from the center. Europe occupies the center with its cannibalism claiming the trophy, thereby making Europe the undisputed champion, Master, Knight of the ‘jungle’. No other wild beast could come anywhere close, to claim the runner up position for several miles. For no wild beast, no matter how terrifying and blood thirsty has ever proven itself to be endowed with the attribute or quality that earned Europe its outstanding place and distinction as the Master/Knight of the ‘jungle’, dominating the heart of the ‘jungle’ as its exclusive  abode, namely cannibalism, devouring its own kind.

While that is the truth, if the ‘jungle’ has eluded the reality, if Borrell has the audacity to have us confuse the ‘jungle’ for the ‘garden’, all credit goes to Racism. We have to pay homage, prostrate with awe and admiration before the holly shrine of Racism, for the sheer efficacy of rare in/human ingenuity, with which it has delivered on the tall order of such discursive function.  For indeed Racism has accomplished the impossible!!!

That, as we shall see, Racism is what invented the European/Western ‘garden’, not just ex nihilo, እም አልቦ ኀበ ቦ not just by evading the reality, which is by comparison a less astounding feat. Rather by perversion of the reality, by usurpation.

Meaning primarily as an intellectual, moral, spiritual, and cultural accomplishment, Racism, invented the European/Western ‘garden’, by turning the reality of the ‘jungle’ Vs ‘garden’ contrast on its head. By usurping what rightfully, legitimately belongs to the non-European/non-Western “Other”, to Europe/the West.

As the subsequent analyses and explanation will demonstrate, one of the discursive roles of racism in this regard is keeping the dwellers of the European ‘garden’ blissfully ignorant about the truth or the reality of their situation. A role we shall also refer to as, the opium of the masses. Which basically created, a make believe parallel universe of alternative reality to the dwellers of the “European garden”.  Which allows them to lavishly indulge in the self-comforting myth and self-image of being saintly dwellers of an idyllic ‘garden’ (Paradise for the Right, and Socialist Utopia for the left) while in reality they are cannibals occupying the heart of the ‘jungle’, which represents major regression in the history of human progress (not to say evolution, which we might not help but end up alluding to at some point, for there is no such thing as trying to stay above the fray or magnanimity here, which the Borrell’s of Europe has forced on us).

The implication is unfathomable, as the subsequent essays would demonstrate. For one of the things the reader should ask him/herself is what if Europe has to lay off the opium. What if Europe is forced to do without the opium? Meaning what if Europe has to renounce Racism/White Supremacy? Simply put, can Europe make it without Racism/White Supremacy?

As much as the repercussion would be nothing short of apocalyptic, conjuring up the omen of the end of the World as Europe/the West knows it, yet this is a proposition as simple as asking Europe to, at the very least, acknowledge the most fundamental and indefensible fact, that the victims of slavery and colonialism, by which Borrell’s ‘garden’ has realized, the second of its three attributes, that is economic prosperity, were but fellow human beings.

That is what laying off the opium would come down to, to the dwellers of the European ‘garden’. That is just making a casual nod to the possibility, to the likelihood, no matter how slim, that the victims of slavery and colonialism might have been after all fellow human beings.

What we are saying is that Europe is inherently incapable of coming to terms with the most fundamental axiom, that the meaning of being human is no excusive preserve, or exclusive privilege of Whites. To come to terms with this would be for Europe to allow for the end of humanity as it knows it.

Which means that the outcome of laying off the opium for Europe would not come about as ordinary withdrawal effect. For the intoxication is not recreational. The intoxication, that is Racism, as opium of the masses is existential, that Europe/the West cannot do without. For that is what the material, spiritual, moral and intellectual existence of the ‘garden’ rests on, is stipulated upon.

Which means that Racism/White Supremacy being so pervasive, what still constitute the mainstream political, economic, social and cultural make up of Europe/the West, (than something marginal to be blamed on the far right with deranged mind, as the self-righteous Left would have us believe),  as we shall see at one and the same time both the “structure” and “superstructure” of the European/western ‘garden’, to demand Europe to lay off the drug, would rather be too unrealistic.

Better yet, to put it bluntly, to make such impossible demand as requiring Europe to lay off the opium, that is renounce, or try to do without Racism/White Supremacy, would be as harsh as condemning Europe/the West, to the risk of collective madness. For to renounce Racism would be to come face to face with the reality of cannibalism against which Racism so effectively and successfully came down protecting/shielding the collective conscience of the perpetrators.

Hence the ultimate irony of what goes around comes around regarding Borrell’s metaphor, which is that, as paradoxical as it might appear, collective madness is a necessary/mandatory, prerequisite, a missing link, if you like, in the process of Europe’s evolution of coming out of the ‘jungle’, to attain full admission to the human community.

As will be explained, this has to do with the fact that, collective madness, which is a mandatory transitional stage in the evolution of Europe to full humanity, though initially disruptive, unavoidably bringing with it a lot of mayhem, will eventually resolve itself, either into something constitutive (በመጨረሻ ለበጎ ነው ተብሎ የሚመሰገን), which Europe could turn to its advantage, by overcoming the collective madness through collective redemptive atonement. Or the collective madness will simply end up consuming Europe, as self-destructive.

What made the latter of the two alternatives above, that is the collective madness ending up destroying Europe, unfortunately equally, if not god forbid, even the more likely outcome than the former, that is the collective madness resolving itself into a more beneficial collective redemptive atonement, is the sheer material as well as intellectual, moral, and spiritual cost of redemptive atonement, that Europe might find to its own peril too high a price to pay.

The material cost, according to conservative estimate by OAU Panel of Preeminent Personalities comes to 777 trillion dollars Europe and the US would have to settle by way of reparation payment for the crimes of slavery and colonialism.

As hefty as such material cost might appear, even more dire would be the sheer intellectual, moral and spiritual cost of acknowledging that far from dwellers of a ‘garden’, Europe/the West came down as the heart of the ‘jungle’, its gigantic cities with their spectacular buildings, lash green lawns, impressively laid out boulevards, imposing Gothic Cathedrals etc being rather actually the heart of the ‘jungle’, roamed day in and day out by cannibals…

C’est vraiment surreal! The far reaching ramifications of which truly unfathomable than we can possibly portray or exhaust here.

Let us leave it for now instead by noting that, that is why the Racism implied in Borrell’s metaphor is a matter of patriotic duty for him and EU in general. Which means that at the heart of the insistence of not letting go of the metaphor, as well as the indefensible Racism implied in it, lays something much more detrimental and deep seated insecurity that just vain smugness on Borrell’s part. Deep seated insecurity and anxiety born out of the realization that for all the superficial fanfare such as put up for the Burges event and cosmic spectacle to camouflage the reality, Europe is terminally sick. It is in such an enviable quagmire or impasse that nobody wish to be in. That on the one hand, defending the status quo of cannibalism by Racism has become less and less tenable, while at same time, there is no easy way-out.

Yet as we noted, as ironic as it is, the only proof that Europe is capable of coming out of the ‘jungle’ to attain full humanity is if it masters the courage to run the risk of collective madness, to come about by mastering the courage to lay off the opium, that is Racism. Which in turn would come about, as noted, by taking what is otherwise the most elementary step of the ABCs of humanities, i.e., acknowledgment that the victims of the chief means of production, that is cannibalism, by which Europe/the West has realized, the second of Borrell’s three attributes of the European ‘garden’, that is economic prosperity, are but fellow human beings. Which unfortunately is the only option available to Europe, if at all there is a hope that it could come out of the ‘jungle’.

Then, that is once Europe takes the most daring and decisive first step of sobering up, that is taking itself out of the constant intoxication of Racism, what we referred to as the opium of the masses of the ‘garden’ dwellers, the next equally daring step to stay the course, would be to navigate itself out of the resultant crisis of collective madness, into redemptive atonement, no matter how high the price, than giving up or quitting half way through, resigning itself to the fate of self destruction.

So what are we saying? In the final analyses (for now at any rate) we are saying, Europe/Occident would do well to heed our አሂሂሂ ጽድቁ ቀርቶ በቅጡ በኮነነኝ by way of scaring off/exorcising/warding off the vampire or wolf of latest sinister  advance towards us, masquerading itself as sheep, which is Mr. Borrell and his Burges disciples, shedding crocodile tears about our misfortune! Which when translated into plane English, to the benefit of the proudly multi-lingual Borrell, simply means, just quit playing, will ya, Mr. Borrell. For unless Mr. Borrell has been too busy to notice, it has been quite a while since the lie and deceit, have run out of its trick. It ain’t working no more! 

Time for Mr Borrell and co. to quit playing the anti-Christ dragging the unwary into death and slavery by fake “ እናንተ ሸክማችሁ የከበዳችሁ ወደኔ ኑ…” For, as much as dreadful and maddening to Mr Borrell and co. Europe is the one that could use civilizing mission coming its way, from the ‘jungle’. The one that needs sobering up! The cannibal, the wild beast, the Master/Knight of the Heart of the ‘jungle’, that needs to be tamed, brought to reason, and harnessed and introduced to the fundamentals of the norms and practices of universal human fellowship, which begins with the precept, THOU SHALL NOT DEVIOUR THINE OWN KIND!

Here is another good one, to sign off with which Mr. Borrell and co. would do well to put to good use, “ቁናው ቁናየ ነው ትንሽ ዙሩ በዛ ሰው በድየ ነበር እኔም እንደዋዛ” again translated into plane English, “what goes around comes around.” That when we return the complement to Mr.Borrell, regarding the ‘jungle’ Metaphor, the question that ultimately confront us with powerful resonance is this; Is there a hope of redemption and salvation for Europe? Can Europe be saved and redeemed from the intellectual, moral and spiritual death, decay and decomposition and mental slavery that it has condemned itself into on account of cannibalism, that is, on account of insatiable material greed that has it, i.e., Europe renounce and forfeit membership of universal human community/fellowship for cannibalistic bestiality of the Heart of the ‘jungle’?

As paradoxical as it is, as we noted, if Providence is merciful enough to hold out such promise to Europe, collective madness is the first sign Europe has to display, for the rest of the world to be convinced of that it, i.e., Europe is willing to grab the chance.

Yet we cannot help but wonder if Providence is rather too unforgiving when it comes to Europe. For as though the requirement of transitional collective madness is not complicated enough, a happy ending to the collective madness, would be far from a foregone conclusion. To do with the further intellectual, moral and spiritual courage and fortitude, required of Europe to ensure that collective madness gives way to collective redemptive atonement, briefly alluded to above.

As for us, unable to file in for Providence, even if we wish to, what we can do with in our power, by way of making things easy for Europe/Occident is write off the 777 trillion, that it owes us, which is part of the material cost the collective redemptive atonement brings with it.

That should do it for this introductory essay, meant to map out the terrain, or rather clearly delineate the battle line in this ultimate, intellectual, moral and spiritual show down of human history, pitting the forces of GOOD and EVIL, i.e., the dwellers of the ‘jungle’ and ‘garden’. 

The next essay will try to furnish the much needed analyses and explanation substantiating both the central thesis and supportive arguments outlined here. Will do so perhaps most daring of all, by locating Racism at the heart of the Enlightenment.

That is right! By identifying and interrogating at length Racism, as the most central tenet, defining feature, better yet, the very raison d’être of the Enlightenment! Needless to say, bound to come across as inexcusable heresy to the long held and reverent tradition of western intellectual heritage, that is anathema, blasphemy Borrell would have marked off-limit for us to venture into, under pain of stoning  to death, lynching,  burning at the stake, you name it. Yet come what may, scared off we shall not. May, the truth, nothing but Lord Almighty’s honest truth, be our witness and deliverer! Help us Allah! Amen! 


Kindeneh Endeg is a Historian with PhD from Florida State University, currently based in Addis Ababa, Kinde2011@gmail.come

Notes :

[1]European Diplomatic Academy: Opening remarks by High Representative Josep Borrell at the inauguration of the pilot programme.

[2] Josep Borrell as Europe’s racist ‘gardener’.

[3] Among others a veiled reference to Ethiopia, Redwan Hussein, the National Security Advisor of the Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed being one of the few African officials, who twitted a scathing rebuttal, denouncing the speech as racist with serious colonial undertones, asking “Is Africa still a jungle only meant to furnish someone else’s garden as it has painfully been?”

[4] Crude Comments From Europe’s Top Diplomat Point to Bigger Problems.

[5] Ibid.

[6] On metaphors and geo-politics.


[8] On metaphors and geo-politics.

[9] Aimé Césaire. Discourse on Colonialism.  New York, 1972. Pp.49-50.

[10] Frederick Lugard. The Dual Mandate in British Tropical Africa, First Published, in 1922, in time for the subsequent role of Lugard, extending the doctrine to the League of Nations Mandate System. So popular and adopted by almost all colonial powers, it almost became synonymous with colonial rule.

[11] League of Nations Covenant Article XXII

[12] In the form of the system of UN Trusteeship, whereby a certain country in the world, deemed unfit to “self-rule”, to stand on its own, has to be placed under the direct administration of the UN, as its Trustee, i.e., as a territory, whose administration has to be entrusted to UN, until such time that it becomes capable of self rule.

[13] Joseph Massad’s, Josep Borrell’s European ‘garden’ is built on the plunder of the ‘jungle’ merits recognition here for, as well captured in the title underscoring that Europe’s made its fortune out of slavery and colonialism. What is needed is following the implication of that to its logical conclusion, which will have ‘jungle’ and ‘garden’ exchange place, as the present essay seeks to demonstrate.


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