Rem Koolhaas: Manifesto #04


Europe is doing almost ridiculously well. We fly for next to nothing, we have the highest quality prisons, Europe gave us millions of new friends, Frisian Lakes are maintained in order, sewers that ruined the most beautiful beaches are gone, the Spanish countryside is now a polished backdrop for whizzing high-speed trains.War criminals are put on trial. Ireland is rich. The Turkish think about who they want to become.

We can study, work, have fun everywhere. We are a sea of languages. Our  Babel works. We protect differences, subsidise the “useless”. Throughout the entire continent monuments are preserved and new masterpieces are created. Those who used to be stooped with burdens walk straight again thanks to Europe. Identity takes on more depth in an amazing mixture of 25 cultures that constantly measure their progress against one another. A never-ending Eurovision.

The last boss of Europe walked the streets without bodyguards.
An administration smaller than the one of Madrid governs our entire continent from modest anonymous offices in Brussels. The Eurasian giants, India and China, wait benevolently until we are ready to start the post-Atlantic era together. Then the distribution of oil can be arranged between the ones who are benefiting directly from it. The desert will no longer need to be pumped out for American SUVs.

400 million of us dictate the taste of six billion people. We decide what is beautiful and what is good behaviour. Our rules are contagious and are voluntarily complied with by all others. No one is afraid of us, yet we are immensely popular.

Originally published in ICON magazine
Issue 404 | 2007

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