Pat Buchanan
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Will popular democracy bring down the New World Order?

A fair question. For Western peoples are growing increasingly reluctant to accept the sacrifices that the elites are imposing upon them to preserve that New World Order.

Political support for TARP, to rescue the financial system after the Lehman Brothers collapse, is being held against any Republican candidate who backed it. Germans and Northern Europeans are balking at any more bailouts of Club Med deadbeats.

Eighty-one members of David Cameron's party voted against him to demand a referendum on whether Britain should leave the European Union altogether, the worst Tory revolt ever against the EU.

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou imperiled the grand bargain to save the eurozone by announcing a popular vote on whether to accept the austerity imposed on Greece, or default, and let the bank dominoes begin to fall. The threat faded only when Papandreou cancelled the referendum.

But the real peril is Italy, No. 3 economy in the eurozone, with a national debt at 120 percent of gross domestic product.

After the plan to save the eurozone was announced, interest rates on new Italian debt surged above 6 percent, with 6.5 regarded as unsustainable.

When Papandreou announced his referendum, the cost of Italian debt surged again. Should buyers of Italy's debt go on strike, fearing a Rome default or write-down, that is the end of the eurozone and potentially the end of the EU.

But an even larger question hangs over Rome.

Will Italy survive as one nation and one people?

For the austerity demanded of Italy to deal with its debt crisis is adding kindling to secessionist fires in the north, where the Lega Nord of Umberto Bossi, third largest party in Italy, seeks to lead Lombardy, Piedmont and Veneto, with the cities of Turin, Milan and Venice, out of Italy into a new nation -- Padania.

The north has long resented Rome, Naples and Sicily, seeing them as lazier and less industrious. Bossi, who calls himself "Braveheart," after the Scottish hero of the Mel Gibson movie, sees northern people as Celts who are ethnically different and separate from the rest of Italy.

The Northern League belief that people of Southern Italy caused their debt crisis, bringing on austerity, mirrors the belief of much of Northern Europe that Italy and Greece do not deserve to be bailed out.

As the north is also home to 60 percent of the immigrants who have poured into Italy -- Gypsies from Romania, Arabs from the Mahgreb and Middle East -- Bossi's party is aggressively anti-immigrant, as are the other surging populist parties of Europe.

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Pat Buchanan

Pat Buchanan is a founding editor of The American Conservative magazine, and the author of many books including State of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and Conquest of America .
 
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