Pat Buchanan

Memorial Day will likely bring alarmist headlines in the elite media about a populist fever raging in Europe, and manifest in the shocking returns from the elections for the European Parliament.

Marine Le Pen's National Front may run first in France, and Nigel Farage's UK Independence Party first in Britain.

What is happening in Europe?

In his unpublished "Leviathan and Its Enemies," my late friend Sam Francis wrote of the coming crisis of the "soft managerial state," of which the European Union is a textbook example.

Oswald Spengler used the word "Civilization" to describe "the terminal phase of a cultural organism," wrote Francis. In 1941, Pitirim Sorokin described the characteristics of a Spenglerian "Civilization":

"[C]osmopolitanism and the megalopolis vs. 'home,' 'race,' 'blood group' and 'fatherland'; scientific irreligion or abstract dead metaphysics instead of the religion of the heart; 'cold matter-of-factness' vs. reverence and tradition and respect for age; internationalist 'society' instead of 'my country' and state (nation); money and abstract values in lieu of earth and real (living) values; 'mass' instead of 'folk'; sex in lieu of motherhood ... and so on."

Between the managerial state and the civilization and culture that preceded it, the polarities are stark.

Yet they mirror the clashes of today as the European Union of Jean Monnet and Robert Schuman's vision exhibits unmistakable symptoms of disintegration and decay.

In a way, this is remarkable.

For undeniably the rise of the EU has coincided with an unprecedented rise in the standard of living for the hundreds of millions from the Atlantic to the Baltic and from the North Sea to the Mediterranean.

Still, though Alfred Lord Tennyson's "Parliament of man" and "Federation of the world" captured the imagination of 19th-and 20th-century one-worlders, the dream has proven incapable of capturing the hearts of European peoples. Who would die for the Brussels bureaucracy?

What are the identifying marks of these populist parties that have sprouted up now in almost every European country?

There is first the rejection of universalism and transnationalism, and a reversion to patriotism and its songs, symbols, holidays, history, myths and legends.

To peoples such as these, the preservation of the separate and unique ethnic and cultural identity of the nation supersedes all claims of supranational organizations, be it the EU or U.N.


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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