On November 30th 2010, Ramparts of Civilization focused on an obscure, in your face politician representing Great Britain at the assembly of the European Union named Nigel Farage as People We Should Know #5, for his aggressive framing of the concepts liberty and national sovereignty in the temple of supra-national rule.
I don’t want to say I told you so, but…
This past week saw ascendance of Nigel Farage’s UKIP party in Great Britain’s local council elections that sent a shudder through the establishment parties and bewilderment from a media press that assumed ideas such as national sovereignty and personal freedom a relic of the past. Farage’s party is positioned to change the discussion in a hurry. His Britishcentric party is one of multitude of similar movements that have blossomed in the United States and Europe. The response of the establishment is aggressive and predictable, painting the movements as ‘Potemkin village’ parties hiding a dark racist streak and evil intent. The spector of national socialism is blanketed over the liberal vision of the movements, ignoring the history of the marriage of racial politics and socialist central planning having coming directly from socialism’s fascistic genetics.
The triad of the resurgence of European nationalism is based on three anti’s: anti-supra-nationalism, anti-tax, and anti-immigration. From the Netherland’s Geert Wilders Freedom Party to Marine LePen’s National Front in France, local political strength is now starting to effect national politics that has the European Union taking notice. Local nationalism in Switzerland, Finland, Hungary, and Austria are recognizably recruiting individuals from across society’s spectrum, while Greece’s Golden Dawn has more the shadowing of previous darker traditional European racial xenophobia. America’s Tea Party trails only in that it has yet to identify a unifying national spokesman for the movement.
The national parties each have a local inflection, but the response is to decades of progressive socialist trampling on the rights of individual entrepreneurship and expression, and the progressive superceding of democratic local corrective capacities. Nigel Farage’s ascendance was initially tied to his disdain for the European Union’s arrogance in naming a “President of Europe” , the remarkably frumpy Belgian bureaucrat Herman Von Rompuy, who has secured that position for the past 5 years, accelerating the rule of Europe by fiat through regulation rather than local democratic debate.
In 782 AD, Charlemagne secured his rule over Europe by massacring 4500 Saxons at Verden who refused to bow to his edict to convert to Christianity and accept his rule. Von Rompuy has achieved the same power through the massacre of considerably more than 4500 personal freedoms through his onerous regulations. It is this central un-elected dictate that drives the national parties resurgence. It is certainly more complicated than the liberal media’s desire to paint the movements as hatred of “other”.
The anti-immigration plank of these parties has left them open to the racism arguments, but the philosophical arguments are certainly more complex. In many cases, the argument is regarding the progressive assault on culture that liberal doctrine is so aggressively undertaking. For the United States, it is what is considered the founding twin tower elements of individual freedom and individual responsibility for lives that are being derided, and has led to a resistance in the form of the Tea Party. The principles of limited government with identified checks and balances was placed to prevent a central government from usurping the capacity of individuals to achieve their own vision quests. In Europe the hard won cultural maturity of Western civilization, forged through hundreds of years of bloody conflict, and based on the rule of law as secured by the power of elected assembly has been under the attack of unfettered immigration, from cultures with no similar cultural respect for these tenets. The liberal agenda has been on identifying the world as ruled by an entity known as homosapien, with its herds allowed to freely cross borders and graze in uninhibited fashion on the fruits of the local produce, the herd to be culled and organized by the all seeing, all knowing council of elders, assuring a “fair” distribution of the herd’s resources.
So Nigel Farage’s smile grows and grows, and the scowl of the liberal minders gets more scowly by the minute. They are infuriated this beer swilling pack smoking politician continues to resonate with the very populations that they are trying to regulate out of existence. The very actions of Farage’s unapologetic beer swilling and pack smoking are the height of insult, because they seem to reflect a statement of personal freedom to voters, rather than a nasty habit that should be regulated out of Farage’s personal choice for his own good. In four short years, Farage has made the transition from derided peripheral clown to socialist globalism’s worst nightmare, a politician who makes sense across social stratifications.
Liberalism will do their best to paint the politicians of the nationalist surge as the second coming of Hitler. It will be the challenge of these parties to identify with politicians that articulate the positive character of the message without attaching to the baser darkness of the xenophobic crowd.
Once again, we live in interesting times.