Europe Coming To Life?

An interesting piece on the recent electoral revolt:

The last few decades in Europe have made three things crystal-clear. First, social-democratic welfare systems work best, to the extent they do work, in ethnically and culturally homogeneous (and preferably small) nations whose citizens, viewing one another as members of an extended family, are loath to exploit government provisions for the needy. Second, the best way to destroy such welfare systems is to take in large numbers of immigrants from poor, oppressive, and corruption-ridden societies, whose rule of the road is to grab everything you can get your hands on. And third, the system will be wiped out even faster if many of those immigrants are fundamentalist Muslims who view bankrupting the West as a contribution to jihad. Add to all this the growing power of an unelected European Union bureaucracy that has encouraged Muslim immigration and taken steps to punish criticism of it—criminalizing “incitement of racism, xenophobia, or hatred against a racial, ethnic, or religious group” in 2007, for example—and you can start to understand why Western Europeans who prize their freedoms are resisting the so-called leadership of their see-no-evil elites.

I hope that Americans will wise up as well, next year.

[Update a few minutes later]

As I noted in comments here, immigration, multi-culturalism, democracy. Pick any two.

[Update just before noon]

Here’s a familiar theme:

The situation in Spain is a reminder that not all “right turns” are created equal. If the Danes have affirmed individual liberty, human rights, sexual equality, the rule of law, and freedom of speech and religion, some Western Europeans have reacted to the mindless multiculturalism of their socialist leaders by embracing alternatives that seem uncomfortably close to fascism. Consider Austria’s recently deceased Jörg Haider, who belittled the Holocaust, honored Waffen-SS veterans, and found things to praise about Nazism. In 2000, his Freedom Party became part of a coalition government, leading the rest of the EU to isolate Austria diplomatically for a time, and last September, his new party, the Alliance for the Future of Austria, won 11 percent of the vote in parliamentary elections. Or take Jean-Marie Le Pen, who has called the Holocaust “a detail in the history of World War II” and advocated the forced quarantining of people who test HIV-positive—and whose far-right National Front came out on top in the first round of voting for the French presidency in 2002. The British National Party (BNP), which has a whites-only membership policy and has flatly denied the Holocaust, won more than 5 percent of the vote in London’s last mayoral election. Then there’s Vlaams Belang (Flemish Interest), formerly Vlaams Bloc, whose leaders have a regrettable tendency to be caught on film singing Nazi songs and buying Nazi books. In 2007, it won five out of 40 seats in the Belgian Senate.

For establishment politicians, journalists, and academics, these parties serve an exceedingly useful purpose: their existence makes it easy to tar any nonsocialist party with the fascist brush—labeling it racist and xenophobic, equating its leaders with the likes of Le Pen and Haider, and stigmatizing its supporters. No party in Europe has been subjected to more unfair attacks than Norway’s Progress Party, whose extraordinary electoral successes have outraged that country’s socialist elite. Like other parties on what we may call Europe’s respectable right, the Progress Party has expressly distanced itself from parties like the National Front and Vlaams Belang. Yet despite these disavowals, American media have routinely echoed the leftist establishment’s unjust calumnies.

Yes, not “all right turns” are created equal. Particularly when they’re only turns to a slightly different “left” direction. There’s little that fascism has to do with classical liberalism.

9 thoughts on “Europe Coming To Life?”

  1. The Europeans are not going “right”. They are simply changing over from “communism” to “fascism”. Both of these are socialism. The difference is that communism is international socialism and fascism is national socialism.

  2. Social-democracy and socialism do make this problem much, much worse. Immigrants are drawn to the Netherlands because it is wealthy, because it has an extensive welfare system, and because there are large groups of certain ethnicities already.

    Illiterate foreigners who do not speak the language can only get low-paid jobs. The social-democratic labour cartel tries to stamp out such jobs through minimum wages and universally binding collective wage agreements. Immigrants who cannot get a job under this economically oppressive system get welfare allowances and take illegal irregular jobs. Combined with government subsidised housing this makes for ghettoes that are not pleasant places to live in, but still economically attractive for many in third-world countries.

    Opening up the market for goods and services would drive prices down, opening up the labour market and abolishing the welfare system would drive wages down. Together, these would make the Netherlands much less attractive to foreigners.

    Only those who are prepared to work hard would still come here. Take my neighbour for instance, who is a Turk and runs a tailor shop. There are very, very few Dutch who work as hard as he does. He says our welfare system is crazy and that it is ruining us. He is right.

    The social democrats have finally accepted that unlimited immigration cannot continue, but they still refuse to reform the labour markets. It has made my country nearly ungovernable.

  3. An interesting observation to set along side the first is that some nations have profited quite well by large-scale immigration, the United States in particular, although some argument could be made that the big immigration bulge in the 1850s helped spark off the Civil War, and that in the 1870s through 1890s helped the depression that brought on the plague of Progressivism. I guess no system’s perfect.

  4. Actually, I would say the UKIP and BNP are good bell weathers of “the underlying nature” of the Republican and Democratic parties in the USA. I wish we have multiple parties in the USA so I could vote for a UKIP-like party here.

  5. By its nature, America has always done a lot better job of assimilating immigrants than Europe has, and it’s only gotten worse these days, with multi-culti PC attitudes ascendant.

  6. I wouldn’t say multi-culti PC attitudes are ascendant, quite the opposite. Rife, yes, but not ascendant.

  7. Politics run on a pendulum in a democratic society. In Europe, the pendulum has been favoring the left hand side. After time, people begin to realize their policies aren’t working for their country (or they want something different), so the vote swings towards the right. Vice versa happens as well.

  8. You can have “Democracy, Mass Immigration, and Multiculturalism…..Pick two out of three”

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