A widely publicized essay, “The Collapse of Globalism and the Rebirth of Nationalism,” by John Ralston Saul, appeared in the March issue of Harper’s. It is an extended attack on the Enlightenment and its global effects, launched from the multicultural left, which dwells on the happy turn of events that has allowed “positive forms of nationalism to surge forth” against Western economic imperialism. In both South Africa and Brazil, “ethical” nationalists are rising up against pharmaceutical transnationals and other global corporate interests, forcing them to disgorge overpriced products and profits. At the same time, nationalism of “the worst sort” has manifested itself on the European populist right. Thus, “Italy is governed by three nationalists, one of them the leader of Mussolini’s old party.” Not only in Jörg Haider’s Austria, Saul warns us, but in Belgium, Denmark, France, Holland, Norway, and Switzerland, a resurgent xenophobic nationalism is now raging. This new mood threatens global capitalism from the virulent right, which has generated “fear of Muslims” and “a return of anti-Semitism.”
Such statements are rife with ideologically driven lies. Today’s European antisemitism is almost entirely the product of Muslim immigration, which, ironically, European Jewish organizations have promoted. No one in Italy’s present coalition government headed by Silvio Berlusconi runs “Mussolini’s old party.” The figure to whom Saul is referring is Gianfranco Fini, whose party, the Alleanze Nazionale, has always described itself as “post-fascist.” These days, when Fini is not effusively apologizing for the holocaust and visiting Yad Vashem in Israel, he is trying to persuade Italians to be even more accepting of North African and Albanian Muslim immigrants. Another of Saul’s three Italian nationalists, Umberto Bossi, is, in fact, an antinationalist devoted to breaking up the Italian Republic into semi-autonomous regions.
Why are Europeans who will not go along with E.U. control or with an already explosive immigration policy the representatives of “an old-style negative nationalism,” which just happens to be coextensive with Western Christian societies? Why is Saul denying identitarian rights to white European-Americans that he happily bestows on Bantus? Western people, some might be naive enough to think, deserve the same right to determine membership in their societies as do African tribes. These unfashionable questions came to mind as I read about the fate of three supporters of the Vlaams Blok (VB), the Flemish independence movement, who, on April 21, were heavily fined by the Court of Appeal in Ghent for “violating the law of anti-racism.” The law has existed in Belgium since 1981, before being extended to E.U.-member countries. The VB supporters will appeal the ruling to the Cour de Cassation (the Belgian Supreme Court), but what happened to them is outrageous, no matter the outcome. Their crime was that they have appealed to Flemish voters—quite successfully, judging by their pluralities in Ghent and Antwerp—against further Muslim immigration into their region and against all efforts by the E.U. and the politically correct Belgian central government to micromanage their society. How this amounts to “racism, xenophobia, and anti-Semitism,” as Belgian Minister of Social Integration, Equality of Opportunity, and Interculturalism Marie Arena asserted after the Court of Appeals handed down its April decision, remains to be explained. All that the court and the two civil parties, the Center for Equality of Opportunity and the Struggle Against Racism and the Flemish League for the Rights of Man, could find to make their case were remarks by the plaintiffs and scattered phrases published in Blok pamphlets that noted the (self-evident) correlation between rising urban crime and Muslims recently arrived from the Third World. This judgment was handed down as the Blok was preparing for Belgium’s regional and E.U. elections, scheduled for June 13, in which it was expected to do swimmingly, particularly in Ghent, the site of the trial. The ruling has made it hard, observes VB president Frank Vanhecke, to carry on an electoral campaign, given the energy and attention required to pursue the appeal at the federal level. An adverse ruling by the Cour de Cassation may open the door to what the multicultural federal and E.U. ruling establishment in Brussels really wants to do: get rid of identitarian populist movements that oppose European multicultural reconstruction.
In Belgium, that might not be difficult. If the highest appellate court, an instrument of the governing coalition from which the Blok has been excluded, rules with the lower court, then two roads will be open to the multicultural theocrats, before the Muslims supplant them. One is to harass anti-immigrationist and democratic localist parties with suits on the basis of existing antidiscrimination laws, thereby driving them from the hustings into the courts. At the same time, mounting fines will consume the funds of the populist right needed to run visible electoral campaigns. The second, more dramatic course is to get the commission that oversees the financing of parliamentary parties to recommend to the Conseil d’Etat a simple plan. Because of its supposed incitement to racism, the VB will be ordered to forfeit its assets and funding. Once a majority of the executive council agrees to this stand, which will certainly receive the support of the international press and of Muslims on all continents, the VB will look like dead meat. Appearances, however, can be deceiving. What such an expropriation and implicit ban will do is escalate a struggle that is far more critical for the West than all the bringing of “democracy” to unwilling Semites. In the serious war, one finds authentic democrats rooted in communities and in a civilization pitted against “global democrats”—at Harper’s as well as in the Belgian court system. In Europe, this struggle has become irrepressible and, from a pro-Western perspective, long overdue. That the average age of VB leadership is now in the low 30’s bodes extremely well for the future of the West.