Some years ago, when I was a consular officer in the once-notorious border city of Tijuana, I spent a few days in Mexico City on my way back from a temporary assignment in Matamoros, another border town just across the Rio Grande from Brownsville, Texas. At a social function, I was cornered by a typically irate group of young Mexican intellectuals, who proceeded to lecture me on the evils of my country, in particular the manner in which (they claimed) we brutalize Mexican illegals caught crossing into the United States. After a few minutes of the standard exposition—genocide, racism, imperialism, and so forth—I posed a question: “In light of all your complaints about us, why do you Mexicans treat Guatemalans caught crossing your southern border the way you do?”—it being common knowledge that beatings, torture, rape, and even murder are prevalent.
My interrogators were astounded—then enraged. With a mixture of wounded pride and arrogance, they stormed back at me: “But, it’s not the same thing—they have violated the laws of la patria!” The fatherland. Their fatherland. It was evidently clear to them, as Mexicans, that their fatherland was something as dear to them as the word implies. It was equally inconceivable to them that I, an American, might feel about my own country the way they felt about Mexico (maybe because, in their experience, Americans typically do not seem to have such feelings, at least the kind of Americans they would have occasion to know). After all, how can a norteamericano have a patria? For them, and for the rest of the world, the United States is not the unique home of a particular people—it is more like a natural resource. Everyone has a right to it.
La patria. La patrie. Das Vaterland. Otyechyestvo. For most nations, the fatherland is an obvious fact, like their own father and mother, like the air they breathe. In contrast, it seems that for Americans (and for that matter, all other English-speaking peoples) “fatherland” is a foreign-sounding word that applies to other countries, never to our own. We talk about our country in terms of ideals, principles, maybe traditions, even Founding Fathers, and we might be “patriots”—but we have no fatherland. We are explicitly told that American identity—the “American Creed” even—has nothing to do with “nationality” in the traditional understanding of the concept, much less with the related idea of “ethnicity.” We talk as if there is no people, no nation (as opposed to ideological identity), no family (as the Greek patria is translated in the authorized version of Ephesians 3:15) for which America is home. Instead, we seem determined to turn our country into a boarding house, where each visitor—come one, come all—stays as long as he likes and takes what he will but owes no deeper loyalty.
This attitude affects our relationship with the rest of the world and our inability to base a policy on national interests. “Efforts to define national interest presuppose agreement on the nature of the country whose interests are to be defined,” writes Samuel P. Huntington in the September/October 1997 issue of Foreign Affairs. “National interest derives from national identity. We have to know who we are before we can know what our interests are.” Citing the “disintegrative” effects of non-European immigration in recent years and an increasingly intolerant cultural diversity, Huntington warns; “Without a sure sense of national identity, Americans have become unable to define their national interests, and as a result subnational commercial interests and transnational and non-national ethnic interests have come to dominate foreign policy.”
In short, the negation of American national identity—which, in the domestic sphere, we see in Bill Clinton’s gleeful projection of a non-European ethnic majority’ in the next century, America as a scene out of Blade Runner—dominates our relations abroad as well. Our anh-national, pseudo-intellectual elites are not content just with destroying the American nation; they want to eliminate everybody else’s national identity too. The budding totalitarianism inherent in the domestic concept of group rights based on “diversity”—race, ethnicity, language, religion, sex, age, economic class, handicap, sexual preference, and so on (the breeding of the new and improved American “rainbow” analogue to Homo Sovieticus)— needs little elaboration. Of course, the means employed—open trade and immigration, federalized education and health care, gun control and the inversion of traditional morality, feminization of the military and more federal, state, and local criminalization of “hate crimes”—may, in the long run, prove as destructive to some of the currently favored groups as it is to the traditional American identity that is being broken down: E pluribus nullum.
The same impulse operates in the international sphere, in which the denationalized “new” United States is rapidly becoming both enforcer and prototype for a new global order. Last November the Washington Post, a publication that is anything but hostile to globalization, ran an article entitled “Even Allies Resent U.S. Dominance: America Accused of Bullying World.” The Post quotes the German news magazine Der Spiegel:
Never before in modern history has a country dominated the earth so totally as the United States does today. American idols and icons are shaping the world from Katmandu to Kinshasa, from Cairo to Caracas. Globalization wears a “Made in USA” label. The Americans are acting, in the absence of limits put to them by anybody or anything, as if they own a blank cheek in their “McWorld.”
Of course, not all foreigners object to “McWorld.” As one commentator in Germany put it: “American values and arrangements are most closely in tune with the new Zeitgeist. . . . And that makes for a universal culture with universal appeal.”
Several years ago. Strobe Talbott, Bill Clinton’s Oxford housemate and now Deputy Secretary of State, wrote an essay for Time entitled “America Abroad: The Birth of the Global Nation.” In it, he expresses his prediction —and his hope, which he is now in a position to help realize—that in the next century “nationhood as we know it will be obsolete; all states will recognize a single, global authority. A phrase briefly fashionable in the mid-20th century—’citizen of the world’—will have assumed real meaning by the end of the 21st” (and if Talbott gets his way, a lot sooner than that). The established consensus, differing only in details between the Talbott/Madeleine Albright internationalist left and the “national greatness” pseudo-conservatism of the Weekly Standard, ensures that for the foreseeable future American “benevolent global hegemony” (the Standard‘s expression), in symbiosis with the United Nations, will be the order of the day. As I have outlined previously in Chronicles, this impulse is a continuation of those of the pretenders to global domination that were born in the First World War and figured so prominently in the Second. The 20th century has been the century primarily of red fascism and briefly of brown fascism. The 21st begins as the era of rainbow fascism, stamped “Made in USA,” an America none of the Founding Fathers—with the possible exception of Tom Paine—would recognize, much less countenance.
What is a nation? The following can serve as a useful working proposition from the pen of a man who had some experience with nations (mainly with destroying them), Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili, better known as Stalin, wrote:
A nation is an historically formed community of people (but one neither racial nor tribal), possessing a common territory, a common language, and a commonly shared economic life, a community of psychological outlook which is manifested in a community of culture.
Not too bad for a guy who dropped out of the seminary to become a bank robber, although one might quarrel with the part about “neither racial nor tribal,” since indeed most nations come into being precisely as organic extensions of the family, the clan, and the tribe.
In the American context, this was obvious to John Jay, who noted in Federalist 1 that America was
one connected country, . . . one united people, a people descended from the same ancestors, speaking the same language, professing the same religion, attached to the same principles of government, very similar in their manners and customs.
Indeed, to Jay it was self-evident that, contrary to the prevailing delusion that national culture is irrelevant to national creed, “the creed,” as Huntington puts it, is “a product of the culture.”
Huntington suggests that “the values and institutions of the original [American] settlers, who were Northern Europeans, primarily British, and Christian, primarily Protestant,” were “modified but not fundamentally altered” by later waves of Western, Southern, and Eastern European immigration. Still, we all instinctively recognize that there is something more characteristically “American” about that original stock: it has long been possible to be an “ethnic” or “hyphenated American” who was also Italian, Greek, Polish, Jewish, or Irish. But an American cannot be “English” or an “English-American” unless he himself actually is from England. (The seldom encountered “French-American” would sound almost as silly.) According to the “American Creed,” it is heresy to admit what we all know to be true: that on a certain level, those of us who are hyphenated are not as unambiguously “American” as those who have no other ethnic identity.
In general, nations are built in part through the suppression or absorption of competing national, regional, tribal, or religious identities. The relatively late unifications of Germany and Italy illustrate the extent to which the result is sometimes little more than a set of conventions. For example, we all acknowledge that a Bavarian is a German, along with, say, a Prussian, with whom (according to John Jay’s criteria of ancestry, language, religion, customs, etc.) the Bavarian has far less in common than he does with an Austrian. But an Austrian, as we all know, is not a German, never has been a German, and is not allowed even to think about possibly being a German. By the same token, a Sardinian or a (German-speaking) South Tyrolian is an Italian, but a Corsican or a (German-speaking) Alsatian is a Frenchman. A Rhinelander who speaks Plattdeutsch or Niederdeutsch at home is a German, but someone a few miles away, where the almost identical speech is the state language, is a Dutchman or maybe a Fleming (which is to say, a Belgian).
Interestingly, suppressed nationality seems to translate at times into nationalist attachment to the suppressing power. The most obvious example is the American South, which, after its forcible reincorporation into the Union became, and by most accounts remains today, the most nationalist region of the country. The same might be said of the Scottish Highlanders, who, within decades of Culloden and the genocidal Highland Clearances, became an indispensable element in the growth of a minor island kingdom into a worldwide empire. (Oddly enough, the Lowlanders, who mostly are ethnic Teutons rather than Celts and who have always been English-speaking, today are devotees of the sacred moor and seem to have forgotten entirely on whose side the bulk of their ancestors fought in the Forty-Five.)
To sum up, the concept of nationhood, though deeply rooted in immutable ancestral origins as well as historical experience, is at the same time subject to ex post facto interpretation, which lends not only a certain flexibility but even, in the wrong hands, a dangerous malleability.
How does this observation apply to the behavior of the dominant globalist elite? A quick glance at any historical atlas reveals that, prior to 1945, hardly a decade passed without significant shifts in European borders. (We do not even need to talk about the ridiculous lines on the map of Africa.) The post-World War II ossification of territorial arrangements should be seen as an anomaly occasioned by an unusual circumstance, the Gold War division of Europe. The first meaningful postwar shift in borders occurred in 1990 with the reunification of Germany, ending a division that mirrored that of the continent as a whole. In short order followed the dissolution of Yugoslavia, the Soviet Union, and Czechoslovakia.
Two seemingly contradictory trends are taking place simultaneously: on the one hand, the resurgence of nationalisms that a century ago would have been thought long dead—Scottish, Welsh, Breton, Cornish, Basque, Catalan, Flemish, Walloon, Corsican, Moldovan, Abkhazi, Gagauz—and, on the other hand, European integration. Indeed, it is striking that in most cases the resurgent sub-nationalisms, in asserting their independence from the states of which they had been a part, often for centuries, do not seem to have much interest in attacking the larger trend of transnational integration. Nor do the globalist elites in Washington or at Turtle Bay seem unduly dismayed by these resurgences. One is struck, for example, by how easily Bill Clinton’s Europhile clone, Tony Blair, accepts what only a few years ago would have been unthinkable: a Scottish parliament, even the devolution of Wales. The fact is, today it matters little whether the nominal capital of Scotland is Edinburgh or London, or if Northern Italy claims to be governed from Milan or Rome, because in any case the real power will be in Brussels, if not in New York or Washington. The breakup of Czechoslovakia—the “velvet divorce” hailed as a model of peaceful democratic political change, though neither the Czechs nor the Slovaks nor the federation as a whole ever had an opportunity to vote on the question—boiled down to whether Germany would eat it up in one bite or two, with Prague becoming the proud new capital of Das Bundesprotektorat von Böhmen und Mähren, a hewer of wood and drawer of water for the economic hegemon of United Europe. (Not, by the way, the worst of fates.)
The rainbow fascist nexus is this: both secession and integration strike at the same enemy, the only entity with even a chance of defying the new globalism—the historic nationstate. That is why Strobe Talbott finds very exciting the “devolution of power not only upward toward supranational bodies and outward toward commonwealths and common markets but also downward toward freer, more autonomous units of administration that permit distinct societies to preserve their cultural identities and govern themselves as much as possible.” The fact that virtually all nation-states today are clamoring to cede their sovereignty to global institutions is a commentary on the quality of their leadership. But if those states are broken up, losing in the process their military strength and their political institutions, their weak successors cannot possibly avoid integration into the new imperium. This is especially likely when we consider that most contemporary secessionist movements, such as the Scots National Party (not to mention La Raza in this country), are at least as far to the left as the national governments they hope to supplant, ensuring that the prospects for improved leadership are hardly promising.
The question of nationality (and its accompaniment, self-determination), has become putty in the hands of the global elite. Srdja Trifkovic has noted the international role in the breakup of Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union, which may be taken as cautionary examples. (Huntington observes: “If multiculturalism prevails and if the consensus on liberal democracy disintegrates”—if?—”the United States could join the Soviet Union on the ash heap of history.”) Many people may still remember the 1946 book I Chose Freedom,/em?, the classic Cold War defector story by Victor Kravchenko. The author was an ethnic Ukrainian, which he obviously regarded as a certain type of Russian — his recollection of his early years is entitled “A Russian Childhood,” and his grandfather’s account of the 1878 Russo-Turkish war celebrates feats of Russian arms. Kravchenko recounts his dismay, during the official “Ukrainianization” program in the 1920’s, at being forced to learn from textbooks written in the same Ukrainian speech he spoke at home, in lieu of the standard Russian texts to which he was accustomed, texts which he and his classmates had to consult on the sly. One might imagine someone in southern France being forced, for political reasons, to conduct formal business in Provençal instead of standard French, or of a Swiss German having to struggle through technical manuals in his native Allemannic dialect. The fact is, the distinction between a dialect and a language has long since become more a question of politics than of linguistics. In the Soviet Union, the idea of “Ukrainian” (and, even more absurdly, “Byelorussian”) language and nationality was first encouraged because it was useful to Lenin and company to break up the Russian nation; and then, at the appropriate time, the parts were beaten into conformity with the artificial formula “national in form, socialist in content.” In the post-communist era, rainbow fascism finds the dissolution of historic nationhood in the formerly communist world one accomplishment of Lenin, Stalin, and Tito that should not only be maintained but will, in Talbott’s mind, set the stage for the final rejection of “tribalism” and the creation of a multinational global state. His claim that the United States is already a precursor of such a state points to a similar manipulation of ethnolinguistic identity; if yesterday Byelorussian turned out to be a national language, who is to say Ebonics will not be tomorrow?
Rainbow fascism is very fond of what someone has called the “Stone in the Garden of Eden” thesis. This is the notion that there was a flat rock lying around somewhere on Day Six of creation, with the 1998 borders of all the countries scratched on it, borders which are sacrosanct and enforceable by the United States. One odd thing about this idea—really, a rank superstition—is that it is subject to mindless, even arbitrary revision. If a recognized state—say, Yugoslavia or the Soviet Union—ceases to exist, then its former internal administrative lines become imbued with eternal Edenic inviolability. Federal states, in particular, seem to be susceptible to this now-you-see-it, now-you-don’t standard. I expect that, in the not-too-distant future, certain states in the American Southwest, having been for decades little more than administrative appendages of Washington, will miraculously rediscover their sovereignty once they become officially Spanish-speaking.
There is one area in which Huntington is somewhat deficient: he correctly focuses on the minority ethnic and commercial skew to non-national American policy but does not really examine the deeper philosophical mandate inherent in globalization. We should bear in mind that rainbow fascism, like its red and brown kin, is above all an ideology, a malignant derivative of the moral corruption and demographic collapse of Christian civilization. Indeed, it might be more accurate to say that, in its messianic aspect, it is a sort of Christian heresy. With its predecessors, rainbow fascism shares a basically materialistic core combined with a flexibility and spiritual sensitivity that is far more subtle and seductive. If, in theological terms, communism was the temptation to change stones into bread, if national socialism was a genetic and materialistic perversion of the idea of the “peculiar people” elect of God, then rainbow fascism has an aspect of a materialized Pentecost run riot, from its seemingly endless ability to incorporate subordinate ideologies (New Age, environmentalism, feminism) to its claim to bestow complete freedom within “diversity.” This “white noise” babble of a multitude of voices, each in its own distinctive way expressing the same vacuity, may indeed turn out to be the “end of history” prophesied by Francis Fukuyama. That the United States—responding to an ill-conceived summons to “national greatness”—would find itself the indispensable midwife for the birth of such a monster should be repugnant to any real patriot, to any true son of our fatherland.