1529, 1683, 2015

Here’s a headline from the New York Times:

Rise of Austrian Right Lengthens Shadow of Nazi Era

The article comments on the rise in Austria of anti-immigrant sentiment. What is remarkable, although not surprising, is that the entire continuum of political opinion on the question of immigration and and of the ethnic and religious composition of European nations has now been reduced, editorially, to a binary, Manichaean choice: either you signal, proudly and loudly, that you believe these questions should be of no importance to any right-thinking person, or you are, not to put too fine a point on it, a Nazi.

It needn’t have come to this. Had Europe followed a less aggressively xenophilic and oikophobic immigration policy over the past several decades — even along the same lines, but tempered by sensible and cautious moderation — moral virtue might still have been signaled at acceptable levels by the ethnomasochistic and culturally self-abnegating Left, while reactionary elements would have had nothing much to feed on. But the accelerating displacement of European ethnies by Muslim migrants had already got to the point where even ordinary people had started to have misgivings, and nativism had already begun to exert a gathering political influence throughout the Continent — and so this latest wave of “refugees” falls upon a European polity already awakened to its existential peril, and concerned enough to react.

Naturally, this reaction now provokes a counter-reaction by those in charge, using what has been their weapon of choice since the dawn of the Puritan era: public shaming (supported, in modern Europe, by whatever thoughtcrime and “hate-speech” statutes they can bring to bear). But shaming is only effective when the offender feels himself to be one against many; it is most effective of all when the would-be heretic has so internalized the social Panopticon that his heresy is snuffed out before it even rises to the level of speech. All it takes for the system to collapse, though, is for enough people to say what multitudes of others are thinking (and, in many cases, have been thinking for years), and that is exactly what is happening now in Europe. As this tension reaches a crisis, we should naturally expect the shaming-weapon, in desperation, to be switched from “Stun” to “Kill” — and so dissent is now made equal to Nazism, or infinite evil. (Hitler occupies an interesting position in the West’s modern, secular religion: there is no longer any God or Christ to represent infinite Good, but in a roundabout, apophatic way we can still have our sense of the transcendent by using the infinitely evil Hitler as something resembling Christ’s antiparticle.)

The article’s author, with blithe and unintended irony, said this:

The Freedom Party’s strident anti-Islam message seems to have struck a chord in a city whose palaces speak of the bygone glory of a multiethnic European empire, and whose public spaces now attest to increasing diversity and a Muslim population of some 12 percent.

What a thing to say about Vienna, of all places! That “bygone empire” existed only because it was able, twice, to survive besiegement by the very people, and the very religion, that bid fair to overwhelm it now. This fact, though apparently lost on the Times, has not, despite appearances, been forgotten in Europe.

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  1. Whitewall says

    Safely ensconced Lefty elites will never have to mix with the mobs of “refugees”. Average citizens will and will suffer for it. German women are being cautioned today about “showing too much skin” around areas where newly arrived Muslims are being kept. Europe could count on American power to help keep it safe from the Soviets, but they are on their own regarding the latest invasion by the Crescent.

    Posted September 30, 2015 at 8:22 am | Permalink
  2. antiquarian says

    What’s most interesting to me is to compare the Left’s use of Nazism to its use of slavery. They use both as a prod, or a string to jerk people around with so that they can lash people together artificially, as though that won’t ossify and make crumble what bonds those people might have ordinarily felt and entered into voluntarily. (The Left is like a woman who strongly opposes no-fault divorce so she can obligate her husband to pay her debts.) The former is their tool of choice in much of Europe; the latter in America. I’m curious to see whether they’re going to try to pump Nazism for a hundred and fifty years and more, the way they do slavery.

    Posted September 30, 2015 at 10:40 am | Permalink