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Exhausted Democracies

Exhausted democracies.

 

After the uprising of the 17th June
The Secretary of the Writers Union
Had leaflets distributed in the Stalinallee
Stating that the people
Had forfeited the confidence of the government
And could win it back only
By redoubled efforts. Would it not be easier
In that case for the government
To dissolve the people
And elect another? 
-Bertolt Brecht, “The Solution”

When economics supersede everything else, the will of the people is more easily subverted with soft comforts and comfortable lies. It is a dark irony that, as Bertolt Brecht sardonically noted in his poem “The Solution,” the ruling class has simply elected to elect a new people. The reasons are actually very simple: profit, power, and racial- and class-based animus. Despite the lip-service paid to democracy, the engine of neo-liberalism remains geared toward the oligarchy winning and the untold billions losing. Not that the ruling class is held accountable to their own standards or rhetoric, of course. That’s simply for you to adhere to. Nor, despite their professed love of “our democracy” and “our values,” do they respect any outcome that does not favor increased wealth, power, and control for their increasingly-exclusive circle. If diversity is what they want, diversity is what you’ll get! The very idea of democracy itself has been corrupted, its definition expanded to a ludicrous degree of “inclusivity,” while containing several self-negating contradictions. A democracy, at its core, cannot be racially or even ethnically pluralistic. Before we go any further, it is vital first to understand the etymology of the word “democracy,” and what, exactly, an actual democracy was intended to look like and function as. Christopher W. Blackwell illuminates:

For the Athenians, “democracy” (demokratiaδημοκρατία) gave Rule (kratosκράτος) to the Demos (Δῆμος). Demos (pronounced “day-moss”) has several meanings, all of them important for Athenian democracy. Demos is the Greek word for “village” or, as it is often translated, “deme.” The deme was the smallest administrative unit of the Athenian state, like a voting precinct or school district. Young men, who were 18 years old presented themselves to officials of their deme and, having proven that they were not slaves, that their parents were Athenian, and that they were 18 years old, were enrolled in the “Assembly List” (the pinax ekklesiastikosπίναξἐκκλησιαστικός) (see Dem. 44.35Aristot. Ath. Pol. 42.1). Another meaning of Demos, to the Athenians, was “People,” as in the People of Athens, the body of citizens collectively. So a young man was enrolled in his “demos” (deme), and thus became a member of the Demos (the People). As a member of the Demos, this young man could participate in the Assembly of Citizens that was the central institution of the democracy. The Greek word for “Assembly” is ekklesia (ἐκκλησία), but the Athenians generally referred to it as the “Demos.” Decrees of the Assembly began with the phrase “It seemed best to the Demos…,” very much like the phrase “We the People…” that introduces the Constitution of the United States. In this context, “Demos” was used to make a distinction between the Assembly of all citizens and the Council of 500 citizens, another institution of the democracy.[1]

In order to have democracy one must have demos—a polity, a people, a culture, and a hierarchical structure roughly in keeping with the natural order. Even in the Athenian democracy, there were significant restrictions regarding the franchise and clear delineations of authority. The polis was the defining political and territorial unit of Grecian classical antiquity—it was the city-state and its surrounding countryside. That said, it is indisputable that despite the fractious nature of what we now know as the nation-state of Greece, the various city-states of Sparta, Athens, Corinth, Thebes, etc. (and the Kingdom of Macedonia to the north) were all permutations of Hellenistic culture and were all ethnically Greek. The notion of a Nubian Athenian was—and is—preposterous. We understand who Greeks are and what they look like. Professional basketball player Giannis Antetokounmpo, despite being nicknamed “The Greek Freak” and having been born in Athens, is by no measure Greek. Sticking with the NBA examples for now, the same goes for Clint Capela, Dennis Schroder, Rudy Gobert, and others. Simply being born within a nation’s confines does not make someone of that nation.

But what is a nation? The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy first differentiates between a nation and a state—“whereas a nation often consists of an ethnic or cultural community, a state is a political entity with a high degree of sovereignty”—before elaborating that nationalism:

Centrally encompasses two phenomena… (1) the attitude that the members of a nation have when they care about their identity as members of that nation and (2) the actions that the members of a nation take in seeking to achieve (or sustain) some form of political sovereignty.[2]

The word “nation” is derived from the Latin natio, which is translated as: “native place,” birth, people, race, and class. This is an extraordinarily dense word, one with so many connotations it is little wonder its essence has remained contentious to this day. Understanding what, exactly, a nation—our nation—is, however, is absolutely vital to framing essentially all of the existential debates surrounding its purpose, its function, and its very existence. Montserrat Guibernau defines the nation as, “A human group conscious of forming a community, sharing a common culture, attached to a clearly demarcated territory, having a common past and a common project for the future and claiming the right to rule itself.”[3] The nation, then, is as much a reflection of its people as it is a parcel of land—much more so, in fact. We can consider the nation to be a living organism, much like the human body, where something as seemingly minor as the changing composition of gut bacteria can have significant effects on the body’s health and well-being, and even psychological state. Anthony Smith characterizes the nation as:

“A form of culture—an ideology, a language, mythology, symbolism, and consciousness” with four goals: (1) turning a passive ethnic category or group into an active ethnopolitical community, a “subject of history,” (2) organizing the community’s culture and creating a standard, official, and “high” culture if one is absent, (3) forming the community into a “culturally homogeneous ‘organic’ nation,” and (4) obtaining a home territory or even a state for the nation.[4]

I would go further and state that the ethnic consistency of the nation must be homogeneous or near-homogeneous; with certain select outliers, small numbers of ethnically- or racially-distinct peoples may find themselves woven into the fabric of the nation, but this is a very complicated process that presupposes an ethnic super-majority, a strong sense of civic duty and both civic and familial obligations, communal ties, a vibrant high culture, and the synchronicity of the spirit of the person(s) in question with the host culture. Given historical, genetic, and other contextual realities, this is not possible in Europe, but it has been to some extent possible in the United States. The nation-state is a much more complex entity than the city-state for obvious reasons, and it reflects the ideal for a people’s self-determination. The nation-state need not be democratic—should not be, in fact, given its volatility and impracticality—but it should reflect the best interests of the people even if those decisions are not always popular. For Peter Alter:

[Nationalism] is both an ideology and a political movement which holds the nation and the sovereign nation-state to be crucial indwelling values, and which manages to mobilize the political will of a people or a large section of a population; it exists primarily whenever individuals feel they belong primarily to the nation, and whenever affective attachment and loyalty to that nation override all other attachments and loyalties.[5]

This is clearly distinct from a country, which is merely a designation for a political unit governing a given territory. Nigeria would be one such example, for it has multitudinous tribes and ethnicities within its borders with varying degrees of power and autonomy. As we can readily witness with Biafra, this also leads to instability and often violence. This volatility manifests itself in fractious, typically multi-ethnic, multi-racial, and/or multi-cultural countries and is often precluded by “identity politics” via democracy. Writes Jack David Eller:

Paradoxically, efforts toward some degree of democracy—either in the late stages of colonialism or with independence—have often if not usually had the effect of intensifying group competition and identification; under the practice of “communal representation,” which was viewed in some colonies at some times as the best way to represent all the people and to balance the interests of the constituent groups, group differences were reified, institutionalized, and politicized in unprecedented ways to assure groups a share of power as groups. Post-independence democracy continued the group rivalry but removed the foreign obstacles to competition and conflict; the potential for friction, even conflict and war, is immanent when numbers and population count toward power. Groups—ethnic, nationalist, class, caste, race, or what have you—are voting blocs or potential voting blocs, and mobilizing voters on the basis of ethnicity or identity, while “natural” in a certain sense, is also a powerful enticement to candidates and would-be leaders.[6]

These kinds of societies need not be post-colonial; consider the attempted imposition by the ruling class of multi-culturalism across Europe. The nation stands in stark contrast with multi-culturalism, which allows for essentially parallel sub-societies within one larger one, where broad agreement on who we are as a people is lost to tribal self-interest. Voting becomes its own kind of internecine warfare, and each group feels that by necessity they must keep their knives sharpened in order to cut out their slice of the pie and defend themselves and their interests as they endeavor to do so. Identity politics for all but whites, academia-fueled Cultural Marxism, and the race grievance industry all contribute to the toxic atmosphere of public discourse and make it extraordinarily difficult to engage in productive dialogue exploring complex issues—and this is all before considering the iron fist of censorship backed by the very real threat of imprisonment. Nearly 3,400 people were arrested and detained for violating Section 127 of the Communications Act in the UK in 2016. Constant mass immigration only compounds the problem—the same immigration we are told is at once enriching and a punishment. Strange claim, that. Douglas Murray makes a great point:

For even if you believe…that some immigration is a good thing and makes a country a more interesting place, it does not follow that the more immigration the better. Nor does it mean—however many upsides there are—that there are not downsides which should be easy to state without accusations of malice. For mass immigration does not continue bringing the same level of benefits to a society the more people who come in.[7]

The European Union super-structure and its vassals have unilaterally decided Europe must continue importing huge numbers of people who, to be charitable, have little to offer their new countries, and are often downright hostile to their new environs. Nevertheless, in the name of profit and animus the governments of most of the major Western and Central European nations have decided to import wholesale entirely new populations at the behest of un-elected bureaucrats and multi-national business and financial interests. The effete, sentimental notions that have hijacked the debate about who should or should not be able to come into the country are having profoundly destructive effects. Immigration might just be the most consequential policy issue of this generation, for demographic transformation is changing the fabric of what we have always understood as German or Swedish or English. Eurobarometer polls from one year ago found that immigration is the main concern of 40% of EU residents, with another 20% naming terrorism as their primary concern—so basically the same thing. In other words, 60% of European Union residents will admit to immigration and its consequences as their primary concern, and given that not all residents are Europeans and that many respondents were likely bashful about admitting their legitimate concerns, the percentage is surely higher.

Even if nations’ only considerations were economic, which as we’ve explored earlier belies the very idea of a nation, the economic arguments for immigration, especially of the kind currently being forced on host populations in Europe and across the West, are unconvincing at best. Japan has the third-largest economy on the planet with nonexistent immigration. The Polish economy is growing at a whopping 4%—with nonexistent immigration. The United States’ economy in the 1950s grew at 4% as well, with, you guessed it, nonexistent immigration! Even if we needed more warm bodies for labor (keep in mind the staggering youth unemployment rates, especially in the Mediterranean countries), why not incentivize your own people to have more children by making it less expensive? Why not incentivize marriage and reproductive efforts with large tax breaks, especially since there exists a gap between the number of children Western women are actually having versus the number they really desire?[8]

There’s a strange paradox in all of this; Western leaders are squeamish about any troop casualties abroad, but seem perfectly willing to let an indefinite number of civilians be raped, maimed, or killed by alien, antagonistic populations. The rulers have consciously adopted what I call the “Longshanks Strategy” toward their own populations (English King Edward the Longshanks from Braveheart referring to his policy of Scottish conquest: “If we can’t get them out, we’ll breed them out”). Make no mistake, these teeming millions of “migrants,” almost exclusively young men, are colonists. This is an invasion, albeit the likes of which we’ve never experienced before. The conquered are financing their own dispossession. There are over two million “migrants” receiving state benefits in Germany alone.

What we’re witnessing is the conscious re-engineering of the social contract and even more fundamentally the population base of the West. The present authoritarianism initially manifested itself under the auspices of a kind of state-managed liberalism, which has yielded to a pan-continental bureaucratic order and tyranny. The European Union is a supra-national governing body that has become a globalist monstrosity, consciously subverting the will of the people and implementing policies, particularly as they pertain to immigration, that undermine the sovereignty of the individual nations. Clearly the bureaucratic functionaries and multi-national string-pullers have decided to take Bertolt Brecht seriously and elect a new citizenry. If a government will not protect its people—indeed, goes out of its way to harm and even replace its own people—then it’s lost all legitimacy and should be replaced with one that will.

 

 

[1] Christopher W. Blackwell, “Athenian Democracy: a brief overview,” in Adriaan Lanni, ed., “Athenian Law in its Democratic Context” (Center for Hellenic Studies On-line Discussion Series). Republished in C.W. Blackwell, ed., Dēmos: Classical Athenian Democracy (A. Mahoney and R. Scaife, edd., The Stoa: a consortium for electronic publication in the humanities [www.stoa.org]) edition of February 28, 2003.

[2] https://www.globalpolicy.org/component/content/article/172/30343.html

[3] Montserrat Guibernau, Nationalisms: the Nation-State and Nationalism in the Twentieth Century. Polity Press, 1996, p. 47.

[4] https://quod.lib.umich.edu/cgi/t/text/text-idx?cc=mqr;c=mqr;c=mqrarchive;idno=act2080.0036.411;view=text;rgn=main;xc=1;g=mqrg

[5] Ibid.

[6] Ibid.

[7] Douglas Murray, The Strange Death of Europe: Immigration, Identity, Islam, London: Bloomsbury, 2017, p. 28.

[8] http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2014/04/11/birth-rates-lag-in-europe-and-the-u-s-but-the-desire-for-kids-does-not/

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