The three forces in Europe

Mark D. offers an insightful summary of the European situation:

Thanks for your post on Hirsi Ali, and your manifesto.

It seems that, in Europe, there are three groups at war with each other (let’s leave out the Muslims for a moment):

1. The traditionalists, who wish to defend Europe as Europe, based upon its historic culture and Christianity. They are opposed to Muslim immigration and Muslim demands. They are sensitive to cultural and religious differences, and the effect those differences may have on social and economic order. They reject Turkey’s admission to the EU on cultural and religious grounds. [LA note: let’s add that the traditionalists seem at the moment to be by far the weakesst of the three groups.]

2. The liberals and bureaucrats, who view Europe as an “economic zone,” and who seek to unify Europe politically, but who are blind to Europe’s history and to Christianity. They disregard cultural differences and influences, and like all liberals believe that all cultures and all people are the same; they therefore favor a bland cultural pluralism. They view immigration, of whatever sort, as an economic issue, and as a source of raw material for the labor market. They favor Turkey’s admission to the EU on economic and “strategic” grounds.

3. Secular leftists, who reject traditional Europe as well as Islamic cultural demands, and seek a “third way” to a secular utopia beyond all the contending forces. This is the gist of the manifesto that you condemned. Secular leftists reject historic Europe, reject Islamic cultural demands, and reject Christianity and any other traditional force within Europe; Ali stands in this camp. They favor a mandarin socialism, governed by themselves, in a secular libertine culture. They oppose Islam to the extent that Islam resists their secular project, but they really make no distinctions between Muslims, Christians, or Traditionalists. They reject Turkey’s admission to the EU, because Turkey will resist their comprehensive secular agenda.

4. I don’t know if Europe has any appreciable number of “open border Christians,” similar to the evangelicals and Catholics in the US who favor open borders as an act of Christian charity and “inclusiveness.”

Howard Sutherland adds:

A large part of the problem is that it is impossible to drive a wedge between the liberals/bureaucrats and the secular leftists on social and cultural issues. They are united in their disdain for the small minority of traditionalists, whom they see as little better than Nazis.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at March 20, 2006 12:25 PM | Send

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