Undermining the nation-state in the name of freedom, liberalism destroys the basis of freedom
a great point:
After reading about the history of democracy and asking whether Islam is compatible with democracy, I actually have some difficult questions about the democratic system. Our democracies are based on nation states. But what happens if our elites no longer care about defending these nation states? On both sides of the Atlantic, Western nations seem to have trouble upholding their borders, and I suspect this is partly because most of the political, cultural and financial elites don’t want to uphold them. Maybe in the old days, the interests of the elites largely coincided with those of their nation states, which were used as a vehicle for gaining as much wealth and influence as possible. Now, in our globalized world, increasing segments of these elites no longer feel any emotional attachment to their nations, and desire larger entities to enhance their personal power and prestige. This is why they are building regional economic blocks in both Europe and North America.
This process has gone further in the smaller nation states of Europe, where post-national and transnational elites have even usurped legislative powers which override national constitutions and parliaments, but still, the developments are related. There was never a debate in the United States on whether to merge the country demographically and economically with Mexico, the elites just quietly implemented it. Likewise, there has never been any debate in Europe about merging the continent with the Arab world. Since the people probably wouldn’t have agreed to this, they simply weren’t asked.
The problem is, it is actually possible to do this in the 21st century, because wealthy nations will face constant pressures from migration that are unrivaled in human history. Powerful elite groups can thus permanently change the demographic make-up of their countries by simply abstaining from upholding their countries’ territorial integrity. They don’t have to stage any public debate about it.
According to Singapore’s long-time leader Lee Kuan Yew, it is demography, not democracy, that will be the critical factor shaping the 21st century. I don’t know whether that’s true, but it is true that countries that cannot control their demographic future will not be able to control their democratic future, either. Maybe our democratic system will break down because our elites are no longer interested in supporting the nation states it is based upon. Not a nice thought, but it needs to be asked.
“Our democracies are based on nation states. But what happens if our elites no longer care about defending these nation states?”
A profound point. One of the keynotes of modern liberalism, with its emphasis on non-discrimination and what Jim Kalb calls the technocratic organization of all of life in order to supply everyone’s needs, is the downplaying of the very thing that made political democracy possible: the nation state. The older democracy was not primarily about rights and needs; it was primarily about self-government; self-government means the activity of a people, organized into a political society, ruling itself through representative and accountable leaders. But self-government is anathema to modern liberalism and its transnational elites. Self-government of a people is discriminatory and exclusive of all other peoples. The newer “democracy” or rather advanced liberalism is not about self-government; it’s about the management of the world.
As Fjordman points out, on the practical level the most immediate way in which modern liberalism attacks democracy is through open immigration. A people loses any ability to govern itself and its affairs when its territory is filled up with aliens who do not share the same history, identity, loyalty, and ethos. Indeed, as soon as a country has admitted a significant number of culturally diverse immigrants, it loses the ability freely to debate whether it wants such immigration to continue, because to say anything critical about such immigration is to “bash immigrants.”
Since we are already so deeply mired in the concrete results of liberalism, particularly the loss of true self-government and freedom, the only possible way out is through the radical rejection of liberalism.
Thank you for posting. And you’re right: It’s so absurd to hear left-wing activists say that those who oppose mass-immigration and transnational legislation are “anti-democratic forces.” It’s the other way around: Those supporting international law and open borders remove the basis for a free society.
Jake J. writes:
Fjordman writes: “And you’re right: It’s so absurd to hear left-wing activists say that those who oppose mass-immigration and transnational legislation are ‘anti-democratic forces.’ It’s the other way around: Those supporting international law and open borders remove the basis for a free society.”
To speak of left wing activists in such a way as to suggest any honest conversation is possible misunderstands who they are at their pith and core. As a member of the Chicago Minutemen and a local citizen journalist/blogger here in Chicago, I’ve had more than my fair share of contact with these so called left wingers and here are some observations.
1.) No argument is ever undertaken in good faith. All arguments serve another purpose. Left wing lunatics do not think the Minutemen are racists, they think calling the Minutemen racists will shut them up.
2.) They have no discernible beliefs beyond the acquisition of power and the destruction of the West. Any belief they posit on one day can be completely and utterly reversed the next if it suits their purposes vis-a-vis acquiring power and destroying the West. I.E. If their freedom of speech is shut down it is the “dark night of fascism in America,” however, when they shut down someone else’s speech such as Chris Simcox, that’s stopping ‘hate speech.’
3.) Such courage as they have is always, always found in the mob. Watch this video, I’ll wait. About a year later my wife, who is the young lady being assaulted in that video, and I encountered the tall dark haired somewhat Latino looking gentleman. He was on his own, none of his crew were behind him to support him. I am a two hundred and fifty pound chef with a face like chopped liver, calloused hands and a rather intense demeanor especially toward college kids who lack basic respect toward my wife. You will be shocked to learn he was as docile as a lamb and wanted to shake my hand and I believe he would have licked my boots given half a chance.
4.) They know the positions they espouse are ridiculous. The same young man in our conversation told me he supported the “working man.” I cocked an eyebrow and asked if twenty five years spent working in professional kitchens inducted me into those ranks, he wouldn’t answer. At that point I displayed my hands which were clearly shopworn and calloused and demanded to see his. Instinctively he began to raise his hands and as soon as his brain caught up with his hands he shoved them into his pocket with an embarrassed look and mumbled something about “not having much life experience yet.”
The simplest way to fall into the trap of the hard left is to believe that they ever offer legitimate arguments that you could rebut logically. Were you to do that they would simply ignore you and keep repeating their lies, or simply change the story. They are after power for themselves and if they have to kill a couple dozen million Americans in the process?
Well, when making an omelet one always breaks a few eggs, right?
I agree with Jack that the left rides on emptiness, and knows it, and can be stopped by people who are not afraid of them. They are like the Wizard of Oz, lots of scary sound and imagery, but there’s nothing really there.
However, recognizing that the left lacks rational argument is not a reason not to argue with them. The purpose of such argument is not to persuade them, but to expose them. But that can only be done by people who know the arguments of the left and know their emptiness, not by people who think they can have a rational discussion with the left.
Take the global warming issue. Has anyone asked them, “If the world really was willing to follow your plan of shutting down industry to produce less greenhouse gases, which would mean reducing the economy by X percent, would you really want that? Of course they don’t want it. Their anti-warming campaign has zero rational practical goal: it is just their latest ploy for expressing their hatred of normal society and gaining power for themselves.
However, I don’t think that Fjordman was necessarily suggesting that rational discussion with the left is possible.
Maureen C. writes:
And when social disturbances arise as a result of the open borders, the transnational elites can isolate themselves from the social damage they’ve wrought by traveling to a temporarily safer part of the world in their private jets. They can sequester themselves, as they always, have, in their castles—behind one of their many gated estates or high rise buildings. We are witnessing the emergence of global business monarchs.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at April 29, 2007 09:20 PM | Send