Is Liberalism a Dying Faith? - The Unz Review - PAT BUCHANAN
Asked to name the defining
attributes of the America we wish to become, many liberals would answer that we
must realize our manifest destiny since 1776, by becoming more equal, more
diverse and more democratic — and the model for mankind’s future.
Equality, diversity, democracy
— this is the holy trinity of the post-Christian secular state at whose altars
Liberal Man worships.
But the congregation worshiping
these gods is shrinking. And even Europe seems to be rejecting what America has
In a retreat from diversity,
Catalonia just voted to separate from Spain. The Basque and Galician peoples of
Spain are following the Catalan secession crisis with great interest.
The right-wing People’s Party
and far-right Freedom Party just swept 60 percent of Austria’s vote, delivering
the nation to 31-year-old Sebastian Kurz, whose anti-immigrant platform was
plagiarized from the Freedom Party. Summarized it is: Austria for the
Lombardy, whose capital is
Milan, and Veneto will vote Sunday for greater autonomy from Rome.
South Tyrol (Alto Adige),
severed from Austria and ceded to Italy at Versailles, written off by Hitler to
appease Mussolini after his Anschluss, is astir anew with secessionism. Even
the Sicilians are talking of separation.
By Sunday, the Czech Republic
may have a new leader, billionaire Andrej Babis. Writes The Washington Post,
Babis “makes a sport of attacking the European Union and says NATO’s mission is
Platform Promise: Keep the
Muslim masses out of the motherland.
To ethnonationalists, their
countrymen are not equal to all others, but superior in rights. Many may nod at
Thomas Jefferson’s line that “All men are created equal,” but they no more
practice that in their own nations than did Jefferson in his.
On Oct. 7, scores of thousands
of Poles lined up along the country’s entire 2,000-mile border — to pray the
It was the centennial of the
Virgin Mary’s last apparition at Fatima in Portugal in 1917, and the day in
1571 the Holy League sank the Muslim fleet at Lepanto to save Europe. G. K.
Chesterton’s poem, “Lepanto,” was once required reading in Catholic schools.
Each of these
traditionalist-nationalist movements is unique, but all have a common cause. In
the hearts of Europe’s indigenous peoples is embedded an ancient fear: loss of
the homeland to Islamic invaders.
Europe is rejecting, resisting,
recoiling from “diversity,” the multiracial, multicultural, multiethnic and
multilingual future that, say U.S. elites, is America’s preordained mission to
bring about for all mankind.
Indeed, increasingly, the
indigenous peoples of Europe seem to view as the death of their nations and
continent, what U.S. liberal elites see as the Brave New World to come.
To traditionalist Europeans,
our heaven looks like their hell.
Thus Poles fall on their knees
to pray to the Virgin Mary to spare them from threats of an Islamic future, as
their ancestors prayed at the time of Lepanto, and of Vienna in 1683, when the
Polish King John Sobieski marched to halt the last Muslim drive into the heart
European peoples and parties
are today using democratic means to achieve “illiberal” ends. And it is hard to
see what halts the drift away from liberal democracy toward the restrictive
right. For in virtually every nation, there is a major party in opposition, or
a party in power, that holds deeply nationalist views.
European elites may denounce
these new parties as “illiberal” or fascist, but it is becoming apparent that
it may be liberalism itself that belongs to yesterday. For more and more
Europeans see the invasion of the continent along the routes whence the
invaders came centuries ago, not as a manageable problem but an existential
To many Europeans, it portends
an irreversible alteration in the character of the countries their
grandchildren will inherit, and possibly an end to their civilization. And they
are not going to be deterred from voting their fears by being called names that
long ago lost their toxicity from overuse.
And as Europeans decline to
celebrate the racial, ethnic, creedal and cultural diversity extolled by
American elites, they also seem to reject the idea that foreigners should be
treated equally in nations created for their own kind.
Europeans seem to admire more,
and model their nations more, along the lines of the less diverse America of
the Eisenhower era, than on the polyglot America of 2017.
And Europe seems to be moving
toward immigration polices more like the McCarran-Walter Act of 1950 than the
open borders bill that Sen. Edward Kennedy shepherded through the Senate in 1965.
Kennedy promised that the
racial and ethnic composition of the America of the 1960s would not be
overturned, and he questioned the morality and motives of any who implied that
So, why is liberalism dying?
Because it is proving to be
what James Burnham called it in his 1964 “Suicide of the West” — the ideology
of Western suicide.
What we see in Europe today is
people who, belatedly recognizing this, have begun to “rage, rage, against
dying of the light.”
Patrick J. Buchanan is the
author of a new book, “Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and
Broke a President and Divided America Forever.”