Of Titans and Pygmies
Since the end of the Second World War Europe has operated on an unspoken consensus. The genie of nationalism that proved itself to be too dangerous for the world has been put back in its bottle, and in its place, independent states have willingly relinquished their sovereignty and agency in exchange for security and stability. The distinct character of European nations now lies dormant under a permafrost; content to allow themselves to be governed by mediocracy and bureaucracy as long as economic progress is maintained and citizens can sleep safely at night. To a naïve multitude, this formula seems to have banished strife and war from the European continent forever. They are wrong.
What the short-sighted have failed to realise is that Europe may have muzzled itself, but the rest of the world has not. While Europe slept the globe has been engulfed in a tumultuous nightmare – and we are now being drawn into its wake. As tens of thousands of the destitute and the war-ravaged struggle to our shores, the continent looks in horrified. As gunmen rampage through the former splendour of Paris again and again, the globalists try and assure themselves these incidents are simply a one-off, a blip. As politicians desperately try and rewrite the unspoken consensus to tell us that Europeans are interchangeable economic units with all other peoples of the world, a fundamental split has occurred in the European psyche. The old politics of left and right has been swept away and has been replaced by two competing schools of personality – the titan and the pygmy.
The political pygmy looks upon the chaos engulfing Europe and responds by flocking to bolster the status quo; to present every reason for inaction as noble, and to demonise every effort to regain control as destructive and regressive. To the pygmy, the world before our new consensus was a barren and dangerous one riven with risk and conflict. It was a world where nation states lived and died by the ingenuity and character of their leaders and citizens, where responsibility couldn’t be willed away to the faceless collective of the unelected technocrats. It was an era that demanded personal involvement and responsibility, where the entire nation bore the consequences of their actions. To the pygmy, a return to this world is simply unthinkable. In their minds the surrender of fundamental freedoms is a small price to pay for the transient gains here in the now – they couch their arguments in terms of economic growth, barriers to hedonistic travel, and uncertainty in the short term.
The ultimate driving force of the political pygmy is self-doubt. Using obfuscation and relativism they seek to convince Europeans that Europe isn’t worth fighting for. They point out that European systems were never fully democratic, that we still may be ruled by politicians and bureaucrats that we despise, that we are too few and too divided to navigate this world alone. Yet what really underpins all these complaints is a fear within their advocates that a return of Europe would make personal demands upon them; that it would interrupt their leisure and their pursuit of wealth. The political pygmy doesn’t believe European states could survive alone because they themselves fear they couldn’t survive in the harsh realities of the world outside Europe’s tranquillity and prosperity. It is thus with horror that the pygmies look upon the newly vocal champions of European freedom and ask the question, why would anyone choose hardship over luxury?
The titan understands there never was a choice. It is not the economic, migrant and terror crises that are the anomaly – Europe of the last seventy years is. Europe believes that it fundamentally re-wrote human nature to do away with risk and competition; but the world outside continued on as it always has. The enthusiastic believers in more Europe are wilfully blind to the fact European governance cannot legislate away terror attacks; it cannot stem the flood of refugees by parcelling them out to all the far-flung corners of Europe. These policies are appeasement, and appeasement has always failed. The titan isn’t swayed by arguments of transient losses in economics or minor inconveniences at the borders because they understand that eternal principles are at stake – freedom and survival.
By redefining Europeans as merely economic units, both the freedom and survival of Europe have been put in peril. Europe at once demands that it loses its old national character by declaring that Syrians and Eritreans are as European as everyone else, yet it naively hopes that these groups will lose their own national characteristics. Its response to the increasingly frequent terrorist attacks has been to simply view them as an inevitable teething process, a new phenomenon like the extreme weather; a simple case of bad luck. The pygmies gleefully participate in this wilful inaction because they believe it will allow them to continue their European dream of unfettered pursuit of wealth and personal pleasure unhindered; if some have to be sacrificed on the altar to allow the continuation of that dream, so be it. To the pygmies, the certainty of Europe’s decline is preferable to the uncertainty of national self-determination.
To the titan such a response is suicide. Every successful terrorist attack only signals to the world that Europe is a soft target; every boat full of accepted migrants begets five more. The reassertion of national identity and a return to old European values is already well underway. Every foot of Hungarian steel fencing, every Austrian vote for Freedom Party candidate Norbert Hofer, every determined outer in the British EU referendum represents a reawakening of the European titans. It is true that we will return an uncertain and dangerous world after the collapse of the European project, but it is better to live and die by our national wits than to shackle ourselves to the seductive slow and easy death of false union. While Europe has slept, the world around us has not. It is now time to wake up to this fact and ask yourself what you will be in this new European struggle – titan or pygmy?