The essential failure of the present version of the European Union is really not very hard to understand. People with foreign names, for whom you never voted and whose language you do not understand, write laws that you have to follow, which do not take into account your particular hopes and fears, and which overrule your elected representatives and reduce your national democracies, city councils and town halls into powerless relics. It is little wonder that the people of the nations of Europe voted as they did, and it is also little wonder that the establishment media continues to analyze the election results by pretending that they signify the protest of the people of Europe, ignoring that they in fact signify the will of the sovereign nations of Europe—a very different concept.
The establishment media on the continent likes to note that the “Euro-sceptic” parties will not be able to cooperate; that Mr. Nigel Farage of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) refuses to cooperate with France’s National Front. This sort of talk also betrays a frightful lack of imagination on the part of the establishment: If the establishment thinks that UKIP and the National Front were elected to “cooperate” in the European parliament, then it is blind. Both of these parties exist not to “cooperate” in the European parliament, but to get Great Britain and France out of the European Union.
The United Kingdom Independence Party and the French National Front are not “Euro-sceptic” parties. They despise the Union and want their nations free of it. The Euro-sceptic parties are the bigger, generally Christian democratic or Conservative formations which principally won the elections in Eastern Europe. Thus, Eastern Europe has become “Euro-Sceptic,” while Western Europe, far more the victim of the Union, has simply become the bastion of secessionism and National patriotism. For UKIP or the National Front, victory does not lay in passing this or that bit of legislation in Brussels: it lays in France and Britain exiting the Union.
The European establishment does not comprehend this, because they do not comprehend that the people of the various nations exist for any purpose beyond serving the ends of the administrative state. Each of the National anti-European Union parties is different, because each of the nations they represent is different. That is the whole point. Their common cause is the restoration of national sovereignty. From then on, their nations will have to govern themselves with a view towards the maintenance of peace and prosperity, just as Canada and the United States or Singapore and Malaysia or Japan and China do today. They do not need a majority in the European Union parliament, merely a majority of Englishmen and Frenchmen willing to leave the Union for good.
National sovereignty, contrary to the panicked warnings of the European establishment, is not “fascism,” nor “racism,” nor “xenophobia,” nor anything of the sort. National sovereignty is the idea that people who have a common language, culture and history might perhaps be better suited to govern their own affairs rather than to be governed by people who have different languages, different cultures and different histories. National sovereignty is also the idea that political rule is fluid because nations are fluid; that the government is best which springs from the people, not upon the people. National sovereignty is neither left nor right, socialist nor liberal; it does not have a universal platform or ideal which works for all people in all times and places, but rather prefers to allow the people of a particular time and place, who share a particular common culture, to govern themselves as best they can. National sovereignty does not promise utopia; it holds out the prospect of the difficult task of self-government to people connected by the true sentiments of place, language and religion. National sovereignty is not the “nationalism” feared by Russell Kirk, often called Jingoism and contrasted with patriotism. National sovereignty is a nationalism that means nothing more than “the nation should be sovereign.” It has as much to do with jingoism as President Wilson’s Fourteen Points.
While I am most heartened by the victory of the National Front in France, and not at all surprised by the victory of Mr. Farage’s party in England, I am also happy with my fellow Poles. For years, Poland’s senior conservative-classical liberal statesman, Mr. Janusz Korwin Mikke, has been on the fringes of national life, unable to win any of the nineteen elections he and his party have stood in. Finally, in the wake of the Ukraine crisis, this statesman’s party has become the fourth largest in Poland, and he shall soon grace the halls of the European Parliament with his presence. Up until yesterday, his only historical achievement (not a small one) was successfully introducing legislation in the first non-communist Polish parliament to open the secret files of the government spy agencies and reveal which active public figures were agents of the state so that the people could know who was speaking from conviction, and who was merely a government operative.
In the past, I have voted for this gentleman on more than one occasion, but given that his prospects for winning elections have always been below zero, there were other occasions when I voted for the largest conservative party, Law and Justice. This year, preparing to hold my nose and vote for the conservative Law and Justice party of Mr. Kaczynski, who had mercifully put a few good Christian conservatives on his party’s electoral rolls, I was devastated by the Law and Justice party’s reaction to the events in Ukraine, in support of the revolution.
The only statesman in Poland to react with intelligence and moral conscience was Mr. Janusz Korwin Mikke, who spoke out repeatedly and staunchly against the Maidan revolution, who considered Mr. Yanukovich the legally elected President of Ukraine, who blamed him not for corruption but for “cowardess in the face of the revolution, for not having the manliness of President Assad who at least stayed with his nation.” Mr. Korwin-Mikke is a monarchist who has spent the past twenty years advocating for the abolition of the democratic administrative state, the restoration of Polish monarchy, the abolition of all taxes, privatization (with a provision against corporate trusts, favoring real ownership by real people, not by corporations which are often partially owned by governments), and often using his specific sense of humor to ridicule all sorts of liberal social experiments that aimed to “rescue” Poland from being a Catholic country.
Mr. Korwin Mikke is seventy-one years old, and has been a conservative-classical liberal from the beginning. During communism, he opposed not only socialism, but also democracy, noting famously that “in a democracy, two drunkards have a greater say in political affairs than a university professor.” Unlike William F Buckley, Mr. Korwin Mikke does not prefer to be governed by the first ten names out of the phone book; he advocates government by Kings and Princes who are liberally educated from youth into statesmanship, and who rely for their advice on philosophers, scientists and men of liberal learning. He reminds Poles constantly of their Royalist history. Amazingly, Mr. Korwin Mikke and his party, the Congress of the New Right, are now the fourth largest political party in Poland and have managed to gain four seats in the European Parliament. Their sole parliamentary representative will likely soon find more allies as real conservative parliamentarians, purged from the major parties, find a new home in the New Right. If Mr. Korwin Mikke’s party can win ten or fifteen percent of the vote in the next parliamentary elections, it is possible that he will hold the key to the next conservative coalition government. Mr. Korwin Mikke is literally going to be the modern Edmund Burke of the European Parliament, just as he was once the Edmund Burke of the Polish parliament.
The establishment media in Poland portray Mr. Korwin Mikke as a brutal sexist, an advocate of rape, an apologist for Adolf Hitler and a racist. All of these accusations are wrong and silly. Mr. Mikke, far from “hating Europe” speaks French, Spanish, English and Polish. He is one of the most widely read, and liberally educated gentlemen in Poland. He has written thousands of excellent essays and books on conservatism and classical liberalism, and published the premiere newspaper of Polish conservatism for more than twenty years. Of this man, Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski, whose party was justly trounced in the elections, said two days ago that it would be an “embarrassment for Poland” if Mr. Janusz Korwin Mikke were elected to the European parliament. Mr. Sikorski continued that “a vote for Janusz Korwin Mikke is a vote for Vladimir Putin.”
That certainly helped me make up my mind; as in my despair, sure that Mr. Korwin Mikke would never be elected, I had actually considered writing in “Vladimir Putin” on my ballot as a form of protesting the political class. My wife slowly convinced me not to waste my vote, but I was still unsure. Happily, Mr. Sikorski helped me make up my mind. Mr. Korwin Mikke, in his victory speech, also thanked the Polish Prime Minister for helping him win, noting that the Prime Minister’s statement “I will never shake hands with that man” and a public protest by female members of parliament from all of the parliamentary parties except the conservatives, probably gave him the boost he needed to come in over the top. With seven percent of the vote for Mr. Korwin Mikke’s monarchist New Right party, and with the National Front and the United Kingdom Independnce Party triumphant in France and Britain, we may finally be seeing the beginning of the rebirth of Europe. It has been a long time since I have been this proud of Poles, Frenchmen and Englishmen, not to mention so many others in Europe who refused to believe the daily propaganda warning of imminent fascism, war and the end of travel and trade in Europe if these parties were to win. This election has been a happy day for many of us, and should warm the hearts of conservatives the world over. Tonight, I shall happily chant “vive la France” and find myself a pint of English beer!
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