In an article in The Economist on the 17th of August 2018 Claire Fox wrote about the dangers of illiberal liberalism with great insight. She saw not the rise of the alt-right as the biggest threat towards our democracy and free speech but rather an increasingly illiberal liberalism and that stands true not only in America but also in Europe and my native country of Sweden. We live in an age where proclaimed liberals gladly have accepted the collective before the individual, especially when it comes to civic rights. The increasingly federative European Union is a perfect example of this. Guy Verhofstadt, former PM of Belgium and now the leader of ALDE, the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats, in the European Parliament, is an outspoken proponent of a United States of Europe in which the sovereignty of the member states will be discarded on behalf of Brussels, something that has caused a rift in the EU where for instance the Visegrad Group are increasingly at odds with Brussels. The latter is hardly surprising as these countries that were under the Communist yoke see the federative agenda as renewed threat to their independence and is not what they joined for. After all, no voters have had any true say in the appointment of any of the EU Commissioners and there is a lack of principle of public in Brussels’s political process, a substantial democratic deficit.
Speaking of independence, the 2nd Amendment is a vital part of the American soul as a well armed citizenry was instrumental in the creation of the nation. The birth of the United States came as shots were fired as London tried to disarm the unruly colonists, as they had demanded political representation in Parliament and not wanting to just being viewed as source for taxation, but no avail, thus resulting in the Declaration of Independence, and the American Revolution was on. Hence civilian ownership of legal firearms can be used as an indication of the amount of trust a government has for it’s citizens. Hence it comes to no surprise that many gun owners in the US vote Republican, hardly surprising given people like Diane Feinstein (D), as predominantly Democrat governed states like California has restrictions that in some cases are more stringent than in many European countries. This has to do with the Democratic Party having a view upon the interaction between the State and the citizen that much more corresponds to that of many European states. However, civilian legal gun ownership is seen as a problem in Europe, something that among other things manifested itself in the outright assault by the European Commission, defying even it’s own legislation, upon civilian ownership of firearms after the terrorist attacks in Paris in 2015, even though these deeds were carried out by Islamist terrorists using illegal firearms. With the risk of being seen as a peddler of conspiracy theories it’s not without that the question arises however whether the European Commission is more concerned of a well armed citizenry more than Islamist terrorist as the monopoly on the legitimate use of physical force might be put into jeopardy by an increasingly discontented populace?
Outspoken liberal profiles like George Soros are among those that vehemently supports restrictions in the civic liberties such as gun ownership, but also has an agenda of globalism in which the individual nation is to be dissolved for the greater good on behest of supranational entities, such as the EU. Most citizens don’t care about gun legislation however, as long as they themselves are not affected, but free speech is of greater concern as it affects us all. The perception of the nation is also becoming much more important as the Western European states have become culturally much more heterogeneous through immigration, another field in which aforementioned Soros is highly involved.
Multiculturalism is today by liberals and socialists seen as the natural state of order, to question this narrative is seen as at best conservative but most commonly as xenophobic and outright racist. As Claire Fox pointed out, the mere suggestion that multiculturalism might not be working and that the traditional liberal values such as free speech, even though one might not agree with certain views, are a necessity for a democratic society, is being labeled as non grata even in the legal sense, especially if questioning certain values found within various religions such as Islam. In several European countries, as well in the United States if we for instance see to people like Linda Sarsour, Islamists have infiltrated, sometimes quite overtly, the mainstream political parties as any politicians also fail to know the difference between the religion of Islam and the political ideology of Islamism. This stands true to several political parties in Sweden, such as the Social Democratic Party, the liberal Center Party and the Greens. When the agenda and values of the Islamists have collided their parties official values things have become outright politically embarrassing. However there is a lack of really dealing with these issues. Why? In two words, political correctness. There is a complete and utter fear of the R-word within the political establishment.
This serves the agenda of the Islamists as this fits like a glove as their true intent can be described a classical form of PSY-ops. Infiltrate, sometimes with the knowledge of the establishment, often in accordance with the logic of gaining minority votes, and then transform public debate in a way that any criticism of their agenda is to labeled as racist and and expression of Islamophobia, even if that might not be the case. What is for certain however is that racism, xenophobia and Islamophobia will increase in the long run as the majority population will become disenfranchised with the political establishment, turning to what the latter defines as populism instead. This also serves the interests of radical Islamists as their agenda is thus becoming just in the eyes of their minorities. Hence if this situation is not smothered in the crib this will become a self fulfilling prophecy. In this situation many liberals have accepted the socialist view that what things all come down to is a matter of distribution policy. That non material matters such as culture, ideology and of the being of things does play a significant role in how people perceive society does not fit in a classical socialist narrative, contradicting the very idea of socioeconomic class while also explaining the growth of conservatism among the working class. This is also the case in the eyes of liberal globalists, as they tend to view of the nation as an obsolete remnant of an old “evil” world. Hence nationalism is, regardless if it chauvinistic or not, regarded as a deplorable cultural and political expression. This view stands true in cases were nationalism has had a racist component, such as in Nazi Germany and in the Balkans in the 90’s, but it’s not prevalent as official policy in for instance the United States were everyone is an American first, second Irish-American, Hispanic-American and so forth. That said the United States as a nation is to a high degree based upon an Anglo-Saxon cultural tradition and philosophical ideas formed during the Enlightenment. Thus assimilation has been what has made the United States what it is, or at least was. National boundaries is however increasingly being seen as morally wrong by proclaimed liberals. To add to this e idea of the nation as a remnant of the old world, rather than a guarantor of society, came in the wake of 9/11 the Patriot Act which meant that civil liberties have been curtailed in the most unconstitutional way.
Postmodern political and philosophical thinking, a stew made out of new interpretations of Marxism seasoned with liberal globalism, has however put things on end. Today it is considered alt-right to have libertarian or conservative inclinations. To have a healthy dose of pride of one’s nation, i.e. not being a chauvinist or a bigot, and voicing the need to maintain some form cohesion of society, regardless of socioeconomic class, is nonetheless viewed as being deplorable as this contradicts the perception of the reality of liberal globalists and cosmopolitan socialists that firmly believe in a world without boundaries. The thing is, as reality catches up and these beliefs are proven wrong, there is an increasing willingness to silence free speech.
Certain “truths” can not be put into question. In Sweden’s case immigration has caused a parliamentary crisis as the right wing Sweden Democrats, who question the current immigration policies, have a balance of power in Parliament and no one from the establishment is willing to form a government that even has to rely on their passive support. In the universities feminist agenda in the field of science is rule, to question the scientific credence of certain research, even in the field of medicine, have ended up in academic hearings. As mentioned previously Islamist presence within the political establishment has also led to several bizarre events, for instance the municipality chairman in Gothenburg, a Social Democrat, being sued for hate crime after stopping an Islamist event in a public forum since she had the integrity to say that these people’s views did correspond with the democratic views necessary for using a public locality. Perhaps this will open people’s eyes for what is happening in this country and that Islamism is not an ideology that corresponds with liberal views of democracy? However in other European countries, such as in Britain and Austria, anti blasphemy laws have been passed, laws that only serves the agenda of the Islamists and to the forfeit of secular Muslims that wish to assimilate into society. What one must remember is that a religion is no different from an ideology, which people must have the right to criticize in a democratic liberal society, a religion has nothing to do with the color of skin. However these laws, together with political movements like Sharia for Belgium and a substantial spike in Islamist terrorism in Western Europe certainly continues to fuel the rift between primarily the Visegrad countries and Brussels as these countries refuse to be part of a socialist/liberal federative multicultural globalist agenda, that today is very much part of official EU policy, ardently supported by people like George Soros and Guy Verhofstadt. However it’s not the right wing governments of for instance Hungary and the Czech Republic that are the real danger towards European cooperation, it’s the federalists in Brussels as nationalism to a large extent is a counter reaction to their agenda, the Hungarians haven’t forgotten the year of 1848 when nationalism and liberalism stood hand in hand on the barricades, the Treaty of Trianon or the Revolution of 1956 for that matter. Hence national sovereignty is not taken lightly upon, taking both chauvinist as well as sound expressions. In the Czech Republic a unified Parliament, even including the former Communists, voted to make civilian Czech firearm owners as part of the Czech Defense from a legal perspective, thus circumventing meddling by Brussels in internal Czech affairs. As with the Hungarians the Czechs have first hand experience of both external and domestic political oppression, thus this decision was quite understandable and along the lines of the classical quote by the reformist socialist George Orwell:
“-That rifle on the wall of the labourer’s cottage or working class flat is the symbol of democracy. It is our job to see that it stays there.”
Hence with an increasingly authoritarian liberalism it is nowadays conservative to be truly liberal..