To an outsider who does not regularly read the news, check facts and gather information, Europe looks exactly how it does in tourist ads — clean, tranquil and prosperous. To a person who keeps up with current events, Europe looks like a simmering cauldron of conflict, with an occasional bloody bubble bursting from beneath the lid. It does not take a genius to realize that if the pressure building beneath is not alleviated soon, the lid is going to blow. Trying to clamp it down tighter or to pretend nothing is wrong will only make matters worse.
The rise of the right-wing parties in Europe is now official. My advice to the omnipresent whiners who are terrified by this fact is to take a look at the roots of the tree rather than the branches and ask: What has caused this? The answer is obvious and it lies in European Union’s own policies. To every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction — and things like refugee quotas, uncontrolled immigration and a forced doctrine of multiculturalism that has resulted in the death of thousands of innocents could only have one outcome.
I am no prophet and will not speculate or make assumptions about what is going to happen in Europe in the future because the current political landscape changes by the hour. I will merely state several facts instead. The E.U. has broken many of its promises to Europeans, the first being prosperity. This is proven by examples of Ireland, Spain, Portugal and especially Greece, which was encouraged by the E.U. to take massive loans that ultimately proved destructive. The second broken promise was unity. Such a thing is achieved only voluntarily and the “wrong answer, try again” double referendums on integration that the E.U. pulled in Denmark and Ireland were pure coercion. The third broken promise was peace. The flood of immigrants from some of the world’s worst cesspools that the E.U. took and continues to take in opposes the very notion of peace. When people no longer feel safe and secure in their own countries, not a single politician has a right to as much as mention the word “peace.”
What we are looking at now is a backlash against all this. One can only hope that it will not take a world war to dissolve the E.U. for incompetency, as it happened with the League of Nations.
However, my own concerns lie in a slightly different area. I have been observing the European right-wing parties for a long time and while admiring their desire to protect their countries’ ethnic, cultural and religious integrity, I have noticed a very disturbing trend that is slowly becoming prevalent — sympathy towards Russia. In many cases this boils down to sympathy specifically towards Putin.
Some European right-wingers, especially Scandinavian and Baltic ones, can hardly be accused of this; however, leaders and representatives of German NDP, British BNP and Greek Golden Dawn have publicly expressed their support for and solidarity with the Russian leader due to “common values” they share. Moreover, both Front National and Jobbik (French and Hungarian right-wing parties, respectively) were accused of receiving direct funding from Russia.
I cannot even begin to describe how dangerous this line of thinking is. However, I can understand where it stems from. Today’s European leaders are, in essence, weaklings — unable to take a strong stance on anything, caving in to slightest demands and completely lacking anything resembling charisma. Gone are the days of fiery speakers and strong-willed politicians, the likes of Charles de Gaulle, Winston Churchill and Corneliu Codreanu, who inspired thousands of people with their words and never backed down from their beliefs.
Instead we are stuck with craven, spineless political opossums, terrified by mere notions of responsibility and standing on principle. European nations are represented by “leaders” who are afraid of owning up to their mistakes, making tough decisions or even clearly stating their position on anything because that might have repercussions. It is hardly surprising that many Europeans have grown sick of these people and are now turning towards Putin — a person who, for a lack of a better alternative, presents them with an image of a strong, charismatic leader.
There is also a factor of puerile spite at play. European right-wingers have always clashed with other political factions within their countries, but largely kept the matters internal — that is, until now. Seeing how hopelessly subservient their countries’ ruling parties have become to the E.U.’s whims, they decided to make a pass at Putin, aiming to cause indignation and confusion. Putin himself is perfectly happy with that — he couldn’t have asked for a better tool to influence Europe’s internal politics.
Another common trap European nationalists fall into concerns “traditional values” that they allegedly share with Russia. Forgive me if I am wrong for asking, but how exactly does Russia figure into the promotion of native birthrates and traditional family values or disdain for degeneracy and sexual perversion? Europe has done and can do all that by itself, without any foreign aid, especially of such dubious origin. Talk of a “Christian connection” is no less ridiculous: European brands of Christianity have nothing in common with Russian blind obedience to a mafia-like camarilla of priests.
In addition, European right-wingers call multiculturalism and immigration their prime enemies. This makes their cuddling up to Putin, who has called Russia a multi-ethnic and a multi-religious state and condemned nationalism as foolish, seem even more bizarre. Putin does nothing to stop the tide of Central Asian illegal workers pouring into Russia or curtail the behavior of North Caucasian Muslims who sometimes openly declare that they own the country. On the contrary, both of these are byproducts of Putin’s own internal policy and he does not care if ordinary citizens suffer as long as he profits.
Moreover, Putin himself is a spawn of communism — an ideology alien and hostile to everything Europe stands for. Not only is he a former KGB officer, but almost all members of his political party, United Russia, have a past swathed in red. Putin’s own ideology is a cynical combination of Bolshevik doctrines and autocracy with an icing of Eurasianism, the brainchild of deranged pseudo-historians such as Dugin.
One look at the past is all that is needed to understand that Russia does not have friends or allies — only vassals and enemies. Countries that Russia helps become puppets to its foreign policy; countries that consider themselves Russia’s allies become either annexed or Russified beyond recognition. One only has to look as far as Belarus, Kazakhstan and the Baltic countries for examples: All of them face the issue of their native language and culture being supplanted by that of Russia. In Belarus, this process is almost complete, with only 12 percent of the country’s population of 9.5 million speaking their native language at home.
Hence my question to European nationalists: Is Russia really the ally you want in your struggle? Because I simply refuse to believe that fierce and proud Frenchmen, Germans, Hungarians, Greeks and others have become toothless and impotent to the point of trying to forge a bond with a country whose people are known for bitter disdain towards theirs and a leader who sees them as nothing but pawns in his political games.
Zurab Amiranashvili is a freelance journalist living in the Republic of Georgia.