Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The resurgence of Europe's "spine"

It seems that local governments along Europe's historic "spine" are attempting to assert themselves. From Paul Belien at the Brussels Journal:

What’s Going Right in Europe – How Localism Might Save the Continent
[...] While France succumbs to North Africans and Germany to Turks, the parties from Old Lorraine, the spine of Europe, are preparing to fight for the preservation of their own identity. Owing to the massive immigration by people from an entirely different culture, many ordinary Europeans no longer feel at home in their own countries. Home is that cosy, often small, place where people feel safe among those whom they know and trust. The fight for the preservation of Europe is a fight for one’s own home, village, town, city, provence. That is why it is a localist issue.

Resistance to Islamization is not a matter of ideology, as one prominent American “anti-Jihadist” seems to think. The successful resistance in Europe has a provincial and an ethnic basis. It is about the right of the Europeans to hand their traditions, their identity, their cultural heritage down to their children so that the latter can continue to enjoy Europe’s ancient freedoms. The spirit of Old Lorraine has survived for 1,200 years. “Populist” parties in Flanders, Switzerland, Lombardia, Cologne and Alsace and other regions along the spine of Europe are popular for the simple reason that they are not prepared to let twelve centuries of capitalist self-reliance, self-governance and limited government fade away simply because foreigners are moving in with a spirit adapted to Arabian desert life. [...]

(bold emphasis mine) The article has some interesting figures on illegal immigration in Spain and Italy, the numerous amnesties that have been repeatedly granted over the years to assimilate them, and the political ramifications of that, but the article's not primarily just about immigration.

Belien goes into a detailed history of this European spine, where he claims capitalism in Europe had it's origins, and describes it as a place "...where citizens are still influenced by centuries of independence, self-reliance and adherence to a local identity that opposes centralizing authorities in far-away capitals."

It's interesting history, and it's interesting how he uses it as argument against Robert Spencer's argument that Jihadism should be fought as an ideology. I think there are merits in both points of view. Ethnicity and ideology are often closely linked, so it's not just a simple either/or scenario.

What I don't quite see is, how this spine of Europe is going to manage to exert any political power in the European Union, which seems hell-bent on ignoring or crushing such citizens. Yet there is also resistance to the EU from Ireland and other places, as discussed in one of the links below. It will be interesting to see where this goes.

Related articles at the Brussel's Journal:

Europe’s Fate and Turkey’s Progress

Freedom Fighters in Ireland, the Czech Republic and Germany Oppose EU Treaty

No comments: