Perspective

The Nationalist-Populist Wave Has Not Yet Been Defeated

Submitted by Sid Garside

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2017 has thus far been filled with disaster after disaster for nationalists and identitarians all across the Western world. With the recent defeat of Marine Le Pen, the globalist establishment is already chiseling in 2017 as the date of death on the tombstone of the populist and nationalist uprisings that began only just last year with Brexit. The year is not even half-way through and we are already seeing the Trump administration begin to be swallowed by the very swamp it vowed to drain. We have witnessed electoral defeats in the Netherlands and France; outcomes that should have been predicted based on the bad omen of Austria’s electoral results the previous year. The domino effect that supposedly began with Brexit (and was reinforced by Trump’s victory) never materialized. Recent events force us to ask an essential question: will 2017 go down in the history books as the year when the ruling elite crushed the last remnants of nationalism and European identity? Many among this elite are certainly speaking and acting as if this is already the case, but they would do well to learn from history, because it may just be repeating itself before our very eyes. To solve the riddles of the present we must often look for answers in the past, and to understand the events of 2017, we must look to 1848.

Before 2017, there was 1848; a year etched into the collective consciousness of Europe not for what changed, but for what didn’t change. Europe in the mid-19th century was a civilization at a crossroads. Forces in favor of liberalism and democracy (and to a lesser extent nationalism) had been slowly but surely gaining momentum since the French Revolution. The old monarchies and aristocracies of Europe were determined to maintain the status quo, whatever the cost. Tensions came to a head in 1848 as revolutions broke out all across Europe. To the revolutionaries, the timing could not have seemed better. At this one moment in history, it was as if a volatile spirit of revolution had possessed every people of Europe in order to throw off the chains of tyranny and usher in a new world. Surely this collective uprising was a sign that the winds of fortune were on the side of the revolutionaries?

As it turned out, fortune can be as fickle and elusive as Machiavelli once described. Every single one of these revolutions ended in failure. The people of France did overthrow their king, but their new president soon became their new emperor, and the revolutionary zeal that put an end to the kingdom could not save the republic. To the forces of liberalism and democracy, the events of 1848 were nothing less than a colossal disaster. The establishment won, the status quo went unchanged, the ruling elite remained on their thrones and raised glasses to the death of revolution. Certainly, these are sentiments those on the nationalist right can see in the establishment today as they celebrate the defeats of figures like Wilders and Le Pen.

The story of 1848 doesn’t end there, however. While the monarchies of Europe were able to stave off overthrow and keep the tidal wave of change at bay in the short term, there would hardly be anything left of that old world order a century later. The flag that German revolutionaries raised in opposition to their leaders in 1848 is the same flag that now flies above the Reichstag in Berlin. Even in failure, the whirlwind of revolution brought the people of Europe into a new consciousness that left the monarchies of Europe with their days numbered. The revolutionaries may have lost the battle, but they went on to win the war.

The trajectory of history was in favor of the ideas that gave birth to the revolutions of 1848, and the same may come to be said of nationalist ideas in 2017. The societal conditions that gave birth to the revolutionary spirit of 1848 were not going to reverse themselves. There was simply no way for the establishment to turn back the clock to the days of feudalism and rule like the absolute monarchies of old. The world had been forever changed politically, economically, and culturally; the only options European monarchies had left were to adapt or die. Most European monarchies traversed the latter path and those few monarchies that remain to this day are mere shells of their former selves, almost entirely dispossessed of the power they once held.

In this still young century we can see eerily similar phenomena unfolding that hearken back to the early 19th century and give hope for the eventual triumph of this renewed sense of identity and nationalism. Just as the 19th-century monarchs could not turn back the clock, neither can today’s ruling elite. Revolution and rebellion have become inextricably linked to the zeitgeist that dominates our culture in the 21st century. Donald Trump’s campaign was a very clear example of this rebellious spirit that exists among so many in our society without a voice. Traditional centers of power in our world have been totally undermined by changes we have undergone in recent decades. Alternatives to the mainstream media with the advent of the internet is as revolutionary a development as the invention of the printing press and spread of ideas like freedom of speech, both of which spelled doom for the monopoly on power held by church and state alike. Seismic economic changes brought about by the industrial revolution in the 19th century led to the extinction of the landed aristocrat as a political force in the wake of the surging power of the bourgeoisie. In our own day, automation and the prospects of artificial intelligence are unleashing Earth-shattering changes to the way our economies are run and the manner in which our societies are structured.

Our world is clearly changing and it remains to be seen whether the current liberal world order is up to the task of effectively adapting to it. Thus far the establishment has spent more time resisting these changes rather than adapting to them. Instead of accepting the internet’s fracturing of the news media and adapting to the new landscape, the ruling elite have created the boogeyman of ‘fake news’ in order to spook the plebeians into returning to traditional (controllable) sources of information. Economically, increased automation will lessen the need any country has for migrant workers and yet the establishment desperately clings to this increasingly ludicrous notion that the mass importation of third world migrants (predominantly from Muslim backgrounds) is not only a net positive for European societies but an absolute necessity for Europe’s survival. The public instinctively knows the truth every time the ruling elites try to pull the wool over their eyes; there is simply a lack of collective consciousness and lack of collective willpower to do anything about it. The events of the current year may indeed come to be seen as the point in time when the seeds of this sorely needed nationalist collective consciousness began to grow.

The societal conditions that gave birth to these recent populist and nationalist uprisings aren’t going away anytime soon. In fact, it is likely that these conditions will only become more pronounced as time goes on. Africa is in the midst of a population explosion, something that continent simply cannot sustain on its own. There will be no respite from the current migrant crisis that is plaguing Europe as thousands upon thousands of migrants from Africa and the Middle-East will continue to stream into Europe for decades to come unless something is done to stop it. Neither will there be a respite from Islamic terrorism as Europe remains incapable of coming to terms with the real threats Islam poses to European civilization. Under current leadership mass migration will increase, terrorism will increase, and the global economy will continue to change in such a way that makes it increasingly difficult for average people to reach and maintain a comfortable quality of life. These three factors are pressurizing the white populations of Europe and America in particular, and this pressurization is in many ways restoring a sense of community and solidarity among whites that simply hasn’t existed in recent memory. It’s no coincidence that political commentators observed that American whites voted like a minority group in the 2016 Presidential Election. It was almost as if American whites instinctively knew what was at stake for them as a group in that election and banded together accordingly for their own survival and prosperity.

The events of 2016 and 2017 are not the end of nationalist and identitarian movements, on the contrary, they seem to be only the beginning. What one could only think twenty years ago could be said in private ten years ago, and what could only be said in private ten years ago can now be said publicly today. The Overton window on issues of identity is clearly shifting to the right. The populist and nationalist uprisings of 2016 and 2017 have mostly failed to bring about immediate victories. What they have accomplished instead has been an awakening where the seeds of a new collective consciousness have been sown among whites in America and in Europe. This new collective consciousness is impressing upon whites the necessity of asserting one’s own right to survive and flourish as a people. It’s true that only a portion of whites have tapped into this new consciousness, but as the pressures and conditions that brought this about in the first place persist, we will find that the numbers of people who come to inhabit this new collective consciousness will only increase over time. In this way, 2017 is very much like 1848. The new consciousness that forced its way onto the scene in Europe in the revolutions of 1848 eventually became the status quo within a century, who is to say that the new consciousness that has forced itself onto the scene in 2016 and 2017 will not become the status quo in the Western world in the near future?

Vincent Law
the authorVincent Law
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