Special thanks to Spasoye Solnewitz for his submission and collaboration on this piece
“A spectre is haunting Europe… All the powers of old Europe have entered into a holy alliance to exorcise this spectre…” These are the famous words that in a manifesto by Karl Marx describe the advances of communism in the 19th century, and they illustrate how history repeats itself. Actually, it says something about human nature. Namely, we see how man always takes to resistance from oppression, and what the consequences of this can be.
To see this we can look at what is happening today on the world political stage. The best thing would probably be to look at the election of Trump for president and the so-called Brexit, events which often are associated with globalization and immigration. To be more precise, they are described as reactions to the negative side of globalization, in which one can detect a desire from the people for a strengthening of their national identity and their country’s sovereignty. In other words, it is burgeoning nationalism that we are witnessing.
There are also more parallels to be drawn: nationalism today just as communism was then is acknowledged to be a power and one that is growing only stronger and stronger. This, one can be sure of, is despite the setbacks with the elections in Austria, the Netherlands, and France. According to many experts, these European elections, in fact, do not do much to mask the inevitable. Nationalism is on the rise and it still has a very good chance of taking over in these as well as other countries.
As a natural consequence of precisely this – if we are to connect back to what we were talking about in the beginning – a trend has now appeared, resembling what Marx in the communists’ case described as an ‘exorcism’ by a ‘holy alliance’. It was a ‘holy alliance’ that felt threatened by communism then which led to efforts to clamp down, and it is a neoliberal establishment that is feeling threatened by nationalism now.
So they have started a targeted campaign to delegitimize nationalists and their ideas.
Nationalism and the Media
One could look at many examples to see this delegitimization become apparent, such as the negative portrayal of nationalism’s successes in recent times. The media pejoratively refers to these as “quick fixes.”
This is what the nationalists have as one of their great appeals, while the so-called normal politicians, whose followers are depicted as those who unlike nationalists “can read and write”, don’t seem to like these “quick fixes” and actively avoid them.
The thing is that according to the liberals these “quick fixes” are nothing but empty words from the nationalist fringe and are a big problem because they can seduce the simple-minded.
The truth is that there is something very dishonest about this portrayal, which is one of the proofs that there exists a delegitimization effort since the result is a portrayal of nationalists as charlatans and snake-oil salesmen. This, of course, is thanks to the obvious reluctance of the media and politicians to acknowledge the positive aspects of these proposed “quick fixes.” Nationalistic voters simply end up being portrayed as easily fooled, stupid or impulsive. They are delegitimized, pure and simple, made to look inferior to rational human beings.
Without doubt, this is the portrayal that has become the prevailing one in the public conscience. But the truth is that there is no objectivity among the liberals that is worthy of the name.
Thanks to this portrayal, the people are not allowed to learn the truth. In this case, the truth is that nationalism in politics works. To take one good example, there is how Hungary now has the lowest level of unemployment in its entire history; this after having thrown out the International Monetary Fund, one of globalism’s main enforcement mechanisms, something which can’t be called anything other than a “quick fix”.
This example would seem to prove that “quick fixes” work and that the problems that are presented by the media as complicated and nuanced really aren’t. You don’t need a political expert to chew it over for you. Simple solutions like banning migrants and banning globalist organizations achieve extraordinary results.
The False Image of Nationalists
But the delegitimization effort is primarily about making nationalists look ignorant, which the media seems to do every day in their reporting. George Orwell wrote this quip about nationalism that many today would endorse without even thinking twice: “Every nationalist is capable of the most flagrant dishonesty, but he is also unshakably certain of being in the right… All nationalists have the power of not seeing resemblances between similar sets of facts.”
The truth is that we today know more about these sort of things thanks to social science experiments. We now have a term called “confirmation bias.” It has been proven by experts that people tend to focus on certain facts that confirm their view of the world. In the same experiments, it has also been shown that people think less of facts that do not fit their preconceived narrative. More importantly, there is nothing that says that this only applies to nationalists. But this is what people like Orwell and the media would like to have you believe.
In the case of Orwell, thanks to his words, the safest thing would probably be to call him arrogant. It is what most of the liberals have become these days when they pile all the world’s sins on the nationalist’s doorstep and claim that nationalists are ignorant.
Without a doubt, arrogance is something which nationalists have to put up a lot with these days. What the arrogant liberal elite claim is that nationalists are in fact the personification of ignorance, when in fact ignorant people can be found on all sides. Yet it is the image of the arrogant nationalist image that today is being promulgated by the media, even if there is really nothing that says that nationalists stand out more than other people in this regard.
The Mother-View Theory
One could also go further in proving this delegitimization campaign by borrowing a word from the Swedish literary scholar and debater Göran Hägg. One’s mother-view, as he called it, is not something people so easily deviate from, after which he took the image of the Serbs as a good example. Good arguments or critiques, according to him, will not affect people because of their mother-view.
As an example, consider the authority that science now has in our society. The word of scientists is viewed as authoritative, so everything that they say about global warming is taken as gospel by many people because it subscribes to their mother-view of the world in which science is the definitive authority.
A mother-view is more or less a part of our identity. This is why many people refuse to take criticism, even if they are making mistakes or could do better. The so-called mother-view theory could explain a lot, such as why otherwise intelligent people end up making fools of themselves.
This proclivity to ignorance, by the way, is what we have seen liberal journalists and politicians fall victim to in Sweden. When attention was turned to migrant crime in their country thanks to Trump and Fox News, we saw this arrogant ignorance writ large. They simply could not admit that the nationalists that they had been depicting as brain-dead arrogant idiots were right all along. To do so would admit that they too were ideologically compromised and not objective. Furthermore, since nationalists weren’t anywhere near the levers of power, liberals would have to admit that they created the hellish conditions shown on TV that they had tried to cover up for years.
The Attack on Russia
Last but not least we have the attack on Russia. Few can claim that Russia has not, in fact, become something akin to a punching bag, with many liberal journalists relishing the opportunity to bring up the Russian bogeyman.
The biggest reason for this attack is the country’s nationalistic politics and because it is the country in Europe which has gone the furthest in the dismantling of liberal democracy, which happened because the Russians simply had to break away from Western power structures to maintain their sovereignty.
Thanks to this attack, which really is part of a demonization campaign, the Russians end up looking like they are the worthy heirs of Hitler’s nationalistic legacy.
Today it is primarily about portraying them as guilty of “crimes against international law” in connection with Ukraine. However, it is only required that one juxtaposes Russia’s annexation of Crimea and the United States’ invasion of Iraq to see the hypocrisy. How little criticism there is now of the ongoing chaos in Iraq that was done in the name of liberal principles as opposed to the annexation of Crimea that was done on the basis of nationalist principles!
The Russians are being used as a political football. This would be the only way to explain why Sweden’s relationship with Russia is being compared to that of Poland’s, that is to say, a country which the Russians have been at war with for as long as they have existed.
So the attack on Russia that we now see can be explained, in the context of the delegitimization campaign against nationalists. Russia has become an avatar of nationalism according to the liberal press, so of course, they attack Russia with all the venom and bile that they can muster. By digging up more fact on this issue, for instance from the documentary “The Mask of Revolution” by Paul Moreira, one will see only more proof of how there is a delegitimization in progress.
The Result of the Delegitimization
But it is a delegitimization campaign which has started to backfire. Constant attacks on people’s identity always leads to backlash. Nowadays, where a nationalistic ideology is portrayed as something that only the worst kinds of people partake in, we see unbridled contempt flowing from the liberal authority structures. But now the contempt is starting to flow in the opposite direction. People are starting to see the ideological trappings of the people that are claiming to be objective. Their own claims about nationalists’ arrogance and ideological blindness apply to them. They are starting to panic. And just like with Communism at the turn of the 20th century, we are starting to see the birth of a mass movement whose time has come.