“Which Side Are You On?” sang the old union organizers in the past as they fought for collective bargaining and a living wage. The message was that in the great battles of labor, you couldn't be neutral—you were either with the workers or with the bosses.
Today, the ideological descendents of those organizers are more interested in frantically dispossessing and replacing native workers in the name of multiculturalism than trying to raise wages. More importantly, the would-be rebels of uprisings like that in France in May 1968 are the privileged rulers of the European Union today. The EU causally bans political parties and free speech, ignores its own rules, and steals the savings of citizens.
One of the more outrageous (but unsurprising) actions was the recent vote of the European Parliament to waive immunity from the leader of the French National Front, MEP Marine Le Pen. Le Pen is to be tried for hate speech for stating about public Muslim prayers in the streets,
For those who like to talk about World War II, to talk about occupation, we could talk about, for once, the occupation of our territory. There are no armored vehicles, no soldiers, but it is an occupation all the same and it weighs on people.
Not only is this statement not offensive, it is obviously true. If anything, it understates the case against the creeping Islamization of France, which is already far more destructive to French culture and traditions than anything the Germans could come up with.
Such frankly Orwellian tactics are greeted by the American Right with a shrug. Reason magazine has a muddled blog post stating, “The removal of Le Pen’s immunity is only the latest example that the European Union and France do not believe the freedom to make dumb and offensive statements is a freedom worth protecting.” The race baiters over at Breitbart report the story, but make sure to go on a tangent about Nazi gas chambers. The conservative movement is no more capable of discussing serious issues than the European Parliament.
To the American Right, while EU censorship is barely worthy of mentioning, there is a moral panic about the “collectivist radicalism” of movements in Greece and Hungary. The Atlas Foundation is another one of those “free market” think tanks that lobbies effectively for tax cuts on the wealthy and support for open borders. Of course, it fails on everything else.
It has been promoting a “Ridicule the Radical” campaign against nationalist movements in Hungary, echoed by its fellow travelers over at Students for Liberty. The Atlas Network also sponsored an event last month on “fighting collectivist radicalism in Hungary and Greece” for minicons in DC. “Liberty” is only under threat when traditionalists are winning – or at least fighting back.
However, there is an interesting split within the Beltway Right. Ron Paul has also started a new think-tank exclusively dedicated to foreign policy, the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity. It has already come under attack from James Kirchik, a “fellow” for the neoconservative Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, contributing editor to The New Republic, contributor to the Jewish magazine Tablet, writer for the government funded Radio Free Liberty, contributor to the homosexual magazine The Advocate, and of course, a writer featured in The Weekly Standard. Another critic of European patriotism, Kirchik is a remarkably accurate bellweather for determining bipartisan establishment opinion, and so his attack on Paul's new project is interesting.
In an article revealingly titled, “Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid,” Kirchik recycles the charges surrounding Ron Paul's “racist” (read “truthful”) newsletters from decades ago and insists that Lew Rockwell (who has long since jettisoned any politically incorrect sentiments) be purged. He also condemns board members John Laughland, who defended Slobodan Milosevic against the the farcical “war-crimes” trial, and Mark Almond, a trustee of the “sinister” British Helsinki Human Rights Group (BHHRG), which “regurgitate[s] Russian nationalist talking points.” Various other individuals are deemed objectionable, like noted extremist Andrew Napolitano, Civil War “revisionists” like Walter Block, and “anti-Semites” like former CIA analyst Michael Scheuer. Kirchik's predictably prissy conclusion is that “It cannot surprise anyone at this point that the sorts of things that horrify decent people do not horrify Ron Paul.”
Another homosexual activist lecturing us on what decent people believe is the Cato Institute's Tom Palmer. (What would the historical Cato think of the Institute named for him, I wonder?) For years, Palmer has critized non-interventionism when it crosses over into what he sees as "anti-Americanism." While a principled non-interventionist would be rightly suspicious of actions his government takes abroad, Palmer believes the greater moral imperative is opposing “authoritarianism,” especially of the Russian variety. In his words, “To be so angry at your own government that you will ally yourself with tyrants abroad is . . . well, words fail me. But when I become very calm, one comes to mind with perfect clarity: evil.”
It is surely no coincidence that his and Kirchik's hatred of Putin's Russia is at least partially due to Russia's relative conservatism in sexual morality and restrained xenophilia (at least compared to the suicidal West). To Palmer, Kirchik, and for that matter, the late Christopher Hitchens, American interventionism is permissible when it is on the side of “liberal democracy,” especially when American “soft power” is being used to break down traditional institutions.
The debate is not between “interventionism” and “non-interventionism” or “libertarians” and “militarists.” These terms mean no more than “conservative” does. The divide that is taking place in Washington and around the world is the division between these who favor the global spread of the “open society” dominated by multiculturalism, cultural liberalism, and the financial system imposed by Wall Street and London, and those who oppose it. America is the enforcer of the former, and Russia is quickly shaping up as the primary defender of the latter. Juvenile slogans about “freedom” and “limited government” are far less revealing than the “friend” and “enemy” division outlined by Carl Schmitt. As thinkers like Alexander Dugin have outlined and the battle over Edward Snowden makes clear, you can either support the open society imperialism of Washington, or the incoherent, contradictory, but nontheless substantial resistance effort headed by Putin's Russia.
It's what Washington wants, or what Washington doesn't. If the Beltway's order collapses, then a new world is possible.
So which side are you on?