photo by Yoshinori Abe

January 31, 2000


Rewriting the past – as Orwell pointed out, a totalitarian regime must invest heavily in this essential task. In Orwell's famous novel, 1984, the regime of Big Brother openly proclaims the malleability of history in the following slogan: "Who controls the past controls the future; who controls the present controls the past." No one understands this better than the propagandists of the European Union (EU), who are now embarked on a new project, the founding of a "Museum of Europe." As a cultural monument, this Museum is faced with an almost impossible task: to imbue the bloodless soul-less diktaks of the Brussels bureaucracy with the aura and mystery of an instant tradition, a faux "culture" conjured entirely out of thin air. The result confirms my theory of humor: that the best of it is unintentional. . . .


The Eurocrats are not unaware of their predicament: the Museum's mission statement admits that most see the EU as a "cold, bureaucratic monster, a soulless producer of administrative edicts." Ah, but this can be overcome, they aver, by dressing up the Monster in different historical costumes, and inventing a fake "history" of the "European idea." As the Museum's mission statement puts it: "The European Union which is taking shape before our eyes is not a recent invention born of politicians' whims but the product of a long maturation of a time-honored idea as old as Europe itself." In opening up the question of the history of the European idea, its political and ideological antecedents, the Eurocrats are putting their cards on the table – cards that bear some pretty provocative symbols – starting with the swastika.


Ah yes, the "time-honored tradition" of pan-European integration. EU propagandists have pointed to the postwar "pan-European" movement as having grown out of the resistance to Hitlerism, but the reality is quite different. Nazi propagandists were the first modern purveyors of European continentalism – a program forcibly implemented by Hitler's legions as they overran a vast territory from Normandy to the Urals. The earliest purveyors of Italian fascist and German ultra-nationalism latched on to the European idea from the very start, organizing exhibitions and conferences eerily similar to those now making their debut all across Europe under EU auspices. As the New York Times reports, "Lack of consensus has not hindered the proliferation of museum shows emphasizing" the new "Pan-European culture"; the Council of Europe is sponsoring a traveling exhibition, which is now on tour. Reading this immediately brought to mind the photograph illustrating the second chapter of John Laughland's remarkably learned and provocative book, The Tainted Source: The Undemocratic Origins of the European Idea. It is a photo that shows a photographic exhibition organized by the French Waffen SS in Paris, 1944, entitled "The Waffen SS is fighting for Europe." French collaborators, dressed in full Nazi regalia, schmooze with their German conquerors, and the caption reads: "Just over a year later, it was soldiers from the French Waffen SS division 'Charlemagne' who were to be among the last to defend the Reichstag from Soviet attack."


Speaking of Charlemagne, the first Holy Roman emperor has become the Eurocratic icon of choice, a fitting symbol of their overarching ambition – but not without some opposition. A battle royale is breaking out among the Eurocrats between Greek classicists and medievalists. Greece has taken umbrage at the Museum directors over their concept of the European idea as being rooted in the Middle Ages. Clearly, the Greeks assert, this is a slight to the classical era: is not Greece the "cradle of democracy"? Well that may be, reply the Museum's officials, such as scientific director Elie Barnavi, but that is simply not good enough: the problem, reports the Times, is that "Greek civilization failed to promote a larger European consciousness . . . because it discriminated between citizens and barbarians. Roman civilization featured a similar dichotomy," avers Barnavi, and so cannot meet the EU's high standards of political correctness. And so it is out with the first philosophers, the founders of the world's first republics – not only Aristotle but the original explicators of natural law theory, the Stoics – and in with the ninth century absolutism of Charlemagne and rule by "divine right." Such are the political uses of history.


The Orwellian character of the EU and its propaganda is eerie in the extreme. On the one hand, the Nazis are held up as the ultimate symbol of evil, and this is truer in Germany – the geographic center of the Soulless Monster – than practically anywhere else on earth. Yet the "we are the wave of the inevitable future" rhetoric employed by the advocates of a EuroSuperState bears a striking resemblance to the prewar pronunciamentos of Italian, French, and German fascists, who hailed the rise of "Europa." As John Laughland puts it in The Tainted Source:

"Because the fascists believed that they were the harbingers of a New Order (much fascist thought was overtly futuristic) they argued that the concept of national sovereignty was simply out of date – a view which is peddled vigorously by pro-Europeans today. In Vichy France, the senior Vichyite minister and admirer of Hitler, Jacques Benoist-Machin, who was a Secretary of State in the Vichy government in charge of Franco-German relations from June 1941 until September 1942, declared that France's policy of collaboration required 'the abandonment of old illusions'. France would be able to join the new Europe, he asserted, only when she abandons all crumbling forms of nationalism – which was itself in reality only an anachronistic particularism – and when she takes her place in the European community with honour. . .'"


As the Eurocrats go about their gigantic project of social engineering on a continental scale, they are not content with the usual paraphernalia of phony "nationhood": a flag, a currency, a symbol-embossed passport – even a national (or supranational) anthem. Now, that's one song virtually no one can hum, let alone the lyrics, not even the Eurocrats themselves. But perhaps their children will, and that is the goal of the pan-European educational system now taking root. With Brussels overseeing the writing and publication of textbooks that teach history from a "European" point of view, the little Europeans of tomorrow will be spoon-fed – and force-fed, if necessary – a version of history that legitimizes the EU kleptocracy. Previous efforts to distribute an official EU history textbook were thwarted by the troublesome Greeks, who objected to a volume by the French historian Jean-Baptiste Duroselle on the grounds that the contribution of Hellenic civilization was almost completely overlooked in the text.


But the Eurocrats can afford to wait, or so they think. According to Peter Ludlow, of Center for European Policy Studies, the official EU thinktank headquartered in Brussels, we are in for a "sea change." They may not yet know the words to the EU's anthem, but they'll know what a Euro is in 2002, when they have to trade in their francs, marks, pounds, and what-have-you for the spawn of the European central bankers. Yes, but will this be enough to inspire the loyalty of millions? If the pure economism of the Eurocrats is correct, then the answer is yes: if not, then the pockets of resistance to the coming dictatorship of the acronyms are bound to expand. The British Tories show signs of waking up to the danger, and in Austria, Greece, and throughout the continent opposition to the Soulless Monster is mobilizing. The Monster could be strangled in its cradle – if we're lucky.


It strikes me as incredible that the growth of a single European Super-State is seen as a benign development by our national leaders, while such marginal despots as Slobodan Milsovic and Saddam Hussein loom large in the official imagination as monsters of Satanic proportions. In their endless search for overseas enemies, the interventionists of the Left and the Right have both overlooked this obvious danger: the rise of a nuclear-armed European Super-State, that sees itself as a great liberator of peoples, an Empire to rival our own, with its own energizing ideology as well as a formidable military force. The Republican wing of the War Party is railing at a third world nation like China, whose standard of living and military is fifty years behind the West, while the vast technological resources of Europe are being mobilized in the service of a new and burgeoning Brussels-based Power.


The same Times piece reports that a soon-to-be-published volume put out by a pro-EU thinktank opines that the geographic reality and reach of the European Idea is elastic, apparently infinitely so. According to Professor Heinrich Schneider, of the University of Vienna: "How far Europe will reach tomorrow, or the day after tomorrow, or in the next century and later, cannot be looked up in a historical atlas of the Antique, the Middle Ages, of the 20th century, or of the cold war period." This has an unmistakably messianic ring to it, an idea that seems inherently aggressive and expansionist. As the engine of European socialism, extending the rule of the Third Way into Eastern and Southern Europe, including even Turkey, the EU seems much more of a potential challenge to American interests and "hegemony" than either Russian or China, or even both combined. Yet never do we hear a peep out of the War Party, either wing of it, on this question: this is the one enemy they have apparently overlooked.


The smashing of old icons, and the creation of new gods and new heroes, this is the process of European cultural integration in action – a sinister ritual that bears a remarkable resemblance to what is going on in the US. We, too, face the purgation of old, politically "incorrect" symbols – the Confederate flag, the "Indian" sports franchises, the slave-owning Founders – and the enthronement of new gods and heroes: Jefferson is out, Saint Martin Luther King is in, and our children are taught that the Founders of this country were white male heterosexual sadists, who did not merely colonize but enslaved a continent, murdering and raping their way from sea to shining sea. It is not only the textbooks of Europe, but also our own that have been rewritten – to fit the same multi-culturalist anti-particularist agenda.


The announcement that the EU intends to raise its own army is a warning to the last independent pockets of resistance, such as Serbia, that continue to defy the Euro-lords. The European integrationists attach a lot of importance to their very first war, in which the declared enemy was the idea of sovereignty, and the nationalistic Serbs were given the honor of being singled out for subjugation and humiliation. But Milosevic fought them to a standstill, and stood up for the idea of national sovereignty against these would be Holy Roman emperors. The issue remains dangerously unresolved, and with plenty of potential to drag the United States into yet another European conflict. In the civilizational struggle between Western Europe and the Orthodox East, the US and the EU are lined up against the Slavs – and anyone else who dares challenge Western global hegemony.


The crusade to export MTV, Democracy, and the cultural hegemony of Hollywood to the four corners of the earth is, for some, a holy crusade, albeit a purely secular one. In spite of the Eurocrats' pathetic pretensions, and their highly dubious claim to represent the imperial legacy of Charlemagne, this rising Euro-imperialism is neither Holy nor Roman. It isn't even a proper Empire, as it has no Emperor, nor even a sense of its own majesty – only faceless bureaucrats who thrive on anonymity. There is indeed something distinctly unholy about this international crusade against the idea of national sovereignty, and the rise of regionalism, and "the European idea," straight out of Nazi and fascist propaganda of the 1930s – even as nationalists, such as the Freedom Party of Austria, are denounced as "neo-Nazis" for their opposition to the dictatorship of Brussels and the liquidation of national identity and history in the face of the pan-European cultural blitzkrieg.


On every front, from Europe to Latin America, from the Middle East to the Straits of Taiwan, the great struggle in the world comes down to two forces, two great antagonists locked in mortal combat: the emerging world state versus the rest of mankind. At the center is he metropolitan megalopolis, North America, Great Britain, and Western Europe, with the second tier the former colonies of Great Britain and the emerging nations of Eastern Europe. Extending its reach into the Ukraine and the Baltics, and through Turkey into the Caucasus, the great Acronymic Alliance of the EU and the US is now making its bid for world hegemony, with the prize being the fantastic oil wealth to be found in the Caspian Sea region. It is a vision that combines the megalomania of Alexander, the hubris of Napoleon – and a Hitlerian sense of messianic inevitability.

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Justin Raimondo is the editorial director of He is also the author of Reclaiming the American Right: The Lost Legacy of the Conservative Movement (with an Introduction by Patrick J. Buchanan), (1993), and Into the Bosnian Quagmire: The Case Against U.S. Intervention in the Balkans (1996). He is an Adjunct Scholar with the Ludwig von Mises Institute, in Auburn, Alabama, a Senior Fellow at the Center for Libertarian Studies, and writes frequently for Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture. He is the author of An Enemy of the State: The Life of Murray N. Rothbard (forthcoming from Prometheus Books).

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