Behind the Headlines
by Justin Raimondo
Patriots of every nation: mark your calendars. On September 28, Denmark votes on whether or not to adopt the "euro," the common currency of the European Union (EU) and the election is widely seen as a bellwether for all of Europe as it contemplates the rise of what has been dubbed by its opponents the "cold hard monster." In Great Britain and Sweden, which have both promised to hold referendums on the euro but have yet to set dates the Danish results will be closely watched. Polls show the referendum practically a dead heat, so far, and both sides are pulling out all the stops in a race that could decide the future of the European mega-state. Opposition to the assimilation of rich little Denmark, with its storybook green pastures and castles, into polyglot Europa is centered in the Danish People's Party and its leader, Pia Kjaersgaard, who describes herself as "an ordinary housewife with three children." "Do we want to lose control of our lives with more and more decisions made by the European Central Bank in Frankfurt or in Brussels?" she thunders, "do we want this multiculturalism, this multiethnicity, about which the country was never consulted? I say we don't want either."
The rise of Pia Kjaersgaard as a Nordic version of Jorge Haider has already got the European Left in a lather and in America, too, the clucking disapproval of the liberal media is almost audible. The New York Times' coverage of Danish Euroskepticism has the reporter asking a leftist opponent of the EU, a "rumpled and thoughtful" socialist professor:
"But ought a man of the left to share a platform with Ms. Kjaersgaard? It is very awkward, Mr. Krarup confided. But then, this is a time of collapsing certainties, of 'exponential change,' so such odd shifts of political ground could occur."
The idea that Ms. Kjaersgaard is some kind of political pariah, and that her mere presence on a platform next to the "thoughtful" Mr. Krarup would almost certainly prove contaminating, is not-so-subtly introduced right off the bat, so that the reader is instantly alerted as to the politically correct position to take on the subject at hand. Naturally, anything that doesn't fit into the paradigm of a New York Times-style liberal is "odd" and even, in the case of Ms. Kjaersgaard, "bizarre. "The essential issue is the preservation of our sovereignty," says Ms. Kjaersgaard. "The euro will erode our national authority and identity at a time when Denmark is already becoming more and more multiethnic and globalized." Thank god we have the New York Times to interpret all this for us: "To lump the euro with the arrival of foreigners and the effects of global competition and conjure a three- pronged menace may seem bizarre," we are informed. "But not necessarily in today's Europe, where concern about the dilution of nationhood through European integration and mounting immigration is widespread."
Oh, those crazy Europeans you know how they are! With all that history in every stone, on every streetcorner a national monument or a sacred grove, why it's like living in a theme park a politically incorrect Nordic Disneyland full of castles and white people. Not only that, but this storybook land is home to a growing right-wing populist opposition to the idea of a borderless, multiculturized and completely socialized Denmark. Can EU sanctions be far behind?
While the adoption of the euro as the Danish currency is the ostensible subject of this referendum, what is really at stake is the fate of Europe's little nations at the hands of a revived Holy Roman Empire. Everyone saw what happened to the Austrians when they transgressed the boundaries of the politically permissible: humiliating sanctions and a demonization campaign conducted on an international scale. Polls show that few Danes support the sanctions and implicitly measure the fear that the EU will intervene in Danish elections if the desired results are not forthcoming. If Pia Kjaersgaard, the Pat Buchanan of Denmark, enters the government, the political commissars of Europe's new Warsaw Pact would give the Danes the same treatment they gave the Austrians perhaps worse. The upcoming decision by the Euro-crats on whether or not to lift the sanctions on Austria after a subcommittee of the EU bureaucracy called them "counterproductive" could have a decisive impact on the outcome of the referendum, particularly if the arrogant French prevail and the sanctions stay.
Before they start labeling Ms. Kjaersgaard a "Nazi" and the Danish People's Party a gang of goose-stepping skinheads, here's a few facts: The Danish People's Party was an outgrowth of the quasi-libertarian Progress Party, founded in August 1972 by Mogens Glistrup. Glistrup was a tax-resistor and attorney who electrified the nation when he disclosed on national television that he refused to pay any income tax, praising tax-evaders as heroes to be emulated: he compared them to those who had resisted the German occupation during World War II. In a country with the highest income tax (27% as a percentage of gross domestic product) this was the equivalent of starting a revolution and, for a while, Glistrup's revolution seemed to be succeeding. A few weeks into the election season saw the Progress Party skyrocket from 4% in the polls to nearly a quarter of the electorate. When the votes were counted, the party wound up with 15.9 percent of the vote, Glistrup and his tax rebels had gone from being a small splinter group to taking their place in Parliament as the second largest party after the ruling Social Democrats. Danish statists of every hue were horrified, and they went after Glistrup with a vengeance; dragging him through the courts, jailing him on at least two occasions, and vilifying him in the media as the incarnation of the devil himself. Factional disagreements, as well as Glistrup's personal and political intransigence, led to the decline of the Progress Party, and the rise of the more moderate People's Party, with parliamentarian Kjaersgaard at the helm. Her party eventually displaced Glistrup, garnering some 10 percent in the last elections, and currently doing over 20 percent in the polls.
Ms. Kjarsgaard's rising popularity is due largely to her visibility not only on the EU question, but on the volatile immigration issue, which was dramatized recently when a multiculturalist organization mocked the alleged "racism" of the Danes by erecting billboards showing a youth-of-color declaring: "When I become white, I'll be a schoolteacher." People's Party activists parodied this with billboards of their own, showing a derelict white guy proclaiming: "When I become a Muslim, I'll have a house." Reflecting the widespread view that immigrants are first in line for the vast array of services automatically provided to all residents of this very wealthy country, such propaganda is frightening to the Danish and Anglo-American elites. It is effective precisely because it rings so true. As one of the top ten richest countries in the world and also a welfare state in the Scandinavian style Denmark is reflexively balking at the open borders immigration policy of the EU. For this means that every Somalian refugee, every Albanian drug dealer, every Gypsy in Europe will be entitled to a little cottage with a white picket fence, a guaranteed annual income, and complete medical coverage for life. The libertarian roots of the People's Party, as well as its evolving critique of globalism and regionalism, has made it the voice of Danish nationalism The Danish People's Party represents an anti-statist nationalism that is taking on the central planners headquartered in Brussels, whose "Third Way" corporate socialism is dependent on a European central bank as an instrument of government policy.
In 1992, with right-wing populists and some allies on the left leading the campaign, the Maastricht treaty was rejected by Danish voters, and only approved in a later rematch when a modified version gave Danes the choice to opt out of key sections of the treaty including adoption of the euro, immigration, defense, and foreign policy. Denmark, with its frequent referendums on EU matters, has been in the front lines of the battle against the consolidation of a European super-state. According to the Berlinske Tidende, the Eurocrats are outspending their opponents by three-to-one in this campaign even as leftwing British Laborites scream bloody murder when Lady Thatcher and fellow Euroskeptics raise money for the beleaguered Danish "No" campaign. These 'Third Way" Commies are such hypocrites. In spite of being outspent and smeared as "far right" not to mention "bizarre" the Danish defenders of national sovereignty, on both sides of the political spectrum, are holding their own. Resistance to full assimilation into the Euro-monster runs high enough to leave the outcome in doubt as we get down to the wire and that is precisely what has the Eurocrats running scared.
The Danish People's Party, the Austrian Freedom Party, the Lega Nord in Italy, the Euroskeptical wing of Britain's Tory Party and the other anti-EU groups are all part of the inevitable reaction to the power grab by the Brussels bureaucracy. What the Danes are up against is the permanent government of the EU which seeks to establish a socialist super-state from the Iberian peninsula to the steppes of the Ukraine and beyond. This is the old dream of the pan-European movement, which had its rise, as John McLaughland shows in his book, The Tainted Source: The Undemocratic Origins of the European Idea, in the fascist and national socialist movements of Europe in the 1930s. Aggressive, animated by a sense of its civilizing mission, and armed with nuclear weapons, the patriots of the EU dream of the day when they can mount a challenge to the American "hyperpower." Yet the Clinton administration has hailed European integration and even welcomed the idea of a European Defense Force provided it doesn't displace NATO. But even at this early stage, the tension between the US and the EU is palpable, and not only over trade matters. This is one reason for the enthusiasm for NATO expansion by US policymakers, who hope to head the Eurocrats off in Eastern Europe.
In a world where "globalization" has become a religion, any sort of particularism is heretical and promptly punished, in varying degrees of severity. If the Danes dare to buck the tide of European elite opinion and assert their sovereignty, rejecting the euro and all it stands for socialism, internationalism, and the virtual abolition of all localism the pressure on that small and relatively powerless country is bound to increase. Political and economic sanctions, a hate campaign organized along the same lines as the "hate Haider" hysteria and who knows what else the Eurocrats will resort to in their campaign to subjugate a continent?
The real irony of American foreign policy, which is geared to meddling in other people's affairs, is that it prevents us from recognizing let alone safeguarding our own legitimate interests. There is so much talk of the alleged "threat" posed by such petty dictators as Saddam Hussein and Slobodan Milosevic: practically every day we hear how they are the equivalent of Hitler and Stalin rolled into one, ready to pounce at a moment's notice. But what about the challenge posed by the rising European super-state how come we never hear a word about that, not even from the most fanatical interventionists? The neocons over at the Weekly Standard always in the market for a new foreign bogeyman seem to have overlooked this one. The War Party has been so busy scaring the daylights out of us with tall tales of Chinese and Russian plots against the Pax Americana that they seem to have entirely neglected the only really credible competitor one centered, not in Moscow or Beijing, but in Brussels. Now there is a real threat to US interests and potentially a military one that even the undisputed champion scaremonger of cyberspace, J.R. Nyquist of WorldNetDaily and Newsmax, has yet to uncover! Surely this is a scoop of major proportions. . . .
But seriously, folks, there's plenty of irony here: in spite of spending more on "defense" than any nation in history, still we wind up somehow nurturing our enemies. As the guardians of a global empire, with "vital national interests" on every continent and in every global backwater, we have less security than we ever did. While Republican politicians inveigh against the alleged "threat" posed by dilapidated Russia and technologically backward and internally unstable China, and both major parties see Iraq as a major threat to American interests, the threat posed by the Eurocrats has only been raised to some extent by Pat Buchanan, and to a lesser extent by Ralph Nader. My question is: Where are the scaremongers when you really need them? On the issue of the EU, they seem to be AWOL.
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