The rise of Western civilisationism

The rise of Western civilisationism, by Daniel Pipes.

Viktor Orban’s landslide electoral victory on Sunday, gaining 134 seats out of 199 in Hungary’s parliament, increases his governing supermajority and endorses his tough policy of excluding illegal immigrants, especially from the Middle East. His success dramatises a new reality across Europe and in Australia: a novel kind of party has emerged, disturbing the political scene and arousing impassioned debate. …

Victor Orbasn and Angela Merkel

An initial problem is how correctly to name them in general. The media lazily lumps these parties together as far-right, ignoring their frequent leftist elements, especially in economic and social policy. Calling them nationalist is wrong, for they neither bellow calls to arms nor raise claims to neighbours’ lands. Populist misses the point because plenty of populist parties such as La France Insoumise (Rebellious France) pursue nearly opposite policies.

Best is to focus on their key common elements: rejecting the vast influx of immigrants, especially Muslim immigrants, to Europe. Non-Muslim immigrants also cause strains, especially those from Africa, but only among Muslims does one find a program, the Islamist one, to replace Western civilisation with a radically different way of life.

Turned around, these parties are traditionalists with a pro-Christendom, pro-European and pro-Western outlook; they are civilisationist. (This also has the benefit of excluding parties, such as the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn in Greece, that despise traditional Western civilisation.) …

Angry amateurs drawn into politics, with cranks in their slipstream:

Staffed mainly by angry political novices, civilisationist parties feature dismaying numbers of anti-Jewish and anti-Muslim extremists, Nazi nostalgists, power-hungry cranks, econ­omic eccentrics, historical revis­ionists and conspiracy theorists. Some proffer anti-demo­cratic, anti-EU and anti-American outlooks. Far too many, especially Orban, have a soft spot for Russian dictator Vladimir Putin.

But these parties also bring critical benefits to the political arena: realism, courage, tenacity and a civilisational critique neces­sary if the West is to survive in its historic form. Therefore, contrary to many friends and allies, I favour working with most of these parties, advocating critical co-operation rather than rejection and marginalisation.

First, civilisationist parties pose a lesser danger than do Islamists. They are traditionalist and defensive. They are not violent, they do not seek to overthrow the constitutional order. Their errors are correctable. …

Second, they respond to political realities. The lure of power already has inspired some of these parties to mature and moderate; for example, the founder of the National Front in France was expelled from his own party by his daughter because of his persistent anti-Semitism.

Third, parties focused on civilisationism cannot be dismissed as ephemeral. …

Finally, and most critically, these parties have a vital role in bringing their issues to the fore: without them, other parties usually ignore immigration and Islamist challenges. Conservative parties prefer to ignore these issues in part because their big business supporters benefit from cheap labour. Leftist parties too often promote immigration and turn a blind eye to Islamism. …

They are necessary now:

I acknowledge their many faults, but parties focused on immigration and Islamism are essential for Europe not to become an extension of northern Africa but to remain part of the Western civilisation it created.

hat-tip Stephen Neil