Claire Berlinski Answers Viktor Orban, Part 1 of 4

 

imagesAnd in doing so, I’ll also answer Robert Lux. But I’d like to ask all of Ricochet if we — all of us, me included, and me especially — have this conversation in a way of which Ricochet can be proud. These are deeply emotional issues. They should be.

I feel quite strongly about the future of liberal democracy in the West and Islamic terrorism. I’ve written books about the issue, some parts of which might surprise those of you who’ve pegged me as the resident all-heart-no-survival-instinct editor of Ricochet. (Critics roundly denounced that book when it was published ten years ago as the midnight eructations of a ravening Islamophobe. They probably hadn’t read it carefully. But no one is criticizing it now — except, perhaps, for me.)

I couldn’t be closer to these questions, literally. Had my father not been in the hospital this past week; had he or I or my brother instead gone out for dinner or a drink at one of the places that was attacked, we might now be DNA samples on the pavement over which lachrymose Parisians are lighting candles and singing choked-up versions of the Marseillaise. Everyone I know in Paris has been affected.

And no one in his or her right mind thinks it’s over, yet. A few days ago I sent an e-mail to Michael Totten sketching out what I figured would happen next. He ran with the idea in this column, and needless to say, I agree:

… ISIS doesn’t need to destroy the French Republic or any other state to inflict an extraordinary amount of damage. Just look at what one guy— Seifeddine Rezgui—did in Tunisia five months ago.

He casually strolled up to a bunch of British tourists on the beach and murdered 38 of them with a Kalashnikov.

The police shot and killed him, of course, and dozens of local Tunisians tried to stop him and even volunteered as human shields, but the damage was already done. Tunisia’s tourist economy went the way of the dinosaurs.

… imagine if ISIS decides to attack France that way in the future. Rather than targeting five or six civilian targets simultaneously, they could hit a new one every day for a week. Or a new one every week for a month.

That would cause some serious economic mayhem in France or anywhere else. ISIS might do to France what it did to Tunisia. I certainly don’t intend to give them any ideas by mentioning this in public, but figuring it out on their own is no more difficult than reinventing the wheel.

My gut says the logic of this — and thus the odds of this scenario — are high enough that it’s reasonable to be concerned by it. That said, I can’t know for sure, and can’t adjust my life according to fears with no quantifiable basis, and won’t adjust my life to terrorists, and besides, my mind these days is on the much more specific fear that my father’s cardiac monitor will stop pulsing in front of my eyes. That puts all other fears in perspective.

But my point is that I’m emotional, for reasons I hope everyone will understand. These issues are very personal. They’re personal to all of us, each for our own reasons. It’s not just that I live here, but that I’m the granddaughter of Jewish refugees from Europe. The fact that I’m alive at all is a statistical fluke. The boats full of desperate refugees sinking in the sea remind me of the S.S. St. Louis, the MV Struma, of Operation Embarrass. Of course these are family memories that shape my views. My grandparents only barely escaped. My grandmother was bitter about this until she died: My grandfather had fought in the French Foreign Legion, but even that wasn’t good enough for France; when the war was over, the word went out: Enough with the Jewish refugees.

Then too, my perspective is colored by the decade I spent in Turkey. It is impossible to say to someone who lived as long as I did in the Islamic world that Islam is a singular thing. I have too many Muslim friends to think that, but even if I didn’t, I hope I’d have worked that out just on the basis of common sense. But that’s not my key point. The key point is the other thing I saw in Turkey, the thing that marked me most permanently. I saw the rise of an authoritarian regime — a real one — and how such regimes take power, step-by-step.

Turkey was of course never a liberal paradise. But I lived through a long, twilight period where the lights grew dimmer and dimmer, even as the rest of the world insisted they were blazing strongly. This didn’t happen because Turkey is a Muslim country (and in fact, it is not, technically; it is a secular country with a majority Muslim population). It happened because the safeguards against the authoritarian temptation weren’t strong enough.

I’ve come to believe that absent those safeguards, it’s not — as I and many others’ hopefully thought in the wake of the fall of the Berlin Wall — mankind’s natural disposition to move forward into broad, sunlit uplands of liberal democracy. I no longer believe there’s a natural trajectory of history at all. But certain forms of government seem to become popular at various periods of history. The form of government for which the early 21st century will be noted by historians is not liberal democracy, but competitive authoritarianism, Viktor-Orban style.

I’m emotional about all of these things. But let me continue the plea with which I began. Let’s discuss this — all of this — with all the patience, respect, calm, warmth, and dignity we can muster. Let’s assume our interlocutors’ good will as a matter of conversational discipline, even if we have no reason to assume it epistemically. We are all here, presumably, because none of us really wish to truck with the vulgarity and invective of the typical argument on the Internet.

So let’s make our cases as carefully and politely as possible, however strongly we feel, not least because what we feel is immaterial — feelings aren’t arguments. Let’s try, as well, to listen to what others are saying, not jump to conclusions or caricaturize the arguments of others. And while it is right to feel emotion about these subjects, let’s attempt to make robust arguments in preference to blackmailing one another with our feelings: It is what civilized men and women do.

***

So, Robert, Viktor Orban seems compelling in that video, doesn’t he? If it were all I knew of him, I might nod and say, “I’ll hear him out.”

I did, in fact.

My response to him falls under three categories. The first treats the specifics of his speech. The second treats him, specifically, and his record in Hungary. The third treats the political philosophy he represents. I’ll address them seriatum in the coming three posts.

Before I do, though, I thought it would be helpful for us all to have a transcript of his speech. I couldn’t find one on the Internet, so I did it myself. Forgive me if I omitted a word; it’s just a transcription error and not deliberate. Nor do I speak Hungarian, so any errors in translation are owed to the translation provided.

I’ve skipped the first minute and a half, in which he begins by offering his condolences to France.

At 1:33, Orban says,

Until now, we Hungarians were focused on closing the border from the flood from the Middle East and Africa. And so we got our punishment that this is not ‘humane.’ But here we have before us the question: What is more humane? To close the borders against the illegal border crossers, or to risk the lives of innocent European citizens? The right to life precedes all other rights. Just as the right to self-defense is stronger than anything else. No ideology or economic interest can allow us to put the lives Europeans citizens in danger. Howsoever, we can see that the EU is drifting. It is weak, unsure of itself, and paralyzed. There are conferences and negotiations unto exhaustion. But there are no solutions. We are writhing in a web of ideologies, instead of acting based on common sense and our own personal cultural traditions. The leaders of many European nations still, to this day, are wracking their brains about how to solve the transportation and acceptance of masses of immigrants, instead of finally taking united, practical steps to stop the flood.

In Brussels, they still claim that immigration is a good thing. Despite receiving proof day by day that immigration is a bad thing. This situation is not “win-win,” but “lose-lose.”

Esteemed House, we feel that Europe’s existence is at stake. Brussels, however, keeps sending bad messages, newer invitations to migrants, instead of us finally and honorably sending them the straightforward message that here, what they expect is not at all what awaits them.

Esteemed House, we have repeatedly warned the leaders of the European Union to not invite these people into Europe. Everyone who has, through common sense, considered the likely consequences of unchecked mass immigration must clearly know what dangers lurk in the mass pouring in illegally and unchecked, across our borders.

The European and American security specialists, secret service and intelligence bosses, police leaders, have constantly warned Europe of the growing danger of terrorism. Every politician, all of Europe’s leaders, knew of the danger. And the Greeks have said long ago, at the start of the summer, it can no way be ruled out that jihadists arrive along with the masses of migrants. Standing on the ground of common sense and viewing it from there, it was apparent that completely simply, masses must not be allowed inside unchecked. Hundreds of thousands of sorts of people, we know not where they come from, we don’t know who they are, and we don’t know what they want.

Furthermore, Esteemed House, these are territories where the EU is currently performing military campaigns. Such a thing has never happened before. We are accepting, no, transporting unchecked people in their hundreds of thousands from areas that are at war with the European Union. It has been proven that terrorists are knowingly and in a well-organized way are using mass immigration to melt into the mass of people abandoning their homes in hope of a better life. We don’t think that everyone who comes from there is a terrorist. But we don’t know, and no one is able to say, how many terrorists have arrived with the migrants so far. How many are already here. And how many are arriving day by day. Even one terrorist is too many. It hurts to even think about how many terrorists may have crossed our homeland. It’s time to put an end to this all throughout Europe.

My esteemed representatives, it is clear to every normally-thinking person that Europe cannot sustain this many people. We all know that the European economy cannot tackle such massive pressure. But beyond the financial and economic realities, mass migration possesses three severe dangers, each of which alone are sufficient to clinch the human tide.

First of all, on Friday night, we could experience that mass migration means an exponentially increased threat of terrorism. Moreover, today we aren’t referring to the threat of terror anymore, but a fact. Real terrorism.

Secondly, mass immigration increases the danger of crime. It’s not “PC,” politically correct to talk about this. Moreover, the Western world openly denies these facts. But despite that, it’s still a fact. In Europe, where there are many immigrants, there crime has greatly increased, and security has decreased. There are more thefts, robberies, harassment, severe physical assaults, rape, and homicide. Even if we do not talk about it, these will remain facts.

And thirdly, the mass settlement of people arriving from other continents and cultures represents a danger to our culture, our way of life, habits, and traditions.

Now even those, who lived under the failed conception of multiculturalism, and who even wanted to force that mistaken conception on us, they can see where all this leads.

Esteemed President, my esteemed representatives, esteemed House. In the light of these events, we must speak about the obligatory quota question, too. We are still there, where someone from outside Hungary, they want to tell us whom we, Hungarians, need to live with. This is what this quota is about. I recommend to this esteemed house to still not accept this. Let’s keep sticking to deciding for ourselves whom we want to let in, whom we want to live with. The obligatory quota system is, completely, simply, not Europe. It stands in sharp contrast to the spirit of Europe. It is pointless, because it does not fix the crisis, but deepens it. It can be easily seen that the obligatory settlement quota does not keep migrants away, but rather acts as an invitation. It does not lessen the pressure, but increases it. And due to the suddenly increased pressure, the European nations will restore their internal EU borders. If this continues, it is only a matter of time. This will mean the end of the Schengen system and freedom of movement.

The obligatory quota, my esteemed representatives, is also unlawful, since the EU leaders don’t have the authority to make such a decision in this question. They have no authority to force a single member nation such a measure concerning refugees and migrants that the given nation does not want. In the light of the terror attacks, Brussels can especially no longer deny that member nations have the right to defend themselves.

Namely, the obligatory settlement quota is dangerous because it would disseminate terrorism throughout Europe. Facts and tragic events point out that we need a new kind of European politics. It is not enough to pat and patch and fix up the old. I recommend that we cast aside the dogmas, forget political correctness, let’s speak straightforward and open. I recommend that we return from the world of ideologies back to common sense, and to rethink European politics on the basis of four self-evident commandments. First of all, we must protect the external borders of the European Union. Because security begins with protection of borders. Second, we must protect our culture, because the essence of Europe lies in its spiritual and cultural identity. Third, we must protect our economic interests, because we Europeans must remain central to the world economy. And fourth, we must give people the right to be able to influence European decisions, because the Union must stand on democratic ground. Esteemed representatives, the European citizens did not want hundreds of thousands of unknown aliens to illegally and in an uncontrolled manner cross our borders and trample our countries. This sort of power was never given authority or permission by anyone, anywhere. People want to live in safety, and they want to enjoy the advantages of the EU. And for us parliamentary representatives, and to governments across Europe, our job is to hear the voice of the people. Thank you for your gracious attention.

That’s all for now. In other news from Paris, police assaults are underway in Saint-Denis; a woman there has blown herself up; Abaaoud and several other suspects are believed to be holed up in an apartment building there, helicopters are flying over the building and police have cordoned off the area, and it seems there are a few more suspects still at large.

Update: two people are dead, as is a police dog.

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There are 94 comments.

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  1. Inactive

    Islam breeds authoritarianism and repression. It is completely antithetical to liberalism or democracy in any form. The West owes the adherents of that retrograde ideology absolutely nothing.

    • #1
    • November 18, 2015, at 1:52 AM PDT
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  2. Member

    Once more, Claire, you are in the thick of it. And we here, Stateside, really appreciate your cutting through the fog and delivering great insights. Keep ’em comin’ – and may your father hang in there and improve as much as he can and as long as he can.

    • #2
    • November 18, 2015, at 1:53 AM PDT
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  3. Member

    Thanks for this response to Robert Lux.

    And also for the reminder of your book.

    And for writing out the speech, very helpful.

    • #3
    • November 18, 2015, at 1:57 AM PDT
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  4. Inactive

    If liberal democracy cannot protect Western nations against the scourge of Islam, it is reasonable to consider alternatives.

    • #4
    • November 18, 2015, at 2:01 AM PDT
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  5. Member

    Mike LaRoche:If liberal democracy cannot protect Western nations against the scourge of Islam, it is reasonable to consider alternatives.

    Meaning?

    • #5
    • November 18, 2015, at 2:10 AM PDT
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  6. Inactive

    Mike Rapkoch:

    Mike LaRoche:If liberal democracy cannot protect Western nations against the scourge of Islam, it is reasonable to consider alternatives.

    Meaning?

    Meaning that Viktor Orban’s proposal of an “illiberal new state based on national foundations” does not make him a dangerous radical.

    • #6
    • November 18, 2015, at 2:24 AM PDT
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  7. Member

    Mike LaRoche: Meaning that Viktor Orban’s proposal of an “illiberal new state based on national foundations” does not make him a dangerous radical.

    Mike, are you quoting Orban? Not sure I’m getting you.

    • #7
    • November 18, 2015, at 2:28 AM PDT
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  8. Inactive

    Claire, you may find this research interesting. It shows that Americans of different religions have a different attitude towards Islam. We are all more a product of our religion and ethnicity than we like to think. To me, this means that those among us with extreme views are probably wrong. See second chart in the article.

    http://publicreligion.org/2015/11/growing-concern-about-terrorism-islam-even-before-paris-attacks/

    • #8
    • November 18, 2015, at 2:30 AM PDT
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  9. Member

    There is nothing liberal democracy in the EU –member nation’s sovereignty is regularly trampled — but something very very liberal democracy in the sovereign nation Orban describes.

    • #9
    • November 18, 2015, at 2:30 AM PDT
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  10. Member

    Mike LaRoche:

    Mike Rapkoch:

    Mike LaRoche:If liberal democracy cannot protect Western nations against the scourge of Islam, it is reasonable to consider alternatives.

    Meaning?

    Meaning that Viktor Orban’s proposal of an “illiberal new state based on national foundations” does not make him a dangerous radical.

    It makes him a fascist. Is that dangerous? It has been, in the past.

    • #10
    • November 18, 2015, at 2:37 AM PDT
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  11. Inactive

    Mike LaRoche:If liberal democracy cannot protect Western nations against the scourge of Islam, it is reasonable to consider alternatives.

    Amen.

    • #11
    • November 18, 2015, at 2:40 AM PDT
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  12. Inactive

    I’d heard that Hungary in recent years has been making kind gestures to Putin — the way it was depicted, via I’m sure the National Review, is that this could largely be chalked up to Obama giving the cold shoulder to Hungary, Poland, CZ with respect to missile defense. Ergo with a weakening NATO — along with an apolitically political, national sovereignty effacing Brussels — why not, then, make nice with a possible emerging, future hegemon? So I knew Orban is some sort of right wing nationalist and at least a skeptic of liberal democracy.

    It does not detract from the speech’s main point, or veracity on-its-face: which is, really, the sovereignty of a country to perpetuate its own form of rule, the particularities of its customs, habits, pieties, epithets, etc. But thugs will, as we all know, present reasonable, resonating speech before a public desirous of self-respect or honor.

    I care very much about liberal democracy. My time studying Strauss, Jaffa and Jaffa’s best students (Angelo Codevilla, Thomas G. West, etc.) has taught me liberal democracy requires extremely special conditions: “I am afraid that we shall have to make a very great effort to find a solid basis for rational liberalism…All rational liberal philosophic positions [Strauss certainly has in mind Kantianism and his teacher Cassirer] have lost their power and significance,” said Strauss.

    I see the European Union resembling in certain ways the fecklessness of the Weimar Republic against which Strauss was reacting…

    • #12
    • November 18, 2015, at 2:49 AM PDT
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  13. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed. Post author

    CB Toder aka Mama Toad:There is nothing liberal democracy in the EU –member nation’s sovereignty is regularly trampled — but something very very liberal democracy in the sovereign nation Orban describes.

    I’ll get to this later, but Orban couldn’t be more explicit in his rejection of liberal democracy. He’s not shy about it:

    Hungary leader Viktor Orban has said he wants to build an illiberal state based on national foundations, citing Russia and China as examples.
    Speaking at a retreat of ethnic Hungarian leaders in Baile Tusnad, Romania, on Saturday (26 July) the right wing leader said that the 2008 financial crisis triggered changes as significant as the two world wars and as those in 1990, the year of transition in Eastern and Central Europe.

    The experience of the financial crisis showed that “liberal democratic states cannot remain globally competitive.”
    “I don’t think that our European Union membership precludes us from building an illiberal new state based on national foundations,” he said, according to Bloomberg.

    Orban said that there is a race in the world now on how best to organise the state to make nations successful.

    “Today, the world tries to understand systems which are not Western, not liberal, maybe not even democracies yet they are successful” he said, and mentioned Singapore, China, India, Russia and Turkey as examples.

    Orban, who has a two-thirds majority in the Hungarian parliament, said he is seeking to find the best way to organise the Hungarian state to make it more competitive and that it was time to break with liberal principles and methods of social organisation.

    He said that these efforts were being obstructed by civil society groups and that NGO workers are political activists representing foreign interests.

    • #13
    • November 18, 2015, at 2:54 AM PDT
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  14. Member

    Thanks.

    • #14
    • November 18, 2015, at 2:58 AM PDT
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  15. Inactive

    Robert Lux:

    I see the European Union resembling in certain ways the fecklessness of the Weimar Republic against which Strauss was reacting…

    not to mention its petty tyranny — I know you disagree with that Claire — of the EU, to which Mama Toad alludes.

    Claire, I’m wondering if you’ve read Pierre Manent? “By seeking to escape from the ‘national form,’ he [Manent] shows, the European Union has weakened the very institutions that made possible liberty and self-government in the first place.”

    • #15
    • November 18, 2015, at 3:05 AM PDT
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  16. Member
    Liz

    Pierre Manent should be required reading for all Europeans, and for American students of poli sci, too. Robert, you must have studied with Paul Nelson.

    • #16
    • November 18, 2015, at 3:35 AM PDT
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  17. Inactive

    I am sorry CB, but there is nothing in what you have excerpted in Victor Orban’s speech with which I disagree.

    That is not to say that I am an Orban acolyte; until this post, I was unfamiliar with him.

    Americans take immigration too casually, because of our past history. We once absorbed large numbers of people from a diverse background and therefore believe it should be no problem doing so again.

    Just remember the standard disclaimer on every financial investment tv ad: “Past performance does not guarantee future results.”

    • #17
    • November 18, 2015, at 3:51 AM PDT
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  18. Thatcher

    Thanks for the transcription Claire, it helps with the analysis.

    The EU has a great many problems – particularly within its constitutional basis (The Treaty of Lisbon and Treaties of the European Union).

    As an example – the EU forbids member states from having a death penalty. In practice this means that states cannot kill you for committing crimes, but they can actively kill you for economic reasons. This is what happened with the Liverpool Protoccols in Great Britain. The result was over 130K killings per year (a humanitarian crisis by anyone’s calculation) – yet perfectly legal within the EU.

    They have a death penalty in Europe, they just impose it on the weak and infirm.

    Small wonder that states like Hungary would like to exercise a little more sovereignty.

    • #18
    • November 18, 2015, at 3:59 AM PDT
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  19. Thatcher

    The problem in Europe, and to a lessor degree in America, is that the political elites are not responding to what the people want. There is no mass of any electorate asking to import these people. And yet, the elites all say “do it”.

    What we are seeing now, is nationalists parties with one note: The Elites hate you and are trying to replace you. Give me power and I will stop them.

    In America, we get Trump. This is the fault of the elites who all think they are better than the rest of us.

    • #19
    • November 18, 2015, at 4:11 AM PDT
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  20. Inactive

    May I ask:

    How can a political figure who

    -was recently re-elected

    -enjoys a two-thirds majority in his parliament

    -has come under fire for trying to keep foreign money from influencing his nation’s politics*

    be considered anti-liberal democracy?

    *(Budapest recently got into a political dispute with Norway after the Hungarian authorities raided the offices of NGOs involved in administrating aid from the Nordic country. Orban’s goverment had accused the Norwegian Fund of supporting opposition political groups.)

    • #20
    • November 18, 2015, at 4:11 AM PDT
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  21. Contributor

    billy:May I ask:

    How can a political figure who

    -was recently re-elected

    -enjoys a two-thirds majority in his parliament

    -has come under fire for trying to keep foreign money from influencing his nation’s politics*

    be considered anti-liberal democracy?

    *(Budapest recently got into a political dispute with Norway after the Hungarian authorities raided the offices of NGOs involved in administrating aid from the Nordic country. Orban’s goverment had accused the Norwegian Fund of supporting opposition political groups.)

    You think an elected or re-elected figure cannot be a tyrant instead of a democrat? In a country with no democratic past & only very limited, brief, inaccessible constitutional / liberal past?

    If this is because you do not know anything about the countries in Eastern Europe–let me disabuse you of this mistaken belief. There is alway reason to worry & fear in this part of the world.

    • #21
    • November 18, 2015, at 4:23 AM PDT
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  22. Inactive

    Titus Techera:

    billy:May I ask:

    How can a political figure who

    -was recently re-elected

    -enjoys a two-thirds majority in his parliament

    -has come under fire for trying to keep foreign money from influencing his nation’s politics*

    be considered anti-liberal democracy?

    *(Budapest recently got into a political dispute with Norway after the Hungarian authorities raided the offices of NGOs involved in administrating aid from the Nordic country. Orban’s goverment had accused the Norwegian Fund of supporting opposition political groups.)

    You think an elected or re-elected figure cannot be a tyrant instead of a democrat? In a country with no democratic past & only very limited, brief, inaccessible constitutional / liberal past?

    If this is because you do not know anything about the countries in Eastern Europe–let me disabuse you of this mistaken belief. There is alway reason to worry & fear in this part of the world.

    As I wrote in the above post, I know nothing about Viktor Orban. I am just noting that from Berlinski’s piece and link, I see nothing objectionable to him.

    • #22
    • November 18, 2015, at 4:30 AM PDT
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  23. Contributor

    I believe Miss Berlinski intends to point out in a polite & persuasive manner why this man is terrible. I defer to her credentials with the Ricochet community.

    • #23
    • November 18, 2015, at 4:37 AM PDT
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  24. Member

    I appreciate Claire taking the trouble to differentiate between her criticism of the message (presumably part 2) and the messenger (parts 3 and 4). I note that the remarks as quoted do not mention Islam or religion at all.

    Obviously you can’t have national socialism without nationalism, and the rhetoric of blood and soil has been used by tyrants since time immemorial. This doesn’t make every message that references nation or culture inherently fascist, any more than every message that makes reference to transnational solidarity is inherently Marxist-Leninist or Trotskyist (or some other flavour of freedom-denying millenarianism). We should be suspicious of both.

    • #24
    • November 18, 2015, at 4:51 AM PDT
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  25. Member

    Bringing more folks here who are radically different and difficult to assimilate does not serve the interests of liberal democracy. Empowering the State to deal with potential terrorists, to ferret them out, monitor them isn’t a good thing in and of itself, but it is necessary. The security apparatus is already overburdened and we’ll have to increase it. That isn’t good. We’ll have more division, polarization and difficulty reaching decisions on the welfare state, education, religious freedom, free speech, economic management. If we want to absorb radically different folks we need to dismantle the administrative state so that it looks something like it did in the 19th and early 20th century when we absorbed so many immigrants. I’m all for that. Putting all that aside, does it serve the country’s interests to significantly increase radically different immigrants and refugees? How? is any interest served? Which? How do these migrations serve the interests of older less flexible cultures with stronger dislikes and ageless resentments?

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    • November 18, 2015, at 5:19 AM PDT
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  26. Inactive

    Thanks, Ms. B. Another swell post from you. If we could get another top regular* contributor like you, Ricochet would be the flagship Republican webpage uber alles.

    *Occasional missives from RL don’t quite fit the bill.

    • #26
    • November 18, 2015, at 5:41 AM PDT
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  27. Inactive
    GKC

    I Walton: Bringing more folks here who are radically different and difficult to assimilate does not serve the interests of liberal democracy.

    This is the key point, is it not? The issue is not our humaneness or generosity. We are not being less generous than in our past. In order for liberal democracy to work, we must have a shared sense of community and history, and/or make sure we are making the effort to assimilate new peoples and Americanize them. We no longer do that, preferring to (over)respect the legacy cultures and essentially let them fester in enclaves separate from the rest of the country and communities. This cannot work, especially in an environment with a growing national state. Either decentralize the state, as a return a quasi confederation, or quit balkanizing the country with scores of different peoples and a multicultural philosophy while expecting there to emerge a national consensus/identity. Multiculturalism does not work; it does not create a flourishing democracy. Birds of a feather flock together. All we get is cultural pluralism, groups versus groups versus groups.

    • #27
    • November 18, 2015, at 5:48 AM PDT
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  28. Thatcher

    Mike LaRoche:

    Mike Rapkoch:

    Mike LaRoche:If liberal democracy cannot protect Western nations against the scourge of Islam, it is reasonable to consider alternatives.

    Meaning?

    Meaning that Viktor Orban’s proposal of an “illiberal new state based on national foundations” does not make him a dangerous radical.

    Yeah it kinda does make him that…..it is a dangerous, but not rare, idea. Seems like it has been tried a time or two, Italy and Germany comes to mind….

    • #28
    • November 18, 2015, at 6:14 AM PDT
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  29. Thatcher

    Bryan G. Stephens:The problem in Europe, and to a lessor degree in America, is that the political elites are not responding to what the people want. There is no mass of any electorate asking to import these people. And yet, the elites all say “do it”.

    What we are seeing now, is nationalists parties with one note: The Elites hate you and are trying to replace you. Give me power and I will stop them.

    In America, we get Trump. This is the fault of the elites who all think they are better than the rest of us.

    Yes, a hundred times Yes.

    • #29
    • November 18, 2015, at 6:15 AM PDT
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  30. Listener

    Progressives are all about sharpening the contradictions. Are you a country who is trending Islamoskeptic? Fine…we’ll attract a wave of refugees who’ll have to tramp through your country. Are you a college student who wants to keep your head down and do your work? We’ll overadmit a bunch of rabble rousers who will make you care.

    Sure, this approach will give rise to the occasional Orban, LePen or Trump. The progressive bet is that reactionaries will win them the commanding heights in the long run.

    • #30
    • November 18, 2015, at 6:20 AM PDT
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