By Miguel Nunes Silva

In The European Conservative


One of the central features of the diplomatic career is the practice of temporary assignments. In the beginning, before the centralisation of governments and the professionalisation of diplomacy, inter-governmental contacts were left to third parties such as merchants or clergymen. The practice was eventually discontinued because, not only were diplomatic mercenaries biased, self-interested, and unreliable,  but they often ‘went native.’ The tendency for diplomats to empathise more with the native government rather than their employer became so prevalent that rules had to be devised to mitigate the problem. 

In the UK, so many diplomats were seduced by the exoticism of India that they became known as the ‘white Mughals.’ In Portugal, the author Venceslau de Morais took his duties of Consul in Kobe to the extreme of becoming a Japanese citizen, even marrying and dying in the Oriental nation.

The problem came to be known as ‘localitis,’ and at times took on even more dramatic forms. Russian General Ungern-Sternberg planned to refound ‘Mother Russia’ as an Asian mongol successor power, after having been stationed in the Far East during the Russian Civil War. The famous Colonel Kurtz from Apocalypse Now was based on a character in the novel Heart of Darkness who descended into madness deep in the Congolese jungle, losing all sense of civilisation, and appropriating the local primitive customs.

In spite of the bureaucratisation of contemporary governments, the problem not only remains but has even worsened.

A frequent talking point in the Brussels bubble is that of the ‘democratic deficit,’ a term describing the lack of popular accountability that eurocrats enjoy. This deficit indicates a deficient responsibility as well as deficient representation, and this is a problem encountered even by the strongest of statesmen. Politico put it best in a 2016 article describing Angela Merkel’s frustration when dealing with German fonctionnaires: “the incident demonstrated beyond any doubt where the loyalties of the Germans working for the EU lie: not with Berlin, but Brussels.” Similar attitudes are found in eurocratic courts, whose judges see it as their mission to increase European integration, trampling their civic patriotic duty, their deontological principle of objectivity, and their supposed professional principle of institutional cooperation and integrity.

Indeed, a quick glance at the EU’s founding fathers quickly explains the origin of the dysfunction. Jean Monnet, for one, founded the Action Committee for the United States of Europe (ACUSE). The name itself belongs to Churchill, whose proclivity for lyric eloquence should not have been taken literally; yet Monnet and associates did not select the name randomly, since the United States of America was indeed the inspiration for the post-war transformation of the Old World. ACUSE even proposed the creation of so-called federal districts, in full violation of the principle of national sovereignty.

While the post-war Social Democratic and Christian Democratic parties nominally subscribed to national sovereignty and governance for the national interest, history demonstrates that they were the first ones to surrender independence and sovereignty. The three arrows on the SPD insignia symbolise a cultural revolutionary streak: the opposition to fascism and communism but also to monarchism and conservatism; and an equally convenient symbol for Trotskyites, internationalists, and globalists.

This would help to explain why even institutions such as the United Nations are comfortable taking sides against conservatives but treat Antifa violence with the utmost complacency, while U.S. federal authorities similarly go to the absurd extremes of comparing the events of January 6, 2021, to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, while displaying indifference or even outright sympathy towards the BLM mass-media-incited riots.

David Goodhart, in his now famous The Road to Somewhere, wrote on the phenomenon of the “somewheres” and the “nowheres” to describe the increasing divide between the cosmopolitan elites of ‘international’ cities and the nationalist masses of the country. Yet even this is a misnomer, because it is wrong to assume that the “nowheres” are truly nihilistic transnationals. In 2018, Sam Harris found himself out of depth in a debate with Jordan B. Peterson for precisely this reason: individualistic internationalism is very much a Western—and somewhat Protestant—reflex, and a logical conclusion of natural law only as theorised by liberals such as John Rawls. As the latter would put it, “things which it is supposed a rational man wants whatever else he wants.” Instead, normative diversity is great in our world, and removing religion or national borders from society does not automatically give rise to Rawlsian “nowheres.”

In reality, religion and borders reflect the evolved norms of a particular territory and people. When removed, a given polity will revert to its original character, which is particular, not universal. For instance, when the Germans revolted against Catholicism, they reverted back to pagan practices of decentralised faith, belief in the possibility of unmediated (rather than liturgically mediated) relationship with the divine, and even female priesthood.

Today, Europe features a number of cities whose vested interests run contrary to the national interest on matters of immigration or sovereignty. The cities include London, Paris, Strasbourg, Brussels, The Hague, Frankfurt, Berlin, Geneva, Vienna, and others. These could easily be joined by New York City and Washington D.C. The international institutions in these cities are staffed by bureaucrats in mixed marriages, whose children frequent international schools, and whose national roots are mixed, forgotten, or resented. They are born and raised with no identity or loyalty, while enjoying the luxury of foreign assignment bonus salaries, and capitalising on the cosmopolitan and nepotistic leg up provided by their progenitors.

Thus, there is a new nation in the world which constitutes itself as an ideological Hanseatic League of sorts. ‘Cosmopolistan,’ as we shall call it, is a subversive network of North Atlantic cities organised in a cabal to euthanise the antiquated nation-states of the West along with the international Westphalian system that the latter built. Its very identity is intrinsically linked to its opposition to the very concept of the nation state, for if national governments were to repatriate competences back to their jurisdiction, Cosmopolistan would have no raison d’être

In a TED Talk, Albin Kurti described the efforts of international institutions in Kosovo as interested in maintaining the status quo rather than in solving problems. This is because the technocratic logic is procedural, not consequential. The solution is always ‘more Europe,’ not less, irrespective of the efficacy of supranationalist policies. Indeed, it is in the best interest of Cosmopolistan that its mission remains materially subjective and morally absolute. Utopia not being fungible, ‘integration,’ ‘democracy,’ and ‘human rights’ do not come with quantifiable or objective implementation. If they did, Cosmopolistan would be bound to a deadline, and the goal is the very opposite: its indefinite prolongation. The institutions have long ceased to view themselves as instruments of states; instead, they operate on the logic of instrumentalising states and national governments for their own sustainability. The postmodern ‘managerial revolution’ is not grey, it is red—or perhaps pink, these days. The Party does not create the International, the International creates the Party.

Ironically, rather than advancing civilisation, postmodern ‘localitis’ has incentivised precisely a ‘re-primitivisation’ of societal norms. History rhymes in the postmodern era with increased STD rates, premarital sex and pregnancy, the erosion of safety along with national borders, or the fetishisation of animals and nature. As the cosmopolitans barbarise the remnants of the West, one cannot but exclaim, “the horror, the horror!”

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