In times such as these, I am honoured to trace my ancestry to two European signs of contradiction, Poland and Ireland; though my pride is these heritages cannot be delimited by purely political considerations, in an age dominated by malign political ideologies and their votaries, political considerations are bound to factor more highly than they would in healthier times. Poland catalyzed the resistance to Communist domination in Eastern Europe, and Ireland, in rejecting the Treaty of Lisbon, itself merely a treaty intended to bypass the popular opposition that felled the Euro-Constitution, have shown themselves unwilling to go into that long night without resistance. While I harbour a suspicion that Lawrence Auster is correct in predicting that the Eurocrats will decree that EU treaties cannot be subjected to referenda, this defiance must not go unrecognized. If those of us who purpose to defend the heritage of the West, and the separate heritages of her constituent nations, must walk toward defeat, let us at least do so with eyes open, commemorating each victory wrenched from between the teeth of defeat as a noble triumph. There is nobility in such defiance; there is but shame in submission.
Nonetheless, in an intemperate outburst worthy of a commissar whose prerogatives have been denied, Morning's Minion denounces the opposition to the European Union, insinuating in the process that such opposition is contrary to the Christian religion:
So what went wrong in Ireland? As I said , people didn’t understand it. As they have in the past, people used it to protest against the government in an environment of increasing economic uncertainty. And the “no” campaign was particularly effective with its scaremongering tactics. The Irish were told that the treaty would force them to raise their tax rates. They were told military neutrality would be jeopardized. They were told abortion would be introduced in Ireland. All lies. In the end, every single mainstream political party and social partner supported the treaty. Its opponents were a rag-tag group of Marxists, ex-terrorists, hard-care nationalists, the extreme Catholic right, and a shady unknown businessman with ties to the US defense industry. (Snip)
Ah, but they have already spoken. Completely oblivious to the voice of the Irish church, some US Catholics (the usual suspects) laud the no vote, the the grounds that Ireland has given the finger to “Brussels elitists”. As always, they are reflecting their own political and ideological biases onto Europe. They see the debate through the eyes of the kind of Enlightenment-era liberalism that prizes the liberty of the individual over the common good and solidarity (notice the whole comment is about economics- when the Irish bishops say that is exactly the wrong way to look at it). They are also wedded to a form of nationalism that elevates the role of the nation state above any supranational cooperation. Clearly, the dream of Erasmus and Thomas More for a united, peaceful, Europe was misplaced then…
Well, yes. Erasmus was a self-promoting crank, and Thomas More's Utopia is just that: a work of utopian fiction. Besides, sainthood does not entail the infallibility of each of the saint's utterances. We are not bound to truck with universalist redemptive schemes on the grounds that St. Gregory of Nyssa's theological thought inclines in that direction.
In point of fact, that last, denunciatory paragraph exemplifies much that is wrong with controversies over the nature and desirability of the European Union. Perhaps it is true that many Americans, Catholic and otherwise, who oppose European unification do so out of fealty to Enlightenment liberal political and economic ideals whose consonance with Christian doctrine is dubious; there are, however, other grounds for such opposition which are not at all dubious, as they are not mere veils drawn over a conflation of Christianity and neoliberalism. Perhaps it is the case that Christianity, valuing as it must the natural order and natural kinds, is obligated to honour the cultural, ethnic, and political diversity of mankind, and therewith the goods that can only be realized in relatively more integral communities delimited culturally, ethnically, and politically; perhaps therefore, recognizing these goods, and recognizing, further, that an integration the rationales for which have always been economic and geopolitical will reduce such goods to the status of cultural theme-parks, Christianity is obligated to resist crude economism and realpolitik. Stated differently, there are no social solidarities which necessitate, if they are to be realized, European integration.
Moreover, the notion that the European Union instantiates a Christian conception of solidarity ought to be risible on its face. The EU commissars pointedly refused to acknowledge the Christian heritage of Europe in drafting their Constitution, and true to form, conceived of their union as a custodian of universal human rights doctrines owing much, much more to Enlightenment fabulisms than to anything that Christian natural law philosophers would recognize. Such protocols, as enshrined in the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms", are expressions of the managerial, technocratic, secularist ethos of contemporary Western elites, which strives to normalize every moral deviation proscribed by Christianity, to the ends of making straight the paths of administrative and economic efficiency, and creating fields and pretexts for the exercise of power. We should be forthright, undissembling, undeceived, and absolutely settled in mind as regards what these technocratic powers are, what they entail, and the manner in which they will be exercised: they are employed, and will continue to be employed, to batter and buffet the tattered remnants of Christian civilization in Europe, and to facilitate the mass immigration of culturally alien, unassimilable, hostile Others into the European heartland, all the better to bury, and secure against the remotest possibility of resurrection, a possible alternative popular and elite formation predicated upon the Christian traditions of the West. When the indigenous traditions and cultures of the European peoples have been simultaneously subverted by the post-Marxist cultural enthusiasms of the partisans of universal human rights, and displaced by alien cultures, their historic bearers thus disinherited and dispossessed, what possibility of resistance will remain? Ah, yes, we've already been warned: any resistance will be stigmatized as fascist, Marxist, extreme, terrorist, and corrupt. One is sent into reminiscences of Auguste Comte, who inveighed against the opponents of his Religion of Humanity as "retrogrades and perturbators" who would be proscribed under the administrative reign of the positivist vanguard of humanity.
If Christianity either is, or countenances, the reign of a technocratic elite engaged in the extirpation of Christianity and the displacement of the historical peoples of Europe, all in the name of geopolitical ambition and utilitarian economic calculation; and if Christianity proposes to baptize such a politics with the names of "subsidiarity" and "solidarity", then the salt has lost its savour, and is fit only to be cast into the streets to be trampled by men and beasts. More than this, it has become a howling infamy begging to be silenced, and Nietzsche and the usually risible neo-pagans have been vindicated; for if Christianity sets itself in defiant opposition to those natural kinds and communities in which men have always, from time immemorial organized themselves and found meaning, meaning transcending the meanness of individual interests, proposing to pursue the chimera of a universal humanity, then it is not so much Christianity as gnosticism - and profoundly anti-human in its disregard for the structures of existence, of the in-betweenness of the human condition. If this is, I say, Christianity, then give us paganism.