From its independence in 1947 it was predicted by many in the west that India would collapse. The pro-Pakistan policies of UK, France, USA and many others as well as the sympathy shown by them to secessionist movements, most notably in Punjab, Kashmir and Nagaland, the belief that India is heading to civil war due to its ‘Hindu’ caste system is something that is taken very seriously even as the myth of European unity evaporates before their very eyes. In reality it is the EU which is collapsing and not India. Even within various member states there are divisions. Czechoslovakia soon dismembered after communism fell. Catalonia has a very strong independence movement from Spain. Corsica has been hit by militant secessionism. In Britain we have the Celtic fringe of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland looking to remain in the EU, even as England wants to leave. Why did India retain unity throughout all the odds but the EU fails even within its own member states?
The Karma of Secession
Against it all India has stayed united. The concept of Mata Bharat, of India as a goddess, is as old as Hinduism itself. Even its rocks are worshipped with Himalayas being sacred. Sacred trees such as the Pipal. Sacred rivers like the Ganges. You do not find this in Europe. Here the sanctity is in the parliaments of Brussels and Strasbourg, the Euro currency, the endless treaty obligations and directives. Europe has long harboured terrorist and softer forms of secessionists who wish to break India apart under the organic and unrealistic neat categories of self-determination. But now it is Europe that is falling apart of its own volition. It is not as if India harbours Catalan, Corsican, Irish, Basque, Scottish and Welsh secessionist groups in the same manner in which the EU has lauded Pakistan-backed terrorists operating in Kashmir. India much like Hinduism is a concept which the European mind, religious or secular, fails to grasp. Because religious or secular, that mindset arises from a monotheistic ethos that needs uniformity, singularity, and views anything else as chaos: similar to how the ancient Greeks viewed the number zero and thus rejected it, and why zero along with decimal numbers were a Hindu import long resisted by Christian Europe. Europe has failed because unlike India it refused to accommodate diversity. This plethora of thinking is seen by Europe as India’s Achilles heel. Yet despite poverty, corruption, shaky coalition governments, environmental damage, demographic pressures, exploitation, caste violence, terrorist attacks, malnutrition, and much else, India somehow holds it together. Yet India is much more diverse and demographically varied than the EU. Why has the latter failed so abysmally? EU countries are much more developed and advanced economically than India. There are greater laws protecting labour, the sick, the disabled, homeless and vulnerable. Social mobility is higher. People and goods move freely. The area is attractive for investment. Yet the whole project is becoming a freak show. India meanwhile is forging ahead.
The Brexit vote won the referendum set by Prime Minister David Cameron to decide if Britain should remain part of an ever increasingly integrated EU. The core European ideal had moved from being an economic union to establish free trade zone, into a federalised super state. Dire warnings were issued on both sides about either remaining or leaving. As it turned out the Leave vote won by a small margin. But then many of those voting for Brexit candidly admitted that they were not aware of the full facts. At the time of writing Britain has had its credit rating downgraded, there are warnings of impending recession, and banks are threatening to relocate their operations thereby making the City of London lose its status as premier financial centre. On the other hand the Brexit legion argued that the Eurozone was unstable and point to mass unemployment in France, Spain and Italy, but above all Greece where there has been an almost collapse of the state.
UKIP has been accused of xenophobia, racism, right-wing nationalism and even fascism with it leading the campaign to leave the EU.
Polish workers depressing wages, Romanian Gypsies coming here as benefit scroungers, Turkey joining the free movement of people in the EU, and jihadi infiltration among refugees from Syria were important factors in the Leave campaign. Although led by UKIP and Eurosceptic Conservative MPs such as Boris Johnson, Michael Gove and Priti Patel, the support for the Leave campaign was from traditionally Labour supporters in northern England who were worried about mass immigration from poorer East European members of the EU.
For its part the Brexit supporters point out that remaining part of the EU actually exposes Britain to the very fascism which parties such as UKIP, as well as the Leave campaign in general, were accused of. Indeed let us look at stark facts. UKIP is not a party like Golden Dawn (Greece), Front National (France), Deutsche Alternative (Germany) and Jobbik (Hungary) which have clear Nazi roots influence, and wield greater power than analogous groups such as the BNP in the UK.
Despite the Euroscepticism of the Far Right, it was actually supported by the attempted fascist revival after Nazism was defeated. Following his release after wartime imprisonment, Oswald Mosley penned The Alternative in 1947 which looked at Europe as one big superstate. The policy was presented to the wider electorate in October 1948 when Mosley called for elections to a European Assembly as the first step towards his vision. He contended that the racial kinship between the Germanic peoples of Europe, whom he defined as the Germans, British, Scandinavians and French, would be the basis for unity, whilst also declaring his admiration for the contributions of the Latin peoples to Europe’s cultural history.
He was opposed to the United Nations dismissing as part of a Jewish plot to undermine nationalism. Europe a Nation would expel the entire Jewish population – in eerie precedent to what Labour MP Naz Shah notoriously tweeted decades later.
Africa was to be exploited under an expanded apartheid system, by a European block that would be wedged between its rivals: USA and USSR. Economics would be determined by “European Socialism” But Mosley was only invoking his spiritual mentors. Mussolini, the father of fascism, said in 1933 that: ‘Europe may once again grasp the helm of world civilisation if it can develop a modicum of political unity.’ In 1936, Hitler told the Reichstag: ‘It is not very intelligent to imagine that in such a cramped house like that of Europe, a community of peoples can maintain different legal systems and different concepts of law for long.’ In 1941, Walter Funk, Hitler’s economics Minister, launched the Europaische Wirtschafts Gemeinschaft (the European Economic Community) – EEC) to establish a single European currency. Hitler’s plan was to integrate the European economy into a single market. In 1945 Hitler’s Masterplan (captured by the Allies) included a scheme to create an economic integration of Europe and to found a European Union on a federal basis. The Nazi plan for a federal Europe was based on Lenin’s belief that: ‘Federation is a transitional form towards complete union of all nations.’ In the alternate history novel Fatherland (1992) which was later adapted for film, Robert Harris writes that having achieved victory in Europe, Germany reorganises Europe. Following the signing of the Treaty of Rome, Western Europe and Scandinavia are corralled into a pro-German trading bloc, the European Community.
The nations of Fatherland’s EC, despite being nominally free under their own governments and leaders, are presumably only just sufficient to police their own territory. European nations are under constant surveillance by Berlin and are subordinate to Germany in all but name – symbolized by the German flag (swastika) flying over the Union’s headquarters being twice as big as those of the other nations.
Boris Johnson, fellow Eton chum of David Cameron, Conservative MP and leading Brexit campaigner was attacked for making similar comparisons, and that the EU was in fact Hitler’s dream. But it is not entirely inaccurate. This is despite the constant xenophobia and even racism present in Eurosceptic parties such as UKIP and parts of the Conservative Party, France’s Gaullists and others – or even the anti-Semitism and Hinduphobia are part of the intricacies of Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party.
These dark elements are even more pronounced in the Front National, British National Party, and the more avowedly Nazi Golden Dawn and Jobbik. Hungary’s Jobbik represents an especially nasty element in that the former East European countries were allowed to join despite racism and anti-Semitism saturating their societies and state organs in a manner unthinkable by even the most diehard Eurosceptic in Britain.
One of the reasons why Roma flocked to Britain was because in Romania for example, having been only liberated from 600 years of slavery in 1867 and subsequently subject to outright persecution such as genocide by Romania’s pro-Nazi wartime government, they endure shocking poverty, hatred and physical attack as part of normal existence.
Here the nation’s racism and apartheid does not impinge of Romania’s membership of a supposedly democratic EU. Nor did the actions of the neo-Nazi Right Sector and Azov Legion in Ukraine stop EU support for the fascist elements in that country’s ‘freedom’ movement as the state descended into civil conflict. However that same EU constantly berates Israel for defending itself as anti-Semitism becomes part of mainstream discourse in European politics – ironically under the very covers of anti-racism and anti-fascism.
But this big fear was Turkey. Put down to racism by a de-Christianised secular Europe against a Muslim majority state, the unpalatable fact is that it makes the discrimination against Roma by former Axis and Warsaw Pact states in Eastern Europe look almost benign. Until almost the twenty-first century even speaking Kurdish was a crime. Kurds simply did not exist.
Even now the new Islamist government of Erdogan cracks down with brutality on any Kurdish dissent. Yet Turkey holds the EU hostage with its support for ISIS (itself backed by western democracies at one point), refusal to cooperate in refugee influx from Syria, and above all threatening all manner of repercussions when European states dare to call the annihilation of Armenians in 1915 as ‘genocide’. Hitler once famously remarked in 1939 that nobody remembered the Ottoman Empire’s extermination of its Armenians – just as nobody remembers Hitler’s dream to create the European Community.
Opposition to Turkey is put down to the Islamophobia by European nations, and the fear that freedom of movement will see a mass migration of Turks into the rest of Europe. From the 1960s thousands of Turks did indeed leave their poverty stricken villages to come as gastarbeiter (gust workers) to help rebuild postwar West Germany – as an aside so did Cubans, Angolans and Vietnamese do the same for the communist East). There should however be more concern that the EU leaders are constantly held to ransom by an undemocratic government that not only oppresses one third of its own people because they are not of the master race, but also backs terrorist groups and above all denies the very killings which inspired Hitler. As with Eastern Europe the very democratic credentials which the founding EU members took for granted and used to rebuild a continent shattered by war and as a bulwark against Nazism, have in fact proved extremely useful in helping those poisonous weeds find fertile soil.
The State as God
On 15 May 2016, the Telegraph reported Boris Johnson, former mayor of London and keen classical scholar, arguing that 2,000 years of European history have been characterised by repeated attempts to unify Europe under a single government in order to recover the continent’s lost “golden age” under the Romans.
“Napoleon, Hitler, various people tried this out, and it ends tragically,” and “The EU is an attempt to do this by different methods.”
Widely condemned, he was more perhaps more accurate than even he realised. The Roman Empire instituted emperor worship. Caesar was a god and the sole secular authority. But it did not take such an imaginative leap of faith to make Caesar into the sole divine authority. True, Constantine became the hand of the Christian god rather than the deity itself. But the deity was a concept, an idea, a physical manifestation of a cosmic demiurge that came out of a complex pagan societies which Rome ruled. The Roman state was edging towards monotheism. At various times this was seen with Sol Invictus, the worship of the Sun. or more pronounced with ‘eastern’ cults such as Isis and Mithras. Christianity was to fill this but the monotheist foundations had already been laid down with the single authority of the imperial cult.
Christianity became the basis of what we now consider Europe and more explicitly the ‘West’. Until the Reformation, ‘Christendom’ was effectively all Europe. The relationship between the western Catholic and eastern Orthodox could be fratricidal at times, but nevertheless the Crusades were sent to defend the Byzantine Orthodox East from Islam. It is a spectre Turkey often invokes to ask why it has always been excluded. As Europe became secular, god and church was replaced by state. From the time of the French Revolution the state became deified. In France the church was beaten back. But in doing so the secular ideal and authority of the state became the new religion. Intervention by the state has always been a continental ideal, right across the political spectrum. This clashes with the liberal free market ideas which helped industrialise Britain and have been seen by think tanks such as the Adam Smith Institute and in much of the Conservative Party and New Labour as being inexorably intertwined. We have a free market and common law system under a monarchy which upholds and defends the established church, clashing with continental systems that have come out of revolution and turmoil, and which emphasise secularism, codified law and statute, and state intervention in the economy.
When the referendum came many people voted to remain as it was said better the ‘Devil’ you know rather than uncertainty. Again eerily accurate. The whole battle was in many respects a battle for souls. It may have been the ballot box rather than blood soaked fields. But is it not just a replay of Reformation and Counter Reformation, the Thirty Years War, and Battle of the Boyne where emergent Protestantism faced the might of the Catholic Church? In the 2005 general election, Adrian Hilton was deselected as Conservative candidate for Slough because he said:
“…a Catholic EU will inevitably result in the subjugation of Britain’s Protestant ethos to Roman Catholic social, political and religious teaching”.
Hilton was already veteran of Eurosceptic politics, having written a polemical account of the development of the EU, entitled The Principality and Power of Europe. His comments provoked negative reaction from Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, the leader of the Catholic Church in England and Wales. Nevertheless the Church of England from its inception had the monarch as its head. The continent meanwhile largely disestablished the state churches, especially in France with aggressive secularisation known as laicism. But even this secularism, born as it was from the carnage of the Thirty Years War, demanded that the state be worshipped as god, because this god was at heart not a supernatural being. It was an idea, and being monotheistic brooked no rivals. Hence as its heir of the state as god, the EU elite can brook no rivals.
On 11 June 2016 Peter Jones wrote ‘Why the Roman empire worked – and the EU empire doesn’t’,
“It started with Rome’s piecemeal subjugation of Italy, completed by the 3rd century BC. What Romans learned here was that legal treaties and alliances, involving commerce, intermarriage, citizenship and shared military manpower, could turn enemies into friends.”
“If the EU had proceeded similarly, feeling its way, step by step, without unprecedented ‘we know best’ masterplans for a single currency, a US of Europe and detailed legislation on cucumbers, it would not be a car crash waiting to happen, from which those not in the car will have eventually to pick up the pieces.”
On 14 May 2016 The Telegraph interviewed Boris Johnson on his Leave campaign:
“The whole thing began with the Roman Empire. I wrote a book on this subject, and I think it’s probably right. The truth is that the history of the last couple of thousand years has been broadly repeated attempts by various people or institutions – in a Freudian way – to rediscover the lost childhood of Europe, this golden age of peace and prosperity under the Romans, by trying to unify it. Napoleon, Hitler, various people tried this out, and it ends tragically.”
In in that book, The Dream of Rome, Johnson actually asks for a new Council of Nicea between what he terms the “Mosaic Faiths” to stop demonization of Muslims and allow Turkey, the Maghreb and EU to once coexist with the Mediterranean as Mare Nostrum (Our Sea) as it was called by the Romans. He reminds us that what is now Turkey was once the heart of the Roman Empire, and it was not Islam that introduced aggressive monotheism:
“Where did it come from, this idea of religion as a vehicle for military victory? From the very beginning of Christian Rome, form the moment in AD312 when Constantine sees the cross in the clouds above the Milvian Bridge and the sign saying, ‘In this sign you conquer’. Conquer. With the cross.”
Now it is conquest with directives and the increasingly centralised superstate. Despite EU grants to counter racism and xenophobia, and help minority groups, in reality an over-reaching state as god will not look well upon diversity. When faced with Brexit and including the Muslim-majority Turkey of his ancestors, Johnson opted for the former.
Even his hypothetical dialogue of the Mosaic faiths to stop Islamophobia has started to look increasingly irrelevant when faced with the onslaught of jihad. As Erdogan moves Turkey back to the Uthmani Khilafat of that nation’s Ottoman past by rolling back Ataturk’s secularist surrogate faith, and supporting ISIS, it is not not much that Turkey is the sick man of Europe. It is the entire concept of Europe which is itself a sickness.