The West against Europe
By Tomislav Sunic
The following is the English translation of my speech in French, given in Lyon, France, on May 25, for the French identitarians (students, members of the “GUD” and “Europe Identité.”) The speech was delivered in honor of the late Dominique Venner, a historian and philosopher who committed suicide on May 21. On May 26, the day after my speech in Lyon, many GUD and “Europe Identité attendants participated in mass demonstrations in Paris against the recently adopted law by the French government on “same sex marriage.”
The term ‘Occidentalism’ exists only in the French language and has a very specific meaning. Often the words ‘Occident’ and ‘occidentalisme’ obtain specific meanings according to its user and the user’s profile. The term ‘occidentalisme’ is never used in the German or in the English language. Even the French word ‘l’Occident’, having a wider geographic significance, is translated into the German language as the ‘West’ — der Westen. The same goes for the English language in which the French noun ‘l’Occident‘ is translated into English as “the West,” a subject of many books and translations. In this regard Patrick Buchanan, a former adviser to Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan and a conservative large-circulation author, published a decade ago his bestseller The Death of the West (La Mort de l’Occident), where he laments about the West being invaded by millions of non-Christian immigrants. According to Buchanan, America and Europe are both part of the West.
Yet we know well that America and Europe are not synonymous despite the fact that they are for the time being still populated by majorities of pure-bred Europeans. Very often in our recent history, these two large continental land masses, despite their quasi-identical population, have waged terrible wars against each other.
In the Slavic languages the noun ‘Occident’ and the adjective ‘occidental’ do not exist either. Instead, Croats, Czechs or Russians use the noun ‘Zapad’, which means “the West.”
The French noun ‘occidentalisme’ (‘westernization’) indicates a notion of an ideology, and not an idea of a stable time-bound and space-bound entity as is the case with the noun ‘L’Occident’. I’d like to remind you that the French title of the book by Oswald Spengler, Der Untergang des Abendlandes, or in French, Le déclin de l’Occident, does not accurately reflect the meaning of the German title. The German word ‘Untergang’ signifies the end of all the ends, the final collapse, and it is a stronger word than the French term ‘déclin’, which implies a gradation, a “declination of evil” so to speak, leaving, however, an anticipation that a U-turn could be made at the very last minute. This is not the case in the German language where the noun ‘Untergang’ indicates a one-way street, an irreversible and tragic end. The same goes for the German noun ‘Abendland’, which when translated into French or English, means “the land of the setting sun”, having a largely metaphysical significance.
I must bring to your attention these lexical nuances in order to properly conceptualize our subject, namely ‘occidentalisme’ i.e. Westernization. One must keep in mind that the phrases “The Occident” and “the West” in different European languages often carry different meanings, often causing misunderstandings.
No doubt that the terms the West (‘L’Occident ‘) and Westernization (‘occidentalisation’) underwent a semantic shift. Over the last forty years they have acquired in the French language a negative meaning associated with globalism, vulgar Americanism, savage liberalism, and “the monotheism of the market”, well described by the late Roger Garaudy. We are a long way off from the 60’s and 70’s of the preceding century when the journal Défense de l’Occident was published in France comprising the names of authors well known in our circles. The same goes for the French politico-cultural movement Occident, which back in the sixties, held out a promise both for the French nationalists and the entire European nationalist youth.
The two terms, ‘Occident’ and ‘occidentalism’ which are today lambasted by the French identitarian and nationalist circles, are still the subjects of eulogies among East European identitarians and nationalists who suffer from an inferiority complex about their newly found post-communist European identity. In Poland, in Hungary or in Croatia, for example, to invoke “the West” is often a way to highlight one’s great culture, or a way to boast of being a stylish man of the world.
I’d like to remind you that during the communist epoch East Europeans were not only annoyed by communist bullying and ukases, but also felt offended by their status as second-class European citizens, especially when Westerners, namely the French and the English, used the term ‘East’ in order to describe their neck of the woods in Europe, namely “Eastern Europe” or “l’Europe de l’Est.” Moreover, the French language uses a parallel adjective “oriental” in designing eastern Europe, i.e. “L’Europe orientale” — an adjective whose disambiguation, frankly speaking, makes East Europeans furious. The French adjective “oriental” reminds East Europeans of the Orient, of Turkey, of Arabia, of Islam — notions under which they absolutely refuse to be catalogued. Even those East Europeans who are perfectly proficient in the French language and know French culture, prefer, in the absence of other words, that the French-speaking people label their part of Europe as “Eastern Europe”, but never as “l’Europe orientale.”
Balkanization and Globalization
The history of words and semantic shifts does not stop here. All East Europeans, whether left or right, anti-globalists or globalists, and even the ruling political class in Eastern Europe like to identify themselves as members of “Mitteleuropa” and not as citizens of Eastern Europe. The German term Mitteleuropa means “central Europe”, a term harking back to the nostalgic days of the Habsburg Empire, to the biedermeier style, to the sweetness of life once delivered by the House of Austria where Slovaks, Poles, Croats, Hungarians, and even Romanians and Ukrainians belonged not so long ago.
The notion of adherence to Europe, especially in this part of Eastern Europe, is further aggravated by the inadvertent usage of words. Thus the term ‘the Balkans’ and the adjective ‘Balkan’, which is used in a neutral sense in France when describing southeastern Europe, have an offensive connotation in Croatian culture, even if that designation carries no pejorative meaning. The perception Croats have about themselves is that they are at loggerheads with the Other, namely their Serbian or Bosnian neighbors.
And there is a big difference between how the term ‘Balkans’ is seen among the French or English where it typically carries a neutral connotation, as one often sees in geopolitical studies, However, in the eyes of Croats, the terms ‘Balkan’ and ‘Balkanization’ signify not only a geopolitical meltdown of the state; especially among Croat nationalists and identitarians, these terms provoke feelings associated with barbaric behavior, political inferiority, and the image of racial decay of their White identity.
In addition, the term “balkanesque’ in the Croatian language often induces negative feelings referring to a blend of various racial and cultural identities originating in Asia and not in Europe. One can often hear Croats of different persuasions teasing each other for their allegedly bad behavior with the quip: “Wow, you’re a real balkanesque dude!” In the Croatian daily vernacular, this means having an uncivilized behavior, or simply being a “redneck.”
In Serbia, this is not the case. Since the Serb identity is real and well-rooted in the historical time and space of the Balkans, it has no pejorative meaning.
The Germans, who know best the psychology of the peoples of Central Europe and of the Balkans, are well aware of these conflicting identities among the peoples of Eastern Europe and the Balkans. In fact, the German term “der Balkanezer” has a strong offensive meaning in the German vocabulary.
Let us move further to Europe. Of course, to the famed European Union. What exactly does it mean to be a good European today? Let’s be honest. In view of the massive influx of non-European immigrants, especially from the Middle East and North Africa, all Europeans, whether native French, native English, or “natives” from all parts of Europe, have become good “balkanesque Balkanisers.” Indeed, what does it mean today to be a German, to be French or to be an American, considering the fact that more than 10–15 percent of Germans and French and more than 30 percent of U.S. citizens are of non-European and non-White origin? Visiting Marseille feels like visiting an Algerian city. The Frankfurt airport resembles the airport of Hong Kong. The areas around Neukölln in Berlin emit an odor of the Lebanese Kasbah. The soil, the turf, the earth, the blood, so dear to Dominique Venner or Maurice Barrès, so dear to all of us, what does it mean today? Absolutely nothing.
It would be easy to blame the aliens (“allogènes”) as the only guilty ones. One must admit, though, that it is ourselves, the Europeans, who are primarily responsible for the Westernization and therefore for the loss of our identity. While doing so, no matter how much one can rightly blame the alleged ignorance of the Americans, at least the Americans are not torn apart by small time intra-European tribalism. Possibly, the Americans of European descent can become tomorrow the spearhead of the rebirth of the new Euro-white identity. One must confess that racial identity awareness among White American nationalists is stronger than among European nationalists.
In the Europe of tomorrow, in the possible best of all the worlds — even with the aliens gone for good, it is questionable whether the climate will be conducive to great brotherly hugs between the Irish and the English, between the Basques and Castilians, between the Serbs and the Croats, between the Corsicans and the French. Let’s be honest. The whole history of Europe, the entire history of Europeans over the last two millennia has resulted in endless fratricidal wars. This still applies to “l’Europe orientale”, namely “Eastern Europe,” which continues to be plagued by interethnic hatreds. The latest example is the recent war between two similar peoples, Serbs and Croats. Who could guarantee us that the same won’t happen tomorrow again even under the presumption that the influx of Asians and Africans would come to an end?
To “be a good European” means nothing today. Declaring oneself a “good “Westerner” is meaningless as well. Being rooted in one’s soil in the globalist world has absolutely no significance today because our neighborhoods, being populated by aliens, along with ourselves, are subject to the same consumer culture. There might be something paradoxical happening with the arrival of non-Europeans: endless wars and disputes between European nationalists, i.e. between the Poles and Germans, between the Serbs and Croats, between the Irish and English — seem to have become outdated. The constant influx of non-Europeans to our European lands makes the designation of “European Europe” a lexical absurdity.
Our duty is to define ourselves first as heirs of European memory, even though we may live outside Europe; in Australia, Chile and America, or for that matter on another planet. One must admit that all of us “good Europeans” in the Nietzschean sense of the word, all of us can change our religion, our habits, our political opinions, our land, our turf, our nationality, and even our passports. But we can never escape our European heredity.
Not the aliens, but the capitalists, the banksters, the “antifas” and the architects of the best of all the worlds are our main enemies. In order to resist them it behooves us to revive our racial awareness and our cultural heritage. Both go hand in hand. The reality of our White race and our culture cannot be denied. We can change everything and even move to another planet. Our inheritance, that is, our gene pool, we must never change.
Race, as Julius Evola and Ludwig Clauss teach us, is not just biological data. Our race is our spiritual responsibility which alone ensures our European survival.
Sunic, Tomislav. “The West against Europe.” The Occidental Observer, 2 June 2013. <http://www.theoccidentalobserver.net/2013/06/the-west-against-europe/ >.