The Corner

Nation Before Empire

Via Presseurop, philosopher Roger Scruton on Europe and nationality:

…Europe is, and in my view has ever been, a civilisation of nation states, founded on a specific kind of pre-political allegiance, which is the allegiance that puts territory and custom first and religion and dynasty second in the order of government. Give them a voice, therefore, and the people of Europe will express their loyalties in those terms. In so far as they have unconditional loyalties – loyalties that are a matter of identity rather than agreement – they take a national form. The political class in Europe does not like this, and as a result has demonised the direct expression of national sentiments. Speak up for Jeanne d’Arc and le pays réel, for the “sceptred isle” and St George, for Lemmenkäinen’s gloomy forests and the “true Finns” who roam in them, or even for Henk and Ilsa, and you will be called a fascist, a racist and an extremist.

There is a liturgy of denunciation here that is repeated all across Europe by a political class that affects to despise ordinary loyalties while surreptitiously depending on them…

Quite. Read the whole thing.


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