Nationalism in Europe back on the world’s agenda

Nationalism in Europe back on the world’s agenda

By Dr. Doğu Perinçek, Chairman of Vatan Party (Türkiye)

As it’s well known, the father of nationalism is the nationalism of the French Revolution, which was characterized by the struggle of the revolutionary capitalist class against the monarchy and feudalism. Nationalism aimed primarily to transform the people into a nation by tearing down the walls of castles and churches. The French Revolution led the peasantry and the people who wanted to break free from the dependency on the lords. Similarly in Türkiye, The Committee of Union and Progress and Atatürk defined that in a sentence: “Türkiye cannot be a land of sheikhs, dervishes, disciples and minions”.

Nationalism’s “age of revolutions”

Nationalism, in its revolutionary era, is a movement that puts an end to monarchy, sultanate, feudalism, lordship, sheikhdom and ethnic divisions. The citizens, as the foundation stone of the nation, are not the slave of the sultan nor the minion of the lord, nor the disciple of the sheikh. Citizens are free, equal and brothers and sisters. This is the essence of the law gained by being an individual of the nation. Democracy flourished with the revolutions led by the nationalist movement in Europe and North America.

Nationalism of the era of imperialism

With the advanced capitalist countries entering the imperialist era on the threshold of the 20th century, the characteristics of nationalism in Western Europe and North America also changed. The nationalism of the imperialist bourgeoisie was the nationalism of the oppressors, depriving the oppressed world from statehood and maximizing exploitation. This nationalism took its most extreme, racist, and aggressive form in Germany and Italy under Hitler and Mussolini before the Second World War. During this period, there were nationalist resistances playing progressive roles in the capitalist countries fighting against Nazi and Fascist aggressions. That’s why Churchill in England and General De Gaulle in France are remembered to this day. They formed alliances with the Soviet Union and Scientific Socialist parties in the struggle against Nazi and Fascist invaders.

After the advanced capitalist countries began to be controlled by US imperialism following the Second World War, new centers of resistance within the capital classes of these countries against Washington emerged. Although the bourgeoisie classes of advanced capitalist countries like France, England and Germany were imperialists, they had been dethroned from their past glory and faced pressures from the monopolies of the US. The most famous example of such a case is De Gaulle, revealing the character of NATO to the French people as “an organization of US imperialism to keep its allies under control” in the early 1960s. De Gaulle led France’s withdrawal from NATO’s military wing for this reason. While French nationalism engaged in bloody colonialism in Algeria, it also resisted US control.

The rising nationalism in today’s Europe

After summarizing the historical background, let’s turn to the present. A nationalist movement against US imperialism is rising and heading to power in Europe. This movement already came to power in Italy, with the leadership of Giorgia Meloni. Marine Le Pen in France and the Alternative Party in Germany are knocking at the door of government. A very important feature of these movements is their friendliness towards Russia and China. They tend to develop good relations with Asian countries.

The US imperialism labels these nationalist parties as “Ultra-Nationalist” and “Neo-fascist”. Those speaking on behalf of the “left”, the Social Democrats and some so-called “socialists”, are the darlings of Uncle Sam and stand against Asian countries. The most ardent supporters of Israel and separatist organizations like the PKK/YPG are against nobody but these nationalist movements.

Division within European capital and NATO

Notice that in France and Germany, while Neoliberals like Macron and Social Democrats like Scholz are beating the drums of war against Russia, Nationalist Conservative forces are lukewarm towards that NATO mission.

The capitalists of Western Europe are divided into two fractions: those who are pro-US and those stand on a national position. This division also corresponds to the division within the global monopoly capital and within NATO.

Today, the division between imperialist countries and within the capital classes of individual imperialist countries once again comes to the fore, just like during World War II. Both the fight of Palestine against Israel and Russia’s attack on the Ukrainian front deepen the division within the Atlantic powers. The victory of Azerbaijan in the war for territorial integrity served the same function.

The question before Western Europe

The crucial question is: Will Joe Biden be able to get the NATO allies to war against Russia?

Will the French and German youth shed blood and give their lives on the Eastern European fronts for US interests?

The inevitable rise of nationalism in France and Germany will be determinant in these questions. The decline of the US happens not only in the western side of the Atlantic Ocean but also in the eastern one. The US’s claim for a global hegemony is collapsing in Europe as well. The old continent will inevitably tend to chart its own course.

The French and German youth will not be willing to die on the Russian front for the interests of US imperialism. In this regard, the duty falls on the forces in Europe that stand against US imperialism, the Turks in Europe and all the friends of Asia worldwide.

United World International

Independent analytical center where political scientists and experts in international relations from various countries exchange their opinions and views.

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June 2024