END-2015: THE CRISIS OF THE IDEOLOGY OF MULTICULTURALISM

1. Following the November 13 jihad strikes in France, the EU/Germanic
ideology of multiculturalism has entered a period of crisis. Although such
crisis does not by any means suggest its defeat, the fact of such crisis
constitutes a historical event.

2. For the first time following the jihad attacks, multiculturalism as a
political ideology finds itself threatened by the question of security. It
is not the security of the Central State per se that is threatened – on the
contrary, that which is threatened, on a daily basis, is the physical and
psychological integrity of the individual (and, therefore, the “lifeworld”
of civil society, as Habermas would put it).

3. All social theorists and social historians would agree that the security
of a society is a sine qua non for the cohesion of that society, whatever
be its particular social formation (such an observation has been made by
“Marxists” such as Poulantzas and Hobsbawm, by “Liberals” such as Aron, and
“Fascists” such as Michels and Pareto).

4. Thus, on Sunday, November 22, 2015, when police were undertaking
anti-terrorist investigations in Brussels, Belgian civil society – via the
use of the social media – showed its full cooperation with the State (case
of the “BrusselsLockdown”). The question of security, therefore, cannot be
simply reduced to State “repression” and “control”, as the stereotype
dogmatism of the “Left” wishes to insist.

5. Now, given the threat posed to security throughout the European
continent, we have come to observe a disjuncture between “official”
political discourse and “unofficial” political practices. “Official”
discourse insists on multiculturalism and therefore struggles – with much
political angst – to differentiate between jihadist “terrorists” and the
masses of Muslims living in or entering Europe. On the other hand,
“unofficial” political practice maneuvers in a manner which takes it for
granted that jihadist fanaticism is linked to Muslim migration, and thus
tries to limit or control such migration. Very rapidly, such political
maneuvering is itself mutating into open policy (as in attempts to persuade
Turkey to help cut down on the influx of migrants), while the ideology of
multiculturalism continues to be disseminated by all dominant ideological
apparatuses across Europe. Herein lies the kernel of the contradiction with
respect to immigrants.

6. It is an obvious reality – a tangible experience for the vast masses of
Europeans – that second and third generation Muslims within Europe have
failed to be assimilated within civil society.

7. To attempt to explain the causes of this is useful but misses the basic
point. The point is that the “resistance” of these younger generations has
taken the form of Muslim-oriented, anti-Western fanaticism. To put it
otherwise, their reaction has not been of a secular-political nature – it
is well outside the political cultures of either the “Left” or the “Right”,
or outside whatever constitutes the socio-cultural and political
consciousness of Europeans.

8. More than that, even “assimilated” Muslims who have joined the Labor
Party in Britain still maintain their specific religious identity (on
attending Party meetings, for instance, Muslim males “segregate” themselves
from their female counterparts).

9. But it is above all the non-assimilated youths who turn against Western
culture and practices in a violent non-secular manner, thus directly
challenging the “lifeworld” of a Europe rooted in Renaissance values (and
which express the vast majority of the European popular middle classes).

10. Such violent reaction to Western values constitutes the infrastructure
for recruitment by the Sunni State of ISIS, which itself has the popular
support of Sunnis from Saudi Arabia, Turkey, parts of Syria, parts of Iraq,
and so on.

11. It is a fact known to all serious observers: the jihad attacks in Paris
were received enthusiastically by millions of Muslims across the globe
(cf., for instance, Stavros Lygeros, “ΠΡΩΤΟ ΘΕΜΑ”, 22.11.2015, p. 42).
Here, we do not merely refer to specific Muslim elites or
religious-political organizations such as the Muslim Brotherhood – we speak
of the Muslim popular masses themselves.

12. In Europe itself, the estimated number of Muslim youths sympathetic to
or in some way supportive of ISIS comes to approximately 10.000.

13. It is as important to note that we have observed a series of
spontaneous Muslim terror attacks on Western civil societies that had never
been directly organized by ISIS or any related organizational structures.
We have seen, in other words, a wave of volunteer activists expressing
their solidarity to ISIS. While not directly recruited, organized and
trained by whatever structure, they are magnetized by ISIS ideology.
Examples of such violent acts of ideological solidarity include the
following: in Boston, April 5, 2013; in Southeast London, May 22, 2013; in
Sydney, December 15, 2014; in Southern California, December 2, 2015; in
Leytonstone, London, December 5, 2015.

14. It has been for some time now that important sections of the middle
classes of Europe have gradually been nurturing a national or even
nationalist consciousness rejecting the further influx of Muslims into
their countries. But one single event which took place on November 24, 2015
– viz. the downing of the Russian SU-24 fighter jet by the Turkish Air
Force – helped clarify a major fact in the minds of many thinking
Europeans. Following this event, it became quite obvious that the major
force behind the self-destruction of Muslim nation-states was not simply
the so-called “imperialism” of the West – rather, it was the Turkish State,
as a Sunnite regional imperialist power, that had been pursuing a policy of
destruction so as to effect a Sunni hegemony over the whole of the Arab
world. Its support and protection of the Sunni State of ISIS fully verified
that.

15. Such a realization has had two results: First, whatever “guilt
feelings” on the part of Westerners regarding the “Failed States” of the
Arab world would no longer hold water. Secondly, we had the upsurge of a
major wave of support for Putin, as the epitome of patriotism and as a
defender of European nation-states. Above all, he came to be seen as a
force for security, precisely that state of security denied to European
citizens by the threat of jihadists.

16. It is in such context that the crisis of the ideology of
multiculturalism was to be exacerbated. Before we examine the precise forms
that such crisis would take, we need to say a few words about the
ideological content of multiculturalism.

17. Ideological apparatuses across Europe have been attempting to forge a
paradigm of “moral” social behavior for all of European civil society.
Citizens are expected to abide by certain codes of behavior which accept
multiculturalism as an expression of “political correctness”. Such a
“post-modern” ideology involves the manipulation of well-established
European ideological paradigms deeply rooted in the “νους” of the masses.

18. Where lies the ideological manipulation we refer to? Essentially, the
dominant ideological apparatuses make use of whatever remnants of a
secularized Christianity to impose on the European middle classes a set of
“moral systems” of what is “good” and what is “evil” in social behavior.
Such “moral systems” lead to a self-doubting morality whereby whatever is
“different” – like Muslims and homosexuals – should be respected and
accepted as such, and should be so respected and accepted based on the
“guilt” Europeans carry for their past and present “sins” (such as European
colonialism of the 19th century, or the present-day potentially
racist/prejudiced tendencies supposedly secreted within the European middle
class mind). The central most important purpose of such self-abnegation is
meant to lead to a self-doubting morality, itself leading to one’s
self-destruction as a cohesive socio-cultural entity. Such self-destruction
would ultimately translate into the destruction of any consciousness based
on the nation-state. For the EU/Germanic State, whatever assertion of
national sovereignty as a value is reduced to a “sinful” nationalist
supremacy amounting to fascism or neo-Nazism. Similarly, whatever appeal to
the survival of European nation-state cultures and traditions is dismissed
as bigoted, “politically incorrect” and opposed to the “European Ideal”.
Such “Ideal” is above all a multiculturalist “humanitarianism” which has no
other “moral” choice but allow Europe to mutate into a global village
tolerating all non-European cultures and religions (including, naturally,
whole Muslim communities). The age-old “humanitarianism” of a now toothless
“Left” is itself also being manipulated with the exact aim in mind.

19. It is the content of such ideological discourse that is now undergoing
a crisis. This crisis is based on three central contradictions, all of
which have emerged with the rise of the ISIS State and the concomitant
waves of mass Muslim immigration.

20. The first contradiction: A centralized EU based on the demise of
nation-states and demographic multiculturalism is coming into conflict with
European anti-immigrant sentiments. Such sentiments are self-assertive and
guilt-free, and pose a threat to the political elites sheltered by EU
structures. Here, the popular “νους” of the middle classes relates jihadist
terror to Muslim fanaticism, and is thereby suspicious of all Muslims (this
should be seen as a subjective phenomenon responding to objective, material
circumstances). The political elites observe the objective causes of such
popular response and therefore also have no choice but relate jihadist
terror to the influx of immigrants (whether “unofficially” or not). They
therefore move to tighten border controls and even start doubting the 1985
Schengen Treaty. Thereby, they start doubting the ideology of
multiculturalism which they had espoused all along.

21. The second contradiction: The move on the part of the political elites
to somehow accommodate popular sentiments and deal with the immigration
influx – which is in any case going out of control – is coming into
conflict with the needs of (especially) German Industry, which is pressing
for an ultra-cheap labor force centered on immigrants. Its demand for a
lowering of the official minimum wage has exposed both it and the political
elites in the eyes of the wage-earning middle classes. At the same time, it
is causing a conflictual relationship between State and Capital. As regards
this issue, EUOBSERVER ( https://euobserver.com) has written
the following with respect to the demands of German Industry: “Germany
should deregulate its labor market and create more lower-paid jobs to help
refugees integrate better…” And further, “Germany should make exceptions
for the minimum wage and offer short-term contracts”. To the extent that a
certain percentage of immigrants will definitely be absorbed by German
Industry, this shall inevitably lead to conflict between local, unionized
labor and the mass of newly-employed immigrants. Such conflict will further
exacerbate the crisis of the ideology of multiculturalism.

22. The third contradiction: Paradoxically, the question of security is
threatening Capital itself. Both manufacturing and commerce, and especially
as regards small and medium-sized commercial and service outlets, are being
directly affected by the 3-month state of emergency in France, but also by
the fear of jihad terrorist attacks in countries such as Belgium, Germany,
and elsewhere. Further, and simply by way of an example, anarchic
circumstances caused by immigrants stuck in Idomeni (at the Greek-FYROM
border) have had a negative effect on the functioning of trade and
commerce: the entire chain of commercial exchange has been disrupted,
affecting the whole of the European continent (companies such as COSCO have
voiced their complaints). To the extent that both jihadist terror and the
uncontrolled influx of immigrants can seriously disrupt the economic life
of Europe, once again, the ideology and practices of multiculturalism can
run into contradictions. There is the potential of a conflict of interests
between the political elites and different sectors of capital.

23. By way of a conclusion, we may say that a highly conflictual situation
is gradually emerging across the European continent. On the one hand, we
have the deeply rooted EU/Germanic ideology of multiculturalism, reflecting
long-term plans that target the internal unity of European nation-states.
On the other hand, we have the popular masses whose own socio-cultural
cohesion and democratic rights are being threatened. At the same time,
minority groups – mainly Muslim – can gradually come to operate as a
“regulatory force” within European societies.

24. Such a potentially conflictual context could mean that the EU-dependent
political elites shall move from an attempt at ideological domination to
that of political repression (especially against all so-called
“nationalists”). That, however, will only exacerbate the ideological crisis
of multiculturalism.

25. The exacerbation of such a crisis will re-posit the need to salvage the
European nation-state: writing as early as 1978, the “Marxist” political
philosopher, Nikos Poulantzas, had warned: “Η σημερινή διεθνοποίηση της
αγοράς και του κεφαλαίου… δεν αφαιρεί τίποτε από τη βαρύτητα που έχει
πάντοτε το έθνος” (cf. his “Το Κράτος, Η Εξουσία…”, ΘΕΜΕΛΙΟ, 2008, pp. 139,
167-168).

Panagiotis Tourikis (“Nikos Vlachos”), 6.12.2015

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