Back to the gates of Vienna and beyond
Who are the postmodernist Merkel-whisperers who share responsibility for this European catastrophe? Is it George Clooney? The shade of Erich Honecker? Who then? Impossible that it could have been Joseph Goebbels’ 1943 demand, “Do you want total war?” that became, with equal disregard for posterity, Merkel’s subtext to “Wir schaffen das!”— Do you want total compassion?
Naivety’s first blunder is to assume that because we are alive, we are somehow not living in History, but rather in an entirely new House — Maison de Droits de l’Homme, say — where historical continuity breaks down. This is due largely to the natural conceit of the living: “THEY were in monochrome, while WE are in colour.” Millennial Man is at last liberated from the search for value, as he moves obediently from a culture to a global economy devoid of values, and replete with paralysing choice. After all, he has been trained to fear knowledge, to confuse truth with mendacity, to welcome deracination in situ as a liberation long overdue — not least, from boredom.
In October, 2010, Angela Merkel expatiated at length on the “utter failure” of multikulti in Germany. Horst Seehofer, then as now a coalition partner and minister-president of Bavaria, pronounced it “dead”. The Bundesbanker, Thilo Sarrazin, lost his job for complaining at book-length that too many of Germany’s 16 million immigrants made no attempt to integrate themselves into German society. At least Seehofer has remained faithful to his views, but to say that multikulti is “dead” is fallacious. Multiculturalism cannot die, because it is by definition already the lowest-energy social state possible. Only the process of integration, which requires effort, can die: and it has. Multikulti is therefore the eternal zombie state, the null-point of culture, whose only contribution to art is the transformation of the streetscape into a permanent ‘installation’. It can be assumed that these 2010 declarations of Merkel were just the good idea of the time, mere political opportunism: worth remarking upon for their unusual audacity, but otherwise of no interest.
Why did she do it? Having hugely intensified the refugee crisis, and triggered the parallel migrant crisis outright, Frau Merkel now lives with a permanent cold sweat, drying out only occasionally during displays of ersatz Churchillian grit. But Merkel is no Churchill, and no Thatcher either: her version of “The lady’s not for turning” is an insufficient qualification. Merkel is more a cypher than an enigma: the latter has content. She appears to believe in nothing; certainly not in Germany, and not in the power of the deep historical current in which Europe now finds itself ripped along. How the self-hating elites of post-imperial Europe long to atone, with their suffocating narcissism, for filling the power-vacuums of Africa and Asia in the 19th century. ‘Manifest Destiny’ was not a process conspicuously under moral control, but merely the equalisation of political pressures in very different vessels. Stable borders arise as political isobars, where opposing powers arrive at a balance. The most rarefied power vacuum of the 21st century is now firmly established in the countries of the European Union, and there is no obvious “upper limit” to its capacity for ingestion.