No Democracy Without Borders
– Why democracy needs fences, as the title of your lecture at Danube Institute suggested?
– There are two reasons, sovereignty and identity, and you need borders to protect both. If you don’t have a limited territory, it doesn’t make sense to decide collectively because you can only decide collectively about something when it only applies to a certain area. If there’s no central, sovereign power – which is now more and more the case in Europe, where there are so many regulating bodies – then nobody knows where decisions are actually been taken, democracy is not working under these circumstances. Open borders are a fantastic example of this. Everybody is waiting for the other, nobody is doing anything – except for Hungary, who took the initiative.
– This is very different from the mainstream, liberal opinion which considers borders only administrative.
– We don’t realize that borders actually have a much deeper meaning. I suggest in my book that this mistaken political idea that we have in Europe is a result of the perversions of both enlightement of romanticism. The first suggests that we are all citizens of the world, rather than members of national identities and the second makes us think that everyone who comes from a different culture must be good and we must respect their identities. It’s suicidal, a deadly cocktail.
–If we respect the identities of the newcomers, why don’t we expect them to do the same?
– This comes from our romantic feeling that we are somehow decadent because we are in a post-industrial age, we are no longer authentic and so on. This is a mistaken idea. It’s destroying Europe today, our leaders are incapable of leaving this behind. The popularity of the European project is on record low, polls show that the vast majority of the people wants to stop mass immigration.
– Following your logic, is the European Union itself an obstacle of sovereign democracies?
– Exactly. (…)
– What do you think will happen to the Schengen zone in the next months?
– It will crumble. There are now an estimated 3 million people waiting in North Africa and the Middle East to cross the Mediterranean as soon as the weather gets better. I’s not possible to welcome them and shelter them, provide education, health care, food, etc. Something has to happen. The EU is fundamentally incapable of collectively defending the borders because the differences are too great. Germany still seems to suffer from its grandiosity complex. First it was national grandiosity and now it’s universalist, humanitarian grandiosity. They think they can save the world again and they are bringing us to the brink of collapse again. But we shouldn’t keep our borders open because the Germans have this problem. I don’t think Schengen will survive the summer, I think countries will do what Hungary does. They will start defending their borders.
– The Netherlands will hold a referendum about the EU association treaty with Ukraine. What is at stake?
– All the things that are wrong with the association agreement are wrong with the EU as such. This is why it’s cherished so much by the EU elites, they pretend that it’s not important, but in their hearts they think the opposite. It’s an expression of all the ideas that are the fundamentals of the EU – expansionist, universalist, naive, ignores geopolitical realities. Just as when they were talking about the Arab Spring. They weren’t interested in the facts, they just felt that something is happening and they wanted to see it. (…)