The Consequences Of The Rise Of European Nationalism

Tyler Durden's picture




 

Nationalism, like any political idea, is a spectrum of views not an absolute. As UBS notes in an interesting article today, the policies of Golden Dawn are not the policies of the True Finns of Finland, or the Freedom Party of Austria. However, there is undoubtedly a trend within the Euro area in favour of those parties that promote nationalistic policies (perhaps defined as the aggressive pursuit of domestic or indigenous interests over regional interests) and this trend raises considerable questions over the future of the Euro. The first and most obvious consequence of a rise of nationalism within the Euro area is that it will make managing the Euro crisis ever more complex to resolve. The other issue that arises from the rise of nationalist parties in the Euro area takes us away from the specifics of the Euro integration. Nationalism very readily turns into prejudice against others. UBS' Paul Donovan adds that the Euro area will work best when it recognises and uses its economic resources (people in this instance) to the best advantage. Festering resentment and nationalism is unlikely to produce that sort of a climate. Given how important it is to restore competitiveness to the Euro area economy, this is not a negligible economic cost.

 

UBS - Paul Donovan: My country, right or wrong

The noise around Greek politics and indeed European politics in general is not likely to dissipate any time soon. Indeed, the cacophony seems only likely to increase. Investors who expected to spring from their beds on Monday morning to find a Greek government in place, stable, and willing to carry on with the Troika’s memorandum of understanding are sadly (if predictably) disappointed. Ahead lies a lot more politics, which financial markets are singularly ill equipped to factor in to asset prices, and which media and markets alike are more likely to be misled or misinformed about. Beneath the political noise about negotiating coalitions and renegotiating bail outs, there is a sub-current in Euro politics that markets might wish to examine.

Recent elections have brought with them an undercurrent of political nationalism. Golden Dawn in Greece captured almost 7% of the vote in the 17th June elections, having held onto their popular support levels from the earlier poll this year. One can readily argue that, from the other end of the spectrum, Syriza has also campaigned on a nationalist platform. In France, the Front Nationale has achieved national assembly representation for the first time in decades, and established itself as the third party of France with 14% of the popular vote in the assembly first round. The True Finns are already the third party of Finland, with over 19% of the vote in the last parliamentary election. Ireland’s Sinn Fein lies in second place in recent opinion polls. Nationalist or nationalist inclined parties have gained and retained support in the Euro area as the Euro crisis has developed.

Nationalism, like any political idea, is a spectrum of views not an absolute. The policies of Golden Dawn are not the policies of the True Finns of Finland, or the Freedom Party of Austria. However, there is undoubtedly a trend within the Euro area in favour of those parties that promote nationalistic policies (perhaps defined as the aggressive pursuit of domestic or indigenous interests over regional interests).

Why nationalism now?

The question of why nationalist parties are gaining electoral support is important, as it may help to understand the potential impact on more mainstream political thinking. It may also give some guidance as to the longevity of any nationalist movement. While nationalist parties have often had high profile, charismatic leaders it is clear that leadership alone is not the deciding factors. Many Euro area nationalist parties have maintained electoral support after the loss of their leaders.

There appear to be two common factors that characterise the supporters of Euro area nationalist parties. The first, and perhaps the least surprising, is that they tend to come from the economically insecure. This is not (necessarily) the same as the lowest income groups in society – though that is the case in some instances. Rather, it is more likely to be those in society who feel themselves as being most at risk in economic terms. That implies that they have something to lose (thus are not the lowest income groups) and that they feel threatened The global financial crisis, and the particularly protracted nature of the Euro financial crisis, has facilitated the growth of the economically insecure as a political class. It also helps to explain why nationalism is as prevalent (if not more prevalent) amongst the non-peripheral economies than it is amongst the periphery. The better off economies contain voters who fear for their existing prosperity, and who turn to nationalism as a defender of that prosperity.

The second common characteristic of the supporters of nationalist parties in the Euro area would appear to be hostility to immigration. This is often characterised as economic hostility, and very often the sentiment is expressed in terms of a country being “full” – which has economic overtones and feeds into the economic insecurity. However, cultural concerns also appear to have played a role in fostering Euro area nationalism, at least in the run up to the global financial crisis. Supporters of nationalist parties are fearful that their own culture is being “overrun” by immigrants, and unique national characteristics are being homogenised, or even replaced by alien cultures.

This cultural concern of course resonates particularly strongly in some parts of the Euro area where the national interests are viewed as being subordinated to Euro policy prescriptions. As the Euro crisis encourages further common policy approaches with occasionally painful economic side effects, this trend could very well continue.

Consequence 1: The Euro

The first and most obvious consequence of a rise of nationalism within the Euro area is that it will make managing the Euro crisis ever more complex to resolve. Weaker countries that need to receive assistance will resent the conditions imposed upon them from outside (and may seek to cast the domestic problems as being caused by foreign forces). This very much characterises the Greek attitude at the moment, but arguably is evident in some of the political comment in economies like Ireland.

At the same time, stronger economies that are called upon to provide economic aid for the common good are likely to resent the fact that their relative prosperity is being diverted from national uses – and that their economic outlook could potentially be made more insecure by association with the weaker economies. 

This unhappy combination then leads to resentment against the Euro or European institutions – despite the fact that the Euro’s crisis can ultimately only be resolved by choosing to “integrate, or die” (with the fragmentation of the latter option generating economic consequences that are likely to be very severe indeed). The resentment seems to be stronger amongst the weaker economies – the latest Pew Research Center survey on European attitudes reported that 83% of Greek’s believe that the power of European nations is a major threat to their economic welfare, and 70% that European integration has weakened their economy. This sentiment is seen elsewhere – 63% of the French thought integration had weakened their economy in the same poll.

The challenge is that if the Euro is to hold together (and we believe it will) these nationalist sentiments must be subsumed into a regional sentiment. Fiscal confederation should not be about “German money” going to “Greece”, or whatever combination1. Instead fiscal confederation should be about wealthier Euro citizens funding assistance to less wealthy Euro citizens. To get beyond the national boundaries implicit in the current national sentiment is essential to the eventual and necessary integration of the Euro area.

For the time being the presence of nationalism in the Euro area, and the impact it has on mainstream politics, is likely to lead to “red lines” in Euro area negotiations. There are some issues that negotiating governments will not be able to compromise over, in the current more nationally inclined environment. This applies to all sides of the negotiating table, stronger as well as weaker. Distinguishing between those points that are genuinely “red line” issues, and those that are simply bargaining positions to be surrendered for other concessions will be important to investors.

Consequence 2: Competitiveness

The other issue that arises from the rise of nationalist parties in the Euro area takes us away from the specifics of the Euro integration. Nationalism very readily turns into prejudice against others. Indeed the hostility to immigration that is a common characteristic of Euro area nationalism is something that arouses considerable concern amongst economists. Prejudice is something that is economically undermines competitiveness.

The issue here is that prejudice is irrational discrimination against a group in society (for whatever reason – but hostility on the grounds of nationality is one of the commoner forms). As such, it is economically inefficient. Economic efficiency is meritocratic, and has no room for irrational discrimination – effectively prejudice is a manifestation of Luddite behaviour in the twenty first century – rather than destroying physical capital, prejudicial behaviour wastes human (intellectual) capital.

 

There is a real risk that by fostering an environment where political nationalism develops, the ensuing prejudice will undermine competitiveness and productivity in the Euro economy. The Euro area will work best when it recognises and uses its economic resources (people in this instance) to the best advantage. Festering resentment and nationalism is unlikely to produce that sort of a climate. Given how important it is to restore competitiveness to the Euro area economy, this is not a negligible economic cost.

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Wed, 06/20/2012 - 03:21 | 2542249 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

waffen, you pointed out to the correct view. if liberty is in any way important to you, then fascists and communist look roughly the same. but they are radically different in their views on the details of their authoritarianism, which is encapsulated in their differences of opinions about the family and the state, a difference big enough to make them fight each other.

you could go philosophical and state that it's the roman familia principle (based on male descent) fighting the proto-germanic tribe principle (based on female descent).

interestingly, the very old romans tried to square those principles, as shown by their triple names.

the first name was that of the personality, the second of your gens, i.e. of your (originally female-descent-based - greek: genos) clan name, binding you to a greater group of social solidarity, and the third name was that of your family, which at that time was also the equivalent of a company/brand/legal liability group led by one man/farmer/"tyrant"/freeholder/father/citizen.

remnants of the gens/clan/genos concept were encountered by the English in their conquest of Scotland and Ireland, where the Irish, for example, did not understand at first the English concept of personal property of land, having more of a Iroquois understanding that land belongs to a female-descended group bound by group solidarity (and led by an elected chieftain).

Wed, 06/20/2012 - 06:55 | 2542393 GeneMarchbanks
GeneMarchbanks's picture

No. None of that means anything. It's about freedom and shit.

Wed, 06/20/2012 - 00:18 | 2542027 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

.

Granted, although both were authoritarian, their interests were very different.

Naw, the interests are always the same old song of the sociopath: power.

The various isms are no more significant than the colors of a flag.

Tue, 06/19/2012 - 22:51 | 2541782 Conrad Murray
Conrad Murray's picture

<----- Click if you work for a living
<----- Click if HuffPuff brought you here

Tue, 06/19/2012 - 22:52 | 2541783 Tirpitz
Tirpitz's picture

Both systems proved highly capable of bringing dozens of millions of desperate, pillaged and raped citizen back to bread and hope.

While the unfettered crony capitalist counterparts seem to be content to see them living under overpasses without income, healthcare, education -- without any future at all.

Tue, 06/19/2012 - 22:57 | 2541793 Waffen
Waffen's picture

Apparently communism forgot to give bread to the ukranians(or let them grow anything at all)

Holodomor

Tue, 06/19/2012 - 23:05 | 2541815 Conrad Murray
Conrad Murray's picture

What's 3+ million lives among friends, Comrade?

Tue, 06/19/2012 - 23:06 | 2541818 Tirpitz
Tirpitz's picture

Maybe they rather wanted to let them eat cake?

Wed, 06/20/2012 - 00:03 | 2541991 AldousHuxley
AldousHuxley's picture

like unions, poor turn to communism and socialism when elites don't throw them enough crumbs. then they take majority power and screw it up for elites too.

 

like jaded divorced single mother becoming feminazi

 

like jaded blacks converting to islam when white christians don't respect them

 

like low level employees jumping ship to competitor company for just little bit more money.

 

royalty is fickle. key is maintain balance, otherwise leaders lose their slaves and become leader of nobody.

Wed, 06/20/2012 - 09:32 | 2542889 N. B. Forrest
N. B. Forrest's picture

No differance at all. 

Wed, 06/20/2012 - 10:04 | 2543005 DanDaley
DanDaley's picture

Exactly! Look at the NAZIs and their programs: 

Health-food fanatics / vegetarians

Hated smoking

Hated alcohol (made sweet cider the national drink)

Thought-controlled school system

Despised Christianity / loved moslems

Sounds a lot like Bloomberg, eh?

 

Wed, 06/20/2012 - 01:29 | 2542134 NorthPole
NorthPole's picture

The Nazi Party, in German - NSDAP ( National Sozialistische Deutsche Arbeitpartei - National Socialist German Workers Party ) - definately called themselves 'socialist'. It was a whole different breed of 'socialism' than the Russian communists or the social democrats of today, of course.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NSDAP

 

 

 

Wed, 06/20/2012 - 05:16 | 2542335 Bazza McKenzie
Bazza McKenzie's picture

Hitler considered himself a nationalist on behalf of the "Germanic people" (which included Austria, he being Austrian by birth).  His big beef with the communists was that they are/were "internationalists", aiming to subordinate national groups.  But both were socialist in economic terms, though obviously the communists were adherents of the marxist version of socialism.

At least part of Hitler's antipathy to Jews was that he saw them as active leaders of communism in Germany and thus attacking German nationalism.  [Source: Mein Kampf].

Wed, 06/20/2012 - 03:44 | 2542255 reTARD
reTARD's picture

You're not saying Statists are one and the same in the the grand scheme of things are you?

Yes, the only difference is the degree of socialism. If I remember correctly, Hayek said that the natural progression of socialism is to fascism. Socialists, in general, may be well intentioned but as we know there are "unintended consequences" to their central planning. And ultimately these socialists unknowingly end up creating a far worse monster which ends up opposite of their initial dreamy ideals. Socialism grows and gains power via centralization (totalitarianism).

Tue, 06/19/2012 - 22:20 | 2541689 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

When all else fails... NATIONALISM! (When that fails... WAR!)...

- to do that... BORROW

- when that fails... SURRENDER

- when that fails... DEFAULT

- when that fails... PRINT

- when that fails... NAKED SHORT GOLD & SILVER

(additions welcome)

Tue, 06/19/2012 - 22:25 | 2541718 FeralSerf
FeralSerf's picture

Addition:

Rothschilds and their tribe win.

Tue, 06/19/2012 - 23:18 | 2541846 Waffen
Waffen's picture

You mean those people that have gotten thrown out of a city or country 109 times since 250 AD?

Tue, 06/19/2012 - 23:55 | 2541971 FeralSerf
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Actually it was the Kazars that were the origin of this "Thirteenth Tribe".  It's true that this group have had a bad reputation for quite some time not unlike the Gypsies.

http://socioecohistory.wordpress.com/2009/01/24/khazar-empire-illuminati...

Wed, 06/20/2012 - 00:45 | 2542065 i-dog
i-dog's picture

The Khazars were also the source of the original 12 tribes (they rode down on chariots from the Russian steppe, through Turkey into Egypt, then were thrown back out into Palestine as the "12 tribes").

They are the original warmongers and continue to this very day ... 4,000 years later!!

Wed, 06/20/2012 - 00:52 | 2542080 Western
Western's picture

I'll expand on what you said;

 

They took over some areas in Italy, founded rome, defeated carthage, created the cult of rome... which is now our legal system and catholicism.

Wed, 06/20/2012 - 01:28 | 2542096 i-dog
i-dog's picture

Exactly ... though, "politically infiltrated" Italy is a better description ... via the Caesar family, from Macedonia, of Alexander the Great fame, whose origins lie in Phoenicia, one of the 12 tribes. It's an unbroken trail of [attempted] global domination by an inbred tribe of troublemakers.

Wed, 06/20/2012 - 03:11 | 2542245 ThirdWorldDude
ThirdWorldDude's picture

...And the Phoenicians derive from Mesopotamia, which comes from Sumer... If you continue like that, you'll finish with Adam and Eve. Plain BS, or a sign that greed and lust for power are universal traits.

Provide links or cite your sources please, unless you're pulling them out of your ass.

Wed, 06/20/2012 - 06:34 | 2542365 i-dog
i-dog's picture

Do your own fucking research, if you have doubts. You want me to give you a detailed 2,000-year history lesson, with hundreds of reference links, accumulated through years of research!?!

LOL ... Go back to the 'History (According to Hollywood) Channel'! Their potted (and certified kosher) fairytales are much closer to what you want to hear. This is not a history tutorial site, though the history is relevant.

Wed, 06/20/2012 - 06:54 | 2542392 ThirdWorldDude
ThirdWorldDude's picture

I've done my research, pucko, that's why I call your BS. 

This is not a history site, you're right about that, but some of you enjoy showing off with "knowledge" of "history" cited from the Bible (your 12 tribes). 

Wed, 06/20/2012 - 07:14 | 2542414 i-dog
i-dog's picture

LOL ... the bible is the last place I'd go looking for history -- hence the quote marks I placed around the "12 tribes". Back to you for the last word.

Wed, 06/20/2012 - 20:23 | 2545589 Western
Western's picture

Why do people think that what is written in history books is the absolute truth?

Wed, 06/20/2012 - 03:36 | 2542263 ThirdWorldDude
ThirdWorldDude's picture

Nope. The Khazar Khaganate was placed entirely between Black and Caspian Sea, i.e. todays Azerbaijan, Chechenia, Northern Turkey, Eastern Bulgaria and Southern Ukraine. The earliest they might've migrated to Palestine was after 9th century AD, when their King decided to convert the entire tribe to Judaism.

I recommend you read something about St. Cyril's Khazar mission.

Wed, 06/20/2012 - 19:43 | 2545350 i-dog
i-dog's picture

Nope. That's a konveniently inkomplete rap sheet on our knightly Khazarian kleptokrats! You didn't deserve the up-arrow you gave yourself.

The Khazars invented the war chariot c.2000 BC and its progression down through Turkey (to knock out the Hittites) and Egypt (in 1650BC, as the Hyksos ("foreign rulers, arriving on horses and chariots"), which were subsequently expelled into Palestine in 1540 BC, "the Exodus") is now well documented through archaelogical evidence, rather than the mumblings of monks. Start here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chariot

Wed, 06/20/2012 - 02:57 | 2542222 Gavrikon
Gavrikon's picture

I dunno.  I LIKE the idea of Economic Nationalism.  The middle classes of the West would not be losing everything to the slave labor forces of the East just to benefit the Globalist Elites.

Tue, 06/19/2012 - 22:22 | 2541693 barliman
barliman's picture

 

3,000 years of nationalism were never going to be wiped away by 12 years of economic union.

Anyone selling anything else is talking their book and a particularly coarse grade of horseshit.

barliman

Tue, 06/19/2012 - 22:42 | 2541757 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

It's almost as bad as the hubris of the U.S and the "peace" talks in the middle east. They have been at each others throat for thousands of years and we think we can get them to resolve their issues with a handshake.

Like we really want peace over there anyway... Conflict plays right into our hands.

Tue, 06/19/2012 - 23:01 | 2541794 barliman
barliman's picture

 

Tension HAS PLAYED (past tense) into our hands. (Easy to sell the latest and greatest weapons to people who don't trust their neighbors)

Obambi just got schooled by Russia and China on Syria at the G-20.  Apparently he still desn't know what, "Tovye maht!" means.

Apparently Krugman just got schooled on The Colbert Report with a retort to his preaching that what "we really need to sort things out is a war in Europe."

Punching up the technology to see if the little light bulb went on over Krugman's head at that idea.

barliman

Wed, 06/20/2012 - 02:59 | 2542225 Gavrikon
Gavrikon's picture

That's Tvoya Maht, BTW. As is Yob Tvoya Maht, Abiziana Svollich!

Tue, 06/19/2012 - 22:51 | 2541781 Tourist2008
Tourist2008's picture

"Progress depends on the unreasonable man" George Bernard Shaw

Wed, 06/20/2012 - 03:09 | 2542242 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

3,000 years of nationalism were never going to be wiped away by 12 years of economic union.

_________________________

3 000 years of nationalism in Europe? Make it 5 000 years. When bigger than biggest is not yet big enough, US citizenism at work.

Wed, 06/20/2012 - 03:53 | 2542283 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

AnAnonymous said:

3 000 years of nationalism in Europe? Make it 5 000 years. When bigger than biggest is not yet big enough, US citizenism at work.

Hey, sure, why not? It's your fantasy, so make it a good one. Might as well say 'US citizenism' has been oppressing mankind for over 9000 years, since the last ice age and beyond. Your hallucinations blobbed up real good.

AnAnonymousitizenism at work.

Wed, 06/20/2012 - 06:17 | 2542358 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

Ah, that would be good if I adopted such stances. Would make things easy.

Unfortunately...

Wed, 06/20/2012 - 14:48 | 2544557 akak
akak's picture

It would be good if you would adopt the stance of placing your defecating buttcheeks over a toilet instead of over a Chinese roadside --- or over this forum.

Tue, 06/19/2012 - 22:18 | 2541697 Buck Johnson
Buck Johnson's picture

It's simplier than that, When people are hungry and their kids are starving and they have lost any way of making a living, it's real easy for a charasmatic person to tell them you are in this position because of THOSE PEOPLE and they point to THOSE PEOPLE.  And so they believe and the govt. doesn't do much about it because they fear the people will know the truth of the matter.  Which is their govt. was responsible for the mess, the foreign banks and govt. didn't have a gun to their head to take the money or manipulate said countries economic look to be accepted into the EURO.  In the govt. mind it's better for the Nationalists to go after THOSE PEOPLE than to go after them. 

And in some ways it's also societies way of pushing blame from the citizens themselves for being to lazy and to self centered to think about what said govt. was doing in their name.

 

Tue, 06/19/2012 - 22:39 | 2541753 garypaul
garypaul's picture

That was a great and quick summary

Wed, 06/20/2012 - 01:36 | 2542135 zelter
zelter's picture

And what if THOSE PEOPLE (i.e., unwanted non-Europeans and their seed) are to blame, moron? The Western rate of consumption that the non-Whites who flood in enjoy on our backs comes at the direct expense of any rational planning for the future.

And what if the presence of those aliens is an irreducible problem in itself? Don't the indigenous peoples of Europe deserve places of their own, or is it too problematic for American liberals like you?

The governments in Europe are openly acting in alien rather than national interests; you can ask them. They evade democratic processes by going the supranational route. They do not recognise indigenous European peoples. They are fully dedicated to destroying all national fellow-feeling. They even have security police forces dedicated to fighting "racism," an idea which led to the horrors of the Soviet Union.

Rest assured they are firmly in nationalist crosshairs.

Wed, 06/20/2012 - 03:05 | 2542236 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

Don't the indigenous peoples of Europe deserve places of their own, or is it too problematic for American liberals like you?
_____________________

And it has to be remembered that the Indo Europeans who are peopling Europe now are not indigenous to Europe.

They come from Asia.

It might indeed time to make room for the indigenous people of Europe.

Just like it might be time to make room for the indigenous people of the US of A.

Which shares the same problem as Europeans. What a surprise.

Wed, 06/20/2012 - 03:02 | 2542230 Gavrikon
Gavrikon's picture

"it's real easy for a charasmatic person to tell them you are in this position because of THOSE PEOPLE and they point to THOSE PEOPLE. "

And the charismatic leader would be correct.  THOSE PEOPLE are the globalist elites who have dismantled the ladders of upward mobiity through the importation of cheap labor and the exportation of manufacuring and technical work to slave labor countries. 

Tue, 06/19/2012 - 22:20 | 2541705 kito
kito's picture

The euro area will work best when big banks like UBS aren't given handouts while the the so called intellectual capital wastes away. You, mr Donovan, and your ilk are what causes festering resentment. Your worthless assessment is just bread and circuses for the rest of the investment world.......

Tue, 06/19/2012 - 22:20 | 2541707 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

 The Consequences?  ? Status Quo, or perhaps " drawn $ Quartered"?        

 

                     Quit effin the Sheep, and take "HANDS" Maties! Do we need the English for another " CIVIL WAR"?

 

        " ARRRR"



Tue, 06/19/2012 - 22:22 | 2541711 FeralSerf
FeralSerf's picture

Nationalism is just a normal tribal us-vs-them response.  When the whiff of merde starts coming from the fan, one  begins to need to find out who his friends and enemies are.  He will be advised by his leaders and his leaders' television networks in this regard.  It will no doubt cost him.

Wed, 06/20/2012 - 03:03 | 2542232 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

Nationalism is just a normal tribal us-vs-them response.
__________________

No. In US citizenism, nationalism goes beyond the scale of tribalism.

Tue, 06/19/2012 - 22:23 | 2541714 mcguire
mcguire's picture

olympics this summer will likely make nationalistic tendancies more amplified... 

Tue, 06/19/2012 - 22:28 | 2541726 TrainWreck1
TrainWreck1's picture

Did the Olympics start? Are they over? Did anybody watch?

Tue, 06/19/2012 - 22:38 | 2541749 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

  I especially enjoy the track and Field sports segment! last time I explored london it was rather "boring"!

    All the knuckle heads are probably targeting, the fish and chip stands!

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