Roger Scruton on national identity and the legacy of communism

Jun 9, 2019 by

by Kathy Gyngell, The Conservative Woman:

LAST week Sir Roger Scruton was awarded the highest State civilian honour for foreigners by the Polish President Andrzej Duda. Afterwards he spoke in the Polish Parliament on the legacy of communism and the emergence of new nationalist movements. His speech can be viewed and listened to here and the full text is printed below.

But first a précis of his main points:

The division besetting the continent today is no longer between totalitarian socialism and free democracy, but reflect new battle lines between adherence to the nation state, with its language, institutions and religious inheritance on the one hand and, on the other, the cosmopolitan vision of a trans-national order, a borderless economy and a universal law of human rights.

The legal and political institutions of our continent have turned in a cosmopolitan direction, not least in the former communist states. While the law and jurisprudence of the European Courts have filled the legal vacuum left by the Communist Party, enabling them to receive and protect incoming investment and thereby to enter the global capitalist economy with relatively little friction, there has been far too little awareness of its social and cultural cost.

Freedom of movement has meant a massive one-way shift of populations out of the former communist countries into the West, and in particular into Britain, which has set a very low barrier to entry. It is one cause of the Brexit crisis but has also had a serious demographic effect on the Vyšegrad countries, which have lost many of the best and brightest of their young people.

The charge of ‘populism’ is levelled against movements for national independence and national renewal largely in order to discount the vote of the many who support them.

Read here


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