No Democracy Without National Identity

A quote from Daniel Hannan in the European Parliament, 19 January 2011, reading from his book "The New Road To Serfdom - A Letter Of Warning to America":

Faced with a choice between democracy and supra-nationalism, the European Union almost always opts for supra-nationalism and nowhere is this clearer than in its policy in the Western Balkans. We are maintaining to all intents and purposes protectorates in Bosnia, in Kosovo and arguably even in Macedonia for the sole purpose of preventing ethnographic boundaries along the lines of what local people there would choose.

It is very difficult to have a functioning democracy unless people feel enough in common one with another to accept government from each other’s hands. If you want government for and by the people, you have to have a people that everyone recognises some identity with, some allegiance to.

To put it in another way, democracy needs a ‘demos’, a unit with which we identify when we use the word ‘we’. I am not saying it is simple. People  can sustain multiple loyalties, populations can be interspersed, but our prejudice, other things being equal, should be towards national self-determination. If you take the ‘demos’ out of democracy, you are left only with the ‘kratos’, with the power of a system that must compel by law what it dare not ask in the name of civic patriotism.

@ Capodistrias

Now I know why you went up there! You were hiding the juicy parts.

I would have expected kappert to say something about that juicy part but he too kept his mouth shut.

I accept

the 'Douglas "wrong Way" Corrigan" award on behalf of Kappert. Speaking for Douglases everywhere because I can't, though I am a Douglas, I am overcomed with joy and happiness that Kappert has finally been recognized by the 'wrong Way' international community for setting a writing standard beyond the comprehension of all mere rational mortals. As a proud member of the exiled community here on Kappert Isle, without even taking a vote among my fellow exiles, because I don't care what they think or want, I know where to put this award: Kappert, come on over here and take a bow.


"[Y]our writing should receive a Pulitzer. I only wonder in what category."

And they say Germans have no sense of humour. But what's all this talk about Pulitzers? No, this is a three-way race for the prestigious 'Douglas "wrong Way" Corrigan' Award for PURE FICTION. Moreover, your broken moral compass  puts you so far behind ( which puts you  so far ahead in this race)  you are virtually certain to win first prize. 




Thanks for your comments. Compared with my nonsense, your writings should receive a Pulitzer. I only wonder in which category?

Soul Mates, Melting Pots or Crackpots?


Soul Mates? Does Kappert have a soul? Does Jimbo have a banjo? Are Deliverance jokes still PC?

All Kappery aside, Kappertian heuristics suggests that Jimbo and any other wannabe sole Volk are nothing more than pretenders to Kappertdom, nothing more than Unterkapperts, who shamefully resort to a rational act of asking outside help from a purported expert to pursue a thoroughly irrational objective.

From an ontological point of view, Jimbo starts from a point, reason, albeit limited, that has no place on Kappert Isle. Contrast that with Kappert's starting point "I write nonsense, therefore isle am." 

Hence, no soul mates, no melting pots, just crackpots, I'm afraid.

nationality vs melting pot

Many if not most cultural features in Europe have been cross-national: Christianity, patterns of nationalist mythology, anti-Semitism, post-materialism. Consequently, all European countries have been 'cultural cocktails'. The nations have been particular only in the sense that the exact specification and specific weights of the ingredients have been different from country to country. But all countries have been cultural melting pots.

The claim that nations have been culturally heterogeneous, is hardly original, but, it is necessary to underline banalities. There have never been patterns of behaviour or moral or cognitive beliefs which were common for a whole nation. To suppose the existence of such a 'national identity' is therefore the step where national mythology and national stereotyping begins. As to the group feeling and the corresponding symbols, nations have in fact been united. In this sense commonness actually has existed. The error has been to extrapolate this common group feeling to an (imaginary) union of values, norms and beliefs.


In modernity "demos" coincides with "ethnos" which isn't exactly interchangeable with "nation". A state produces a nation not an ethnos. The Soviet State produced a "Soviet nation", but that was just a shell for a multiplicity of different "ethni", ie. Russians, Ukrainians, Latvians, Estonians, Armenians etc. We now know where did that soviet nation go once the despotic regime that put it together fell apart.

Yugoslavia was a similar case. Most of its internal borders were arbitrarily decided by Tito, different ethni mixed up together. We also know where did this lead to once the communist dictatorship collapsed and the internal borders became external: 10 years of severe interethnic strife to sort out the mess, and it's still not done yet. It wasn't "nationalism" the root cause of the balkan wars, as the leftist pundits and intellectuals would like it; it was communism with its "anti-nationalist" suppression of different ethnicities' will for self-determination. The EU should do well to avoid following down the same path.

A case in point is Bosnia which is a nation but hardly an ethnos. "Bosnian" orthodox christians are Serbs, "Bosnian" catholics are Croats. Bosnian muslims, the only who actually use the term to describe themselves, are slavs converted to Islam during the Ottoman occupation, in other words muslimised Serbs and Croats, but -because of this- with a now distinct ethnic identity from both of them. Today they maintain more cultural, economic etc. ties with Turkey, thus bolstering Mr.Davutoglu's neo-ottoman dreams, than with their neighbours. Religion is a major determinant of ethnicity, especially in the Balkans it trumps all others even language.

Not just national identity

Across religious divides, ethnic or cultural kinship might not be a unifying factor. The cases of Bosniac christians vs. Bosniac muslims and hindu Indians vs. muslim Indians might serve as examples. But then again, religion could be thought of as (re)shaping a demos. It's probably a question of definition.

Daniel Hannan

It seems to me that Hannan's message  to the American people on this subject serves as a perfect excuse for doing precisely nothing substantive about his own people's predicament at home.  What for example, if anything, is Hannan doing to obtain an annulment for the shotgun wedding his own country was forced into when it signed up to our current European nightmare?   In a word, nothing, that's what.