Liberals like to see themselves as representatives of common sense, while at the same time they regard nationalists as ignorant and arrogant. We will in this article examine this liberal self-image. As a result we will see that liberals themselves, in addition to ignorance (which has been proven already), carry on arrogance as well as hypocrisy.
Ignorance and arrogance are, to say least, two common words in the liberal description of nationalists. We have seen this, for instance, in the image of Geert Wilders. It was what we saw after one of Wilders’s campaign speeches, one in which he asked the audience if they wanted to have “more Moroccans or fewer Moroccans?” This became one of the recurrent ingredients in the depiction of him as ignorant and arrogant. Naturally, this was in order to delegitimize him.
It is something that is being done with most nationalists, and the word ignorance is being used the most in this effort. But the one who knows all the facts also knows that this has been dealt with – and that ignorance is therefore an unjust word in the description of nationalists – since it has been proven that ignorance can be found on all sides. This of course is thanks to the social science studies that lead to the launch of the term “confirmation bias.”
Now it is time to look at the arrogance part. It will be seen just how much the liberals are wrong here as well. The question that we will be asking is what consists in this so-called nationalist arrogance, and we will see that liberals are the ones who are the most arrogant.
A Positive Arrogance with Nationalists
What we can make out in the nationalists’ case is in fact a form of positive arrogance. It is simply something that challenges the liberal hegemony, that is to say the soft totalitarianism in the liberal establishment. This is why the statement that we took from Wilders, and that which is said by Trump, often goes over well with the supporters. This positive arrogance is what we see with a lot of nationalists, for instance the Serbian politician Vojislav Šešelj, which we saw during his trial for war crimes at the Hague Tribunal: in connection with this process, while cameras were running, he asked the judges and prosecutors to suck his cock and fuck their mothers.
In this case the nationalist stood for defiance against a higher and evil power in the form of a illegitimate court; in other cases it can be directed towards an establishment of journalists and politicians that are actually just bullies. However, the liberal arrogance, which without doubt exists, is graceless and backfires.
The Liberal Arrogance
Arrogance in its negative form – that of supremacy – is what the liberals are guilty of. To take an illustrative example, there is a debate that was arranged by the BBC some ten years ago. The question that the audience was going to vote about, and which they voted against with vast majority, was if we needed to create a Western UN. One of the sides in this debate viewed it as high time for this: we in the West, as they saw it, had a moral superiority that was liberal and with a Western UN we could bring about more peace in the world. But then one could, if one knows all the facts – the facts that are hardly reported in the liberal media – ask the question how the West’s leading nation, the United States, would play its role in this project. That is to say, if one considers the fact that this is one of the countries in the world that gives itself the right to commit genocide.
The United States did – which we can mention for the sake of justice – sign the Genocide Convention and also ratified it (after 40 years). But this was done with the reservation that it was inapplicable to the United States! It was this argument that Clinton’s liberal administration had when Yugoslavia turned to the World Court because of American crimes during the Kosovo war, a case which Yugoslavia lost.
The Kosovo war was also something used in the BBC debate. According to the intellectual liberals who said that we needed a Western UN, this war was a prime example of when liberal principles prevailed. Fact is that this only illustrates arrogance, since the bombing of Yugoslavia was what the left-wing professor Noam Chomsky called the low point in intellectual history for the West; after which he compared liberal newspapers such as The New York Times to the Soviet Pravda.
At the same time this is a liberal arrogance that can be found way back in history. We see this even with one of the most influential liberal thinkers ever, John Stuart Mill, who justified colonialism in India and talked of Indians as barbarians and claimed that the Brits wanted to help them and give them civilization. Needless to say, he left out the part about the crimes and the inhumane treatment that the Indians had suffered under British rule.
The Liberal Hypocrisy
To see the hypocrisy from the liberals, there is a whole host of examples here as well. This of course is thanks to today’s liberal reporting on Russia, Trump and Europe’s nationalists. Take for instance the criticism against Russia after the shooting down of a Dutch passenger plane during the Ukrainian war. This plane was actually located over a war zone (!) which no one seemed to think was strange. But one could go back some 30 years, when American military shot down an Iranian passenger plane and killed all 290 people on-board. This is something that no one seemed to care particularly much about and it has today been largely forgotten. In the Russians’ case, however, it has haunted them to the point that there was talk of sanctions.
One can also look at various liberal politicians’ attacks on Russia after the annexation of Crimea. By many of these liberal politicians, this event was regarded as the biggest threat to the stability in Europe since the Second World War. One cannot, according to them, under any circumstances change the borders of sovereign states with force. The truth is that Pandora’s box was opened already in 2008 by themselves when they recognized Kosovo’s unilateral declaration of independence.
One more example of this hypocrisy or double moral could be found during the election in France. Here Marine Le Pen was accused of pretty much wanting to take France back to the Middle Ages. This was thanks to her view on the Euro, the European Union and NATO. But no one wanted to draw any parallel to Switzerland, one of the world’s most prosperous countries, which doesn’t have any of these things.
Common Sense and the Liberals
The image of nationalists vis-à-vis liberals leads us to something important, namely the talk about common sense. Nationalists don’t have this at all according to the liberals. At the same time it is something that is a crucial part in the liberal self-image. Common sense is indeed something that liberals claim to have a lot of, but it is as we now have seen only an expression for their arrogance.
Common sense, by the way, is something that changes over time. For instance, it was viewed as common sense a couple of centuries ago to believe that the earth was the center of the universe. One has to question one’s own views, and only then you can claim to have common sense. Then you will see that liberals just like anyone else can be ignorant, arrogant and hypocritical – and are far from being synonymous with common sense (if one is critical to the facts that are presented and actually questions).
Editor-in-chief of For-Serbia The Website
Editor-in-chief of For-Serbia The Website