It is not too incredible to imagine that within a century, German, the language of Goethe, Schiller and Mann, may become a dead language. That is already the almost certain fate of the Swedish and Norwegian languages. French, Spanish and English will survive as the pidgin languages of distant colonies, but in their own capital cities, these languages are swiftly becoming transformed into dialects, crossbred with Middle Eastern and African intonations and jargon to become increasingly alien to their own origins.
The One-Worldism that once so animated European socialists is conceptually dead. The European Union is its last gasp, and the international organizations erected in desperate fits of optimism from the UN on down, have become a sham of a farce, unfit to do anything but promote the agendas of the most brutal and power hungry regimes. It was inevitable that European intellectuals, living in a cluster of nations with a long history of internal warfare, would try to embrace post-nationalism as the solution. But the hole in their One Worldism was the assumption that the rest of the world would be happy to follow suit, tossing national identities, religious ideals and all the usual dreams that come with them overboard, in order to be part of one big happy globe. That of course was not the case.
Nationalism did not doom Europe, post-nationalism did. WW2 would not have been the continent killer that it became, had Hitler and Mussolini not confronted an England and France who were no longer too sure about this fighting thing. It was not an excess of German nationalism that was the problem, but an excess of English pacifism, the cynical post-war poses which insisted that nothing was worth fighting for, and politicians who mirrored that horror of war by allowing Nazism and Communism to get away with murder, over and over again. Yet after WW2, the very same "thinkers" who had agitated against doing anything about Hitler, distributed the blame for the war equally to both sides, as if the SS and the SAS were moral equals.
If post-WW1 rejected of nationalism and embrace of anti-war cliches helped Hitler on his course, in the post-WW2 period they helped the USSR, and in the post-Cold War period, Islam. In each case, the aggressors who had not left behind an identity based will to power were rewarded with a compliant Europe. Twice the US bailed out Europe, but after the Cold War, America is suffering from the same disease. And so the US Army which shielded Eton graduates who rejected war on moral grounds from the consequences of their appeasement of Nazism, and the US Air Force which protected a Western Europe that decided war was barbaric from the threat of the Communist barbarians of the East, can no longer do anything to help stop the Islamization of Europe.
Europe's leaders surrendered their national identities and cultures bit by bit, expecting to find some new Utopian society on the other end. Instead all they found was debt and savagery. Socialism slashed the birth rate and hiked the budget. The immigrants and guest workers who were brought in to compensate for both, only inflated the budget further and fixed the birth rate in their own direction. England and France left behind their colonies, only to have those colonies follow them home, like ownerless dogs turned feral. And Europe's governments pretended that this was the best of all worlds. After all European culture and national sovereignty were being stamped out, but it was being replaced with a new identity. Not European, not post-National, but Islamic.
The victors of WW1 had been so certain that the losers were as willing as they were to move on. They were proven tragically wrong. The losers of the Clash of Civilizations are most certainly not ready to move on. What they want is a rematch, and they're getting one, even as Europe closes its eyes and pretends nothing is wrong. The creed that has not forgotten the loss of Spain was willing to wait, just long enough to begin winning an old war in a new way. Or a new war in an old way, depending on your perception of historical memory.
By abandoning its identities, Europe abandoned any form of meaningful self-definition, all that remained to define national identity were documents and television advertisements. (In this way Europe is at least one step ahead of us. All we have are the advertisements.) When you spend enough time asking, "Who am I?", you realize that there is no answer, and therefore devalue the question. The post-modern nations no longer have real identities, but strings of neatly woven together platitudes having something to do with the human spirit. They pride themselves on mocking their own old identities and on celebrating the other, even when the other is trying to kill them.
To fight for a nation, its citizens must see it as a meaningful part of their identity. Without that, it is easy enough to reduce all wars to greed and a refusal of the concerned parties to sit down at a table and work everything out like civilized people. But Europe's post-national project insisted on abandoning that Europe, and replacing it with a New Europe. And that New Europe was little more than documents and television advertisements, an entity in search of an identity. It prided itself on being cool, rather than meaningful, God Save the Queen played on an electric guitar, Prime Ministers being serenaded by rap stars and the flash and thunder of fireworks to drown out any difficult questions.
The New Europe was tolerant, just not of its own citizens. It did not particularly stand for or against anything, except the environment and human rights. It still saw itself as the leader, when in reality it had become the Third World's camp follower. It was an endless party that wasn't terribly lively and had in any case run out of money some years back. Its mores had gotten rowdier, its bureaucracy had become more byzantine, and its leaders more spineless. It was marking time, watching the hands of the clock sweep around the blue dial and its golden starred numbers. Pretending that it still had time left.
And so today Europe is in twilight, its sun has set and the shadows have grown. Huddled shapes are massing, gathering their forces and preparing for Europe's long night. A night it may never wake from. Burning cars and burqas, mosques and medieval mores being enforced again in Republics that had prided themselves on their showy modernism, The vandals of London and Paris, Brussels and Rome, know exactly what they're fighting for. A new golden age of Islam, built on the looted technology and wealth of Europe. Just as the old one had been built on stolen Roman and Greek texts that had somehow escaped burning by the Islamic hordes. But the reality may be more complex.
Europe had hoped to leave nationalism behind, but instead it replaced its own native nationalisms, with those of the Middle East, Africa and Islamic Asia. And much as some European countries still fancifully imagine that they can tie it all together with a revamped French or English identity, the way their American counterparts pledge allegiance to multiculturalism, it can't work. A leaning tree will not be tied in place with a paper rope. The strength of an identity is its fundamental security. And the strength of an identity derives from a meaningful identification. Take away that identification, and you have a weak construct that cannot stand on its own.
While the Islamists continue programming identity into regional Muslims, Europe's governments instead focus on deprogramming their own citizens. While Turkey embraces both Islam and aggressive nationalism and yet demands EU membership, existing EU members are working to strip away the remains of their national identities. The outcome is clear. To disarm a man's identity is to take away his soul. It can be reversed, but is no easy task. And Europe's post-nationalism has produced a generation that despises war even more fervently than their grandparents did, despises the United States for its purported warmongering even while living on a diet of American culture, and prides itself on tolerance for immigrants and refugees. Even self-interest can only move them so far, considering that they have been taught that self-interest is a dirty word. (Along with unilateralism and colonialism, but not Communism.) But renewal can only come from identity, for people to wake up and fight for their rights, they must first know who they are, so that they will believe that their rights are worth fighting for.