Gjesteskribent

Polariseringen og segregeringen av europeiske samfunn, spesielt mellom innfødte og muslimer, kan føre til en oppblomstring av en ny etnonasjonalisme. Hvilke former denne vil ta, avhenger mye av hvor mottakelig den politiske eliten er for folks bekymringer. En oversett faktor er den store demografiske endring Europa er på vei inn i. Gamle er tradisjonelt opptatt av lov og orden.

Eldrebølgen vil trolig styrke en ny etnonasjonalisme. Det kan også bli kamp om budsjettene: Skal de gå til barnerike innvandrerfamilier eller til alderstrygd?

Jerry Z. Muller er professor i historie ved Catholic University of America. I artikkelen «Us and Them» i Foreign Affairs ser han på etnonasjonalismen i et historisk perspektiv. Muller mener moderniseringen av samfunnet bidro til etnonasjonalisme og homogensiering av samfunnene. Han går langt i å antyde at homogenisering har vært en betingelse for den moderne nasjonalstaten.

Det er altfor tidlig å spå nasjonalstatens død, tror Muller. Han mener den vil få en renessanse.

Nasjonalstaten har fått et dårlig ord på seg fordi den har fått skylden for to verdenskriger, og fordi en bestemt type intellektuelle har kariket den, sier Muller.

A familiar and influential narrative of twentieth-century European history argues that nationalism twice led to war, in 1914 and then again in 1939. Thereafter, the story goes, Europeans concluded that nationalism was a danger and gradually abandoned it. In the postwar decades, western Europeans enmeshed themselves in a web of transnational institutions, culminating in the European Union (EU). After the fall of the Soviet empire, that transnational framework spread eastward to encompass most of the continent. Europeans entered a postnational era, which was not only a good thing in itself but also a model for other regions. Nationalism, in this view, had been a tragic detour on the road to a peaceful liberal democratic order.

This story is widely believed by educated Europeans and even more so, perhaps, by educated Americans. Recently, for example, in the course of arguing that Israel ought to give up its claim to be a Jewish state and dissolve itself into some sort of binational entity with the Palestinians, the prominent historian Tony Judt informed the readers of The New York Review of Books that «the problem with Israel … [is that] it has imported a characteristically late-nineteenth-century separatist project into a world that has moved on, a world of individual rights, open frontiers, and international law. The very idea of a ‘Jewish state’ … is an anachronism.»

Muller identifiserer to typer nasjonalisme, som er høyst aktuelle i dagens Norge, men som er sensitive:

There are two major ways of thinking about national identity. One is that all people who live within a country’s borders are part of the nation, regardless of their ethnic, racial, or religious origins. This liberal or civic nationalism is the conception with which contemporary Americans are most likely to identify. But the liberal view has competed with and often lost out to a different view, that of ethnonationalism. The core of the ethnonationalist idea is that nations are defined by a shared heritage, which usually includes a common language, a common faith, and a common ethnic ancestry.

Den liberale varianten er dominerende blant eliten, mens folket holder på den etniske, grovt sagt. Dvs. de føler at den etniske blir skjøvet til side og ikke er legitim, til tross for at det er deres egen kultur.

Hvordan de styrende formidler mellom disse to variantene, vil i stor grad bestemme hva slags samfunn vi skal leve i. Man ser idag tendenser til segregering under dekke av en tolerant multikultur, dvs. den liberale varianten. Man risikerer å få de verste trekk av begge alternativer.

Eliten kan moralisere og formane så mye den bare vil, slik man gjør overfor egne barn, man forventer mer av dem enn av andre. Det hjelper bare ikke hvis folk tror noe annet. Tvertom kan skjenneprekener på et visst punkt tippe over og bli kontraproduktivt. Visse ting kan tyde på at det skjer.

Ethnonationalism draws much of its emotive power from the notion that the members of a nation are part of an extended family, ultimately united by ties of blood. It is the subjective belief in the reality of a common «we» that counts. The markers that distinguish the in-group vary from case to case and time to time, and the subjective nature of the communal boundaries has led some to discount their practical significance. But as Walker Connor, an astute student of nationalism, has noted, «It is not what is, but what people believe is that has behavioral consequences.» And the central tenets of ethnonationalist belief are that nations exist, that each nation ought to have its own state, and that each state should be made up of the members of a single nation.

Det er en etablert sannhet at det var politisk vilje som skapte dagens liberale samfunn. Men Muller sier det like mye skyldes en historisk tilfeldighet at det var i Vest-Europa at språkgrenser og etnisk homogenitet sammenfalt.

It is more accurate to say that when modern states began to form, political boundaries and ethnolinguistic boundaries largely coincided in the areas along Europe’s Atlantic coast. Liberal nationalism, that is, was most apt to emerge in states that already possessed a high degree of ethnic homogeneity. Long before the nineteenth century, countries such as England, France, Portugal, Spain, and Sweden emerged as nation-states in polities where ethnic divisions had been softened by a long history of cultural and social homogenization.

Moderniseringen og moderniteten løsriver individet fra sine omgivelser, og markedskreftene gir det oppdrift og muligheter. Staten og nasjonen overlapper hverandre, staten forvalter nasjonen, og det blir vanskelig å være minoritet som ikke slutter opp om nasjonen.

Ethnonationalism had a psychological basis as well as an economic one. By creating a new and direct relationship between individuals and the government, the rise of the modern state weakened individuals’ traditional bonds to intermediate social units, such as the family, the clan, the guild, and the church. And by spurring social and geographic mobility and a self-help mentality, the rise of market-based economies did the same. The result was an emotional vacuum that was often filled by new forms of identification, often along ethnic lines.

Ethnonationalist ideology called for a congruence between the state and the ethnically defined nation, with explosive results. As Lord Acton recognized in 1862, «By making the state and the nation commensurate with each other in theory, [nationalism] reduces practically to a subject condition all other nationalities that may be within the boundary. . . . According, therefore, to the degree of humanity and civilization in that dominant body which claims all the rights of the community, the inferior races are exterminated, or reduced to servitude, or outlawed, or put in a condition of dependence.» And that is just what happened.

Det er en hårfin grense mellom å forstå nasjonalisme og å rettferdiggjøre den. Det ligger ingen historisk lov i denne prosssen, slik Muller noen ganger kan gi inntrykk av. Nasjoner må ikke nødvendigvis bygges på etnisk rensing og folkemord.

Men det er ikke tvil om at dagens liberale forståelse ignorer eller benekter innslaget av vold og etniske preferanser i kulturers og folks samrøre. Man vegrer seg mot å innse at sammenblanding skaper gnisninger og konfrontasjon, og fyrer således opp under motsetningene.

Hvor brutal etnisk separasjon kan være, gir Tyrkia og Hellas eksempel på:

In 1919, the Greek government invaded the area that would become Turkey, seeking to carve out a «greater Greece» stretching all the way to Constantinople. Meeting with initial success, the Greek forces looted and burned villages in an effort to drive out the region’s ethnic Turks. But Turkish forces eventually regrouped and pushed the Greek army back, engaging in their own ethnic cleansing against local Greeks along the way. Then the process of population transfers was formalized in the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne: all ethnic Greeks were to go to Greece, all Greek Muslims to Turkey. In the end, Turkey expelled almost 1.5 million people, and Greece expelled almost 400,000.

Nazi-Tyskland er selvfølgelig det ultimate eksempel på etnosjåvinisme/rasisme og nasjonalisme, med forrang for rase. Nazistene bidro til å utnytte og synliggjøre motsetninger mellom folkegrupper, og det gikk verst ut over jødene. Jødene som overlevde krigen møtte liten sympati da de vendte tilbake, og de forlot Øst-Europa. De etniske tyskerne ble fordrevet som del av fredsløsningen.

Between 1944 and 1945, five million ethnic Germans from the eastern parts of the German Reich fled westward to escape the conquering Red Army, which was energetically raping and massacring its way to Berlin. Then, between 1945 and 1947, the new postliberation regimes in Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, and Yugoslavia expelled another seven million Germans in response to their collaboration with the Nazis. Together, these measures constituted the largest forced population movement in European history, with hundreds of thousands of people dying along the way.

The handful of Jews who survived the war and returned to their homes in eastern Europe met with so much anti-Semitism that most chose to leave for good. About 220,000 of them made their way into the American-occupied zone of Germany, from which most eventually went to Israel or the United States. Jews thus essentially vanished from central and eastern Europe, which had been the center of Jewish life since the sixteenth century.

Så nær i tid er den etniske volden, og så fort har vi glemt den. Man kunne også nevne Stalins behandling av tsjetsjenere, ingusjetere, baltere osv. som også har en klar etnisk komponent. Stalin ville bryte ned og knuse den etniske lojaliteten som rivaliserte med kommunistpartiet.

Etter 1945 fortsetter etnonasjonalismen med opprettelsen av staten Israel, splittelsen India og Pakistan og hele dekoloniseringen. Muller gjør for lite ut av ideenes kraft, og deres dynamikk. Det slår uheldig ut når han klassifierer oppløsningen av Jugoslavia under den nasjonalistiske trend.

Kanskje velferdsstatens fremvekst skyldes homogeniteten, etnisk, kulturelt, religiøst? spør Muller. Kanskje likheten var så stor at det var lett å skape en kollektiv følelse av å dra lasset sammen? Det er en ubehagelig tanke i sosialdemokratiet, spesielt når nye grupper skal innlemmes.

The fact that ethnic and state boundaries now largely coincide has meant that there are fewer disputes over borders or expatriate communities, leading to the most stable territorial configuration in European history.

These ethnically homogeneous polities have displayed a great deal of internal solidarity, moreover, facilitating government programs, including domestic transfer payments, of various kinds. When the Swedish Social Democrats were developing plans for Europe’s most extensive welfare state during the interwar period, the political scientist Sheri Berman has noted, they conceived of and sold them as the construction of a folkhemmet, or «people’s home.»

Som Muller sier og flere med ham: Velferdsstaten forutsetter en viss grad av gjensidig fellesskap. Der dette svikter, forsvinner viljen til å betale for andres goder. Hvis man oppfatter at noen grupper snylter eller ikke har samme lojalitet til fellesskapet, vil kollektivet fragmentere. Danskene bruker begrepet «sammenbindingskraft».

The most dramatic transformation of European ethnic balances in recent decades has come from the immigration of people of Asian, African, and Middle Eastern origin, and here the results have been mixed. Some of these groups have achieved remarkable success, such as the Indian Hindus who have come to the United Kingdom. But in Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and elsewhere, on balance the educational and economic progress of Muslim immigrants has been more limited and their cultural alienation greater.

How much of the problem can be traced to discrimination, how much to the cultural patterns of the immigrants themselves, and how much to the policies of European governments is difficult to determine. But a number of factors, from official multiculturalism to generous welfare states to the ease of contact with ethnic homelands, seem to have made it possible to create ethnic islands where assimilation into the larger culture and economy is limited.

As a result, some of the traditional contours of European politics have been upended. The left, for example, has tended to embrace immigration in the name of egalitarianism and multiculturalism. But if there is indeed a link between ethnic homogeneity and a population’s willingness to support generous income-redistribution programs, the encouragement of a more heterogeneous society may end up undermining the left’s broader political agenda. And some of Europe’s libertarian cultural propensities have already clashed with the cultural illiberalism of some of the new immigrant communities.

Venstresidens tilbakegang henger utvilsomt sammen med noe av den dynamikken Muller beskriver. Den rammes både av sviktende samfunnslojalitet blant innvandrere og illiberale kulturtrekk som provoserer majoriteten. Begge deler undergraver venstresiden.

Muller trekker opp et scenario som må ligge som et skrekkens eksempel i bakhodet på europeiske politikere. Men det er på høy tid å lufte det: fremveksten av en ny etnonasjonalisme i Europa, i klar motsetning til islam. Her kan europeerne komme til å bli inspirert av amerikanere.

Should Muslim immigrants not assimilate and instead develop a strong communal identification along religious lines, one consequence might be a resurgence of traditional ethnonational identities in some states — or the development of a new European identity defined partly in contradistinction to Islam (with the widespread resistance to the extension of full EU membership to Turkey being a possible harbinger of such a shift).

En stor faktor vil være demografien, en aldrende barnefattig innfødt befolkning og en barnerik innvandrerbefolkning der muslimer er mest synlige.

Tyskland mister 200.000 mennesker om året, like mye som antall innbyggere i byen Lübeck. En jordmor forteller at aldershjemmet er overfylt, mens fødslene synker. Husene står tomme, kollektivtilbud legges ned. Hvem skal fordele og dekke helse og omsorg i en fremtid som er så splittet mellom en grå innfødt befolkning og unge innvandrere? De ressurssterke unge vil bli fristet til å utvandre. Trenden er allerede merkbar.

Us and Them
The Enduring Power of Ethnic Nationalism
Jerry Z. Muller
From Foreign Affairs, March/April 2008