Angus Kennedy tar for seg Thierry Baudets bok om nødvendigheten av grenser, og diskriminering i den kliniske betydningen av ordet: det menneskelige øye skiller, ellers kan det ikke operere.

Et overnasjonalt system som vil forby folk å inndele verden i kategorier, inviterer til en reaksjon. Det er mye i denne anmeldelsen som er politisk uspiselig i norsk debatt og likevel selvfølgelig.

As Baudet argues, without a community of interest, a ‘we’, there is nothing. He notes that the ECHR outlaws ‘discrimination on any ground such as sex, race, colour, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, association with a national minority, property, birth or other status’. Everyone must be treated equally. Baudet is correct to point out that such a widely drawn attack on discrimination ‘must necessarily implicate the citizens’ indifference towards those criteria’. Any form of particularity, of which nationality is one, is denied in the name of a totalising universality. The effect is not the widening of ‘minds and sympathies’ but rather their ‘Balkanisation’. In the process, the law becomes ‘no longer “ours” or “from within”, but from “out there”’. Our responsibility is eroded and our capacity to decide for ourselves (however we constitute that ‘we’) is further diminished, both at the level of the nation state, historically the basis for constituting a self-governing ‘we’, and at the level of the individual citizen.

However, Baudet’s book is open to criticism is on two points. Firstly it understates the degree to which the dismantling of the nation is actually a project of national elites. The nation is not being attacked from without so much as from within. National politicians have long sought refuge in Brussels from their own responsibility to make and drive through policy. EU-blaming has always been a useful way of passing the buck for unpopular decisions. Yet in hiding behind the EU or the ECHR, national politicians share the very same contempt for sovereign democracy as Brussels.

Vi er stuck in-between; mellom den gamle nasjonstenkningen og en overnasjonal struktur som mangler demokratisk forankring. Det er en posisjon som ikke er holdbar, og tegnene er mange på at den er i ferd med å bryte sammen. Den overnasjonale mangler mandat til å sentralisere makten.

As Baudet puts it, ‘the present, supranational “in between” concept of European integration with an EU that is stuck somewhere halfway between a federation and mere intergovernmental cooperation, is unsustainable’. Something must give. We must find a way to resist those who presume to act on our behalf. In the process we must rediscover what it means to be an individual today and what it means to be a ‘we’.

Dette «vi» vil igjen bli nasjonstaten i en eller annen form. Med en ny definisjon for alle nye borgere som har kommet til.