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Squeezed between two Europes

Author : Mykhailo Dubynyansky

09:36, 9 May 2017
Squeezed between two Europes

Author : Mykhailo Dubynyansky

If Marine Le Pen refrained from cooperation with the Kremlin, today thousands of Ukrainians would keep their fingers crossed for her

09:36, 9 May 2017

Read the original text at pravda.com.ua.

obozrevatel
On April 12, 2011, the leader of far-right All-Ukrainian Union Svoboda (translated as Freedom) Oleh Tyahnybok met with the head of the National Front of France Marine Le Pen...

Tyahnybok congratulated Marine Le Pen on her election to this high office and wished the French nationalists new achievements in the presidential elections....

The heads of the parties discussed the position of nationalists regarding conflicts in the Arab world... In particular, the rapid growth of illegal immigration to the European continent...

Since that vigorous press release, a lot of things has changed. Svoboda has already experienced the peak of electoral popularity, although it still remains in the trend and develops a stormy activity in the Kyiv City Council. And Marine Le Pen became the most hateful European politician in Ukraine, and on the eve of the second round of the presidential elections we all wished her to be defeated.

But let us imagine an alternative reality in which Ms. Le Pen did not tarnish herself with pro-Kremlin rhetoric, retaining all the other program points. Let us be frank: in this case, for a certain part of Ukrainians, it would be much more comfortable to vote for Marine, and not for the liberal monsieur Macron.

The leader of the French nationalists and far-right would be an ideal candidate for those who see Ukraine as monoethnic, monolingual, and monocultural country. For those who defend traditional values and dream of the "nationality" graph in the Ukrainian passport. For those who see a terrific danger in rainbow colors (LGBT flags). For those who have long argued about the decline of Europe, rotten liberalismб and pernicious tolerance.

If Marine Le Pen refrained from cooperation with the Kremlin, today thousands of our compatriots would keep their fingers crossed for her.

Alas, the alternative world does not exist, where Le Pen would be “ours.” As there is no place in which “ours” would be Polish nationalists, Hungarians from Jobbik, German opponents of gay parades or Dutch fighters with immigrants. Searching among them allies is useless.

In fact, what is happening in the EU has resulted in an endless cognitive dissonance for the Ukrainian followers of the right idea.

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Domestic national patriots are used to condemn a liberal and multicultural Europe. They blame it of weakness and spinelessness, oblivion of national traditions, and excessive concern for human rights.

And now, before our very eyes, another Europe has risen: a conservative, irreconcilable, appealing to ethnic roots and traditional values.

It would seem that this second Europe meets the aspirations of the Ukrainian far-right. It would seem that it should inspire the intolerant part of our society, turning into a new civilizational landmark.

regnum.ru

But, ironically, the "Europe of Nations" proved to be an outspoken enemy of Ukraine and Ukrainians.

The ideological closeness turned into practical incompatibility, and we encounter this paradox almost at every step.

Related: Fillon: ‘Crimea is historically Russian territory’

It is possible to praise the historical policy of Poland, put Polish jingoists as an example and create a national Institute of National Memory in the image and likeness of the neighbor.

But then it turns out that it is impossible to conduct a normal dialogue with a neighbor that unrestrainedly heroes its history and denies its crimes. Especially if you have adopted from him the same uncritical attitude to the national heroes.

Related: Emmanuel Macron wins French elections with 65% of votes

One can speak about the migration crisis from his own perspective, referring to the openness and tolerance, which are allegedly ruining European civilization. Well, supporters of this point of view are represented in the European Parliament. But then the issue on the Ukrainian visa is on the agenda, and the ultra-right fighters with immigration are unanimously voting against.

Closed and intolerant Europe for some reason does not consider Ukrainians brothers in the white race: in its view, we are people of a lower grade, slightly different from Arabs or Africans. And the long-awaited visa-free regime Ukraine is achieved only because the hard-core defenders of Europe are in the minority.

Related: New Western civilization: time for far-rights

You can scold the liberal European establishment, incriminating with an insufficiently tough stance on Russia. But then the right-wing opponents of the establishment appear on the stage, and they do not want to restrain the Kremlin aggression and lavish compliments on Putin.

There is nothing to be done: in the system of values, where the narrow national dimension is more important than something universal: the Kremlin looks more promising partner than Ukraine, because Russia has much more resources.

You can criticize European globalism, the erosion of old cultural traditions and the loss of the old identity. But this cosmopolitan and multicultural Europe votes for a Ukrainian performer of Crimean Tatar origin and gives us Eurovision-2017. This Europe, free from phobias and prejudices, comes to Kyiv and discovers our country. Europe, which does not know the borders and national complexes, it is ready for a productive civilizational dialogue with the Ukrainians.

Related: Putin's French far-right friend

Yes, the events of recent years have demonstrated that Europe can be different. However, there is no choice between our two countries - we have a choice between Europe and emptiness.

Either the Ukrainians adopt a certain system of values and, step by step, integrate into an open, tolerant and multicultural European space. Either we turn into an isolated island of stagnation and intolerance, rejected even by those who share similar views.

Liberal Ukraine can become part of a liberal Europe - but for the national-conservative Ukraine there is no place in the ideologically close "Europe of nations."

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