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18 July 2013

The Need for Nations



The project of European integration, advanced by politicians and elites of defeated nations in the wake of the Second World War, was founded on the belief that nationhood and national self-determination were the prime causes of the wars that had ruined Europe. There were disputes as to who started it: Napoleon? Bismarck? The French Revolutionaries? The Revolutionaries of 1848? The Reactionaries and Monarchists? Metternich? Talleyrand? Garibaldi? Fichte? Wagner? Louis XIV? But, however far back you went, in the eyes of the post-war political survivors, you came across the demon of nationalism, locked in conflict with the pure spirit of Enlightenment. As a result of this founding myth European integration was conceived in one-dimensional terms, as a process of ever-increasing unity, under a centralised structure of command. Each increase in central power was to be matched by a diminution of national power.

In other words, the political process in Europe was to be endowed with a direction. It is not a direction that the people of Europe have chosen, and every time they are given the chance to vote they reject it – hence everything is done to ensure that they never have the chance to vote. The process moves always towards centralisation, top-down control, dictatorship by unelected bureaucrats and judges, cancellation of laws passed by elected parliaments, constitutional treaties framed without any input whatsoever from the people. In the current debt crisis the European elite – composed largely of the governing circles in France and Germany – has assumed the right to depose the elected governments of Greece and Italy, and to impose their own henchmen, chosen from the ranks of obedient apparatchiks. Meanwhile Hungary is constantly assailed with provocative questions and threats of investigation, for having dared to pass its own laws about matters in which the European political class has tacitly assumed sovereignty. In this way, the process is moving always towards imperial government, making very clear that the opposite of nationhood is not Enlightenment but Empire. And only one thing stands opposed to this result, and that is the national sentiments of the European people.

As an Englishman and a lover of the civilisation of Rome I am not opposed to Empire. But it is important to recognise what it involves and to distinguish the good from the bad forms of it. In my view the good forms serve to protect local loyalties and customs under a canopy of civilisation and law; the bad forms try to extinguish local customs and rival loyalties and to replace them by a lawless and centralised power. The European Union has elements of both arrangements: but it suffers from one overwhelming defect, which is that it has never persuaded the people of Europe to accept it. Europe is, and in my view has ever been, a civilisation of nation states, founded on a specific kind of pre-political allegiance, which is the allegiance that puts territory and custom first and religion and dynasty second in the order of government. Give them a voice, therefore, and the people of Europe will express their loyalties in those terms. In so far as they have unconditional loyalties – loyalties that are a matter of identity rather than agreement – they take a national form.

The political class in Europe does not like this, and as a result has demonised the direct expression of national sentiments. Speak up for Jeanne d’Arc and le pays réel, for the “sceptred isle” and St George, for Lemmenkäinen’s gloomy forests and the “true Finns” who roam in them, and you will be called a fascist, a racist and an extremist. There is a liturgy of denunciation here that is repeated all across Europe by a political class that affects to despise ordinary loyalties while surreptitiously depending on them. In recent years Hungary has been a particular target of attack. There are extraneous reasons for it in Hungarian history, of course, and I do not need to remind you of them. But those reasons are not what animate the European elite. The present Hungarian government, by making issues of national identity and national sentiment fundamental to its platform, has excited a strong and censorious response from the European Union, regardless of any other grounds for such disapproval.

On the other hand, national sentiment is, for most ordinary Europeans, the only publicly available and publicly shared motive that will justify sacrifice in the common cause – the only source of obligation in the public sphere that is not a matter of what can be bought and sold. In so far as people do not vote to line their own pockets, it is because they also vote to protect a shared identity from the predations of those who do not belong to it, and who are attempting to pillage an inheritance to which they are not entitled. Philip Bobbitt has argued that one major effect of the wars between nation states in Europe has been the replacement of the nation state with the “market state” – the state conceived as a firm, offering benefits in exchange for duties, which we are free to join or to leave as we choose. (See The Shield of Achilles.) If this were true, then the nation, as an identity- forming community, would have lost its leading role in defining political choices and loyalties. Indeed, we would have emerged from the world of political loyalty altogether, into a realm of self-interested negotiations, in which sacrifices are no longer accepted, and perhaps no longer required. But if the present crisis has convinced us of nothing else, it has surely brought home to us that the capacity for sacrifice is the pre-condition of enduring communities, and that when the chips are down politicians both demand sacrifice and expect to receive it.

We have been made well aware by the Islamists that not everyone accepts the nation as the fount of unconditional loyalty. The followers of Sayyid Qutb, the leader of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood in the 1950s and 1960s, tell us that national obedience is a form of idolatry, and that it is to Allah alone that obedience is owed. There is a direct connection between those ideas and the failure of Middle Eastern countries to acquire stability since the fall of the Ottoman Empire and their division into nation states. The European nations have never whole-heartedly accepted that kind of theocratic absolutism, and firmly rejected it at the Treaty of Westphalia. The problem for Europe is that the ensuing centuries of territorial jurisdiction have implanted sentiments that do not fit easily into any kind of imperial ambition. In the circumstances of modern democratic government it is only on behalf of the nation that people are prepared to think outside the frame of self-interest. Hence the new imperial project has entered into conflict with the only source of sentiment upon which it could conceivably draw for its legitimacy. The nation states are not equally stable, equally democratic, equally free or equally obedient to the rule of law. But they alone inspire the obedience of the European people, and without them there is no way that the machinery of the Union can act. By replacing national accountability with distant bureaucracy, that machinery has left people disarmed and bewildered in the face of the current crisis.

We see this clearly in the matter of the common currency. The euro, imposed without proof that the people of the “Eurozone” had any desire for it, was immediately understood, by many politicians in the Mediterranean, as a way of enlarging the national debt. This was very obviously the case in Greece. Bonds issued in euros would benefit from the strength and probity of the Northern economies, and would be regarded as safe bets by investors who would not dream of buying bonds issued in drachmas. And the people of Greece agreed, since nobody alerted them to the costthe national cost that will be paid, once the Eurozone breaks up, as surely it must. Now that the day of reckoning is approaching, people all across the continent sense the need to prepare themselves for hard times. In a crisis people “take stock”, which means that they retreat to the primary source of their social attachment, and prepare to defend it.They do not do this consciously. But they do it nevertheless, and the futile attempt by the politicians to denounce the “extremism” of the people whose inheritance they  have  squandered  merely  exacerbates  the  reaction.  But  the  situation  is not a happy one, since there is no trans-national idea of Europe to which the politician can appeal by way of identifying an object of loyalty outside the borders of the nation state. The half-century of peace and prosperity has fed upon the European cultural inheritance without renewing it. For it is all but impossible for a European politician to evoke the civilisation of Europe when its source – the Christian religion – has been expunged from official documents and openly repudiated by the European courts. One ground of the current attacks on the “nationalist” government of Hungary by the European Commission is that the Hungarians have drawn up a constitution which, in its preamble, describes the Hungarians as a “Christian nation”: two words that have been expunged from the official vocabulary of Europe. Indeed, if you look at the verdicts of the European courts, and especially of the Court of Human Rights, you will find a systematic bias against Christianity and Christians which has no other explanation than the ideological assumptions on which the European project has been built.

The constitutional treaties likewise have made a point of granting no favours to the Christian faith or to the morality that has sprung from it. A “cult of the minority” has been imposed from above, as a kind of rebuke to the people of Europe for being Europeans in spirit. This official multiculturalism has done nothing to reconcile immigrant communities to their new surroundings; instead it has destroyed much that was confident and joyful in the national cultures of Europe and rejected the Christian pieties in favour of a kind of morose materialism.

The result of official multiculturalism is in fact cultural blindness – an inability to perceive the real cultural distinctions that obtain across the European continent and which are rooted in the custom and history of the nation states. If the architects of the euro had taken national cultures properly into account they would have known that the effect of imposing a single currency on Greece and Germany would be to encourage Greece to transfer its debts to Germany, on the understanding that the further away the creditor the less the obligation to repay. They would have recognised that laws, obligations and sovereignty do not have quite the same meaning in the Mediterranean as they do on the Baltic, and that in a society used to kleptocratic government the fairest way out of an economic crisis is by devaluation – in other words, by stealing equally from everybody. And they would have recognised that, by imposing a single currency on Greece and Germany nevertheless, they would sow the seeds of mutual resentment.

Why did the architects of the euro not know those things? The answer is to be found deep within the European project. Cultural facts were simply unperceivable to the Eurocrats. Allowing themselves to perceive culture would be tantamount to recognising that their project was an impossible one. This would have mattered less if they had another project with which to replace it. But – like all radical projects, communism being the archetype – that of the European Union was conceived without a Plan B. Hence it is destined to collapse and, in the course of its collapse, to drag our continent down. An enormous pool of pretence has accumulated at the centre of the project, while the political class skirmishes at the edges, in an attempt to fend off the constant assaults of reality.

Thus we have to pretend that the long-observed distinctions between the Protestant North of our continent and the Catholic and Orthodox South is of no economic significance. Being a cultural fact it is unperceivable, notwithstanding Weber’s (admittedly exaggerated) attempt to make it central to economic history. The difference between the culture of common law and that of the code Napoléon has likewise been ignored, at the cost of alienating the British and the Danes, for whom law has ever been a social rather than a political product. The distinction between the Roman and the Ottoman legal legacies has been set aside, as has that between countries where law is certain and judges incorruptible and places where law is only the last resort in a system of bribes. Times and speeds of work, and the balance between work and leisure, which go to the heart of every community since they define its relation to time, are ignored, or else regimented by a futile edict from the centre. All that is distinctive of the Hungarian experience – the shock of the Treaty of Trianon, which divided the Hungarian people from one another, the distinctive culture of a land-locked country in which a large population of Roma has never properly settled, the still present record of the country’s struggle against Islamic domination – all this too has been ignored. And everything is to be brought into line by those frightening courts – the European Court of Justice and the European Court of Human Rights – whose unelected judges never pay the cost of their decisions, and whose agenda of “non-discrimination” and “ever- closer union” is calculated to wipe away the traces of local loyalties, family-based morality and rooted ways of life. Not surprisingly, when you build an empire on such massive pretences, it very soon becomes unstable.

We can rescue Europe, it seems to me, only if we can recover the project that Charles de Gaulle wished to place at its heart, and which was effectively scotched by Jean Monnet – the project of a Europe of Nations. It will not be easy to unravel the web of regulations and edicts contained in the 180,000 pages of the acquis communautaire; nor will it be easy to redefine the roles and the structures of the European courts and the competences of the European Institutions. But the most difficult thing will be to obtain agreement on what national sovereignty really means. In particular, what will sovereignty mean in the aftermath of the European Union? Conservative politicians in Britain often speak of recapturing powers from Brussels, as though these powers would not have been altered by captivity, and as though they could be easily domesticated when they are brought back home. This is like Menelaus thinking that home life in Mycenae would be just the same when he had returned victorious from Troy, the recaptured Helen obediently trotting behind, as it was in the good old days before she left.

The situation of Europe today reminds us that by conceiving pre-political loyalties in national, rather than religious terms, European civilisation has made room for the Enlightenment. The national idea is not the enemy of Enlightenment but its necessary precondition. National loyalty marginalises loyalties of family, tribe and faith, and places before the citizen’s eyes, as the focus of his patriotic feeling, not a person or a group but a country. This countryisde fined by a territory, and by the history, culture and law that have made that territory ours. It is the emergence of territory from behind religion, tribe and dynasty that characterises the nationalist art and literature of the 19th century, and the national anthems of the self-identifying nations were conceived as invocations of home, in the manner of Sibelius’s Finlandia or the unofficial national anthem of England, “Land of Hope and Glory”.

In short, Enlightenment means borders. Take away borders, and people begin to identify themselves not by territory and law, but by tribe, race or religion. Nationality is composed of land, together with the narrative of its possession. It is this form of territorial loyalty that has enabled people in Western democracies to exist side by side, respecting each other’s rights as citizens, despite radical differences in faith, and without any bonds of family, kinship or long-term local custom to sustain the solidarity between them. For on the foundation of territorial attachment it has been possible to build a kind of civic patriotism, which acknowledges institutions and laws as shared possessions, and which can extend a welcome to those who have entered the social contract from outside. You cannot immigrate into a tribe, a family or a faith; but you can immigrate into a country, provided you are prepared to obey the rules that make that country into a home.

National loyalty is not known everywhere in the world. Consider Somalia. People sometimes refer to Somalia as a “failed state”, since it has no central government capable of making decisions on behalf of the people as a whole, or of imposing any kind of legal order. But the real trouble with Somalia is that it is a failed nation. It has never developed the kind of secular, territorial and law-minded sovereignty that makes it possible for a country to shape itself as a nation state rather than an assemblage of competing tribes and families.

The same is true of many other countries in which Islam is the dominant faith. Even if such countries do function as states, like Pakistan, they are often failures as nations. They seem not to generate the kind of territorial loyalty that would enable people of different faiths, different kinship networks, different tribes to live peacefully side by side, and also to fight side by side on behalf of their common homeland. They are more likely to fight each other for possession of the homeland than to join forces in protecting it. And their recent history might lead us to wonder whether there is not, in the end, a deep conflict between Islamic conceptions of community and the conceptions that have fed our own idea of national sovereignty. Maybe the nation state is an anti-Islamic idea. Certainly that is what Sayyid Qutb would have us believe. Living in “the shade of the Koran”, as he famously put it, you surrender to God, not to mortals. And all lesser jurisdictions, including those founded on territory, custom and man-made law, are abolished by the supreme jurisdiction of the Almighty. (Fi zilâl al-qur’ân.) Ayatollah Khomeini said the same, when he dismissed patriotism as paganism.

This observation is, of course, pertinent to the Middle East today, where we find the remnants of a great Islamic Empire divided into nation states. With a few exceptions this division is the result of boundaries drawn on the map by Western powers, and notably by Britain and France as a result of the Sykes–Picot accords of 1917. It is hardly surprising if Iraq, for example, has had such a chequered history as a nation state, given that it has been only spasmodically a state, and never a nation. It may be that Kurds, Sunnite Arabs and Shi’ites in Iraq could all come, in time, to see themselves as Iraqis. But this identity will be fragile and fissiparous, and in any conflict the three groups will identify themselves in opposition to each other. Indeed, it is only the Kurds who seem to have a developed national identity, and it is an identity opposed to that of the state in which they are included. As for the Shi’ites, their primary loyalty is religious, and they look to the homeland of Shi’ism in Iran as a model in turbulent times. Today we are witnessing the collapse of civil order in Syria, a country which has never been a nation state, but in which one minority sect, the ‘Alawites, controlled the main centres of power, striving for legitimacy through aggressive territorial claims against Lebanon and Israel. The current civil war is degenerating into a war between the sects, with Christians as the principal victims.

The vexed question of Islam and modernity takes us too far from our topic; suffice it to say that tribe and creed have always been more important than sovereignty in Islamic ways of thinking, and the non-emergence of nations in the Middle East is partly explained by this, as is their embryonic emergence in those countries, like Lebanon and Egypt, with substantial Christian minorities, maintaining long- standing trade links with Europe.

More importantly, I have no doubt that it is the long centuries of Christian dominance in Europe which laid the foundations of national loyalty, as a loyalty above those of faith and family, and on which a secular jurisdiction and an order of citizenship can be founded. It may sound paradoxical to identify a religion as the major force behind the development of secular government. But we should remember the peculiar circumstances in which Christianity entered the world. The Jews were a closed community, bound in a tight web of religious legalisms, but governed from Rome by a law which made no reference to any God and which offered an ideal of citizenship to which every free subject of the Empire might aspire.

Christ found himself in conflict with the legalism of his fellow Jews, and in broad sympathy with the idea of secular government – hence his famous words in the parable of the Tribute Money: render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s. The Christian faith was shaped by St Paul for the use of communities within the Empire, who wanted only space to pursue their worship, and had no intention of challenging the secular powers. Hence “the powers that be are ordained of God” (Romans 13). And this idea of dual loyalty continued after Constantine, being endorsed by Pope Gelasius the First in the 6th century, in his doctrine of the two swords given to mankind for their government, that which guards the body politic, and that which guards the individual soul. It is this deep endorsement of secular law by the early Church that was responsible for the subsequent developments in Europe – through the Reformation and the Enlightenment – to the purely territorial law that prevails in the West today.

It is very clear from the history of our continent, that new forms of solidarity have here come into being which owe much to the Christian inheritance, but which are premised on the assumption that legitimacy is a man-made and not a God-bestowed achievement. Nations emerged as forms of pre-political order that contain within themselves the principles that would legitimise sovereign government. Political theorists of the Enlightenment such as Locke and Rousseau tried to encapsulate this legitimising process in a social contract, by which the members of society form an agreement to be governed in a certain way in exchange for renouncing the state of nature. But it is surely obvious that if people assemble to consider a contract that will unite them, it is because they already belong together, already acknowledge that the welfare of each depends upon the actions of all. A contract, however strong its terms, can never establish more than a conditional obligation, whereas political order depends, in the end, on an unconditional component, as do marriage and the family. Without this unconditional component no community can survive a real crisis.

The social contract therefore establishes a form of government that will protect and perpetuate an allegiance that precedes the contract and makes it possible. This allegiance is shaped by history and territory, and by all the forms of association that spring from these, notably language, customary law and religious observance. Seeing things in this way, religious observance is demoted to one factor among others, and is reshaped as a subject of law, rather than a source of it. That, to my mind, is the great achievement of European civilisation: to have placed man-made law at the heart of the community, to have subordinated all associations, including those stemming from religion, to the demands of the secular jurisdiction, and to have established the institutions through which law can adapt to changes in social life instead of blurting out some “eternal” message revealed in circumstances that have vanished, leaving no other trace.

However, law so conceived is territorial and therefore national. It is a law that defines boundaries, beyond which its writ does not run. Claims to jurisdiction from a place outside those boundaries are fiercely resisted, as we know from the history of England and from the conflict between the crown and the papacy that has been decisive in forming many of the nation states of Europe. When it is proposed that the corpus iuris should permit European courts to charge British citizens with criminal offences, and extradite them to the place most convenient for their trial, it is hardly surprising that British people receive this suggestion with outrage. Their conception of law is the common law conception, which does not permit people to be held indefinitely without trial, and which depends for its authority on the “law of the land”, as embodied in cases decided in the sovereign territory of the English Crown. This attachment of law to territory is not some arbitrary limitation, as though there were a universal jurisdiction from which local jurisdictions are derived by restriction. It is the very essence of law, as the European experience has defined it. We are heirs to a conception of law as arising from the attempt to settle conflicts, to establish institutions, to adjudicate rights and duties, among people who are bound to each other as neighbours. Law, as we know it, is produced by the place that needed it, and is marked by the history of that place. (The contrast with the Shari’ah is obvious, as is the contrast with the “natural law” of the stoics and the Universal Church.)

Hence the attempt to build a European Empire of laws that depend upon no national allegiance for their authority is not merely bound to fail. It is likely also to undermine the authority of secular law in the minds of the European people. There is already in the social contract theories of the eighteenth century a kind of wishful thinking about human nature, a belief that people can reshape all their obligations without reference to their affections, so as to produce an abstract calculus of rights and duties in the place of their contingent and historical ties. The French Revolutionaries began their seizure of power in this way, proposing a declaration of the rights of man and the citizen that would sweep away all the arbitrary arrangements of history and place Reason on the throne that had previously been occupied by a mere human being, who had arrived there by the accident of succession. But within weeks of the Declaration the country was being governed in the name of the Nation, the Patrie, and the old contingent association was being summoned in another and (to my mind) far more dangerous form, in order to fill the gap in people’s affections that had been made by the destruction of customary loyalty, religious usage and the unquestioned ways of neighbourhood. This was clearly perceived by Burke, who reminded his readers that human beings are thrown together by accidents that they do not choose, and derive their affections not from their decisions but from their circumstances. It is proximity, not reason, that is the foundation of ordinary charitable feeling. Take that thought seriously, and you quickly come to see that territorial forms of association are the best remedy that we have against the divisive call of ideology. National attachment is precisely what prevents “extremism” from taking hold of the ordinary conscience.

This is why we must distinguish national loyalty, which is the sine qua non of consensual government in the modern world, from nationalism, which is a belligerent ideology that looks for a source of government higher than the routines of settlement and neighbourhood. Nationalism is an ideological attempt to supplant customary and neighbourly loyalties with something more like a religious loyalty – a loyalty based on doctrine and commitment. Ordinary national loyalty, by contrast, is the by-product of settlement. It comes about because people have ways of resolving their disputes, ways of getting together, ways of cooperating, ways of celebrating and worshipping that seal the bond between them without ever making that bond explicit as a doctrine. This is surely how ordinary people live, and it is at the root of all that is best in human society, namely that we are attached to what goes on around us, grow together with it, and learn the ways of peaceful association as our ways, which are right because they are ours and because they unite us with those who came before us and those for whom we will in turn make way. Seen in that way national feelings are not just natural, they are essentially legitimising. They call upon the sources of social affection, and bestow that affection on customs that have proved their worth over time, by enabling a community to settle its disputes and achieve equilibrium in the changing circumstances of life.

National sentiments enable people successfully to defend themselves in wartime. But they are also essential in peacetime too. This we are now seeing in Europe, as the sovereign debt crisis begins to affect the lives of ordinary people. Governments are calling on their citizens to make sacrifices for the common good. They are not asking them to make sacrifices for “Europe”, still less for the European Union. If they were to use this language then they would be forced to recognise that Europe is not the bureaucratic machine that has conferred upon them the small measure of legitimacy that they can claim, but a spiritual inheritance that the machine has tried to extirpate. Hence the only invocations that they can make address national sentiments. They speak of the need to pull together, for the sake of our community, and at every point their language invokes the contingencies of human affection, that make it possible for people to give up something for the sake of others – a habit of mind that social democracies do not normally encourage. They are not speaking the language of nationalism, but the language of attachment, which is something entirely different. Their response to the crisis of Europe reveals that the nation state is not the problem but the solution – it contains within itself the only motives to which politicians can now appeal, when the effects of the European project are finally being felt across the continent.

In conclusion I must say something about the situation of Hungary today, as I understand it, and the relevance of the national idea to the Hungarians. That Hungary is a special case is evident. The Hungarian language is an isolated remnant of a linguistic group that was for the most part extinguished by the Indo- European migrations, and bares little or no relation to any of the surrounding tongues. Ordinary uneducated Hungarians are therefore isolated from their immediate neighbours by their language. They have also been isolated from one another by the forcible division of their territory at the end of the First World War. The remnant of territory that they still enjoy is shared with a substantial minority of Roma, whose unsettled ways are often resented by their neighbours, but whose cause inevitably gathers support in the wider world. The Jewish minority that survived the Nazi occupation suffered further persecution under the communists, but nevertheless is active in making its presence known. Many of the Budapest intelligentsia are Jewish, and form part of the extensive networks around the Soros Empire. People in these networks include many who are rightly suspicious of nationalism, regard nationalism as the major cause of the tragedy of Central Europe in the 20th century, and do not distinguish nationalism from the kind of national loyalty that I have defended in this talk. Moreover, as the world knows, indigenous anti-Semitism still plays a part in Hungarian society and politics, and presents an obstacle to the emergence of a shared national loyalty among ethnic Hungarians and Jews.

Those are only some of the factors that stand in the way of a collective pre- political attachment in this part of the world. The European Union offers an idea of citizenship which is in fact a citizenship of nowhere. It encourages people to move from their homeland and to settle elsewhere in the Union, and inevitably those who move are the educated class, whose departure deprives the country of its teachers, doctors, lawyers and surgeons, and provides no replacements for them. The EU also encourages the sale of land to foreign nationals – so building a non-resident landlord class, which has no personal interest in the beauty and moral order of rural life, and which sees land merely as an investment, to be put to use. This has led, and will lead, to tensions of a kind that can be resolved only by a firm political will.

For there is no alternative to nationality. If the government in Budapest is to enjoy legitimacy, that legitimacy must come from below, from the people whose unity and identity are expressed in the workings of government. This legitimacy must be inherited by each government, whether right or left, whether minority or majority. It must not be a loyalty of cliques, or a reprimand to the peasantry issued by the intellectuals of Budapest, or an edict issued by the true Hungarians in the villages against the traitors in the city. The electorate itself must be identified in territorial terms, since the jurisdiction is territorial, not ethnic or religious. The alternative is fragmentation, as competing ethnic groups or factional interests form parties whose purpose is not to rule in the interest of everyone, but to pillage for the sake of the group. I do not wish to comment here on the existing political parties in Hungary or to raise the question whether any of them has seen government as an opportunity for plunder rather than a duty to secure the common good. But I do know that, until the institutions of government are seen by Hungarians as representing the country, rather than some faction within it, the government will suffer a deficit of legitimacy. It will then lose its principal advantage over the EU in its battle for the affections of the Hungarian people.
 
(This is a written version of the lecture that Roger Scruton gave at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. We acknowledge the kindness of Mr Scruton in giving us this essay for publication in English.)



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