A New European Identity

Letter From Austria, Part II

In Europe today there is a youthful yearning for a new genesis and a desire to overcome the legacy of World War II. While a facile model of one generation rejecting the last is a tempting one to offer as explanation, in fact, the emerging "New Right" seeks both a connection and a rejection to provide both an identity with and autonomy from the past. Its goal: independence from American "occupation," a striving to shape a special place for Europe on a planet that no longer places her at the center of economics, culture, and politics.

Diverse and multistranded, the New Right movement draws its strength from the energy and idealism of European youth. It seeks a return to a peoplehood not tied to a nationalized and bureaucratized mass society, and celebrates an ethnically based multinational Europe. In central Europe this means the inevitable economic dominance of Germany. For the French and British factions, the latter point is omitted.

Who are the cultural enemies of the New Right? French Revolutionary ideals and their modern expression in state-initiated liberalism, including both the New World exports of North America and the more clearly socialist versions of Western and Eastern Europe. With the fall of the Marxist-created states, the battle is to win over the hearts and minds of Europeans from the American-style consumer colonialism lying to the west and perhaps soon to be enthroned in the east.


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