Not many years ago, the Scottish nationalists were a fringe group; no one took them seriously. But last week they came very close to disuniting the United Kingdom.
Western Europe is alive with separatist movements—in France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Belgium. History teaches us that the traditional kingdoms of Western Europe were formed in self-defense. England and Scotland, for instance, came into being as the only defense against a centuries-long international crime wave perpetrated by the Vikings. But now it seems there are a lot of people who want to break those big states back down into their original constituent parts. Modern Germany and Italy, after all, were only created in the 19th century.
Why would anybody want to break up prosperous, stable, and powerful states? Surely a Western Europe that was a patchwork quilt of itty-bitty states would sooner or later tempt a conqueror to try to scoop them up. The separatists cannot be unaware of that risk.
Here’s the funny thing about it:
The same need for self-defense that long ago moved the various peoples of Europe to consent to the formation of big states, now moves them to break up those states. Same cause, opposite effects.
The threat isn’t the Vikings anymore, or Napoleon. There is a Muslim threat, but more of that in a moment.
The threat to European nations’ liberty and prosperity is now the large states themselves, and especially the la-dee-dah elites that govern them—their drive to amass more and more power to themselves by merging all their countries into the European Union, and from there looking toward some fiendish scheme of global governance. As one commentator has observed, what’s one individual’s vote, or even the votes of an entire nation, in a super-state with a population numbered in the billions?
Imagine what the people in 11th-century England would have thought if their king and his nobles, instead of protecting them from the Vikings, kept inviting more and more Vikings to come and live in England. There is a Muslim threat to Western Europe because the ruling classes of those countries have done precisely that.
If the peoples of Europe were better Christians, they would not have trusted sinful, fallen men and women, no matter how rich and glamorous and well-educated, who promised to lead them to Utopia. But they did trust those promises, they did allow their rulers to grasp more and more power, and now they are dismayed because the only ones to benefit from all those schemes have been the rulers themselves. Well, Calvin, Knox, and Luther could have told them that. But so extravagant, so glittering were the promises, that hardly anyone listened to the many warnings that all that glitters is not gold.
Put even more simply, there are a lot of ordinary people in Europe who are sick and tired of getting pushed around, lied to, exploited, and manipulated by their leaders. A friend of mine who voted Yes for Scottish independence said, “We’re just fed up with being treated like a third-rate country by the English and their Parliament.”
There are plenty of people here in the USA, too, who are tired of being pushed around, lied to, and manipulated. That’s what the Bundy cattle-grazing flap was all about. That’s why we have a TEA Party. And if the federal government doesn’t stop pushing us around, there will be a lot more people who resent it. Just take a look at how the people are responding to the Worst Lady’s food-fascist school lunch program.
It’s a dangerous state of affairs when people lose trust in their government: when they see their rulers—their elected representatives who don’t seem to represent them anymore, and their non-elected judges and opinion-shapers—battening on the nation’s hard work and productivity, growing ever richer, fatter, and more arrogant at the people’s expense, enacting policies that benefit no one but themselves: such as amnesty for illegal aliens, to create a new entitled class, a new electorate that will keep the rulers in office until the sun burns out.
We need governments to protect us from those who would take our lives and property. That is the role of government ordained by God.
But when the government itself becomes the plunderer—well, watch out.
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.