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The assassination of Dutch politician Pim Fortuyn and the hysteria that surrounded the recent French elections are illuminating with regards to the current state of European politics. The myth of the EU’s dedication to democracy has again been exploded, and the left has once more shown its ugly, murderous face – this time, interestingly enough, from one of its hitherto more innocuous aspects.

In Europe, as in America, the media has contorted the terms of the political spectrum and rendered them almost entirely useless. As in America, there is no hard left or extreme left in sight, although there are open communists, Trotskyites, Socialists and a panoply of other collectivists who would regard Sen. Ted Kennedy to be a reactionary of the same ideological stripe as Sen. Jesse Helms. Meanwhile, a homosexual man with generally moderate positions is demonized as being of the “far-right,” as is Mr. LePen, whose ideology is actually more collectivist, more truly left-wing, than the majority of the American Democratic Party.

Of course, the entire dichotomy between both media’s left and right is a false one. The difference separating a socialist and national socialist is no greater than the distinction between a Leninist communist and a Stalinist communist; in fact, the primary differences are precisely the same. Whereas the Leninist communist is focused on global revolution, the Stalinist, or national communist, believes that the world must be conquered one nation at a time, just as the national socialist attempts to build state socialism around nationalist forces instead of trusting in the blind hand of history and the enmity of the social classes.

This is why Benito Mussolini was not only able to leave the Italian communist party and form his fascist movement without seriously altering his philosophy, but also to bring a great number of “ex-communists” with him. One cannot, on the other hand, think of a single anti-collectivist or champion of individual freedom who has embraced either communism or facism, because, far from being opposites, they are ideological brethren. They are parallel lanes on the road to serfdom.

The European situation is useful to us here in America because lacking our historical foundation in individual rights, Europe’s ideological battles are delineated in stark outlines which make them easier to see clearly.

Whereas the American left is forced to lie about its intentions if it is to have any hope of winning elections, its European counterparts know no such restrictions. Thus American greens must conceal their inherent leftism (though what could be more collectivist than turning over huge tracts of land to the central government), while European environmentalists feel free to go so far as to extend the logic of leftism to its inevitable and ultimate conclusion – a bullet in the head for those who refuse to submit to the will of the collective.

Which makes sense; if the right of the collective always trumps that of the individual, then even one’s life cannot be considered sacrosanct. After all, “political liberty is sham-liberty, the worst possible slavery,” in the words of Friedrich Engels. And if Marxian criticism is a weapon, whose object it wishes “not to refute, but to destroy,” then the correct response to an enemy’s wrong-minded exercise of his presumed freedom of speech might well come out of the barrel of a gun.

Fortuyn’s murder, and the despicable reaction of Europe’s political elites to it, should cause the European people to rethink their willingness to be led by the nose into the EU’s Fourth Reich, but that is unlikely. In Austria, France and now the Netherlands, it has been demonstrated that democracy and freedom of speech do not entail the right to speak out against the left and its union.

How greatly does the left fear freedom, that it attempts to tar even its feeblest advocates with the dread fascist brush? Not that there is a true “right wing” in power anywhere in the world; nowhere is there a nation dedicated to the supremacy of individual freedom and liberty that does not make major concessions to the collective. Sadly, the American Constitution is the closest thing to such a mythical beast, and it has been under assault from those sworn to defend it for most of its two centuries.

The recent events in Europe should remind us why our Constitution is worth defending, and why we cannot afford to be pragmatic, tolerant or less than vigilant in its defense.

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