Aristocratic in his origins, Count Richard Von Coudenhove-Kalergi was an Austrian Japanese politician and philosopher. He was the pioneer of European integration, and the founder of the Pan-European Union movement during the mid 1920s (which would later act as the ideological underpin for the modern day European Union).
Kalergi claimed that societies broke up into two distinct cultures across the world, the country and the city. He argued that country life is organic, irrational, religious and superstitious. He referred to “Country Aristocrats” as Junkers. Kalergi described these people as having “Maximum character and minimum intellect.” Junkers are more likely to be religious, superstitious, and have a dislike of socialism.
City culture on the other hand is more mechanical and rational. Those from city culture are more likely to be secular, have an alliance with socialism, and create a society of writers and intellectuals. The people of a city background are progressive, witty, and materialistic. They rush ahead of their times, creating modern ideas in politics.
He argued that because the city and rural folk have conflicting beliefs, ideas, and mindsets, they inevitably share an outright hostility to each other. The city folk in particular will have a strong dislike of what they deemed to be the backward Junker. However, Kalergi believed that whilst the city intellectual and the country Junker disagreed on life, philosophy, and politics they’re not only compatible with each other, but related. Both stem from one unifying heritage, and it is possible their ideas and principles can co-exist in harmony through compromise.
Coudenhove-Kalergi’s Pan-European vision was one in which the world would comprise of five states, and would be known as the United States of Europe. The five states would consist of continental countries taking possession of Africa, a pan-America in which the North and South Americas would become one, the then USSR would expand to Eurasia, and a pan-Asian union where Japan and China control in the Pacific. English would be the spoken language of the world, and exist alongside the native tongue of any given country. In the United States of Europe, individualism would exist in harmony alongside socialism, and capitalism would co-exist with communism.
Whilst the geography of his European vision is straightforward, how is a society supposed to function properly in Coudenhove-Kalergi’s world when the two conflicting systems of capitalism and communism operate in the same space? Karl Marx’s communist approach requires that the collective own the means of production by way of the state, yet the laissez-faire capitalist model strives to champion free market enterprise and commerce. Such a severe contradiction would surely impede the success of any society, as the clash between state and private interests are forever causing stagnation in a country’s ability to flourish. Theoretically, what would exist is an economic power structure in which private companies collude alongside the government to create profit (in other words, corporatism).
Alongside economic issues, there would be a strong conflict of dominating religions from the middle east to the west, where the only viable option would seem to be a complete dissolve of religion in favour of a secular union. An atheist’s dream maybe, but short term opposition would be violent and difficult to resolve without violence.
One of the first questions to ask is who will actually agree to it? Presumably a person or body (be it Kalergi or a small group of intellectuals) see themselves as having the power to dictate to the world that theirs is not only the best culture, but so superior as to force onto other nations. Which country will acquiesce and hand their sovereignty, culture, and the very fabric of their social identity over to a European elite? I would wager none of them. Would the anti-world order powers of Russia just suddenly bow to their demands and pull down the Kremlin? Would China and Japan simply cease fighting over island territories in the East China Sea chain?
In order to take the varied number of cultures and societies and combine them would require universal compliance from all of the people inhabiting these countries. If history has taught us one thing, achieving universal thought requires universal control. Europe would therefore have to force the world’s hand. What could ignite are devastating conflicts conducted on an industrial scale. Entire cultures that refused to bend to the whim of European integration would be labelled nothing more than xenophobic and hateful, and one that must be thwarted by the paragons in Europe. We can already see early rumblings of such attitudes in today’s society, with arguments that Brexit in the UK was paramount to fascism, and the US vote for anti-establishment Trump was a backwards racist, and sexist move. Whenever the people vote against a political power, the response must be to decry them and present them as a deplorable force against the greater good.
Today’s European Union champions Coudenhove-Kalergi and his philosophy. He is almost entirely unknown to the masses, but within the spheres of EU power he is much idolised, with his ideas being hailed as the leading light on how the future world should be shaped. There is even a foundation named after the man, the Coudenhove-Kalergi Foundation, which awards the European Prize to those who have shown considerable support, and make significant contributions to the pursuit of an integrated Europe.
We can already see EU policy being made that lunges with inexhaustible enthusiasm towards an integrated European Union. It could even be argued that in recent times this Union grows with scandalous desperation. A look at the membership of Croatia (P.3), as told by a member of the European Scrutiny Comittee, shows how the Croatian government failed to meet its targets for an independent judiciary, and failed to get corruption out of the police force. Despite the unsuccessful criteria, the EU decided to let Croatia in regardless because they broadly believed in enlargement of the European state. Whilst absolute integration looks ever more unlikely given today’s diplomatic and geo-political situation, the recent changes seen across Western Europe have a startling resemblance to the early stages of Richard Von Coudenhove-Kalergi’s plan, and this makes for a very sobering thought.
Kalergi had a vision for a system of governance too, in which a conservative society made up of “great Europeans” would supersede any democratic rule of the five states, creating legislation that this group deems best for the people of Europe. This society would be appointed to their position due in part to their academic eminence, and loyalty to the European ideal.
In 2017, we can already see some considerable elements of the Count’s vision in practice. The European Commission for instance, is a society of 28 unelected officials that hold the absolute power to create regulation/directives, as seen in the FC0 30/1048, “European Integration: legal Constitutional Implications” (1971). This reflects Coudenhove-Kalergi’s government model of a small elite society ruling over a league of nations.
Kalergi also strove to remove racial diversity, and instead pursue the goal of an ethnically homogeneous and inclusive European nation based on a single set of values. In his book Praktischer Idealismus (Practical Idealism) his belief in eugenics is outlined, “The man of the future will be a mongrel. Today’s races will disappear- the Eurasian Negro race of the future, similar in its outward appearance to the ancient Egyptians will replace the diversity of its peoples with a diversity of individuals.” (P.7) It’s apparent that Coudenhove-Kalergi’s desire to pull the world into one giant European conglomerate does not just end at the point of governance, but at the point of biology and society as a whole. The suggestion of removing all forms of racial and national identity would require a vast number of indigenous cultures to be broken down and discarded by Pan-European dogma.
The biggest indicator of this in practice today is with the issue of mass immigration. In Germany, migration has reached staggering numbers running into the millions, with increases of 46% between 2014 and 2015 (an estimated 672,000 people). When such an overwhelming population comes into Germany (most of which have no understanding of the language) the services to educate and cater to their needs can’t cope. This inevitably means that migrants set up their own communities amongst themselves. These communities bare no relation to the indigenous culture of Germany, and neither shares the values nor principles that exist within the country. As this community grows, studies have shown that the indigenous German population is in decline. Birth rates in Germany have in fact slumped to such a low that it’s not just one of the smallest in Europe, but now competes globally. If this trend is to continue, the idea of the German people being a minority in Germany will not be a question of “if,” but “when”. The demographic shift will invariably lead to a cultural shift, and a breakdown of the German way of life. The consequences of such a breakdown can be seen in other parts of the world where this trend has reached the point of no return, such as the Lebanon in which the cultural change led to civil war and the rise in power of numerous terrorist groups, the most notable being Hezbollah.
Coudenhove-Kalergi’s European dream seems palatable to many people, a league of nations that would unite as one. A world in which there is no race that can be oppressed, with universal rights, and a world in which personality is the diversity, not race. These pursuits of racial integration however, fail to factor in one key aspect of human nature, tribalism. Be it through music, art, style, or nationality, human feats and cultural history have given way to various groups that individuals can subscribe to. It could be ‘mods’ or ‘greasers’ or youthful ‘hip’ clothing over more conservative classic numbers, the need for group identity will always shine through. Alongside this will invoke prejudice, both from the people within these groups (about how they dress or the political views that they have) or from others attacking that group. In short, people will always find something to discriminate against even if race is taken out of the picture.
What recent events have gone to show, is that people will always choose to preserve their own cultural and national identities over a mass unintelligible network, with its activities known only to those who work within it. History has taught that the larger governments govern badly, and with often iniquitous results. Yet time and again we still see the championing of such systems, which hand sovereignty to far off powers that face little responsibility and even less in the way of detention for wrongdoing. This sets a dangerous precedent that culminates not only in the loss of national identity, but a loss in prosperity, culture, and above all freedom.