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Editorial

MEP Schöpflin: the colonialist arrogance of the liberal elite makes them intolerant

| December 19, 2017

The international liberal elite’s “colonialist arrogance,” said Fidesz MEP György Schöpflin in a recent interview with Hungarian daily Magyar Idők, attempts to stigmatize all other viewpoints as populism. The conservative MEP slammed the superficial approach of certain politicians who lecture their opponents instead of debating them and are intolerant of political views that differ from their own.

“I am certain that the outcome of the ongoing LIBE debates will be nothing more than a new version of the Tavares Report,” Schöpflin said, referring to the latest attempt to apply political pressure on the Orbán Government. “This once again reaffirms that the European left has nothing new to say.”

With Britain’s departure from the EU, 73 seats in the European Parliament will remain unfilled. Brussels’ latest proposal to resolve the issue would set up a so-called transnational list and therefore, as Schöpflin explained, a “European constituency” where EU citizens could cast their votes directly for MEPs. This new system, MEP Schöpflin argues, would be counterproductive and would bolster radical, strongly Eurosceptic figures, the likes of Jobbik, Jean-Marie Le Pen and Geert Wilders. “[I]t is interesting how people of sound mind are unable to see through something that directly contradicts their coveted conceptions,” he said.

Schöpflin, a former professor of Politics at University College London and author of several works on nationhood, identity and political power, sees that both the idea of the European constituency and the pro-migration policy, propagated by the European political left, lies in an erroneous belief about people and nations. They see humanity as universal and disregard differences.

“They believe that Europe’s future is to mix, dissolve and welcome all third-world migrants,” Schöpflin added.

This western obsession with universalism, according to the MEP, has its roots in the colonial period and has produced a “colonialist arrogance” that narrows their perspective. While many of these western European countries were colonial powers, he said, “we were parts of empires, and the West will never accept and understand that.” Driven by this theory of a universal humanity, liberals are eager to support the cause of LGBTQ or disabled people, but not linguistic minorities as their mere existence is an insult to the liberal mindset.

Refusing to talk about the rights of ethnic minorities is only one example of the liberal elite’s head-in-the-sand policy. “It is safe to say that the liberal elite doesn’t really care about the future of the white working-class,” Schöpflin said, yet these are the people who elected Donald Trump, voted for AfD in Germany and Marie Le Pen in France.

“There is an alternative way of thinking in the making that is still looking for its place,” the Fidesz MEP continued, “however, its supporters are certain that they don’t want to take in more migrants.” Those who stand up for the sovereignty of nation states – and against the hegemony of liberal universalism – are growing stronger by the minute. “All hegemonies must end someday” he said.