Europe Sheds Its Skin

Note: Aleksandr Prokhanov, aged 77, is a well-known Russian writer, frequent television commentator, and the editor-in-chief of Tomorrow (Zavtra) newspaper, which combines far-left and far-right views.

Europe is in a panic. Europe is groaning. Europe is horrified. Refugees and migrants from North Africa—who only recently crossed the seas on fragile boats and drowned off the coast, got out to the shore and begged Europeans for a piece of bread and a roof over their head—are now storming the border, tearing up barbed wire, and throwing flares at police. Most recently, they carried out real pogroms in Germany during the New Year celebrations: hunting for young women and girls. They were being seized, stripped, and raped.

"What is happening?”—ask the moralists of Europe. "What is going on? How can these people, whom we, Europeans, gave so much, how can they forget the warmth of our embrace, how can they not value our compassion and our tolerance?"

What is to be done? The Left and Liberals, which include Angela Merkel, demand greater tolerance, increases in quotas, which would allow Europe and Germany to accept even more foreigners. They believe that Europe will humanize them and appease their hearts. It seems that Europe and Great Germany had forgotten their past. European countries have lost the will to survive and resist, forgotten their great statehood, their great European culture. Germany has forgotten the Cologne Cathedral, Dürer, forgotten Gothic cathedrals, surging vertically into the sky. It has forgotten its great composers: Bach, Beethoven, and Wagner. It has forgotten its great philosophers: Hegel, Schopenhauer, Kant, and Nietzsche. It was transformed into something amorphous, castrated, and is still ready to open its gates to this enormous mass of those people, who hate Europe and Germany. If that is the case, then Europe's fate—and the fate of Germany, in particular—is sad. Their spaces will be flooded with the red-hot clay of North African hatred.

Against the backdrop of these ongoing atrocities, nationalists awaken. Tomorrow they will have political leaders, and the next day, they will have their spiritual luminaries, who will remind these crowds about the greatness of Germany, the great German statesmen; they will curse Versailles and all that has occurred since 1945. The possibility of terminating this Liberal, “tolerant” European Union no longer seems so far fetched.

Europe sheds it skin. The European Union is in motion. Its borders begin to stir. Layers and tectonic plates that were frozen in the European Union are on the move. Here is Poland suddenly demonstrating a striking example of how she, Poland, begins to take care of her downtrodden statehood. In Poland, the Sejm was taken over by the conservatives, and they immediately began talking about the fact that the state needs to be protected, that it is an integral tool, in which people recognize their historic place, historic work, and historic future. The new Polish authorities seek to control public opinion and to channel this public opinion in the interests of the nation-state. This always happens in a crisis: the state inevitably grows stronger, as does centralism.

What will happen to Europe? How will European history develop in the next few decades? Is it really true that Europe is a sickly, helpless maiden put on the scruff of a ferocious and dumb bull that takes her into the azure waves of the ocean toward uncertainty? Is this the end of old Europe? Goodbye, Europe?

Or is this not the case? Will this maiden awaken, jump off the fat, dumb back of the bull, and be resurrected in azure waters out of foam like the beautiful Aphrodite?

Russia is observing contemporary Europe intently and vigilantly.