Bold and Brash Intelligence: Examining Geert Wilders and the PVV in the Netherlands.
‘Bold and Brash Intelligence’ is a feature that I’m inaugurating today, in which I’ll just give a very quick opinion about an event as it is unfolding, interpreting the facts on the ground to draw conclusions about the operational efficacy of a particular political tactic or strategy.
For the mechanics of the election in the Netherlands, the parties that contested it, and the way that the coalition politics of the Netherlands works, mainstream news organisations everywhere have already adequately described that, so I won’t repeat what is already understood by everyone.
I’ll just dive straight in to some points that I’d want to highlight, which I think are relevant to our readers here from an ethno-nationalist perspective.
The assumption I’m proceeding forward with in this article is that the objective of those who profess support or allegiance to the PVV is that they are concerned about the problem of mass migration of people from Muslim-majority countries into the Netherlands and they subjectively perceive that the PVV is a way to somehow counteract that threat.
If we accept that assumption as true, the central question then becomes, why does the PVV consistently fail to accomplish that, and how did it fail again last night, despite the fact that the conditions – for example the rise of the migrant crisis, the conspiratorial relationship between Rutte and Merkel, the secret deal with Turkey, and so on – could be seen as ripe issues for them to build significant gains atop? How did the PVV go from having 40% support, to having only 20% support in a year, despite the fact that all of these apparently terrifying events were occurring which they ought to have been able to politically capitalise on?
I will suggest some reasons.
1. The VVD moved slightly to the right in rhetoric so as to sap PVV’s base
Mark Rutte’s VVD moved to the right in terms of rhetoric, and was able to take away a significant amount of the PVV’s support. 34% of the people who said that they voted for VVD, say that Rutte’s little battle against Turkish ministers influenced their vote. Clearly the optics of that fight, although lacking in any substance, helped Rutte. Given that the media environment in the Netherlands is one in which the PVV is portrayed as ‘extremist’, it means that for those who like to be risk-averse, it may be the case that they would rationalise making the ‘safe’ centre-right choice.
The VVD may also have either sought to emulate or been given help in emulating a strategy used by Angela Merkel in Germany several years prior. Casting oneself as a supporter of a ‘responsible and steady’ centre-right statesman who is willing to ‘resist populism’, is – paradoxically – psychologically rewarding to the kind of people who individually believe, either correctly or incorrectly, that the concept of ‘basic-bitch average civilian’ includes everyone except their own esteemed selves.
The nativist populist rhetoric which has become ubiquitous online and can be seen in loud campaign slogans and vague policies, paradoxically repels the very kind of people who are needed to make nativism successful. The politically-savvy cohort who is desperately needed by nativists and yet is absent everywhere, is the kind of person who is just above-average enough to see politics as being more than a public stage on which to have a moralistic battle of sentiments, but is unfortunately also not above-average enough to be willing to entertain a certain amount of deliberate stupidity or obfuscation for the sake of courting the below-average cohort which must also be secured in order to fully lock-in a victory.
Now, some people may be thinking, “But didn’t Trump show that it can work in the United States? He managed to get lots of people to vote for him by basically talking complete nonsense in a very loud voice, all day long, and people voted for it!” Yes, but the United States is populated by low-information voters who are moved by animal-spirits, with an electoral college that grants a large amount of weight to the opinions of a voting bloc of actual political retards who have been subjected to a kind of Pavlovian meme-conditioning for 40 years, so it’s a completely different environment there. There is no parallel to that in Europe. It is not possible to simply meme one’s way to victory through padding-out your vote with political ‘potatoes’ in Europe, no matter what party you are representing.
The other thing about ‘potatoes’ is that they are notoriously unreliable, even if you can find them and secure them in Europe. Because they tend to vote on appearance over substance, they are just as likely to vote for you, as they are to vote for a guy who comes out cosplaying as you in the week prior to the election. The PVV lost significant support to the VVD precisely due to that phenomenon. Having locked down the limited number of ‘potatoes’ that did exist, it couldn’t even hold them. Why even bother?
By way of an agricultural comparison, one which the Irish are surely familiar with, you could very well say that monocropping is the worst possible strategy. In other words: Live by the potato, die by the potato.
2. All substantive debates in the Netherlands are conducted behind a technocratic layer of abstraction, in which the PVV cohort does not participate
The Dutch people really like their technocratic TV debates and their statistics which they drag into every comments section and all over social media. In that sense they actually resemble the British voting profile, and that is not a bad thing.
The PVV of course failed to tap the breadth of issues that Dutch people have been discussing throughout the election, because the PVV is widely perceived as a single-issue party and acts exactly like a single-issue party.
Geert Wilders’ views on immigration, the refugee crisis, and the European Union are a key part of the national debate in the Netherlands, but the polls and a basic survey of the media shows that the biggest issues in the minds of voters are healthcare and social care for the elderly. Other issues of interest to them are law and order, social service provisioning, and so on.
Crucially, 81% of the Dutch people who voted for VVD say that they did so because they liked Rutte’s views on the economy.
If the PVV is seen as having either no economic platform, or alternately, a bad economic platform, is anyone really surprised that it’s also a party that cannot win?
3. The PVV attempts to publicly re-litigate the past 70 years of immigration policy and the majority are not responsive to it
Rather than focussing on one explicit part of the immigration situation – the issue of the actual threat posed by Europe’s lack of coherent external borders – as a fulcrum around which many other issues implicitly rotate, the PVV and other parties and groups similar to it, tend to have a habit of trying to re-litigate the entire history of immigration policy in Western Europe over the past 70 years. In one election.
Obviously this cannot work as part of electoral rhetoric, as it opens a wide flank for public debate and criticism which would otherwise not occur. Why bother talking about the overall immigration policy from years gone by, when you could instead – for example – just talk about the Bataclan attack and the security situation which led up to it?
It remains a mystery as to why political parties with nativist intentions do not yet understand how to strategically dress all their concerns up as security issues which – in reality – those concerns in fact are.
Having the entire debate through the lens of ‘culture’ and ‘civilisation’ ends up giving social services professionals, third sector organisations and charities, and political dilettantes the ability to talk their way out of recognising reality with increasingly complex verbiage and appeals to emotion.
There is however no appeal to emotion and no language construct which can be leveraged against the hard reality of bombs, bullets, armed police response times, economic disruption, and emergency services personnel putting out fires and carrying away body bags. It is a reality which everyone is forced to acknowledge simply by watching television.
‘Defence of your city from bombs and roving bands of armed ISIL-affiliated men’, sounds much more concrete to the average voter than ‘defence of Western Civilisation from Islamisation.’
‘Defence of your city’, is an angle which does not require the voter to accept any fact other than the simple fact that the Bataclan attack happened and that security services have accurately described how that attack took place.
The ‘Western Civilisation’ argument, however, requires that the voter must accept someone’s particular view on what that civilisation should look like or what it used to look like, and requires significant time and effort to articulate. This doesn’t mean people shouldn’t articulate such a view, but it shouldn’t be done as part of electoral messaging when you have a limited amount of time and space to make a point to people who have a limited attention-span. Yet, in a move that can only be seen as a mysterious herculean effort to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, almost all nativist groups would rather wax lyrical about ‘Western Civilisation’ than actually just exploit the really-existing feelings of terror which have manifested as a result of the absolutely exploitable series of terrorist attacks which have occurred in Europe since 2014.
4. The PVV embodies and vectors a pro-Zionist narrative-hijack and diminishes its own electability as a party in the process
This is the foundational point that underscores all the others, as I believe it is the fundamental root of the problem. The PVV is basically a party of Zionist-imperialism which is committed to socially-legitimating the State of Israel through the propagation of a ‘Clash of Civilisations’ narrative which conveniently – for Israeli communications operations commanders – posits that the State of Israel should be understood by Europeans to be the most important and most brittle line of defence against an allegedly monolithic ‘global Islam’.
It’s such a transparent narrative-hijack that one almost has to stand back in wonderment and stupefaction at how gullible a person would need to be to fall for it.
The PVV and the so-called ‘counter-jihad movement’ propagates messages of social-legitimation for Israel’s actions in Gaza and the West Bank by transforming every Islamist attack that takes place on European soil, into part of their ongoing narrative which usually contains the nonsensical words “this is what Israel has been fighting against all along.”
Nothing could be more absurd.
It is the foreign policy pursued by the State of Israel and vectored though the halls of American power, which has been one of key factors in sustaining the civil war in Syria from which the migration crisis arose, and furthermore, Israel is the same country which also – with no concern for the migration crisis – had one of its top think tanks advance the concept that it would be a ‘good’ idea for the West to deliberately let ISIL continue to exist. The State of Israel is a country whose strategic command has rationalised that since “Assad is now Iran” it would be better for Israel if “Al-Qaeda” or “one of those groups” were to be left running Syria in the aftermath of the war.
To posit that Israel could ever be a real ally of Europe on the issue of radical Islamic terror and the migrant crisis, is an absurdity. Yet it is an absurdly which is continually repeated by the likes of PVV politicians and allies, Geert Wilders himself, and the so-called ‘counter-jihad movement’.
The only way to explain that in the context of the Netherlands is to look at the ethno-racial identity of Geert Wilders himself, as his personality has a strong influence over the essential character and policy direction of the PVV. It is after all a party that was created by him.
Geert Wilders has volunteered at a Kibbutz during his youth, and has lived in Israel. Wilders’ paternal grandmother Johanna Meijer was a Dutch Jew who lived in the Dutch East Indies. Wilders’ family fled the Dutch East Indies during the Second World War shortly after Japanese occupation began, for reasons which probably need no explanation. Wilders has asserted that his father was Jewish. Additionally, Wilders is married to a Jewish-Hungarian diplomat.
Given that Jewishness clearly is a core part of Wilders’ identity and his talks and speeches on the matter only serve to bring that into sharper relief, no one should be surprised that things have turned out the way that they have as a consequence of having allowed Wilders to rise to a leadership position in Dutch the nationalist scene.
Whenever European nationalists engage in political bargains with Zionists, the Zionists will tend to inappropriately utilise the European nationalist organisations as a public relations show-piece whose mission is to divert all revenue streams toward projects which serve to socially-legitimate Israel’s foreign policy preferences among right-wing voters and will function as an aggressive public relations interface for Israel. That interface is then used by them to neutralise existing anti-Zionist sentiment on the right, or to forestall any imminent development of it there.
Combating anti-Zionist sentiment is basically the only thing that the PVV ever concretely accomplishes, which is why the PVV is in fact worse than useless.
Additionally, the PVV would probably have a wider appeal if it were not a Zionist party. Yet, for the operators of the party, the maintenance of the PVV as a ridiculous Zionist outfit is more important to them than actually winning at anything. Even when taken alone, that simple fact should speak volumes about the priorities of the so-called ‘activists’ who represent that party.
This whole assessment is simply a results-orientated approach to politics, devoid of any emotional bias. Even from the most cynical perspective, bartering with Zionists makes no sense.
Empirically speaking, have Europeans who bartered with Zionists ever been known to emerge with a good result for European nationalists? Scientifically speaking, has bartering with Zionists ever been known to work?
The answer to that question is: Basically no.
Verdict: Into the trash
Some people like to claim that Geert Wilders and the PVV are bold and brash. In reality, Geert Wilders and the PVV are in fact worse than useless, and they belong in the trash.
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