The revelation that Google’s YouTube subsidiary has “quarantined” an official video, produced by the conservative government of Poland, on Europe’s migration crisis—headlined with grim wit by Breitbart News as the “Goolag Archipelago,” that being a reference to the Gulag Archipelago, a term for the network of camps for political prisoners in the old Soviet Union—provides a stark reminder of an emerging phenomenon: The East is now more conservative than the West.
That is, Eastern Europe is now more conservative than not only Western Europe, but also, more broadly, than the West as a whole, including the U.S., and including, too, many of its leading corporations, such as Google. (And here we might pause to note that, for reasons that will become readily apparent, we are using political delineations left over from the Cold War; it is, of course, a geographical fact that Prague is actually to the west of Vienna, and that Budapest is further west than Athens.)
To be sure, there are plenty of conservatives in the West, including in positions of national power, but it’s undeniable that the “commanding heights” of the media and corporate culture are increasingly under the sway of globalist progressive ideology. And in the Information Age, that sway matters a lot—as the news about the politically correct suppression of the Polish video reminds us.
So we might step back and ask: How did it happen that that most people in, say, Poland, or Hungary, still believe that the old verities—of faith and family, of patriotism and nationalism—are valuable and worth conserving? And at the same time, how did it happen that so many people in the West have come to believe that those old verities are obsolete, if not downright false?
The short answer, or course, is that the European countries that lived under communism are a lot more right-wing today than the countries that didn’t. And we can further observe that this right-wingedness is aimed at such internationalist, sovereignty-submerging conglomerations as the European Union, as well as globe-spanning corporations that prefer to deal with the collective EU, as opposed to individual nation-states.
Poland’s bitter brushes with communism go back nearly a century. After regaining its independence in 1918, in the wake of World War One, Poland fought a successful war of survival against the newly Bolshevized Russia from 1919 to 1921. And yet then, in 1939, Stalin’s resurgent Soviet Union joined with Hitler’s Nazi Germany to conquer the country. And so for the better part of six years, Poland was a bloodland; millions died as a result of combat, starvation, and direct extermination. And then, in 1945, just as had happened to Hungary, the imperializing Red Army came sweeping in, staying in place for nearly half a century.
Then there’s Hungary. In 1919, the revolutionary “Hungarian Soviet Republic” of Béla Kun seized power in Budapest. The resulting “Red Terror” was brief—Kun was soon deposed and ultimately exiled to the USSR—and yet it left an indelible stamp on Hungary. Ever since, Hungarians have been determinedly anti-communist.