I found this analysis of the recent French election helpful in understanding the turbulence in European politics. I admit I have felt a certain ominous pessimism that The West was once more tumbling towards an intolerant rightwing politik. Paul Musker observes that what we are seeing is not an affirmation of rightwing politics but a demand for change.
“Since the world woke up to the reality of a Trump administration on 9 November 2016, a sense of impending doom has set in. Predictions have been made of the end of Western civilisation as we know it, of the collapse of the liberal order, of the halt of globalisation, and of a right-wing uprising across Europe. The success of the Brexit campaign appeared to confirm these suspicions, triggering a sense of low-grade panic almost everywhere. It seemed that a domino effect was in motion, with nobody standing in its way.”
“The mistake of many commentators was to conflate anti-establishment anger with populist nationalism, and on that basis to predict a right-wing, anti-immigration, anti-globalisation wave across the West. Instead, it appears that anger at the status quo has a much wider range of outlets. Voters who are disillusioned with traditional institutions and the status quo do not necessarily share a hatred of immigrants or free trade. While they have shown an unprecedented appetite for risk, they have not displayed any predictable shared ideological orientation.”
His article is available at:
SAUL MUSKER |25 APR 2017