The New European Right: What It Is. What to Expect
1. Who Is It?
The new right (Alternative right, extreme right, or just right) is the order of the day in Europe. One must begin by making clear that the new right is not equivalent to that currently most used expression, populism. A large part of the new right is simply right.
Trump's victory in the U.S. elections has given him an even greater boost than expected due to the confusion with which the European establishment has reacted to the events. The situation has not improved when the same perplexity has followed the outcome of the Italian referendum.i To the lack of understanding of this establishment due to ignorance, lack of interest and of ideological skills, one must add the arrogance of those in power who have long lost contact with reality.
The established power has fallen into the temptation of redoubling its condescending and despotic impulses, thus enlarging the possibilities of success for this new right. But, what is this new right in Europe? Who are they?
There are various movements across the continent. We have deliberately chosen those actors from countries that can be decisive in Europe’s ideological evolution. There are some mentions to others, but they are marginal.
- The most important is probably France’s Le Pen movement for the time it has been in the political arena and for its third place in voter intention according to polls for the presidential election to be held in May 2017.
- The British UK Independence Party (UKIP) is undoubtedly the most successful movement after having been at the origin of Brexit; however, its electoral expectations are much smaller due to the British system. In the United Kingdom, most of the new right sits on Tory benches.
- The Dutch Party for Freedom with its leading figure, Geert Wilders, has many chances of being decisive (currently first in the polls) in next year's elections in that country; however, there is a long distance from that to becoming the party in power in a country where the liberals have already replaced the Christian Democrats (CDP) as the right’s base party, due precisely to the CDP’s squeamishness. Maybe the Dutch establishment is helping Wilders to shorten that distance by hitting him with an absurd lawsuit for slander and symbolically sentencing him for offensive remarks about Moroccan immigrants. This movement has a certain relationship with the one founded a decade ago by Pim Fortuyn, an openly homosexual, assassinated politician, whose remarkable intelligence shook the Dutch scene. His political views led him to become the catalyst for a popular movement that has not ceased to grow since then.
- The German case is peculiar, not only because of a Nazi and communist past, but because of the relative pro-rightist balance provided by the Bavarian section of Merkel's party. However, the latest wave of refugees and the crimes committed by them in such a short time have boosted the AfD's expectations.
- Austria is another of those cases in which the recent past serves as a precedent to the possibilities of the alternative right. Haider came to support the party in power at the beginning of the millennium, generating excessive hostility in official Europe. Finally his corruption and, of course, his death, ended with the prominence of his party. However, popular trends have endured and Hofer, the FPÖ leader (Austria's Freedom Party) is likely to win the 2018 elections.
- Eastern Europe is a separate case. Not only is the alternative right in Poland, or in Hungary, already in power, but their parties and the entire populations of those countries, are markedly Russophobes — for obvious reasons. The flirtation of many of the new rightists with some of Putin's policies—since they value his authority—upset the Eastern European rightists.
2. What They Think: Economic Security and Physical Security
It is in these European parties’ positions where the differences with Trump become remarkable and where the Europeans’ degree of confusion—the element marking the difference with the American voter—and discontent can be noticed.
Except for the cases of Wilders and the UKIP, there are not many classic liberals in any of these parties and the distrust towards the market economy is considerable in many of their leaders, for example, Le Pen. It is one thing to prefer fair trade to free trade, such as Trump; it is another to favor structures of state capitalism, or national preferences with no other criteria than the headquarters where a company pays its taxes. But the basic economic position of these parties has a sense and a justification: The protection of populations harmed by globalization without sufficient compensation in terms of consumption or price cuts, let alone GDP growth. Therefore, when Le Pen says that we have created societies in which we subsidize (European) unemployed so that they can buy goods made by (Chinese) slaves, it is a denunciation of an underlying reality that it is difficult to dispute. It also rebukes a reality neglected by economists who never considered seriously the number, even soaring, of the unemployed since the possibility of subsidizing them was available while forgetting that the human being prefers to earn money for work than for doing nothing and the social scourges associated not only with unemployment but with despair and lack of social realization of large population groups. If one adds that public education systems have also been engaged in deculturing, that the social environment has also persecuted religious solace and traditional customs, looking down on them as rancid, outdated, and reactionary, the situation just worsens. This frustration, unnecessarily caused to many millions of people, is a social base with economic and moral justification that was about to explode.
Nonetheless, it is necessary to emphasize that, contrary to the case of some leftist parties, such as Podemos in Spain (mistakenly confused with those studied here,) none of these parties would abolish the market or the capitalist economy. They would eliminate many of the regulations imposed by the alleged classic liberals who are in power today, perhaps to impose other ones; they may even think it, but they do not say they will destroy gross capital formation, which is at the base of our economic system today – a system called into question due to the ECB's policy of constant intervention on interest rates, justified not for technical, but for political reasons.
Finally, except in matters such as those known as natural monopolies (electricity, telephone services, gas,) which would probably remain in the hands of the State, as in France, or in the hands of state-favored enterprises as in the rest of Europe, their resentment against large corporations would favor the creation of small and medium-sized business that generate employment, resources, and, with them, a sphere of freedom that does not exist today because these future wage earners now depend on state largesse.
The key element that is blowing wind in the sails of these movements in countries such as France is security. They certainly started promising economic security at times of rising unemployment in countries where professional training and primary- and secondary-sector jobs were numerous and have ceased to be so. However, the emergence of mass terrorism after September 11, 2001 and its linkage to the current war in Syria combined with the existence of huge Muslim populations (six to eight million in France) and the terrifying attacks that have taken place (239 dead) have generated a feeling of inadecuacy of the State in its basic functions as security provider (defense and police).
Trump's victory in the U.S. elections has given him an even greater boost than expected due to the confusion with which the European establishment has reacted to the events.
The drama is that the hypertrophied and hyper-indebted welfare states are unable to perform these basic tasks without blowing up social protection systems. The situation is literally insoluble. Either we choose physical security or the (precarious) economic security created by the European countries in the last fifty years. France's impotence in foreign and security policy is appalling, particularly in comparison with the grandiloquent speeches that come with it. If to intervene in Libya they did not even have missile supplies and had to be requested to the United States, there is no willpower to intervene in Syria, but above all the force that can be exerted is insufficient. And yet, as President Hollande has acknowledged on many occasions, it is imperative because we are at war! Those are his words, not ours. It is not feasible to think that the new right can act in this field without a radical modification of welfare states that voters reject. Not even Germany can do it with the full employment it enjoys. Although this base of economic strength (in a broad sense)—yet very specifically focused on increasing the labor forceii (people who want to work and do)—is precisely the basis for the recovery of the basic functions of state sovereignty. Full employment, through some degree of protectionism and public works programs, is a way to achieve it, even if temporarily.
However, security through the exercise of defense, which is primarily deterrence, must be directed at the real enemies of the State and of the populations. On this, the confusion is even more significant. It is evident that ISIS terrorists and Islamic terrorism in general are part of this group. Less evident is the way to deal with them. Variety is the norm here since although the general trend seems to be the elimination of ISIS by military means, the strategy cannot be the same in countries such as France with large Muslim populations of French nationals than in other countries. On the other hand, generalized military inability can lead Europeans to choose other routes, such as the much-suggested alliance with Russia. None of these movements is supportive, let alone real connoisseur, of the Bush Doctrine that entails solving the problems of nations from which terrorism comes. Nation-building, an otherwise misleading expression, is anathema to all these movements. However, the need to take practical measures to defend the State can lead to many surprises in this area. It cannot be ruled out that, on the basis of goodwill, we may end up finding the right mechanisms to eradicate Islamic terrorism. What is certain is that, in this new right, there is no will to live under terror attacks or the threat, as the trend seems to be today in the wake of the Obama Doctrine. No will either to engage in the quasi-criminal exercises of cynicism that led Obama to abandon Syria to his fate while his ambassador to the UN, the inventor of R2P or responsibility to protect, criticizes the absence of Western intervention.
3. The Heart of the Matter: Regaining Sovereignty
Nonetheless, in Europe the warhorse issue of the entire international alternative right is the EU. From Austria, where the relevant party candidate wants to convene a referendum on the matter, to France, where Marine Le Pen wants to abandon the EU, to the UK where the movement has already achieved that success, all want to regain their sovereignty and consider the EU a cohort of usurping bureaucrats of traditional national powers with very little to show in return. They criticize with many valid arguments the failures in economic, monetary, social and political customs that the EU has brought. For example, in the Netherlands, there is already a mechanism for citizens to challenge parliamentary laws transposing Community law, used to call a referendum on the signing of a free-association agreement with Ukraine, which was rejected. Imposition from Europe is in fact already dead since, although these movements do not rule, the concept of an ever closer union (the base of the European treaties) among the European peoples is paralyzed by the power they already have in public opinion.
In sum, the emergence of these movements is undoubtedly positive for one main reason: Power dispute to an unequivocally despotic and increasingly useless establishment as well as substantially corrupt. There is a healthy citizen rebellion against an established power less and less attached to the ballot box and determined to make their own decisions in the absence of adequate public pressure.
The ideological renewal that the new right is driving in European societies is necessary. What happens today on the right, assuming the progressive consensus for cowardice and comfort, has been stiffened for too long in foolish political correctness that prevents the adoption of really meaningful measures for the resolution of real problems.
The influence of the United States, with Trump leading the way, in these movements will be beneficial. Paradoxically the least lunatic fringe of all these movements is America’s and its influence on all Europeans will force them to face the real problems without chimerical, but audacious, solutions.
The differential element with the United States and the one that most hinders the access to the power of the alternative right is the dogged resistance of a much more powerful establishment, made up of media, public institutions, and large corporations, in clear collusion of interests that results in a kind of mafia distributing subsidies and favors to bedfellows and the obedient, while it mercilessly threatens and excludes the dissidents. To this, they add an empty and repellently tacky discourse of inclusion, tolerance, and compassion, without a chance of ever exercising it.
We must not forget or excuse the genuinely racist, xenophobic, and anti-Semitic tendencies, or anti-liberal excesses, of some of these parties. It is hard to believe, for instance, in the real renewal of Le Pen's party.
Caution must also be exercised with the incontestable fact that many of the measures of these parties are bad ideas to achieve legitimate ends.
All this must not make us lose sight of the essential: The emergence of these movements, even with their defects, has already revolutionized the way we do politics in a sclerotic Europe, not only unable to solve problems, but let alone to frame them. The chances of success for the alternative right are real thanks to the cocktail made by the blindness of the establishments and the genuine protest that they have managed to channel.
These movements give a hope that did not exist. The West has forgotten a very Western attitude, one that believes in reason and the possibility of solving human problems, compared to the Eastern attitude that guides many current public leaders in Europe, that the solution to one problem is the prelude to the next. The obsession with the formal has made us forget the need to achieve substantial results.
Except for the cases of Wilders and the UKIP, there are not many classic liberals in any of these parties and the distrust towards the market economy is considerable in many of their leaders, for example, Le Pen.
Another factor of westernization that they contribute is the re-nationalization of Europe with all its distinctive elements, richness, and differences, but with a common trunk that will allow Europe to function as an orchestra in which each country is an instrument within a harmony, but without bureaucratically-imposed homogeneity. A Europe of nations does not have to be the repetition of the rivalries that led to the wars of the twentieth century or to chaos without commercial or cultural exchanges. It is legitimate—necessary—to call into question unjustified centralization and bureaucratism.
That is to say, there are enough positive things in these movements to prefer them to the tendency of the establishment, which deliberately gives up finding solutions, not for a misunderstood and much less genuine liberalism, but for laziness, cowardice, comfort, and yes, self-interest. Some of the more clairvoyant elements of this establishment (Fillon) have already noticed the need to radically change; otherwise they will be swept away by a wave they suspect will be powerful. It is not necessary to think about an already established but incorrigible power, such as Spain’s, to try something new. The question that must be asked to discover the degree of allegiance it inspires us is not whether we would vote for them in their countries, which we do not know from within, but, would we vote for them in Spain if we were to get rid of the present established power?
Adopting a #NeverTrumper attitude for these movements will not free us from them if they win, nor will we gain favor with the establishment or the false right (if there is any difference), nor will it allow us to influence them.
The current European states that run half of their economies and are indebted to the limit of one year of what they produce, their media work as an echo chamber of the states, and almost all the relevant participants would undoubtedly consider the Spain of 1975 dictatorial or even totalitarian. However, in that time, the State occupied 25 percent of the nation’s GDP and the income tax had a single bracket of 11 percent, which resulted in full employment. How dare they lecture anyone about the current situation?
The status quo leaves no room for doubt. With the exception of Germany in exclusively economic terms, no European country has valid mechanisms to solve its problems: Debt, deficit, unemployment, pensions, social dissolution, international weakness, etc. All the measures proposed are merely touch-ups to unsustainable situations in the long term. No one wanting a future for Europe and the West can be a supporter of conformity. We may not agree with all the elements of change; It will be necessary to fight in order to influence them, but an agreement with an establishment that is already more dead today than it imagines is ruled out.
I. The “Alt-Right” Is Coming!
To what does the established power in Europe refer when saying alternative right, new right, or ultra right?
The alt right exists, although it does not have much to do with what is said about it.
The media have been busy scouring and inventing a multinational movementiii (comparing it to none other than Marxist internationalism,) that the United States is mostly to blame and that it is the successor to the Tea Party. It is a party of xenophobes, racists, and homophobes and has contaminated half the Western world. Whatever that is and wherever that is, it is not the alt-right. You may agree or disagree with the alt-right, but it does not match the depicted caricature. This same caricature with its deliberately- disproportionate criticism makes part of its success.
More in Europe (and more in Eastern than in Western Europe) than in the United States, there are undoubtedly radicals taking advantage of the rise of the new right movement and claiming to be part of it; however, they have not founded it, they do not constitute its base, and they do not define it, as many media outlets and official sectors want to convince us with dirty tricks.
During the U.S. campaign, the losing candidate of the Democratic Party, Hillary Clinton, criticized Trump for his links to what she called the "emerging racist ideology known as the alt-right." It was a way to stigmatize and discredit her adversary since the image of this alt-right is the lunatic fringe of the alt-right, which is neither the most numerous nor the most significant nor the most decisive of this movement and whose ideological relevance to the Western world is beginning to be noticed precisely by its enemies: The progressives. Because there must be no doubt, there is an ideological meaning in the new right. The only ones who understand it, a bit, are the progressives; the right is too clumsy and ideologically lazy to find a meaning. Yet the new right has an explanation and a purpose.
A wide range of people in the United States, from libertarians to classical liberals, to Christians and traditionalists, are part of this new right. Neo-Nazis or Klan members, who are as marginal to the ideology of the movement as scarce in numbers, are added to the mix. In sum, at least in the United States, the alt-right is the same as the Tea Party—in fact, it is its successor in time—and identifies with the usual liberal-conservative, and, ultimately, with the American people as a whole. That is, if the Tea Party was really the American people—that is why it was so hated from this side of the ocean—and if the alt-right coincides with the Tea Party, then the base of what is called alt-right is the American people.
Therefore, now the question is: How is it possible for a American national revival movement ("Make America Great Again") to have followers or equivalents in European nations? What is this ideological family, from the broader Western perspective?
Islam, key policy of the alt-right. The rejection of political correctness, key strategy of the alt-right.
The most mentioned alt-right policy in the media is the rejection of Islam and the expulsion of illegal immigrants. It is evident that such proposals have echo easily in countries with high Muslim and immigrant populations, such as France or the Netherlands, and in the most disadvantaged neighborhoods that have seen the establishment of customs and "communitarianisms" (the equivalent of our Basque and Catalan separatisms) where the police do not go and the law is not enforced because it is better to turn a blind eye. Members of elites, who do not live in these neighborhoods, can look the other way, but not their usual neighbors. These economically-disadvantaged members of popular classes are forcibly condemned to change their traditions in their own country and, instead of finding understanding among the politicians or the media that they subsidize, these members reap rebukes for being racist and xenophobic.
In both the United States and Europe, the new right does something that is unusual to the powers that be. It does not become contented with just protesting, disagreeing, and demanding that things change. It knows for sure that the adversary is not only, not even primarily, the immigrant or the foreigner, but the fellow countryman in the establishment who morally condemns the movement while striving to exclude it from civil life. The alt-right is breaking this mold. Deny, deny, deny the assumption, as some would say. The alt-right prevails as an actor to take into account, whether or not its ideological enemy can take it.
Let us see an example. For decades French citizens in the so-called non-Droit areas have been clamoring for the improvement of their children's schooling conditions in "multicultural" environments that have been tolerated in practice and that hindered their social progress in language learning, history, or other basic elements such as discipline and the traditional life of neighborhoods. The new right’s grassroots have it very clear: The enemy is multicultural socialist progressivism; the enemy is political correctness. In other words, the enemy is the breach of the rule of law in the name of a misunderstood compassion towards the new owner of the disadvantaged neighborhoods. The alt-right does not limit itself to simply protest. The movement says what needs to be done to avoid this situation and repeats over and over again that it will change it at all costs. It does not cower. It does not shrink from the challenge.
In the United States, one of the places where the alt-right has expanded is Breitbart, the website from which the new White House adviser, Steve Bannon, comes. Breitbart encompasses a number of activists with intellectual background, the desire for change, and awareness of not being too much different from traditional conservatives throughout the United States.
It is unbelievable but the dominant media has succeeded in amalgamating the alt-right movement with such groups as the Ku Klux Klan, or what they call "white supremacists." It is the media who, by speaking about these people, grant them influence, not their real strength. The reality is that the "collaborationist" progressive forces in conjunction with the forces seeking to destruct the West are most interested in hiding that the main motivation of the alt-right movement is, specifically, the preservation of Western culture and civilization.
For some it is impossible to reconcile these leaders or this intellectual section of the movement with the farmer in Iowa, or Oklahoma. The truth is that it was the farmers in Iowa or Oklahoma who died in the American wars and the ones who liberated Normandy, South Korea or the Iraq that Obama abandoned to its fate and that many of these alt-right members would have never Invaded
According to Breitbart's own members, the movement is solid, believes in the American nation, freedom of expression, classic liberalism, and free thinking. They also believe in the possibility of achieving power by openly announcing their program.
The victory of this alt-right in the United States is going to push forward and exert great influence on similar European movements. Yet similar does not mean the same. Many preceded the American movement, such as Le Pen, and in many there are racist, xenophobic, and anti-Semitic real motivations that do not exist in the American model. In all of them, there are more dark sides than in the American movement.
The main movements by country are as follows;
I.1 United Kingdom
The rise of UKIP is the result of a split from the Conservative Party (The Tories.) Rightist parties in Europe have adopted a common trend: To add water to the wine of their convictions, something blatantly obvious with the Tories in the pre- and post-Thatcher Conservative Party. That led to the emergence of UKIP.
Since living outside the structures and niceties of a political party is not easy, they attracted people who were not particularly distinguished or successful—not even to pay courtesy visits—in other words, these were the founders of the movement. Distinction and success have come much later to audacious people who made the long and meritorious journey through the political desert, perhaps because they had no expectations of leadership in the party as it was then organized. Thus, they can criticize the establishment deservedly and in all legitimacy. They are people who have transformed political exile in their own parties into a formula of success based on risking and betting on ideas not discussed in official meetings.
The party is generally identified as a Eurosceptic movement, which led to its greatest success in the recent referendum that decided the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union. Due to the British parliamentary system, UKIP’s presence in British institutions is not significant.
Its affiliation to a general European trend of a more radical right has been much commented, but perhaps most of its populism may be due to the need to stand out in the political discourse in a manner sufficiently scandalous as to attract the voter's attention in an establishment that controls the system.
Its positions are clear regarding British nationalism - notice, not English. The so-called euroskepticism today is more a matter of animosity towards the bureaucracy and EU centralization. It does not mean the rejection of an international coalition of European nations as long as the EU’s typical supra-government idea is kept as far as possible.
UKIPers are classic liberals in economics, even libertarians, distrusting the power of Brussels almost as much as the State’s. They are strongly influenced by classical liberalism and Thatcherism. Socially they appeal to traditional customs and values.
In other words, they are the right wing of the British Conservative Party that, when it stopped being authentically rightist, left many orphans in political life and in society. The difference between Michael Gove and Nigel Farage is one of political life strategy, not of substance.
Paradoxically, the enemy of the European Union has been the cause of the launch of UKIP and other movements; the fundamental reason for their success has been their ability to capitalize the votes against the EU as liberating votes against an unnatural framework being imposed on European nations. They have also been able to take advantage of the excesses, not only of immigration, but of the Welfare State assuming burdens for which it was not originally designed. It is true that the universal character for its operativeness makes sense. It is also true that, in the minds of its founders and, naturally, of the voters and taxpayers “universal Welfare State” means national, but still, with restrictions or limits. The progressive desire to pick up more votes and support in foreign populations has already broken the system, not only economically but it is also breaking it politically.
These voters are fundamentally working-class Englishmen.
Geert Wilders is a Dutch politician who left the Liberal Party (today in power) in 2005 at a particularly tumultuous period since the murder of populist and anti-immigration politician Pim Fortuyn was quite recent and also for the murder of filmmaker Theo Van Gogh, shot and stabbed in the street. Spurred by the decisive intervention of Somali immigrant Ayaan Hirsi Ali—a model of integration having learned Dutch and local customs in record time and writer of the script for the film Submission for which Van Gogh was murdered—, the anti-Islamic reaction of Dutch society needed a political current to channel protest. Wilders became its leader.
Since then, the Party for Freedom (PVV), in which Wilders is practically everything, has not stopped growing in voter intention. For next year’s parliamentary elections, the party is expected to be the most voted gaining more than 30 seats. There are 150 seats in the Dutch Lower House so any access to power requires the acceptance of other parties, which see the PVV as a pariah.
Yet it is not so much so for the liberals, the PVV’s party of origin, who has several members increasingly restless due to Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s centrist tendencies and compliance with the establishment.
Wilders' positions are generally opportunistic and unabashedly populist. His opposition to Islam is remarkable and unequivocal. His rejection of the European Union (in a country that voted No to the European Constitution in 2005, just as France did) is absolute. He does not have extreme positions in economic issues although he could be described as moderately liberal, with the idea of ??keeping the Welfare State for the taxpayers, but excluding its universal character. He is as most of the Dutch right is, pro-Anglo-Saxon and pro-Jewish. But, in contrast, Wilders is also pro-Israeli. It has to be taken into account that he is far from being an intellectual and that opportunism and political instinct define his positions.
The Wilders program is simple and cheap and he explains it to anyone that wants to hear it: TheNetherlands must be de-Islamized. It is over with asylum seekers and immigrants from Islamic countries. The borders are closed. Islamic veils will not be tolerated in the public function, nor will Islam expressions that violate public order be allowed in public spaces. Islamic radicals will be preemptively detained and those sentenced with dual nationality will lose citizenship and be deported. Those traveling to Syria will not be able to return. All mosques and Islamic schools must close; the Koran is forbidden.
The Netherlands will once again be sovereign, thus it must leave the EU. Direct democracy will be restored by returning power to the binding referendum. Power to the citizen.
The cost of healthcare and housing rentals will be reduced; the retirement age will be 65 years old and pension updating will be indexed. No more public money will go to development aid, wind turbines (electric), art, innovation. Property taxes (for housing) and for elderly care will be cut. Much more resources will be devoted to defense and police. The income tax and the tax for motor vehicles will be reduced.
The dean of the alt-right in Europe undoubtedly is Le Pen’s National Front. Its origins are both understandable and complex and are linked almost equitably to (1) Abandonment - specifically by de Gaulle - of the pied-noir right that had to escape from Algeria after decolonization; and (2) Mitterrand’s need to divide the right.
The French Fifth Republic, the current one, emerges, sorry for the platitude, after the collapse of the Fourth Republic, as a consequence of the violent revolt of the FLN (Algerian National Liberation Front) against the French occupation.
De Gaulle’s rise to power, fostered by the generals of Algeria against the establishment of that time, is almost a coup d'etat in which the entire world imagined that de Gaulle would restore the power of the Republic in the metropolis and in Algeria. On June 5, 1958 (www.ina.fr/video/I00012428), the general declares to the French of Algeria that he understood them: "Je vous ai compris!" It was understood that their claim to the Republic to support them would be taken care. Four years later and after a dirty and bloody war, the general signed the Evian Accords by which he handed over Algeria to the FLN and condemned the French colony there to either repatriation or death. One can only imagine the “enthusiasm” of the deceived. It is the time of the OAS (Secret Armed Organization) in which the generals organize attacks in France and want to finish with de Gaulle. The famous film Jackal, based on Frederick Forsyth's book, depicts the moment despite its bias. Marine Le Pen’s father, a combatant in Indochina and Algeria, took advantage of these wounds to rally this orphaned right.
All this leads in time to the rise of the French socialist left and François Mitterrand's ambition – capable of a lot in order to perpetuate himself in power. After partnering with the communists, he decided to finish them while dividing the right. Thus, he favored Le Pen’s party electorally and with money contributions (and, very directly, facilitated media presence on public television), so the communists would lose votes in working-class neighborhoods and planted the seeds of doubt in the Gaullist Party, which was agglutinating all the French right since World War II under different names.
The circumstances changed and they only favor the National Front (FN). If in 1958 there were a million French in Algeria; in the 1990s, there were several million Algerians in France, and their conditions are no better than those they endured in their country. In other words, the quid pro quo of decolonization is no longer noticeable.
The essential figure to understand the movement is Jean-Marie Le Pen, father of Marine Le Pen, current leader of the party, who has tried to exclude him and with whom she has had a confrontation only understandable by Marine's attempts to take the party out of the exclusively-negative media covers. Paradoxically, it is dubious that Marine could be less radical than her father. Jean-Marie has had real jobs (as a fisherman, merchant marine, small merchant) while his daughter is rather a member of the elite in this sense because she has never had a regular job except in politics where his father placed her. Thus, for example, the increasingly-marked left turn in economics towards statism, and eventually the public function, is alien to the origins of the party that defends the small-medium business owners. Even the party economists favor these small sectors of a modest bourgeoisie or peasantry today, but they need a market economy to thrive.
The decisive feature of the party is patriotism. Many will say that it is chauvinistic nationalism, which is probably what it ultimately becomes, but its claim of the French flag (when in France the political claim is usually that of the Republic, more abstract and recent) and of Joan of Arc’s historical figure with those great celebrations in May organized by the FN, are patriotic, not nationalistic. Stealing patriotism from other parties was how they got more votes. In particular, the National Front took away the flag from the Gaullists, literally.
The other fundamental feature is itsrejection to immigration. There are many elements of racism and xenophobia mixed with a legitimate resistance to a change of culture in the country. From this point of view, the party has followed an intellectual trend created by Renaud Camus, a rather obscure teacher, but whose theory not only makes all the sense in the world, but it is the same one that has convinced Americans about Trump’s campaign.
Regardless of more or less debatable details, the thesis essentially says that when massive immigration processes are generated, there is a moment when the host society begins to modify its customs and actions in such a way that it becomes denaturalized and evolves into the society of its guests; evidently, in the case of Muslim immigration with political and religious customs precisely from which the immigrants escape and that are contrary to Western concepts. To prevent France from transforming into these societies is a civilizational goal for many — when there are many practical examples in all the disadvantaged districts of the big cities that the French know firsthand since they live in neighboring areas.
Renaud Camus calls this process the great replacement:
The Great Replacement is very simple. You have one people, and in the space of a generation, you have a different people or several other peoples in its place. It is the implementation of what seemed a Bertolt Brecht-style joke: Change of people. The Great Replacement is the change of people, which is only possible by the Great Deculturization; it is the most significant phenomenon in the history of France for many centuries, probably ever.
The success of political commentators critical of Islam and that defend a return to the traditional customs of Gaullism is remarkable today in France. The most prominent case is that of Jewish Eric Zemmour, whose book The French Suicide, generally discredited as "declinist" by the mainstream media, was nonetheless very successful not only in sales, but apparently, ideologically too.
The same arguments are held even in the strangest quarters of the French intelligentsia, depicted beyond absurdity by the real personality of famous writer Michel Houellebecq. His latest book, Submission is a description of the "French suicide" announced by the rightist political commentator.
But there is more; it is what the political advisor who engineered Sarkozy's success orienting him towards the right in order to rise to power in 2007 and whose recent breakup is now known: Pascal Buisson calls it The Cause of the People in his latest book. There are a whole range of topics, from social to economic issues to the most strictly political, not understood in the headquarters of the parties located in the most affluent neighborhoods of Paris.
The one capable to project more credibility in the presidential election in 2017for this cause (mistake made by both Sarkozy and his once prime minister Fillon), will be the winner.
The cause of the people and the de-Islamization of France are one and the same thing.
The economic program of the National Front
The economic program of the National Front is not a model of coherence, although its criticism of the current system is.
Marion Maréchal-Le Pen says;
"We have won the battle of ideas. Even François Hollande has taken up measures that we have advocated for years, such as the carrying of weapons by municipal police or the loss of citizenship. Now we have to pass the test of credibility in terms of management."
In general terms, the FN’s economic program is neither anti-capitalist nor inapplicable, the problem is that every time one of its official spokespersons is asked for more specificity ends up pronouncing some anti-liberal exaggeration, either out of ignorance, or because it really is so. Not all economists who advise the FN are rabid statists. Again, Marion explains it relatively well: "We will do concrete things, we will not make ideology. Reduction in representation and operating expenses, assistance to SMEs, national priority in public procurement..."
Florian Philippot, the FN’s vice-president is not ignorant in economic matters, but he is not exactly a classic liberal, although looking at his educations, he comes from the elite of the great schools of commerce. He has been in the Chevènement party and is a redistributive statist, so his closeness with leftist programs is considerable. It includes rises in social expenditure, budgets of the ministries in charge of representing and defending sovereignty, very progressive taxation with increases also for large companies, and, of course, protectionism and the euro exit. The danger still resides in the concrete application of these measures. There are ways of putting them into practice that are not disastrous. Yet it is undeniable that, at first glance, a greater explosion of deficits or debt with more taxes is not feasible in a country in which they already represent 57 percent of GDP and where the tax burden exceeds 45 percent.
If we refer specifically to the euro exit, which is very disturbing for the middle classes, one of the party's economic strategists says that, "Our model is the United Kingdom (words pronounced before Brexit, now assumed to be even more so,) we want to regain our power over the currency." It is obvious that the possibility of devaluing in a crisis or the less radical policy of deciding interest rates in order to regain competitiveness cannot be seen today as a political intervention in the non-cumulative economy, especially after seeing the constant intervention of the ECB for political ends.
The repayment of a debt in euros using a currency presumably already devalued raises very serious issues. About 65 percent of investors in French public debt are foreigners. Yet, once more, the practical effects and consequences of such drastic measures must be seen in the context of a global political operation. If the investors see the prospects of recuperating their investment, the investors will certainly not vanish.
Latent is the danger that the taxation applicable to large companies or high incomes could become confiscatory. However, the measures most commonly promoted by FN members seek to improve the conditions of small business owners and artisans as well as the re-industrialization of France.
This means that, again, everything depends on the degree of the tax increases and the improvement in collection that incorporating more workers to the labor market could imply. It is one thing to moderately increase taxes on capital to match it with taxes on labor performance, but something totally different is to invent confiscatory brackets. Out of what already exists, the FN would also create a global estate tax. Certainly this idea does not seem particularly brilliant, but it cannot be just ruled out before taking shape: A symbolic tax on estates is not the same as confiscation.
In any case, one must be very careful with a program such as this, planned in a country that already has very high taxation.
Retirement around 60 years of age, which had been one of the party’s banners for a long time, is now being reconsidered although they might have to still keep it in place for the most burdensome jobs. In other words, it is not applicable to all. Bernard Monot (an economist of the FN) speaks about the need to pay payroll taxes during 40 years in order to sustain this type of retirement. In France the legal retirement age was raised to 62 by Sarkozy (as of 2017) and François Hollande has extended the requirement of 41.5 to 43 years of payroll taxes to obtain a full pension. But the truth is that France is one of the countries of the developed world where they live longest in retirement.
In other words, it is noticeably a program sufficiently open to tolerate acceptable solutions. There is nothing illogical or excessively radical in a political party saying that they want to improve the lower pensions or to favor the compatibility of the personal savings with having a pension.
The FN also says it wants to lower payroll taxes, which is a positive measure favoring employment, but at the same time seeks to increase the budgets of the police and Justice, keep child benefits though modified not to benefit immigrants (reserved to families with a French parent.)
Income-enhancing measures are sometimes chimerical, such as those relating to the increase in customs tariffs with China, which is only practicable outside the EU, much more so in the case of countries in Eastern Europe; and do not take into account possible countermeasures on exports.
The traditional right in France; The political landscape
One of the effects of the growing FN threat on the French presidency is to make the typical Gaullist right react. Until now, the Republicans (the new name adopted by Sarkozy playing the part of reformist president of the party) were not used to hold primaries. In fact, seen the little success for their socialist rivals, they must have thought that France was not a country for this type of elections.
However, inertia pushed the Republicans to this democratic system with the tranquility that a two-round system with many valuable candidates, would guarantee a winner solid enough to encompass the entire party. The truth is that, until the week prior to the vote, it was practically certain that centrist Juppé would end up winning since people were tired of Sarkozy’s personality. However, the people voted in unexpected numbers elevating François Fillon as the sound and credible candidate of the right in a sort of proof of credibility for liberal-conservatism not seen for a long time in France.
Since Hollande became president, we have gone from regarding him as the left’s last hope in Europe to the reincarnation of Bush ("We are at war") in international politics, security and defense; and executor of a very moderate socialism in other aspects, except for strictly social issues like abortion, homosexual marriage, adoption of children by those couples...
It is paradoxical that the conservative Catholic movement that emerged to confront this marriage as a triple attack to the dictionary, civil law, and religion, called La Manif Pour Tousvi ended up becoming during the last week of the primary the one who gave the conservative seal to the candidate who seemed most reliable. It was Fillon.
France has a real desire to be a sovereign country;
it does not like being second fiddle in economic terms;
and it cannot stand to be subject of the jihadist siege
The situation in present-day France is ripe to give substantial support to the Front National, perhaps even a majority. The Socialist Party has fallen in disrepute because of its inability, maybe congenital, to meet the two major concerns of contemporary European societies, prosperity and security, with France as a paradigm due to its circumstances.
In the face of internal and external enemies, security requires drastic measures and authority. The Socialist Party has spent more than thirty years discrediting the former and eradicating the latter. The laudable fact is that both Hollande and, above all, Manuel Valls—a candidate now and not a bad one—have speedily tried to stop the madness and France has succeeded in preventing more attacks than imagined as well as economic bankruptcy; however, no one believes in its long-term resistance or in its ability to adopt the reforms that are essential to do more than just surviving.
The Gaullist Party finds itself in quite a different situation. One section of the party, seen as a minor part, is pure establishment, perhaps even more than socialist. It is the trend that goes from Giscard, who was a centrist, to Chirac and ends up in Villepin and Juppé. It is better not to mention that loser, Bayrou. It seemed that Sarkozy’s push for the presidency had already eliminated him, but Bayrou appeared about to resurface in these primaries. This group embodies the small-bourgeois representation of France, even the historical replica of the revolution’s Louis XVI, whose attitude is almost an incentive for the revolt due to their silence and lack of courage. Literarily, they are the husband of Madame Bovary.
The second leg of Gaullism is represented by Sarkozy in the first six months of his term and now Fillon. The problem that Fillon has is credibility. If the French believe that Fillon can make the necessary reforms without excesses but firmly and decisively, the French will vote for him. As soon as they fear that he will become a new Sarkozy who starts but abandons half-way, anything is possible. If Le Pen turns the campaign into a referendum on the EU, all the Gaullists alarms will go off.
It is important to realize that France has a real desire to be a sovereign country; it does not like being second fiddle in economic terms; it cannot stand to be subject of the jihadist siege; and believes that, with the help of the domestic enemy, (progressivism plus Islam) may well disappear or cease to be France. Moreover, as Ortega said, it is a country that turns everything into social gray matter— in contrast with Spain’s attitude, which is to do the opposite according to Ortega. In other words, out of all the peoples of Europe, France is the one who best understands the situation andwill lead the restfrom that vantage point. As always in history, the English revolutionary impulse of Brexit has perhaps preceded it, but the one who will shape and give color to the revolt, if any, will be France.
It is worth mentioning a theory about the evolution of France that complements that of the most well-known authors aforementioned. Vincent Coussedière, who has written two books with these meaningful titles Praise of populism and The return of the people, Year I, argues that populism is "the party of conservatives without a party."
So the paradox of this French-style conservatism to the French, hardly a friend of classic liberalism in general, is precisely that it does not oppose freedom, as long as it is understood in the following way: The people want to recover (i) the freedom of their customs, on the one hand threatened by a multicultural globalism that confuses freedom and license; and on the other hand threatened by the dogmatism of Islamist customs.
Apart from that, the people also want to recover (ii) the freedom of their State in relation to the outside world. What we have come to know as popular sovereignty was inscribed in golden letters in our constitutions. Finally, it also seeks to recover (iii) the freedom and responsibility of real work, which is not systematically devalued by overregulation and taxation, or simulated through so-called "training" mechanisms. In short: freedom to reappraise tradition, freedom of the State, and freedom to work. Here is where François Fillon's biggest problem arises in the face of Marine Le Pen: It is very difficult to find the framework for the exercise of these three freedoms in the present European Union, which he does not want to leave. The current speedily pushing towards populism in France would thus be a legitimate desire for the re-establishment of a people (nation) and their State. The candidate who knows how to become the best vehicle to achieve it will win.
Austria is relatively small and sparsely populated country. It has the greatness of its imperial past and the little relevance earned for having been the hinge with the West during the communist era; in contemporary times, it is a nation losing standing, with a Germany-complex, with considerable economic comforts, and the status of defensive neutrality.
It is precisely its economic success based on geographical reasons and the similarity with the ordered Germanized behavior of its people that have attracted a panoply of immigrants. The rejection to these people gave rise to the expansion of the parties that contested the status quo — substantially, the FPÖ.
The Austrian system could not be more establishment. The two main parties have been systematically placing their own supporters, openly done in their respective ministries and areas of influence, respecting a political balance that has nothing to envy to physics. While food has continued to reach the table and the dangers of the outside world have seemed as far removed from the Austrians as the Tyrolean meadows to us, there have been no complaints. Since tranquility has been questioned due to immigration and the economy has become a double-edged sword making the country a net contributor to the EU, with delayed growth, but attracting immigration, compliance with the status quo is over now.
Hofer is different from Haider, the previous and controversial leader of the party. He is a person with a more moderate and bourgeois character, but represents the same ideas. It is evident that Austria still carries all the burden of its past; the country was a consenting victim of the Anschlüss and Hitler’s place of birth. Many FPÖ members, at least during Haider's time, had Nazi sympathies. However, what guides the party today and its policies both in the regions where it has come to power and at the federal level point to a traditionalist party that ended up with a well-known,but unfair balance. What justified this balance was the fairly admissible functioning of the institutions and the economy. Once that was gone in the eyes of many of the FPÖ voters, nothing excuses the current status quo.
Lastly, it is obvious—and this is one of the never-resolved problems of international organizations and their absurd egalitarianism among countries—that Austria does not have the same leverage in Europe, as Germany, or France compared to Luxembourg. To speak of a body of clear and convincing ideas in the FPÖ for a regenerating impulse in Europe is a contradiction in terms. That is why it is not so relevant if Hofer is not the president, although he could be if he wins the 2018 legislative elections.
The importance of the referendum promised by Hofer should be seen in the wake of the British referendum. The domino effect cannot be ruled out. However, it is difficult for Austria, with its position and actual power, to have real desires for independence at present. It is most likely that it may be trying to renegotiate its position within the EU. There are two conditions: the response to Brexit and the entry ban to Turkey.
Hofer believes that Brussels has accumulated too much power and that more centralization is tantamount to increasing problems, not solving them. If the EU is governed as a State, that would lead to fundamental changes that should not be made without first consulting the people in a referendum.
The AfD is a German eurosceptic political party, just created in 2013 and it is already causing problems to the conservative-Christian Democrats in some regions.
Its catalyst is the saving the euro policy presented by Merkel as (a) inevitable and (b) a historical duty of Germany. It has many academics in its ranks that are experts in economics and law. Due to its Germanic customs, the rule of law and the enforcement of rules have another meaning than in Spain.
It is a party as many others of this "populist International" (in the overly disqualifying expression of writer and columnist of the Washington Post, Anne Aplebaum) against the euro, but not against Europe. Its guiding idea is the dissolution of the euro zone into smaller, homogeneous monetary units so that it is not necessary to sustain less competitive economies, which could hold on to their own currencies, to reduce the generalized risks of the debt crisis and avoid what they consider to have been counterproductive rescue plans (Greece, Portugal, ...)
The AfD denies being a populist party and it is probably right, because it has exhibited a rather intellectual rhetoric so far. Its conversion to populism dates back to another decision by Merkel: To significantly increase the number of immigrants in Germany coming from the Syrian war and other disasters of the Middle East. The almost immediate consequence of the increase in criminality, with very serious crimes from rapes to Islamist assassinations, has turned the AfD into a real alternative reined only by Germany’s economic outlook and the good sense of the Bavarian side of the party, which tends to be more conservative than the chancellor.
Viktor Orban does not hound the EU; the EU hounds him. It is thus understandable that, from time to time he scolds the EU. Here is a rightist ruler, legitimately elected by his people that happen to be one of the poor cousins of Eastern Europe. His every political move has been repudiated or condescendingly watched by the EU establishment. (How many times has the establishment protested for Zapatero's excesses with the rule of law in Spain?) He has been called just about everything, from racist to xenophobic to extremist. At the same time, they have tried to impose him certain immigration policies and to facilitate the transit of migratory currents when neither the infrastructures nor the economic conditions of Hungary are buoyant due to its recent communist past. No wonder he exclaimed of Trump: "I myself could not have drawn up better what Europe needs."
The result has been the sustained support of his people and his transformation into one of those leaders with charisma and known for clarity of ideas in that area of ??the continent. It is what Rumsfeld called New Europe back in the days of Chirac, but the establishment does not want to know anything about this new Europe. That is the reason behind its increase in popularity.
His warhorse issues are known and refer to the reconstruction of the European civilization, starting with its Christian roots, defense of its borders against unnecessary imperialist centralizations and rejection of a culturally-denaturalizing immigration to European nations while it economically impoverishes them. His place in a future Europe of Nations is relevant because of his geographical position and healthy Russophobia that balances the excessive enthusiasm for Putin that many members of the new right seem to feel.
In Poland it is simple: From its arrival to the club, the EU can choose between rightist liberals and rightist conservatives. The vaccine against Sovietism keeps the leftist viruses out of reach. Thus, the Western media and the chancelleries make fun with condescending sarcasm of one or the other Polish leader in power. As they had lately almost succeeded in taming rightist liberals (Polish Donald Tusk is the president of the European Council) they are now considering the conservative right as the devil incarnate.
The reality is that there is not much new under the warm Polish sun, just a country that wants to get out of the doldrums of underdevelopment where communism sentenced it, but ends up finding nothing more than hollow lessons in morals from its Western counterparts. Poland will have leverage accordingly in the new Europe of nations; it may not be stellar, but the country demands some respect, a way out for its workers and business people, and to be heard when the EU favors Russia.
II. Where Are We? Where Should We Be? With Whom?
Where should a Spanish conservative, cheated by the political class and orphaned by the challenges facing Europe and to whom these groups offer different solutions? For our part, it is clear that we do not entirely agree with any of these parties.
Three are the key elements of our disagreement: The first is the excessive confidence they have in economic measures of difficult practical application, not always of reliable effectiveness and unquestionable initial cost; the second is a foreign policy that forgets the benefits of the extension of the Western democracy model; and the third is the racist, xenophobic, and anti-Semitic side of some of its followers.
And these are the elements bringing the Spanish conservative closer to these movements. The first is that the enemy of our enemy is tactically our friend. Therefore, if someone confronts the calamity that the establishment is proving to be, especially the EU’s, we must stand together. The second element is even more relevant. This movement is beginning to reach possibilities of remarkable success in breaking down the absurd European construction in the long run, but it has already done enough damage. In other words, it is worth paying attention to this potentially victorious movement and influencing it. The trend is becoming increasingly clearer.
If you want to make a gradation of the parties, the one with which a Spanish liberal-conservative would probably had more affinity is the UKIP. There are two reasons: Its rather classic liberal economy, its rather robust international position even against Putin, the fact that it integrates many Thatcherites and Tories and because, according to Vincent Coussedière's expression, it is really ""the party of conservatives without a party."
The second party would probably be the party of Wilders; very similar in everything to previously described features of the UKIP, pro-Israeli and also more pro-market.
In the third place, the parties in Eastern Europe would be close; it is where the most reasonable of the spectrum is sometimes found: Their mistrust for communism frighten away hostile intentions against the market; the mistrust felt for Russia prevents them from being overly affiliated with Putin and the distrust for centralization prevents them from falling into excessive statism. However, on the other hand, these are the movements that seem to be closer to racist or xenophobic attitudes.
The fourth place is linked to the result of the Italian referendum—which is to say, unexpected—and it is the Italian right. It includes both the Northern League and Berlusconi’s party, which is part of the former National Alliance. What separates us from them is their lack of seriousness and the apparent difference in their respective problems in addition to the quasi-separatist character of the Northern League, although it has nothing to compare with our own Spanish separatists. What is relevant for Italy is the surrender of power to the EU, the calculation of the damage done by the euro, or the lack of internal devaluations, a traditional Italian mechanism to solve economic problems.
Three are the key elements to emphasize:
The first is the excessive confidence they have in
economic measures of difficult practical application,
not always of reliable effectiveness
and unquestionable initial cost;
the second is a foreign policy that forgets the benefits
of the extension of the Western democracy model;
and the third is the racist, xenophobic, and
anti-Semitic side of some of its followers.
Fifth is Marine Le Pen. The case is curious. We agree that it poses the seemingly harsher threat to the system and in particular to the EU. For historical reasons France tends to give the coup de grâce to the historical enemy that starts crushing England, but it is not certain that we want this collapse. We should say that, as in all cases, the excessive caricaturization of this movement makes it more radical than it actually is. However, some of its economic positions, in particular, public social spending and some of its unofficial positions —xenophobia, racism, anti-Semitism, which are found in many of its followers— are what distances us the most.
One more issue, though minor but relevant, keeps us apart: The language is deliberately vulgar and sometimes rude. Both Jean-Marie Le Pen and her daughter Marine defend the values ??of small traders, farmers, or fishermen. The difference is that the former leader was really a fisherman and held a job; the latter has never held a regular job and speaks much worse.
In sum, the only one with which a Spanish conservative can feel identified without much effort, except in issues such as foreign policy and even there with some nuances, is Donald Trump. There lies the importance of being able to influence other Europeans before they do away with the establishment.
Apart from this being the group that is tearing down the gates of established power, two of the essential elements in which we coincide are the rejection of Islam and to the bureaucratic disaster, which is already a danger to nations, including the EU. There is also an additional favorable element: Its refusal to be straight jacketed by political correctness. It is the only way to face Europe’s problems and to try to solve them. It cannot be achieved by remaining tied down to what dominant political correctness in chancelleries, media and the EU allow.
There is more than its share of anti-liberal excesses in these parties, but it seems to be more for show among voters than for the practical application of their program, because it is very clear that there are no economists in there with pro-Chávez or pro-Castro ideas, which is actually the case with Podemos in Spain or in Latin America and its populist movements. Since many of these parties hope to rise to power soon and need to get practical results, it is very unlikely that they would implement counterproductive measures for their voters, even if they have said it. We should expect much more restraint if they come to power before they implement measures that would not be beneficial.
There is more than its share of anti-liberal excesses in these parties,
but it seems to be more for show among voters
than for the practical application of the program,
because it is very clear that there are no economists in there
with pro-Chávez or pro-Castro ideas,
which is actually the case with Podemos in Spain.
In sum, this summary requires that the Spanish conservative take a position in two ways. Either choosing the right that is going to do away, or can do away, with the establishment; or choosing the right that we believe has understood, or can understand, the message and will adapt to the new situation adopting a position more levelheaded and closely linked to these people. That was Patrick Buisson’s rationale for supporting Sarkozy in 2007. There are two questions, is the traditional right in time to change and would we believe it if it did?
In other words, we still have the option of betting on a center-right, which only the current situation would have forced to change a little (a point in favor of the alt-right) and return to focus on the needs of their voters. The French case is paradigmatic, not only because of what Sarkozy did that finally disappointed those who trusted him in the second part of his term, but because Fillon is now presenting himself as the great hope of an authentic, conservative, and liberal right. However, Fillon was Sarkozy’s prime minister and will not have it easy to convince the voters; in a possible second round, he might have to depend on votes of the left in order to beat Marine Le Pen.
In fact, there is no doubt that this new right currently has real options of doing away with the establishment in Europe, or, at the very least, force sound change in the right movements of all countries. If this is true, they do not have much time left and, in view of their attitude until now, it does not seem that much can be expected of them.
III. The Consequences in the Aftermath of Trump’s Victory
It has been over a month (lo actualizamos?)since the tycoon’s victory, who has already chosen three quarters of his cabinet doing it in record time and giving infinite clues to anyone who wants to see what his term is going to be, but he remains misunderstood.
It is amazing to see the confusion among observers, who constitute half of the world on the one hand and all the press of the planet, on the other, in view of the relevance the United States has. It is true that, for strategic reasons, this personality has deliberately decided to enshroud himself with an aura of unpredictability in foreign policy matters, but he has not done it in other areas.
Perhaps among the few people who are not confused about Trump's attitude, and not just about foreign policy, is Dr. Kissinger, one of the gray eminences of strategy for more than half a century. He believes that, in his own long existence, Trump is an unusual event because it is the first president who owes nothing to anyone. That is to say, the president with the freest hands among all the ones Kissinger has known. This is a remarkable statement.
However, a series of unequivocal conclusions arise before his inauguration.
1. The first is that there is a Trump tide across the West.
The significant fact that the people can decide their fate again, despite the pressure from the media and the elites, has generated, for example, that the French presidential primary upset the poll forecasts leading Fillon, the most credible rightist candidate, to sweep his rivals. It was so to such an extent that the left seems unable to distinguish between what a Le Pen presidency or a Fillon presidency would mean. Probably, it has also influenced the Italian referendum.
That is, the elite and the dominant, subsidized media feel very insecure and are beginning to be afraid. As Americans say, what's not to like?
2. The second is that the left is disappearing throughout Europe.
From universities to theaters, to the media, large corporations, diverse official singers and artists, chancelleries, governments (of almost any political color,) the left’s position of power in all relevant public places is masking an incalculable to absolute loss of legitimacy. It is enough to browse through the polls for the French presidency or the ones of a possible election in Spain. That is to say, the people have finally turned their backs to fictitious socialism. (Fictitious socialism is the other side of real socialism. If this one, which otherwise receives the name of communism, can be summarized in up to one hundred million dead, its successor can be summarized in up to one hundred percent of debt). In the end, the left is dead and does not know it yet since it still holds to a dominant position. The fact that it is finished can be seen as soon as people are allowed to express themselves: The left has fallen in total and irreparable disrepute in the practical application of grandiloquent and apparently well-meaning principles. However, the left is still ubiquitous in the public domain.
3. The third consequence is that there is a current of credibility that the people perceive in those who send an optimistic message about the traditional solutions for all Western nations.
In terms of cheesy reds, vintage is very fashionable. When Fillon has alluded to traditional solutions in his primary campaign, he obtained the support of those who want France to return to be ruler of her own decisions and recover the position given by "General de Gaulle." To anyone told that, after countless 7-year presidential terms of Mitterand, the Fifth Republic is ready for a return to Gaullism would not believe it, but it seems that is what the people mostly want.
In the United States, the religious vote (Protestant and Catholic) has mostly gone for Trump, mainly because of the difference with the Obama legacy represented by pro-abortionist Clinton and the Democrats’ paternalistic disdain for the people, who "cling to their religion"( according to Obama, the ineffable.)
In France, so far ignored by the media, the movement "La manif pour tous" (“Protest for all”: a propagandistic counterattack against the campaign pro-homosexual marriage named as Le marriage pour tous) is against homosexual marriage and abortion and has become the one who attributes rightist legitimacy to candidates; even Juppé has courted them before making the mistake of abandoning them in a desperate attempt to revive his campaign. In other words, after countless decades hearing that customs (what in America is also called “the culture”) no longer mattered to the people, that pragmatism and social liberties were very established in the West, it turns out that they are the determining factor to end up winning or losing an election. Again, it is normal people regaining power from the hands of the media and the great powers.
4. The fourth consequence is that, after all, it is important to make tangible things.
Yes, contemporary economies certainly have a huge amount of services, but the near-disappearance of the manufacturing industry (from 45 percent in Spain's GDP in 1975 to less than 20 percent today) is an excess paid dearly in terms of employment, of social participation of people who do not necessarily need to become PhDs in order to work and in a very curious feature called perception of personal usefulness for the collective, something that must have escaped leftist sociologists. It is proverbial that when Western politicians of the last 30 years have asked economists about the importance of unemployment, they have answered, and the first ones believed it, that it was not a problem, that unemployment can be subsidized with average wealth. The truth is that both have failed: The average wealth and the conviction that it is the same to earn a few euros working than not working. Apparently there is something that bothers the normal human being in the latter case. People are not numbers and they are very strange.
5. The fifth consequence, that our friends on the left have not yet fully understood, is that the left’s propaganda capability (they will say that it is to exert influence, to participate in the public discourse, to enlighten the masses, etc.) has declined a lot.
For some reason that must have escaped them, leftists have stopped being there where Ortega said that he liked to be: In the newspaper room, the debate, chatting in the coffee break. The left that had now colonized, without economic qualms or moral scruples, all communication mechanisms of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries has missed the train of: (a) new technologies; and (b) the society in which the individual may disregard the official media by turning to those who appeal to him more convincingly or related. It's as when Pauline Kael, columnist for the very progressive The New Yorker, did not understand why Nixon had won if she did not know anyone who had voted him. There is no commonsensical private conversation, as our president likes it, where the global rejection to how the West’s contemporary politicians are doing things is not present. No matter how hard El País tries, nobody knows who Juncker is, and if they did, they would despise him.
6. The sixth consequence, is economic: Who wants to defend a liberalism that has turned it into a mechanism for the distribution of favors.
People are mistakenly focusing on the issue of free trade. In a few years we will see how free trade is doing very well and what it does not need are thousands of bureaucrats locked in their ivory towers to monitor, regulate, obstruct, disturb, and end up killing the goose that lays the golden eggs. The key economic issue is the one that will affect the aid to friends placed under the excuse of systemic protection. People are starting to wonder why the West is trending so much against the traditional capitalist economy based on the gross generation of fixed capital, i.e. savings returns.
In other words, the subterfuge of pretending to do something for the economy when it is drugged with zero interest rates via domesticated central banks that answer to political powers in exchange for not implementing reforms in taxation, labor markets, pensions, and unemployment, is going to be over very soon. Something will need to be done to make an economy work instead of this indecent day-to-day manipulation of money.
7. The seventh consequence is the return of merit over positive discrimination or affirmative action, especially in matters of education and public service.
Much of the Welfare State’s appeal for the left is the possibility of placing useless people in education and healthcare services so that the taxpayer-citizen is forced to tolerate large masses of fixed employees in areas considered hypersensitive. While research and technology have improved, but for other reasons, this leftist model has not improved healthcare processes or physicians’ salaries; it has actually ruined at least a couple of generations of Western people’s brains since they ignore everything about their own essence and existence and do not know how to express their own ignorance and confusion either. The destruction of this parasitic model is nearing its end because it is an untouchable system destined not to cure or educate, but to serve the interests of unions and apparatchiks, massively employing people grateful to the left while it hijacks the population.
In short, the left, so stupefied with so many conveniences and swallowing its own lies, has been so shocked with this Trump surprise that they cannot even argue against him; they used to be able to argue with decorum, even if serving perverse purposes. The left is starting to understand, badly, that it is dying,; for now it only suspects its demise. That is why we see the leftists’ generalized anger. Soon they will realize. When that happens, beware.
As for the right, or whatever goes by that name, especially in Spain, it has become so incredibly foolish that it does not even see that it has won and keeps on embracing leftist dogmas without believing in them because the right thinks that this way they look better at parties and soirees. They should remember their favorite quote from Chesterton: "A man who won’t believe in God will believe in anything."
A lot of the right seems intent on getting caught off-balance and missing the train of history in regards to this movement; it is not a train running alone, or just a matter of determinism, but, as Popper would say, of the free action of the people.
i The conductive guide of reaction is “fear.” It is not known whether the "guardians of liberal democracy" are suddenly "afraid" of democracy, or of the liberation of despotism that many voters demand, or of having to become managers of other people's interests and not their own. They allege that it is the fear of some people, those alternative candidates, who have not yet done anything reprehensible in terms of public policy. Maybe if they turned the argument around, they would discover that it is the average voter who is "afraid" of the ones in charge today.
ii In 2014, the employment rate in the EU-28 for people aged 15-64, as measured by the EU labor force (EU-EPA) survey, was 64.9%. Among EU member states, employment rates in 2014 reached 71% to 74% in Austria, the United Kingdom, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Germany, reaching a maximum of 74.9% in Sweden . At the other end of the spectrum, employment rates were below 60% in four EU-28 member states; the lowest percentage was recorded in Greece (49.4%)
iii Trump and the Populist International. Anne Applebaum:
iv In 2005, Sarkozy, who as the interior minister was already thinking of becoming president, said that the banlieues had to be cleaned with an industrial cleaner ("au Kärcher"). Not doing so, neither as interior minister, nor as President discredited him. Nonetheless, he was among the first ones to throw away the corset of political correctness; however, his unfulfilled promises cost him dearly. The new right promises firmly and clearly. And it is believed because it endures the criticism without bowing down, without withdrawing or watering down its proposals. http://www.ina.fr/video/I09086606
v Pied-noir (literally in French, black feet) are citizens of European origin residing in Algeria who were forced to leave that country after independence in 1962.
vii Again, except in the strictly social sphere, Valls is to the right of Mariano Rajoy. He is anti-nationalist and born in Barcelona; he is a reformist though a socialist and combative against Islamism, though he is a Barça fan.