Liberal democracy in the identity grip

The French presidential elections of 2021 will be, according to all the polls, a repetition of the elections of five years ago: another duel between Emmanuel Macron Y Marine Le Pen in the second round.

However, today nothing is the same. The social democracy embodied by the Socialist Party has been swallowed up by the anti-system left, the Insubordinate France of Jean Luc Mélenchon. The dying party that he left Francois Hollande He has resigned himself to irrelevance and dreams of an unlikely candidacy for the mayoress of Paris, the woman from Cádiz Anne Hidalgo.

In the rest of the left, Mélenchon’s ego has so far prevented a common candidacy with the fossilized French Communist Party and the Greens. They aspire to the success of their German counterparts, although up to now they have proven their ineffectiveness at the municipal level by engaging in controversies such as suppressing public Christmas trees and meat in school canteens, or subsidizing a pro mosque with millions of euros. Erdogan in Alsace.

As for the conservative party Les Républicains, created by Nicolas sarkozy, has been emptied and absorbed to insignificance by the ruling party.

In this scorched land, facing Macron, only Marine Le Pen remains, who never had so many chances to come to power, even leading the first round, according to a poll published this Wednesday by Le Figaro. Aware that he has nothing to fear from the left, Macron has right-handed his speech on issues expensive to conservatives, as the security and, more significantly of the current ideological tectonic movement, has wielded the banner of secularism, abandoned and trampled on by a left sinking into the impasse identity.

With each passing day, the head of state moves further away from the Canadian’s progressivism Justin trudeau. Graduated in Philosophy, and either out of necessity or conviction, Macron has taken by the antlers the bull of identity politics that shape political, academic and media militancy. Macron has brought the cultural battle to the universities, co-opted by the decolonization and the call Islamo-leftism, the local form of the critical racial theory at the same time that it has put an end to that attack on the economy of the language called inclusive language. What seemed like gibberish intended only for the outdated avant-garde of American college campuses colonizes everyday Western life today, from the language inflation to the new label. negro of Correos in Spain.

Le Pen has the loyalty of his electoral base and the porosity of the traditional right, since the image washing strategy has worked

The beheading of the professor of History and Civic Education Samuel Paty at the hands of an Islamist in October, he forced Macron to take charge of a dilemma that he would have preferred to avoid, while at the same time exposing that progressivism that is no longer Charlie Hebdo and what do you prefer today close your eyes to the religious obscurantism that thrives on the outskirts of the great cities of France and part of Europe, waiting for an imaginary rainbow intersectionality of the left that allows it to at least hunt votes in an electorate dominated by self-hatred and hatred of Western values.

As for Marine Le Pen, she can count on the loyalty of her electoral base and the porosity of the traditional right, as the face-wash strategy has worked.

But Le Pen, above all, has found an unexpected ally on that left that is no longer convinced by the republican front, that old agreement of the French political arc that goes from the extreme left to the conservatives and that implies that a candidate is voted in the second round for that candidate capable of defeating the National Front (today renamed the National Group) whatever the political sign of his adversary. . The sanitary cordon republican that caused the plebiscite victory of Jacques Chirac against Le Pen father in 2002 and Emmanuel Macron’s victory against Le Pen daughter crumbles fifteen years later, warns an explosive report by the Jean-Jaurès Foundation published in April.

However, fear of a civil war grips the nationalist right, with members of the army (retired generals or active soldiers) who publicly denounce, breaking their obligation of silence, the disintegration of the country in the face of community demands and radical Islam. Correct prognosis or paranoid fantasy? In any case, 58% of the French population supports the uniformed in their diagnosis, according to pollster Harris Interactive.

What form would this supposed civil war take? The extreme right has adopted the theory of the Great Replacement, coined by the writer Renaud Camus (and claimed by the terrorist supremacist in the attack on the New Zealand mosque in Christchurch). Theory that proposes a programmed replacement of the indigenous population by a demographic invasion of the East and Africa. The “they will not replace us” chanted by American neo-Nazis with torches crossed the Atlantic long ago. In the United States, QAnon’s conspiracy sees a plan by the tycoon George Soros to liquefy the European identity, reformulation of the old anti-Semitism that was previously dedicated to the baron Rothschild as a puppeteer of cosmopolitanism in the shadows.

France, the cradle of both the Enlightenment and the French Theory on which the Woke movement is based, is a laboratory of the West

But the reality of demographic change does not reside solely in the imagination of the extreme right. It is also what reveals the illiberal Ana Iris Simon, former hipster magazine editor Vice, and that is enlivened by the ghettoization in the peripheral neighborhoods; by the religious claims of Islam at work, school or universities; by the images of waves of immigrants that hit the fences of Ceuta; and, more recently, for the Moroccan blackmail of open the tap of the world’s misery to flood the old Europe.

The left has stopped speaking to the white working class who know their future will be worse than their parents. He has long preferred to focus on his new political clientele. Ethnic-Sexual Minorities, Public Education Officials, and the Winners of Globalization: urban youth working in the burgeoning tech industry.

The dubious accounting argument that young immigrants will pay the pensions of whites (depriving Africa of their youth and talents) in an aging Europe without having enough children not only does not convince Ana Iris Simón. Some societies like Japan have preferred to pay the price of self-sufficiency.

Thus, in France, as elsewhere, the left / right axis is being replaced by a confrontation between liberal democracy and illiberal populisms. The extreme right and the extreme left identity, obsessed with sex and race, are increasingly alike of what they wanted and make a common front against globalized neoliberalism.

Thus, France, the cradle of both the Enlightenment and the French Theory on which the movement is based woke, is transformed into a laboratory of the West. Next year’s presidential elections will not be a mere repeat of 2017. They will be the European theater of a confrontation between the universalist tradition and the essentialism of the extremes. Extremes that judge the citizen in a positive or negative way not for what he does with his freedom, but for what he is from birth. That is, because of their skin color and their sexuality.

*** Alejo Schapire is a journalist. His latest book is ‘The progressive betrayal’.

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