The backlash has started. It has been slow to emerge, and is lagging that of the US, yet it has begun in earnest. It is, as Wolfgang Münchau, a former FT journalist and editor of EuroIntelligence, has observed: “a seminal shift (for Europe), with important consequences”.
It is likely to reshape politics along a new fault-line: No longer the banal issues of ‘uni-party’ (pro-Establishment) politics: marginal tax rates; easy monetary ‘fixes’ and the consequent debt that would accumulate. But rather, it would find expression in the confrontation between those wishing for a Green upending of human society; a ‘Trans’ world for children; easy immigration; the radical re-ordering of power between ‘Identity’ groups in society – and those viscerally opposed to all of the above.
In Germany, this evolution is at ‘break-out’: Chancellor Scholtz’s coalition is in deep trouble. There is an anti-Green backlash. Support for the Green Party has crashed to 13% in the latest poll. In contrast, the party of the alt-Right AfD is attracting approximately one in five Germans who are ready to vote for it.
The “CDU and other parties of the European Centre-Right previously had courted the Greens as potential future coalition partners. Now they view them as their main political opponents”, Münchau states.
Put bluntly, whilst most Europeans indeed are Environmentalists (to one extent or another), it has become clear to many that that the Green extremist ideology is so ‘Green Utopian’ that its vanguard is prepared to destroy human society (or put it into permanent lockdown) ‘to save it’. But Green zealotry on top of de-industrialisation and soaring inflation is too much for Germans to bear:
‘Forget the EU as a model’, suggested EuroIntelligence in May:
The EU no longer serves as a role model for others … by being completely engulfed with its own green agenda, [the EU seems] to have forgotten that there is another world out there that needs to partake in those efforts for it to be effective at the global level …Would [it] not constitute real leadership rather than the introspective, self-righteous way of how we go about right now? … we need to let go of these sacrifice-based ideologies. They are too expensive for our economies. Instead we need more innovation and more finance to realise those. Most of all, we have to stop seeing ourselves as a role model for the world.
Germans are becoming increasingly receptive too, to the AfD’s positions on mass immigration – as the German government moves to liberalize immigration laws and to naturalize millions of foreigners as German citizens. The AfD is drawing support too, due to its opposition to sanctions against Russia which, it argues, are weakening the German economy and leading to de-industrialization.
But what really had Germans in a fluster was an article in Die Zeit that claimed Germany will soon be “a country in which migrants will no longer be a minority … Integration was yesterday: Germany is the second-largest immigration country in the world, and the original Germans are likely to become a numerical minority among many in the foreseeable future”.
Many in Germany were left to ruminate on whether the dilution of the native German population was simply a ‘business necessity’, or deliberate ‘identity engineering’ – or even, identity rotation. The issue was hinted at too, in the UK, by Nigel Farage, who lambasted the “dishonest, globalist” UK government’s addiction to cheap imported labour. (Note the globalist tag attached to the Conservatives.)
Other signs of this incipient political realignment are evident in France (with a pronounced swing to the Right), and in Spain (where an unexpected snap election was called, following a sharp swing to the Right there too, in local elections). In the Netherlands also, angry voters swept to victory on an agenda to oppose nitrogen emission cuts (and the mandatory mass culling of cattle). And in Austria and Slovakia, pro-Russian parties are surging.
Anger grows as public discourse debates endlessly ‘the absurd’ (“what is a woman?”), whilst everyone gives up on ever fixing the deeper issues at stake. What gives this situation its particular air of futility is that no one seriously believes Europe will do what would be necessary to correct the deeper malaise – the impossibility to continue doing what it has been doing, matched only by the impossibility of doing anything other.
Of course, in Europe, the Right is not all the same, but the components are (albeit in a differing mixes).
As such, the European backlash is of a piece with the crisis of legitimacy bearing down on all western societies today, Malcom Kyeyune has remarked.
The ruling elite is increasingly angry and bitter that the ruled no longer listen; the ruled, for their part, are bitter that the system so obviously doesn’t act in their interest, nor does it even really pretend to anymore. We might actually wake up one day only to find that neither politicians nor voters think ‘democracy’ is doing very much to help them anymore.
In France, extraordinary political events have become the New Normal. Kyeyune notes:
Reforms are increasingly impossible, mistrust in the political system is increasing year by year, and basic legitimacy is slowly leaking out of parliamentary proceedings. If President Macron senses that France is slowly becoming ungovernable without extraordinary—and politically dubious—executive measures, he probably isn’t wrong, and he is far from the only Western leader to face this quandary.
Last week, Democratic presidential candidate Robert Kennedy appeared on a Twitter Spaces panel co-hosted by Elon Musk, Tulsi Gabbard, and venture capitalist David Sacks. He spoke for over two hours on a range of issues, including the war in Ukraine, energy policy, gun control, and the origin of SARS-CoV-2. Kennedy deplored the corporate takeover of the Democratic Party; excoriated President Biden’s pro-war instincts; decried the domination of US foreign policy by neo-cons – and promoted renewable energy.
And yet, according to the New York Times and CNN, it was an orgy of right-wing conspiracy theorizing. ‘Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a scion of one of the country’s most famous Democratic families,’ wrote three New York Times reporters: ‘dived into the full embrace of a host of conservative figures who eagerly promoted his long-shot primary challenge to President Biden … On Monday, he sounded like a candidate far more at ease in the mushrooming Republican presidential contest.’
In an earlier era, Kennedy, would have been universally regarded as a far-left candidate in the mould of Ralph Nader … Kennedy believes that the war in Ukraine is being fuelled by ‘the neo-cons in the White House’ who want regime change in Russia. In his campaign announcement speech, he described his mission as ending ‘the corrupt merger of state and corporate power’ that is threatening ‘to impose a new kind of corporate feudalism in our country.’
It is a dizzying political realignment – scrambling all of the traditional categories and leaving in its wake just two sides: not left and right, but insider and outsider. And no matter the substance of one’s beliefs, to the media, “outsider” means by default, “right-wing conspiracy theorist”.
And predictably, it has aroused a torrent of abuse and anger:
“Kennedy’s “crackpot claims” and “outlandish views” have won him “favour on the Right,” Vanity Fair moaned.
“Mr. Kennedy has found another benefactor who seems to enjoy deluging the press with excrement: Elon Musk”, snarled The Independent.
“Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Spends an Hour Sucking Up to Elon Musk in Twitter Space,” blared a New Republic headline …
Rolling Stone sneered at his “outlandish and pseudoscientific ideas” and labelled Kennedy a “fringe candidate” with “crank beliefs.”
Esquire called him a “raving anti-vaxxer” and lambasted the very idea of having a contested Democratic primary”, Shellenberger and Woodhouse write.
There you have it: To speak critically (as Michael Scherer wrote in the Washington Post), is to be a “conspiracy theorist”.
The ‘dizzying political realignment’ well describes the nature of the European backlash too: European Centre-Right and Green coalitions saw the Ukraine conflict as the means to centralise ‘a new kind of feudalism’ in the EU; to disenfranchise European national parliaments of their prerogatives; and to open the prospect for consolidating the strange metamorphosis of NATO from pure military alliance to an enlightened, progressive, peace alliance – pursuing ‘justice’, values and democracy in Ukraine.
With “the US Democrats slowly becoming pro-corporate, pro-war, and pro-censorship”, said Kennedy, and with the “Republicans becoming anti-censorship, pro-civil liberties, and anti-war – there’s been a tremendous realignment.”
Europe it seems is (broadly) moving in the same direction as US politics. The European Élites – like their US Democratic counterparts – embraced war on Russia. The Euro-Élites have adopted massive MSM narrative and social control and have dismembered the basic civic norms of marriage between a man and a woman and biological gender to which many Europeans still adhere.
The European ‘outsiders’ have begun calling “Enough”! Yet they may expect to receive the same rough treatment from the main-stream media as Kennedy is receiving (whatever their views). The US Deep State will stop at nothing to ensure that neither Kennedy – nor Trump – comes anywhere close to office. Brussels will act in parallel, in Europe.
Where is this realignment all leading? Well, we are in a chaotic re-sorting period right now. Kennedy, a Democrat, accused of MAGA-ism?? Extraordinary! Class politics it is not. It is a new realignment, scrambling old categories. And a shift in core values between ‘outsiders’ and their rulers. One reason that this will be very difficult to decipher is that outsiders now view ‘democracy’ with growing mistrust. Will that result in tactical voting? Does ‘Right’ or ‘Left’ have much meaning when a Kennedy is accused of MAGA sympathies?
Reprinted with permission from Strategic Culture Foundation.