Right Rises in Europe: “Democracy in Danger”

I’ve commented before on the rise of the Right in Europe, and how this will both surprise Americans when they realize “liberal” Europe appears to be leading the way into a brand-new era of ethno-nationalism.

The saga continues in France: “That ‘earthquake’ in Europe? It’s far-right gains in Parliament elections.”

Meanwhile, National Front leader Marine Le Pen said the results showed that French voters wanted more control.

“The sovereign people have proclaimed that they want to take back the reigns of their destiny into their hands. Our people demand one type of politics: politics of the French, for the French, with the French. They no longer want to be directed from outside,” she said.

No stronger statement of support for democratic government legitimized by popular sovereignty could possibly be made.  It wasn’t too long ago that President Lincoln expressed a similar sentiment in the Gettysburg address, when he said, “…this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”*

How is the rise of right-wing parties being treated in the media?  What are its opponents concerned about?  Are they expressing concern that the technocratic European Union will be losing ground in light of a resurgence of democratic spirit?

Nope: “French students rally to ‘save democracy’ from far-right:”

Paris (AFP) – Thousands of students rallied across France Thursday to protest against the anti-immigration National Front party, whose historic success in EU polls they said threatened democracy…

“We respect the result of the European elections, of democracy, but we do not accept the values of the National Front (FN),” said Silvio Philippe, one of the organisers of the Lyon rally. “French democracy is in danger.

As is often the case when dealing with man-on-the-street Progressives, it is often impossible to determine how this individual defines his terms.  That a change in public opinion regarding political issues would result in elections installing several new representatives is the very essence of the democratic process at work.

So we are left to look for alternative meanings to his statement.  I see two:

1) Opponents of the FN are concerned about a wolf-in-sheep’s clothing; that the popularly elected government will somehow escalate itself into a totalitarian regime.  Given Europe’s history of fascism, this is credible.  However, applying the slippery-slope argument to any gains by an opposing political view and automatically ascribing to it the worst of all possible intentions and outcomes, and therefore attempting to exclude it from the democratic process, is itself a form of tyranny.

2) More likely, the standard Progressive double-speak is in play.  What was said was, “French democracy is in danger.”  What was meant was, “Progress is in danger.”  Progressives tend to use democracy as a synonym for Progress so long as a given democracy continues to implement Progressive policies.  The moment the people vote in favor of ethno-nationalism, Progressives suddenly interpret “democracy” as “mob rule.”  As DE writers constantly point out, Progress is the process of standardizing all social, cultural, and political beliefs to the “correct” standard.  If there is a single correct standard, then any group’s attempt to assert a unique ethnic or national identity (which may or may not comply with the “correct” standard) inherently threatens the imposition of the universal standard, and must be suppressed.

As the Right continues to rise and murmurs about the health of American democracy and the viability of democracy in general grow into full-fledged public discussions in their own right, it is important to keep the issues mentioned above in mind.  Modern democratic governments have been almost exclusively Progressive, and therefore many participants in the discussions that lie ahead will insist that all rectangles are squares; any non-Progressive, ethno-nationalist government will be accused of being undemocratic, regardless of how well said government respects principals of popular sovereignty and representative government.

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One thought on “Right Rises in Europe: “Democracy in Danger”

  1. Pingback: Right Rises in Europe: “Democracy in Danger” | Reaction Times

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