It was France who gave the concept of left and right in world politics. It is now France that is leading the way in breaking down that divide and replacing it with a new politics in which the two main camps are nationalists and internationalists.
Left and right cleavage has its origin In the French Revolution of 1789 – when supporters of the royal veto stood on the right side of the National Assembly and opponents on the left. Over the next two centuries, left and right became a central philosophical divide in Western politics.
but in first round The French presidential election on April 10 saw the collapse of traditional center-right and center-left parties. Socialist candidate Anne Hidalgo won just 1.8 percent of the vote, while center-right Republican candidate Valérie Pécresse got 4.8 percent. Far-left candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon received 22% of the vote but was still eliminated.
The final round of elections on April 24 will be contested between Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen, both candidates who insist the era of left-handed politics is over.
Although Le Pen is often labelled a far-right candidate, she objected, persist in That: “No more left and right. The real divide is between patriots and globalists.” Macron has also long argued that he is “neither right nor left”.as him Tell His biographer Sophie Pedder: “A new political divide is emerging between those who fear globalization and those who see it as an opportunity.”
Le Pen uses “globalist” as an abusive term.in a press conference Last week in Paris, I heard her mock Macron for “talking about globalization.”in a speech The next day in Avignon, she accused globalists of treating the French as rootless consumers rather than citizens, attached to their culture and language.
Such rhetoric is now a hallmark of nationalist rights around the world.Influential political theorists in Vladimir Putin’s Russia – like Alexander dig in and Constantine Malofeyev – Often denounced “globalism” as a conspiracy against the Russian nation and culture.
Le Pen’s current claims are also strongly reminiscent of Donald Trump, who, as US president, informed the United Nations that “the future does not belong to globalists. The future belongs to patriots.”
Politics built around the distinction between “globalists” and “patriots” shatter the traditional divide between left and right. Macron has taken positions traditionally seen as left-wing on some social issues, such as gay rights, but his efforts to deregulate the economy and cut taxes will appeal to Reagan conservatives. By contrast, Le Pen has taken a hard line on issues such as immigration and a left-leaning stance on economic issues.
The clearest dividing line between the two candidates is not left and right, but nationalism-internationalism. Macron is a passionate advocate for deeper European integration. Le Pen wants to unravel the current European Union and turn it into a Europe of nation-states.
Similar subversions of traditional left-right classifications have occurred in the United States and the United Kingdom. Before Trump, the Republican Party was the party of free trade, globalization, and hawkish foreign policy—reasons tied to the right. But his America-first nationalism has turned Republicans toward protectionism and isolationism, leaving the Biden faction of the Democratic Party the guardian of traditionally internationalist foreign policy and trade positions.
Brexit also restructured British politics around a nationalist-internationalist axis. This shift was adopted by the Brexiteers’Global UK‘ as the slogan. But the reality of the global UK is tighter border controls and reduce in international trade.
Many Brexiters are attracted to the slogan “Global Britain” not because they are internationalists, but because it is an assertion of national greatness. Their argument is that the UK is too important globally to be constrained by EU membership.
Le Pen has a similar view of France. In a major foreign policy speech in Paris last week, she insisted that France is one of the world’s great powers with global influence and destiny. Like the Brexiteers, her vision of a global France is, in effect, a chest-beating nationalism.
One of the main dangers of this kind of politics spreading around the world is that it increases the chances of international conflict. The “globalists” that Le Pen and Trump like to ridicule are usually not people without roots or patriotism. But they are more likely to believe that international cooperation is needed to promote peace and prosperity and manage global problems.
In theory, nationalists might accept the need for international cooperation on issues such as climate change or trade. In practice, they tend to see international agreements as a betrayal of the nation or the product of some kind of globalist conspiracy.
The politics of Le Pen, Trump or Putin — skeptical of foreigners and obsessed with restoring national greatness — often lead to conflict. As one Balkan analyst once joked to me: “The problem in our region is that there are too many great countries: Greater Serbia, Greater Albania, Greater Croatia. But the results have not been so good.” Nationalist Politics Around the World Rise threatens to repeat this frustrating pattern globally.