Sunday, 15 May 2022

Extreme rightwing nostalgia

Rightwing objection to cosmopolitanism / globalisation, to immigration, to multiculturalism, to diversity, and a nostalgia for separation, national racial purity, and especially the complete failure to understand that culture (in the widest sense) is not a racial product but accessible to anyone with enough perceptive capacities, has led to the current waves of hostilities towards ‘the Other’, in any form – minorities, fugitives, economic immigration – anything that is not ‘from here’ or does not seem to conform to a narrow concept of ‘identity’. It is a primitive reaction born from fear and misconception of the modern world. It is a degrading trend, undermining civilisational values, and it has the face of evil.

Such extremists hide their racism behind the term ‘identitarianism’, which sounds less openly reactionary than ‘white suprematism’. But:

“Identitarianism is a lament against change made by people fortunate enough to have been granted, through the arbitrary circumstance of birth, citizenship in a wealthy liberal democracy.

Especially distasteful is the annexation of the term ‘European Renaissance’ to cover a racist agenda, abusing a cultural term representing humanism and cultural florishing to disguise something that deserves the deepest contempt. These are crackpot ‘thinkers’, poisoning the minds of people with even lesser understanding of their own civilisation.

“Faye’s work helps to explain the rupture that has emerged in many Western democracies between the mainstream right, which may support strict enforcement of immigration limits but does not inherently object to the presence of Muslims, and the alt-right, which portrays Muslim immigration as an existential threat. In this light, the growing admiration by Western conservatives for the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, is easier to comprehend.” Something that has, nowadays, an alarming ring about it.

Interesting article, from 2017, in the New Yorker, which explores the sources of this deplorable wave of reactionary ‘thinking’ especially in France – where philosopher Alain Finkielkraut makes a very disappointing bow to a despiccable writer who fuels the destructive hysteria of the far right:

The Enlightenment has not at all reached its apogee and is still in the process of trying to find a solution for humanity’s enduring ills.

In this context the problems of cultural identity as described in this article may be helpful:


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