by Sydney Linholm
This week’s readings explore the French and Portuguese Nouvelle Droite, which was an ideological movement born in 1968. The article by Tamir Bar-On discusses how the Nouvelle Droite created the culture of the revolutionary right, and how these views have been shaped by transnationalism. Particularly, Bar-On points out that one of the factors that produced the transnational impact of Nouvelle Droite ideas was the decline of the European left after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991.
The political space that was left open after the fall of the Soviet Union, as Bar-On suggests, allowed space for the ND movement to flourish. People were wary of the political left because of the harsh legacy of communism, and arguably, villanized socialism and similar ideologies, and this made room for right-wing ideological groups such as the ND to grow and spread. This train of thought is interesting because while the ND rejected left-wing ideologies, they were heavily influenced by the ideas of Antonio Gramsci and applying his ideas to the right. This is just one example of the somewhat contradictory nature of the movement, with another being that the Bar-On claims that the ND has been shaped by transnational influences and shaped right-wing transnationalism, however the ND rejects multiculturalism in its fundamental values. I realize that these aren’t the same thing, however I feel as though transnationalism and multiculturalism have some ideological elements in common.
In short, the Nouvelle Droite’s views are contradictory in nature because of their rejection of certain ideologies yet they draw ideas from these ideologies that they claim to reject.