After this week’s readings about 1968 and the new right, I really enjoyed reading about countries that I am less familiar with, such as France. I hadn’t learned much about France in my earlier historical studies but reading the Bar-On article opened my eyes that a country that is today seen as very liberal, had such a strong support for the idea of the “white man.” I think it is key to acknowledge that although France is seen as a liberal country today, influences from past beliefs and movements in France can be seen today through racially targeted laws.
From the Bar-On article, what I was reminded of was how transnational many of the ideologies and beliefs of these new right groups were and how they wanted their messages to be spread beyond France’s borders, “Benoist’s website provides translations of his works in eight European languages: French, English, German, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Polish and Czech.” (211). Prior to the postwar and the emergence of the new right before technology advanced, I think these far-right ideologies typically, stayed contained or travelled small distances. With beliefs that their messages and movements are important the way in which these types of groups operated changed. Rather than operating one group in France, with the ability to share information and people looking for change and something to believe in/belong to groups are able to mobilize supporters in other countries, making them more powerful. We can see how the transnationality of far-right groups has continued to evolve today with how easily we can communicate and share ideas internationally.
As is demonstrated in the Griffin reading there becomes almost a sense of identity crisis, “The man of the Tradition now has no legitimate structures or causes to which to belong.” (41). People who believe in the traditional values and don’t want to move forward with the way the country is progressing may feel forgotten and left behind. A person who was once a prominent member of society know feels their voice isn’t being heard. This thinking can be seen today as the world moves forward and progresses older generations whose voice once held power, feel that they are being left behind. This can cause tension in countries between generation, and it becomes traditional against progressive. Things that were being done 50 years ago, aren’t proper to be doing today. It becomes a balancing act of how to acknowledge a generation and make them feel heard, while also being progressive to keep with the times.
Tamir Bar-On, “Transnationalism and the French Nouvelle Droite.” Patterns of Prejudice, vol. 45, no. 3 (July 2011): 199–223.
Roger Griffin, “Between Metapolitics and Apoliteia: The Nouvelle Droite’s Strategy for Conserving the Fascist Vision in the ‘Interregnum.’” Modern & Contemporary France, vol. 8, no. 1 (Feb. 2000): pp. 35–53.