Confusion and disarray reign supreme, throughout Europe, over ideological divisions between the different political currents. As a result, the parties are fragmented, governments are unstable, the people are frustrated and have become increasingly enraged by the powerlessness of governments that are faced with issues that exceed their capacities.
The time has come for us to understand there are five main concerns that share the interests of voters today: economic enrichment, the need for security, social justice demands, defence of freedoms, and ecological issues.
In fact, throughout Europe, among these more or less contradictory issues, there are two particular issues that stand out and attracting more and more people: the environment and security. The contours of a new dominant ideology are thus taking shape, and similar to those that preceded it, can produce the best and the worst. An ideology that is not yet embodied, anywhere, by a dominant party, but which, in my opinion, will soon win more and more votes: the green order.
If governments are reasonable, the more or less justified fears about various forms of crime, terrorism risks, identity questions, and epidemics, will lead to the establishment of many more resources for defence, justice, police, prisons, and health prevention; and efforts in education and metropolitan planning. Similarly, fears about the increasingly obvious climate risks will lead to a radical change in the conception of public and private action, a significant increase in the price of carbon, much stricter regulations on waste management, eco-design, energy savings, and the development of positive energies (i.e., energy that does not emit greenhouse gases).
If we wait too long, however, for a democratic response to be possible, we will witness the development of a completely different attitude on these two aforementioned matters. Much more expeditiously. And much less democratically. We will then, not only want to implement order against crime, but also against the fantasies of a so-called great replacement and an all-conquering communitarianism. They will close borders, expel people, even take away their nationality, and use the means of law and order to gain acceptance for measures to protect the environment which, taken too late, will have become both ecologically vital and socially intolerable.
Such program, even if conducted democratically, would overshadow the other three dimensions of a harmonious society: economic growth, social justice and the protection of public and private freedoms.
Yet these other demands are also becoming increasingly blatant, particularly in France, where unemployment is persistent and where the police, like the tax system, are increasingly under fire.
Will we then see, in the face of a coalition defending the urgency of a green order, another coalition calling for the urgency of freedom that is just?
Without a doubt. Even if the rhetoric will never be as clear-cut; and that everyone will pretend to want a society that is at once economically efficient, ecologically sustainable, socially just and protective of public and private freedoms. In reality, the impending priority will indeed be that of a green order. Specifically, (and even if the environment is, for the moment, mainly a leftist policy priority) the demand for a green order will become the dominant discourse of the right and extreme right-wing extremes in Europe. All the more so because such discourse will allow them to skilfully bury the issues of social justice and civil liberties.
There is still time to demystify such caricatures. European nations will need to, especially in the face of threats to their entities from the United States and Asia, not be reduced to a compartmentalised set of authoritarian and ecological states. Europe needs to build political projects that are more balanced, and therefore more complex. The accompanying theory and practice still need to be built. And quickly.