Many people in many countries, and especially in France, believe that the far right will win the next European, territorial, presidential and legislative elections. Many people, even if they do not wish this victory, behave as if it were inevitable, as if it were played, and prepare for it. We also see it in companies, in political parties, in the associative world: the arrival to power of the extreme right is now experienced as irresistible.

In fact, (and this is an iconic example of self-fulfilling prophecy), the more people think about it, the more it becomes possible. If many people say in the polls that they will vote for these parties, those who do not yet vote for them come to think that these candidates are probably not so extreme because they attract so many votes, which attracts them even more. The more the extreme right imposes itself virtually, the more it becomes notabilised and imposes itself in the real.

Yet none of this is certain.

The arguments for their probable victory do not hold water. Among them, the two main ones:

The first argument is, “They’re too far ahead”. That argument is worthless. In France in particular, where no candidate led the polls three years before a presidential election was ever elected. Never.

Second argument: “We tried everything, it’s their turn”. Precisely no: if we have not tried them, at least in France, it is precisely because the vast majority of voters know, election after election, that their arrival in power would be catastrophic and do not vote for them. And we have seen it elsewhere, where the experience has been made: no populist party in power has succeeded. Neither the English. Nor the Italians. Neither the Hungarians. Nor the Poles. We have seen, we see, that their program is unenforceable and that, if it is, it leads to disaster.

Let’s talk about their program: a withdrawal on its most remote bases; an alignment with Russia; a confrontation of the communities forming the nation; a rejection of the European project. A tax system in favour of the wealthy. A cultural conception that is reactionary to anything creative. Finally, a total political inculture, and administrative and governmental incompetence manifest as they show every day in the European Parliament and in the national parliaments where they express themselves.

In France in particular, the coming to power of the extreme right can only lead to the confrontation of each with all. The extreme right in power is civil war. (As would the extreme left which has no chance of achieving it…).

And yet, we act as if we had resigned ourselves to this happening. The explanation is simple: in front of them there is nothing. And, facing the void, the far right attracts everything.

This is particularly the case in France:

An extreme left which, as for a century, thinks only of insulting and destroying the left of government, which it considers as its main adversary, without almost ever attacking the extreme right, of which it is in fact very close on many subjects.

A government left which, for some years, has been no more than a resigned substitute for the extreme left.

A center, now in power, but which has no mass party, no coherent program, no leader recognized after the one who will leave the Élysée in three years.

A right of government, tempted, too, to be only the resigned complement of the extreme right.

None of this will be enough to prevent self-fulfilling prophecy from materializing: Politics, like nature, abhors emptiness. And the far right fills it. 

We must not let ourselves slide down that slope. We must not let go of the ramp. We must wake up. We must not take for granted what is not. It must be said loud and clear that the far right will not win the next major national elections, if we give ourselves the means.

That is to say, if someone, somewhere, or a movement, gathers enough forces to show the French, who ask only that, that they can still avoid a deadly retreat, and live, happy, in harmony with themselves, in their family, in their neighbourhood, in their city, in their school, in their company, in their country, with Europe, with the world, and with nature.

Image: Daniel Fouray/Ouest France