Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Rise of European Morosité

At World Affairs, Alan Johnson writes about the rise of the far-right in France and Europe in light of a recent survey putting Marine Le Pen ahead of Sarkozy and Martine Aubry in the polls.

He attributes the seductions of the far-right in Europe to a state of "European morosité," which he describes as "a collective and quite spectacular sullenness and gloominess about a world that has irrevocably lost its lustre. Morosité can turn to inchoate anger ... "

What are the causes of European morosité?

[It] can be traced to the trauma of two world wars and the associated political barbarisms and intellectual nihilisms that caused those conflicts and flourished in their wake. It is not just that our young were lost but that they butchered each other as swathes of our philo-tyrannical intellectuals cheered them on ... morosité is also the result of the gulf that has opened up between mainstream politicians and voters in recent decades about three revolutionary changes: economic globalisation, political integration, and mass immigration. Each has unsettled citizens, melting into air all that was solid, but each has been placed beyond polite discussion by the political class and the mainstream media. Anxieties are routinely pathologised.

It will always be comforting for some to hear simplistic solutions with little nuance.

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