Rootedness, borders and anti-capitalism to counter a “totalitarian” globalist left ideology: Ecology in the metapolitics of the French far right today

Lise Isabelle Benoist*

 

Abstract: This article looks at the metapolitics of the French far right, a sphere of organisations and personalities that are waging a counter-hegemonic cultural fight, thought to be a precondition to political change. In France, singularly an incubator for a green nationalist narrative, this so-called “Gramscianism of the right” is today embodied by countless media outlets. This article critically analyses the content on “ecology” of selected materials from this sphere, in order to shed light on the main discourses around this topic. This research reveals a diversity of approaches towards ecology, coherent with the variety of trends present in the far-right metapolitics. From remains of climate denialism to right-wing co-optations of degrowth, it revolves around an opposition to immigration, symbol of a wider left globalist ideology that threatens European identity. Such an ecology thus requires rootedness and the acknowledgment of natural limits that apply as much to nature as to humans.

Keywords: Metapolitics, French far right, Integral Ecology, Gramscianism of the Right, Right-wing Décroissance

 

Introduction

Climate change mitigation is facing yet another obstacle: in the last decade, countries around the world have experienced a significant rise of far-right populist parties. While the majority openly display a climate denialist line, France seems to be an incubator for a green nationalist narrative expressed primarily by the Rassemblement National (Malm and The Zetkin Collective, forthcoming 2021). The party’s manifesto for the last European elections, tailored by Hervé Juvin, a European MP since then, wishes to create a “European ecological civilisation”: the protection of identity and the environment go hand in hand through localism and rootedness in a closed territory (Rassemblement National, 2019); a notion summarized by Jordan Bardella as: “the best ally of ecology is the border” (Landrieu, 2019). The party-politics billboard is however only the tip of the far-right iceberg.

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