World News: France, Italy Spar Over Narrowing Ideologies

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The recent tensions between France and Italy exhibited the rise of extremism around the European continent and populism on a global scale combined with fear mongering illustrates the growth of individual and national independence in an increasingly fragmented world.

The tensions that emerged a few days ago between France and Italy over the migrants aboard the Viking Ocean certainly highlights the question of  the management of these men and women in search of a life. It is better but more broadly, it is giving rise to an ideological narrowing under way in many countries, a narrowing which involves an erosion of the elementary principles of fraternity and of humanity.

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Although Italy has recently opted for a far-right government, it is not the only country to be tempted by populist or extremist drift. The rise of the most radical Republicans in the midterm elections in the United States, the shadow of Boris Johnson in the United Kingdom, the repeated human rights abuses of Viktor Orban   in Hungary or Kim Jung Hun's diplomatic chin thumping in North Korea ends up demonstrating that the world we live in is gradually turning to more xenophobic and xenophobic schools of thought. autarkic than towards altruism and openness.

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Authority and Collective Sense

This ideological narrowing, unsurprisingly, concerns countries already familiar with authoritarian modes of government such as Russia or North Korea, but more worryingly, is beginning to hit democracies singularly well, established such as the United States or Great Britain. France, although still protected, has still seen three times far-right candidates (2002, 2017 and 2022) reach the  second round of the presidential election.

In Algeria and  Tunisia, two North African heavyweights, the regimes in place are hardening their grip on populations divided between the defense of tradition and the call for modernity. Another form of growing individualism is the rapprochement between China, which  is not strictly speaking a paragon of democracy, and Germany, which irritates its European partners as much as it intrigues, but which testifies on its scale to  a loss of collective meaning when the international situation requires it, invites at least to do so.

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Several reasons could explain this headlong rush   towards populism and extremes: fear of the consequences of migratory flows, climate challenge badly apprehended, loss of meaning of the original political message and inability of the latter to resolve the societal malaises inherent in all human communities.

Global Reflection

All these elements frighten and push voters towards radical paths that offer quick, attractive, and short-term solutions. Be that as it may, it seems obvious that this is a time for individualistic fever and no longer for global reflection. As such, the dangers facing the world are numerous and particularly perilous because some can easily lead to diplomatic quarrels, or even in the worst case, to armed conflicts. Without imagining the worst, it is not forbidden to guard against it, as the war in Ukraine has proved.

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So much so that the European Union, seized with a security thrill, is in turn thinking about how to prevent an armed conflict. Thus, some in a consummate fatalism would say that the world is going badly. The question, however, is whether it is worse today than in the past, and again, whether it would be appropriate to define what the past is.

More concretely, it appears that the erosion of democratic principles in a globalized society has become a real challenge for the future in the same way as the question of environmental which, moreover, is no longer one since the latter now imposes a response.


Bio: Olivier Longhi has extensive experience in European history. A seasoned journalist with fifteen years of experience, he is currently professor of history and geography in the Toulouse region of France. He has held a variety of publishing positions, including Head of Agency and Chief of Publishing. A journalist, recognized blogger, editor, and editorial project manager, he has trained and managed editorial teams, worked as a journalist for various local radio stations, a press and publishing consultant, and a communications consultant.

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