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The radical Right is winning on TikTok It amplifies a growing sense of anger and resentment

Bardella embodies its potent package (Credit: Stephane de Sakutin/AFP/Getty)

Bardella embodies its potent package (Credit: Stephane de Sakutin/AFP/Getty)


June 12, 2024   6 mins

Earlier this year, I predicted that 2024 would be the year of Zoomer race politics. At the time, I didn’t suspect that the first and most marked electoral evidence of this shift would come from France. But over the weekend the hard-Right French party Rassemblement National (RN) won some 32% of the total French vote in the European elections: a sharp increase on their 2019 score. Macron’s centrist Renaissance party, meanwhile, scored less than half of that number — prompting him to dissolve France’s National Assembly and call a snap national.

The sharp Rightward tilt was by no means confined to France. Social democrats and liberals across Europe took a hammering. But in a round of elections whose three most salient features were the mainstreaming of Right-wing youth radicalism, the political impact of TikTok, and the generalisation of anti-immigrant sentiment, the French result was the starkest. No wonder: its principal figurehead brings all these developments together in one unsettlingly potent package.

Jordan Bardella is the 28-year-old President of the RN, after taking over from Marine Le Pen in 2022. Bardella boasts 1.5 million followers on TikTok, where he posts clips of himself making the kind of statements that, in the UK, would be confined to anonymous Twitter accounts, and yet in France seem only to propel him to ever greater fame.

His account is far from the only one on TikTok that feels politically decisive, at least for Right-wing insurgents. Trump’s sole TikTok post garnered him over 6 million followers. And a six-second TikTok clip of Nigel Farage in a shopping centre, saying “lovely melons”, currently has over 2 million views. Whether this phenomenon is a reflection of, or an effort to encourage, the political participation of Gen Z is hard to say. But whichever way the causality runs, the tilt from written to video communication is empowering a new kind of politician.

TikTok, when applied to political discourse, takes the already-hyperactive 24-hour news cycle, then sticks it on radically crowdsourced, swivel-eyed ADHD fast-forward. In this breakneck, breathless, reckless environment, no one makes waves without that indefinable magic that causes people to remember you. The kids call this “rizz”; in old money, it’s box office power, the magnetism of a saint or celebrity.

“We can expect the new centrality of visual appearance, charisma, and emotive viral messaging to intensify polarisation.”

Boris had it; so does Farage, and — outside Europe — the controversial Nayyib Bukele, in El Salvador. As does Bardella. And what’s striking about the new TikTok politics he exemplifies is how it both conveys less, but also more. Policy platforms are simplified; long-form thinking or debate are nigh-on impossible. But where it’s about identity and belonging, a video can convey more visually in a few seconds than I could in a thousand written words.

This capacity for instant eloquence is used to powerful effect by the RN, as by other Right-wing insurgent parties, to convey tribal markers for their target demographics. In one recent “get out the vote” video, for example, Bardella captures provincial bourgeois Frenchness purely via his and Marine Le Pen’s appearance and backdrop, employing an aesthetic and context that will be instantly recognisable to the RN’s longstanding base of struggling small shopkeepers, the rural poor, and those fleeing high-immigration banlieues for the countryside.

The world they reference is one in which I spent time as a child, at a French school, supplemented by many subsequent visits. Not the stereotypical movie Frenchness of femmes fatales, romance, and baguettes, but a small-town, small-c conservative one of social convention, elaborate bureaucracy, and fierce pride in the minute details of regional culture. Denizens of this France have long been treated dismissively as moribund, ageing and irrelevant: the equivalent of the Brexiteers in England sneered at as “gammons”. In retaliation, they have voted in increasing numbers for successive Le Pen political vehicles, from Jean-Marie Le Pen’s long stint in the relative wilderness as a radioactive far-Right fringe figure, to Marine Le Pen’s first-round knockout at the Presidential elections in 2012, then 34% of the second-round vote in 2017, and 41% in 2022.

And increasingly, these older generations are joined by a younger and more net-native cohort, as polls and reports indicate that a significant proportion of Sunday’s Right-wing votes came from the young. Not so long ago, even conservatives believed this an impossibility: it was widely seen as axiomatic that every generation would lean further Left than the last. European think-tanks have been reporting for some time that the young are increasingly authoritarian; but perhaps it’s most accurate to say they’re more radical than their elders, including on the Right.

This should come as no surprise. Across Europe, as in the UK, a generation too young to remember the relative peace and prosperity of the Nineties has spent their whole adult lives amid the international polycrisis that began with the attack on the Twin Towers and escalated with the global financial crash. That’s been supplemented by rising climate anxiety, flattened wages, rocketing costs, migrant crises, and two years of pandemic. In this context, a social contract that appeared settled during my childhood is visibly unravelling, to the most obvious detriment of the young. Across Europe, economic stagnation, widening inequality, the unequal impacts of Net Zero policies, plus intensifying competition for scarce and expensive housing have all cumulatively fuelled a sense of intergenerational injustice and competition for dwindling resources.

This fusillade of bleak news affords the worst imaginable backdrop for the concurrent Europe-wide acceleration in net immigration. And while some youth have responded by breaking Left, a growing subset views immigration as the central cause and driver of their woes. For the non-elite youth dwelling in what Le Monde recently described as the “France of the forgotten”, for example, France (or indeed their England, or Germany, or Belgium) is a place of shrinking opportunities, rising costs, decaying infrastructure, and rural alienation. And its younger members feel as though they’re invisible, lost between the comfortable moral certainties of wealthy urban progressives, and a perceived influx of queue-jumping migrants with whom, increasingly, they experience themselves as competing for resources.

Now, every time the press reports an instance of intra-ethnic violence, the sense of grievance and injustice grows more intense. Bardella leans with casual insistence into the resulting anger and resentment: in April, for example, he responded to the murder of 15-year-old Matisse Marchais by an Afghan migrant, by calling Marchais “a victim of a senseless, uncontrolled immigration politics”. When another Afghan stabbed two others, killing one, for drinking alcohol during Eid, Bardella called it an “ensavaging” of French national life and warning about the encroachment of Islam.

Nor, as the Sorbonne-educated Bardella indicates, is this even confined to the poor and under-educated — or indeed to France. Recent uproar in Germany about the viral spread of an anti-immigration version of the Europop anthem L’Amour Toujours from East German warehouse parties to upscale Sylt parties suggests that European nativism is not, as the progressives insist, the sole preserve of the “left-behind” in other European countries either.

Should the RN perform well in the 30 June snap elections, Bardella will be their pick for Prime Minister, putting an anti-immigration millennial whose enemies describe him as “heir to the Nazis” at least within eyeshot of serious political power in France. So does this mean, as some commentators have asserted, that Europe is about to fall to a new generation of crypto-fascists? Or, conversely, that those Right-wing Brits who voted Leave because the EU was too institutionally progressive should (as a few wags have already suggested) now campaign to rejoin the EU?

Perhaps not; the core aim of EU technocracy is, after all, draining the radicalism out of politics. There was a hue and cry about “the far Right” when Giorgia Meloni was elected in Italy in 2022, but since then, she has disappointed her voters with a public debt that continues to rise, all while U-turning on immigration. By the same token, even if Bardella did succeed in attaining high office, he would probably end up disappointing his fans simply by dint of shifting from the nuance-free vibes-based register of TikTok signalling to the crunchy, real-world one of policy and the “art of the possible”.

But even if the EU election results are unlikely to deliver the kind of radical change young Right-wingers evidently crave, their significance is hard to exaggerate — simply in what it indicates about European public opinion. For even if, as I’ve argued, politics is already functionally post-democratic across the developed world, in any relatively stable polity the views of the masses matter at least somewhat, democracy or no democracy. And with platforms such as TikTok now emerging as vehicles for a style of activism that captures and intensifies the views of electorally under-represented political interests, even so well-insulated a group of technocrats as the EU Commission may find these difficult to ignore.

As as long as TikTok is part of the landscape, we can expect short-form, primarily visual, algorithm-driven and increasingly tribal political movements to play a central role in the public square. We can expect the new centrality of visual appearance, charisma, and emotive viral messaging to intensify polarisation. There is, after all, little room on TikTok for long-form policy development, civil debate, or even judging people by the content of their character rather than the colour of their skin.

So buckle up: Gen-Z radicalism is here to stay. The arc of their history is, it turns out, short-form and viral. And right now, it bends sharply to the Right.


Mary Harrington is a contributing editor at UnHerd.

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Seb Dakin
Seb Dakin
7 days ago

I think this puts too great an emphasis on the production side – since it’s what the article is about, that’s fair enough. But what’s driving the trends is there on the consumer side before they are seeing these apparently shallow soundbites.
If I was a young person in Europe having lived through the posturing and preening of politicians, and the legacy media who seem no longer to see their role as to interrogate dominant narratives (COVID policy, climate panics etc.), I would be kicking back hard at the people who purvey it, which in most cases in Europe are people who’ve spent the last decade or two saying immigration is a benefit, Islam is a religion of peace, men are women if that’s what they prefer people to think, people who blithely claimed that a bonfire of civil liberties and draconian measures regarding vaccination (less so the UK, but remember what Austria and France were up to) are a good policy response to a virus that is very little threat to young people, oh, and that sacrificing economic growth and opportunities in response to a supposed climate crisis, climate emergency(!) or global boiling (!) is necessary for the future, if I were a young person who’d grown up hearing all that, my mind would be made up, and the only need I’d have of media is to identify like-minded souls.
Tik Tok videos aren’t about debate or policy discussion, which takes place in long form elsewhere. It’s about setting one’s stall out. ‘This is what I think. Is this what you’re looking for?’
I don’t think it drives polarisation – what’s driving that is the inanities that media and political elites are peddling, and the contempt of the anywheres for the somewheres.

J Bryant
J Bryant
7 days ago
Reply to  Seb Dakin

Excellent comment. How long do you think it will be before the EU follows the USA’s lead and tries to ban Tik Tok?

Martin M
Martin M
7 days ago
Reply to  J Bryant

Probably not long….

Brian Doyle
Brian Doyle
7 days ago
Reply to  J Bryant

Completely irrelevant as when Tik Tok disappears
Like a Hydra another head shall swiftly carry on with the chatter

Simon Adams
Simon Adams
7 days ago
Reply to  Brian Doyle

In fact the youfs seem to already be switching to Instagram short clips which have essentially replicated the TikTok seratonin-hit-swipe formula


Jerry Carroll
Jerry Carroll
6 days ago
Reply to  Simon Adams

I’m waiting for the brain chip that will deliver TikTok, Instagram and and the other “iterations.” As the feminists used to tell the ladies, we can have it all.

laurence scaduto
laurence scaduto
6 days ago
Reply to  Brian Doyle

I love this image. As soon as you get one youf to “just shut up!” three more pop up, chattering like monkeys. It’s like one of those Ray Harryhausen movies from back when. “Hercules vs the Teenagers”!

Paul Rodolf
Paul Rodolf
4 days ago
Reply to  Brian Doyle

Yes. In fact this already happened in India. However as an American I would rather see that new Hydra head attached to a body (controlled) by a business in a country with ideals not diametrically opposed to our own.

Jo Jo
Jo Jo
6 days ago
Reply to  J Bryant

I think the USA is trying to ban Tik Tok (if indeed they are) because it is a Bytedance (i.e. Chinese) product, in turn China is trying to promote its own version of Google etc. Software wars.

Russell Hamilton
Russell Hamilton
7 days ago
Reply to  Seb Dakin

“It’s about setting one’s stall out. ‘This is what I think. Is this what you’re looking for?”

Maybe not ‘This is what I think’, but “This is who I am’. It’s a vibe, a feeling, and as Mary writes, carefully choreographed (the environment, who is there, how they look) to create an impression. That’s all there’s time for, there is no thinking, and practically no one goes from TikTok to long-form political commentary.

Young people were perhaps never so deeply, personally engaged in politics, but they did absorb views from parents who read newspapers. Now the parents aren’t reading either. We’re heading back to a pre-literate culture. Frightening.

David Morley
David Morley
7 days ago

It’s a vibe, a feeling

Perhaps, but it still has to be turned into policy if is to have any success. Policies that actually work, satisfy the voter base and don’t alienate so much of the population that they lead to open conflict. You can’t run a country on sound bites and TikTok videos.

Sam Hill
Sam Hill
7 days ago
Reply to  Seb Dakin

I agree. But I do have to question whether tiktok, and other social media, is actually doing anything other than provide people with a personal vehicle and a forum for ‘vibes.’ The politics behind what is on there may or may not be very good, but I can’t help but feel it’s all very ephemeral. Indeed Emanuel Macron once had the ‘vibes’ vote. Boris Johnson had it though his problem was more that he never really seemed to have any idea what to actually do with it.
Setting out one’s stall is well and good, but without anything substantial behind social media it’s just a load of people clicking away. You talk about youth and that seems to me a good example. Youth have a heavy presence on social media yet out in the real world the one totem so far at this election seems to be the triple lock pension. Reform UK haven’t summoned the courage to address that one yet.
Politics is not the same thing as government of course. ‘Consuming’ political content isn’t actually doing anything with it and I suspect that the revolution won’t come online. And maybe in any case there needs to be some pushback on online ‘stall setting.’ The SNP’s extensive social media profile seems to have resulted in hard woke – that ‘dominant narrative’ doesn’t get questioned.
The real problem with social media is that it has become a soft option. Governments now want things that are free, provoke social media and are endless. So we get thinking like, ‘those people don’t want stiff immigration controls – they want Race Relations Acts, smoking bans, woke marriage reforms,’ and so on. Taking the soft option is where the division is coming from, and social media has in my mind compounded bad trends.

Deb Grant
Deb Grant
6 days ago
Reply to  Seb Dakin

Yes, I do agree with your analysis, and in pointing the finger at mass media, which constantly tells everyone how badly off they are in tiny, meaningless soundbites. Those soundbites have a disproportionately manipulative effect on the inexperienced.

Ken Bowman
Ken Bowman
6 days ago
Reply to  Deb Grant

Almost every evening the BBC South East News presents the case for some disadvantaged group ( invariably worthy as presented) . Today it was carers. Whether stated or not the culprits for the situation these groups find themselves in is always the government. The fact that the government lacks the financial means to come to there aid is never addressed. The BBC joins much of the media (and politicians) in stoking a mood of continuous dissatisfaction and complaint.

Alan Tonkyn
Alan Tonkyn
6 days ago
Reply to  Ken Bowman

I very much agree with your point here, Ken. There are continual demands for more money to be spent on this or that group with no discussion about what is NOT going to be funded in order to give more resources to the disadvantaged group in question, or how additional funds – beyond existing resources- are to be found. There seems also to be an unspoken message that just taxing the fat cats more will do the trick. The BBC reports you mention don’t ask: Why should the international money markets continue to lend money to the UK? Why would international investors want to invest here, if taxes go up even more? (Plenty of other places to invest in, and higher taxes tend to lead to a lower tax take in the long run.) The failure to look at the whole picture of our society and economy and what we can afford is a depressing hallmark of these media reports but also of our political discourse as a whole.

Daniel Shaw
Daniel Shaw
7 days ago

Why does the main stream media and also new media like this publication now refer to widely held , normative and traditionally conservative views as far right???

Martin M
Martin M
7 days ago
Reply to  Daniel Shaw

I suspect that it is because (in a British context at least) the Conservative Party is the party of the “Right”, and anybody further Right than that is “Far Right”.

Sisyphus Jones
Sisyphus Jones
6 days ago

Thanks for the article imagining the face of the person who down-voted you.

Mark Phillips
Mark Phillips
6 days ago
Reply to  Sisyphus Jones

Think about the poor kids with Zika all grown up.

Martin M
Martin M
6 days ago

Ah, from Jo Nova. Strangely enough, I have met her personally (she was friends with the sister of a friend of mine).

Carl Valentine
Carl Valentine
1 day ago
Reply to  Martin M

No, ‘far-right is a deliberate slur from the liberal elites aimed at a large consensus that it disagrees with.

Deb Grant
Deb Grant
6 days ago
Reply to  Daniel Shaw

I think it’s the racist overtones that are assumed to be part of any anti-immigration stance, wrongly in most cases (but not maybe with some young men).

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
6 days ago
Reply to  Daniel Shaw

Because the Overton window has, in reality, moved to the left over the past 20 years.

Dylan Blackhurst
Dylan Blackhurst
7 days ago

The annoying thing about the immigration debate is the lack of transparency regarding the figures.

What does it actually cost the state?

What are the actual crime statistics?

What kinds of crimes (if any) are being committed?

Does religion/ethnicity actually feature at all in the crime statistics or not?

I could go on. The point is it’s left to Tommy Robinson and some even more extreme types to shout about this stuff.

If it’s not as bad as the Daily Mail would have people believe then explain why.

Dr E C
Dr E C
7 days ago

And those people -Matt Goodwin, Ayan Hirsi Ali & a handful of other academics -trying to answer these questions just get vilified because their findings ain’t pretty


Dr E C
Dr E C
7 days ago

This is an excellent org trying to gather & publish the data: https://www.migrationwatchuk.org/

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
7 days ago

The impetus behind immigration is class based. The property owning class gets richer at the expense of rent payers and wage earners and those who depend on crumbling public services. Nothing will change until those who take the profits are also forced to share the cost.

Dr E C
Dr E C
2 days ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

I think that’s probably accurate for the political class enacting the policies, but the downstream pushers for open borders appear to be incredibly deluded do-gooders who have either imbibed the lie that white people are uniquely evil or who think that ‘the state’, which can and should pay for the whole global population, is like dad magically appearing with his check book whenever needs must.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
6 days ago

How is Robinson “extreme”? Because he dared to call attention to the criminal foreigners raping young girls and the police refused to do anything about it? If that’s extreme, let’s have more of it. Much more.

Victor James
Victor James
7 days ago

Mary victim blaming here. After 70 odd years of vicious far-left race hate politics directed solely at the European natives, it look like a growing portion of them have had enough.
A couple of anti-white race hate attacks were mentioned. How many anti-white race hate attacks have happened in Europe since the colonisation began?
Native Europeans are being assaulted on all fronts, physically, demographically, culturally, economically, spiritually.
What should they do? How about start judging people on the actual content of their characters and not the fantasist illusions their oppressors want them to see,

David Morley
David Morley
7 days ago
Reply to  Victor James

vicious far-left race hate politics directed solely at the European natives

It’s globalism, not some sort of far left wing plot against the natives. Left wing views of the brotherhood of man and a preference for cosmopolitanism are a nice fit with globalist ideas of workforce mobility, but they don’t drive it. And ideas which you think of as “far left” are now pretty mainstream amongst those who really wield power. It’s only left wing ideas related to wealth redistribution that have fallen by the wayside.

Victor James
Victor James
7 days ago
Reply to  David Morley

Ah yes, claim anything ‘mainstream’ can’t be extreme given it’s the policy of those in charge. Pick any genocidal regime in history. Clearly, genocidal policies are not extreme given those who wield power are genocidal?
As for globalism, the far-left equate globalism with the importation of the third world into western nations. But there are many way to implement and manage ‘globalism’.

Last edited 7 days ago by Victor James
David Morley
David Morley
6 days ago
Reply to  Victor James

– Ah yes, claim anything ‘mainstream’ can’t be extreme given it’s the policy of those in charge.

Now where did I do that, Victor.

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
7 days ago

A good essay. But it is very remiss of Mary to omit from her list of anxiety triggers for all kids post Twin Towers the relentless terror of being knifed on streets/bridges, mown down by truck or car or blown apart by Islamist terrorist in public spaces in any town or city across Western Europe. Sure we had PIRA bombs. But they did not hate and target corrupt loose young western women. The fact that many student women will never ever express this anxiety aloud signals how deep our ‘debased equality’ derangment goes.

R Wright
R Wright
7 days ago

I’d be interested to hear why it appears that, uniquely among European nations, only Britain’s youth is foolishly leftist given the massive impact immigration has had on shattering their hopes and dreams.

David Morley
David Morley
7 days ago
Reply to  R Wright

First, it depends what you mean by leftist.

But in terms of greater acceptance of mass, fast paced immigration it’s because our politicians were far quicker off the mark in building equality and diversity into the education system at all levels. Globalism and migration were seen as part of the new world, and the key to national success, and preparation of the young was built into the plan.

Martin M
Martin M
7 days ago
Reply to  R Wright

I imagine that things other than “immigration” impact on where on the Right-Left spectrum one chooses to position oneself.

Richard Calhoun
Richard Calhoun
7 days ago
Reply to  R Wright

Sweeping generalisation on your part … I doubt if it will prove to be correct

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
7 days ago
Reply to  R Wright

It’s the middle class graduate youth that is leftist – because the houses they will inherit increase massively in value thanks to leftist policies.

David L
David L
6 days ago
Reply to  R Wright

The upper middle-class, privileged blue haired know nothings, that infest the universities may be leftist.

The working class youth mostly reject and mock woke BS.

Last edited 6 days ago by David L
Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
6 days ago

Stupid headline. The radicals are of the left, and normal people are sick to death of their decades of destruction. The left/right divide is largely just a dated, inaccurate way of dividing voters into convenient groups for the purpose of labeling.

The citizens want the incompetent, foolish, greedy politicians and their appalling media gone. And they want their countries and their cultures restored and protected. Why on earth does Britain have so many Muslim mayors? The country and its neighbors are indeed committing a strange death. It’s long past time to rescue themselves.

Tyler Durden
Tyler Durden
7 days ago

It needs to be said repeatedly- especially to the Labour and Conservative parties so enamoured of it for campaigning- that TikTok is an instrument of the Chinese Communist Party designed to divide the societies of their enemies in the West.

Victor James
Victor James
7 days ago
Reply to  Tyler Durden

Mass third world demographic replacement divides societies. It divides literally, culturally, and even politically. TikTok can’t be blamed for that.

Point of Information
Point of Information
7 days ago
Reply to  Tyler Durden

Heard this before, along with the (accurate) observation that the Chinese version of TikTok only has fluffy or pro-CCP content.

However, TikTok (and similar guff on Instagram) is a monster that once unleashed is hard to control. It has the potential to harm CCP interests (by anti-CCP content going viral at home or in the diaspora, or ditto anti-Chinese content among China’s neighbours) as well as help them. At present it looks like CCP control of TikTok is firefighting political risk in China rather than a planned campaign.

Simon Adams
Simon Adams
6 days ago
Reply to  Tyler Durden

I did think when reading this article of the “LibsOfTikTok” content that is the polar opposite of everything Mary talks about. There is an algorithm that drives content that stimulates the limbic system more than the rest. It therefore hijacks whatever a person is drawn towards, and uses it against all the normal experiences in their lives which moderate extremes.

Caractacus Potts
Caractacus Potts
6 days ago
Reply to  Tyler Durden

I just dropped a comment about the same thing before seeing yours. Spot on. I’m amazed how idiotic our ‘leaders’ are for walking into such an obvious trap but guess they’ll do anything for power.

Last edited 6 days ago by Caractacus Potts
Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
6 days ago

Hard right, radical right, extreme right. Is there some journo rule that requires a scare term to be used in labeling people who do not believe that the wholesale importation of third-world peoples is a good thing? The implication is that the entirety of the left, from moderate to near-communist, is on board with unchecked immigration. For some reason, I doubt it.
As to the issue itself, perhaps it has dawned on younger voters – the ones most likely to use TikTok – that it is their generation that will bear the brunt of the fallout. They will be the ones subsidizing Africans who want to bring along their wives. They will be the ones dealing with Muslims demanding this and that. They will be the ones who watch what’s left of the culture and traditions be shoved aside.
It’s just amazing that the only thing ‘radical’ is the people noticing that unfettered immigration has some not-so-good outcomes. We have the same intellectual laziness in the US, where if “the right” – whether hard, extreme, far, or near – believes A, then the left must believe B. Because reasons. As if the idea that ‘water is wet’ is arguable.

Last edited 6 days ago by Alex Lekas
Norfolk Sceptic
Norfolk Sceptic
6 days ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Many not-so-young voters have been fighting against this wave of dysfunctional modernity for years, but they have been ignored, ridiculed and threatened.

It’s not as though the objections started last month.

Last edited 6 days ago by Norfolk Sceptic
Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
6 days ago

I am aware of that. Just last week, however, Unherd ran a piece on the growing number of younger people supporting the right-leaning parties. This article’s focus on TikTok fits into that paradigm.

Last edited 6 days ago by Alex Lekas
Peter Stephenson
Peter Stephenson
7 days ago

It might go some way to settling things down in the political emotion-sphere if the move towards the right were reported as to some degree a sensible correction to the move towards post democratic technocracy. The right had an emotional scare aura for so many. What is taking place is not scary, it is a correction, back to some degree of representative normalcy, occasioned perhaps by some dramatic stances on the right which were made necessary by the silencing of the full range of public opinion by the left wing hegemony.

Last edited 7 days ago by Peter Stephenson
Richard Calhoun
Richard Calhoun
7 days ago

The political classes have run out of space … their blank cheque welfarism has destroyed our economies and our values.
Expect a future dominated by a race to the ‘Small State’ and low taxes

David Morley
David Morley
7 days ago

I guess you’ll be voting Thatcher at the election then.

Richard Calhoun
Richard Calhoun
7 days ago
Reply to  David Morley

I haven’t decided, but if it helps I wont be voting for LibLabConGrn … they use ‘welfarism’ as an electoral tool and in doing so they have destroyed our economy and our values.
Public Debt now at ÂŁ2.8 trillion and rising!

David Morley
David Morley
6 days ago

Including bailing out the banks, of course.

David Harris
David Harris
7 days ago
Reply to  David Morley

Vote Reform in ’24. And again in’29.

Martin M
Martin M
6 days ago
Reply to  David Morley

Maybe AI can reconstruct the late Baroness, and electoral laws can be amended to allow an AI construct to sit in the House of Commons.

General Store
General Store
7 days ago

Joyful news. Now all we need is that pessimism and anger to give way to Christian re-enchantment. Fill up the churches. Pull down the PRIDE flags. Start having children. Praise God. Wrap our flags around colour-blind civic nationalism – but for that, they need to stop mass immigration now. The alternative is balkanization and 1000 years of conflict

Lancashire Lad
Lancashire Lad
6 days ago
Reply to  General Store

There’s burgeoning churchgoing in the UK among immigrants from African countries that are nominally Christian. Their children are also helping keep Catholic schools from closing due to lack of numbers.
It really isn’t as simple as yearning for churches (old and new) to be filled up. I’m far from being a church-goer, but better that Christian values are being promoted than those whose attendance at mosques doesn’t encourage them to condemn terrorist acts committed in the name of their god, or seek to prevent their kinfolk from committing such acts or grooming underage white girls.

Martin M
Martin M
6 days ago
Reply to  General Store

Thanks, but in a choice between “pessimism and anger” and “Christian re-enchantment”, I’ll take the former any day. I don’t think Christianity has brought anything good to the world in the last 2,000 years, and I don’t expect that to change.

Dr E C
Dr E C
2 days ago
Reply to  Martin M

You don’t think outlawing slavery was good?

Chuck Burns
Chuck Burns
6 days ago

“The radical Right is winning on TikTok
It amplifies a growing sense of anger and resentment”
I think the so called radical Right is a Populist movement that is “mad as hell and we aren’t going to take it any more”, feeling that has started because the Left and Predatory Capitalists have put us into this period of 1984 life experience.
Out of control immigration designed with “replacement” as the goal, the Cultural Marxist woke BS designed to destroy the family unit, and predatory Capitalism designed to turn us into obedient sheeple who will take poison and eat bugs. I think the Right isn’t so radical after all.

Norfolk Sceptic
Norfolk Sceptic
6 days ago
Reply to  Chuck Burns

Predatory Capitalism? I think you mean corporatist, and they aren’t really predatory: companies attempt to win market share, and the weakest fall by the wayside. That is business, most of the time.

The problem is that large corporations can influence governments, so that the laws suit them, like increasing red tape, which they can afford: the smaller businesses cannot. So it comes down to the public sector: the politicians and the civil servants. They either don’t understand Business, or they do, and they have an unsaid motive. Either way, the polite term is dysfunctional.

Perry de Havilland
Perry de Havilland
7 days ago

‘Radical’ Right? Just another example of why the Left-Right paradigm obscures more than it reveals unless discussing France circa 1790.

Martin M
Martin M
7 days ago

Not so long ago, even conservatives believed this an impossibility: it was widely seen as axiomatic that every generation would lean further Left than the last.
Not sure why they thought that. I would have thought it was more a “swings and roundabouts” kind of thing.

M L Hamilton Anderson
M L Hamilton Anderson
6 days ago

If the radical right means – advocating for freedom of speech – then that’s me.
If the radical right means – being sick and tired of wokeness – then that’s me
If the radical right means – having a genuine concern about immigration without assimilation and immigrants needing to have congruent values – then that’s me.
If the radical right means – having critical thinking skills, reading history, believing in democracy, religious tolerance and championing thought diversity – then that’s me.

Last edited 6 days ago by M L Hamilton Anderson
Martin M
Martin M
6 days ago

Ok, so you’re a member of the radical right. What of it?

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
7 days ago

Am I the only one who actually goes to a party’s website and reads the materials on the manifesto to decide who I’m voting for? Reading this makes me feel like a dinosaur for actually thinking in a sustained way about why I’m making a certain political choice.
On a lighter note, the article made me think of the happy times I spent as a child/teenager in the France Mary describes – in my case in the mountains behind Nice. Men in flat caps playing boules in the square (boules carrĂ©es in the villages situated on steep slopes without nice flat spaces), rice on the pavement in front of the mairie after a civil wedding, people sipping pastis in the cafĂ©s at 11am…aaaahhhhh I do love France.

Last edited 7 days ago by Katharine Eyre
Martin M
Martin M
7 days ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Am I the only one who actually goes to a party’s website and reads the materials on the manifesto to decide who I’m voting for? 
I doubt you are the only person who does it, but I wouldn’t imagine doing it would be common. I have certainly never done it in 40+ years of voting.

Richard Calhoun
Richard Calhoun
7 days ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Manifesto’s are a tissue of lies.

Lancashire Lad
Lancashire Lad
7 days ago

Further… a tissue that’s been subject to the blowing of a snotty nose.

Ron Wigley
Ron Wigley
7 days ago

Manifesto’s are simply gaslighting the voting public.

Caractacus Potts
Caractacus Potts
6 days ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Good thinking but we didn’t get to vote for mass immigration, net zero, lockdowns, WHO treaties, farmers being driven out and all the rest. All the globalism unleashed agendas aren’t up for debate. So manifestos are kind of redundant since the political landscape changed. Plus there’s no penalty for not doing what they claim they will.
Your French idylls sound lovely!

Last edited 6 days ago by Caractacus Potts
UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
6 days ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

People who are tempted to vote Green because they are caring environmentalists should definitely look through that party’s website.

Barry Stokes
Barry Stokes
6 days ago

Hard Right, Mary? Right of Centre, yes. You seem to have fallen into Daily Telegraph land.

Caractacus Potts
Caractacus Potts
6 days ago

TikTok exists to promote both sides of any argument in extremis to polarise Western audiences. It’s toxic on purpose. There’s nothing on there that the CCP isn’t happy with, it’s censored in it’s own country, and it’s probably the most successful Psyop in human history. So we shouldn’t be surprised that the ‘radical’ end of any debate is constantly pushed in front of easily influenced and uncritical consumers. We also shouldn’t be surprised that it works so well.

David Morley
David Morley
7 days ago

It would be helpful to know what their position is on issues other than immigration. Men’s rights, women’s rights, gay rights, traditional family structures, abortion, housing, universal health care etc.

Many, I guess, lean left economically and right socially – but it would be good to get some flesh on those bones.

Benjamin Greco
Benjamin Greco
6 days ago

And we can expect more apoplectic, apocalyptic, blather from the Cassandra’s in the media.

john d rockemella
john d rockemella
6 days ago

Why is bukele in el salvador controversial, because he jailed all the gang members who the far left kept going and well funded. He presents a far better future for the country, unfortunately only for 5 years! The far left seemingly want high taxes, big government, high crime rates, high drug rates, population reduction, total control, highly medicated population, censorship, legalise illegal immigration, division on race, gender, religion! Oh wait that is all of them at this stage! Good on a 28 year old taking on the crony system which seemingly hates the young! Im with them! Viva

Martin M
Martin M
6 days ago

Isn’t he the guy that introduced Bitcoin as legal tender? That’s pretty controversial all by itself.

alan bennett
alan bennett
6 days ago

You know a writer is not serious and has nothing to offer, when they call a party hard right, especially as its manifesto indicates it is well to the left.
Try reporting the actual, as opposed to fantasy.

John Pade
John Pade
7 days ago

It’s true: Language is the house of being. Ms. Harrington may not like what Heidegger said but she can’t escape its truth, only try to interpret it into a corner.
Nations’ relations are matters of war and peace and trade. These are the complete extent of nations’ address with each other. If leaders succeed in these confines, they deserve and receive their peoples’ gratitude.
Bodies like the UN and EU are by their nature both incapable of and unceasing in their efforts to expand their portfolios, which are virtually empty but amorphous at their beginnings.
Employment at them attracts that class of dispossessed people who seek an outlet for their frustration at having to live with whatever conventions their origins imposed. The find recognition and community with each other and devote their efforts to extending and legitimizing them by expanding their purview. This allows them to bury the sources from which they emerged.
But at times their sources emerge, refreshed by their native soil and ready to reclaim their inheritance.

Andrew Wise
Andrew Wise
6 days ago

Every generation of politician has had to come to terms with the new media of the day. I just about remember the generation struggling with TV, and the idea of TV debates between the leaders was inconceivable.
Nothing particularly new here.

Jerry Carroll
Jerry Carroll
6 days ago

I saw you on an Unherd panel discussion. You’ve got rizz yourself, Mary. Rely on it more and you can cut your essays in half.

Frank Litton
Frank Litton
6 days ago

Very convincing; a fine contribution. One quibble: would it not be more accurate to say, not that ‘policy is already functionally post-democratic’ but that what we now have is ‘democracy without politics’? The institutions and the culture in which they are embedded that contained conflict and allowed the ‘long-form thinking and debate, that aggregated interests have both weakened for reasons that predate Facebook, Tic-Tok et al. [In Ireland from where I write the beginnings of the decline (transformation?) became manifest in the 1970s]. Certainly, technology is shaping what fills the void as the mediations between citizen and state weaken. Should we not pay more attention to our design for democracy, designing new institutions, reforming old ones? While ‘more local government’ may sound feeble, it is worth consideration, as is the contribution technology could make to the realisation of a new and improved democracy.

0 0
0 0
6 days ago

Certainly true it would be hard to imagine someone like Bardella getting anywhere in politics without a medium like TikTok . He’s image, vibe and innuendo. Yet to show anything more. Hard to see how he can get through the next month without showing there’s more there, though. The EU elections are more like a Eurovision political song contest than any politics of substance. It’s not just old fashioned to say that. Politics of substance is the only way for people to get what they want and need.

Lily Dragonfly
Lily Dragonfly
1 day ago

Why is this article speaking about “the radical right” when actually more than 40% of the French voted for this party! There is nothing “radical” about this party that I heard of recently and continuing to call is such is just another attempt at marginalizing people who don’t think like the “mainstream media” would like them to think..

0 0
0 0
6 days ago

The premise of a general tip to the far right is at odds with the facts. In France and Italy it’s more a question of one far right party scooping up votes from other ones. In France there was a net shift to the left compared to 2019, as there was in Sweden and the Netherlands. Spain showed a small shift from rhe centre left to the centre right.

The situation in Germany is special. Even there the centre right gained more than the far right. The AfD has however made good use of TikTok. As have Hamas and the Palestinian movement generally.

0 0
0 0
6 days ago

Yet again talk about social media focuses on professional would be opinion shapers rather than the user/maker. They’re more in your face and easier to research. And many have at least some importance if not all that they hope for. But let’s not forget the waves that are made by many choosing to use the apps for this rather than that at a particular time.

As an example, look at the impact of social media on the recent wave of campus Gaza demonstrations in the US and other countries. Look beyond the role that played in mobilising the demonstrators or communication among them, important vas that may have been., more important still is the role that played in how and what those not present learned about the events. Instagram and Tik Tok in.particular conveyed messages of support and encouragement hugely appreciated in Gaza and throughout the Arabic speaking world. And similar in some other languages

This not only meant that what transpired couldn’t be controlled by governments of MSM. It also profoundly affected the course of the demonstrations themselves as it became clear to participants that their audience and their raisin d’ĂȘtre was the world, not campus authorities, police or governments where they were. Demonstrators didn’t have to win anything on their local scene. They just had to carry on manifesting to help change the course of history. .

Deb Grant
Deb Grant
6 days ago

Sadly, some kids lurch to tbe ‘right’ has racial overtones, as it’s about immigration and culture, not small state conservatism. I find that more worrying than young Marxists, who, with responsibility, often become more realistic.
However, I do have some sympathy with the French because they are dealing with a large proportion of Muslims from former French colonies who haven’t prospered in France, and whose anti Western culture of repression if women and gays doesn’t go down well.

Brian Doyle
Brian Doyle
7 days ago

In effect what you are witnessing is the terminal decline of Western Colonialism and it’s progeny in the form of Neo Liberal Capitalism
With the Hegomonic USA and it’s $
The Field Marshall who has surrender being the last thing in its mind
China and the Global South in a accelerating manner by way of BRICS is actually dismantling Western Hegomonic controls
Which economically enforced by The G7 and it’s so called World Order
Ah but BRICS countries actually now more powerful economically
In real spending terms , constitute
25 % of Earth’s land mass and 45 % of global population
With a queue forming around the bloc to enquire of and join
Saudi Arabia and UAE being the most recent to join
Thailand currently approving their final draft to apply for membership
And Turkey ( NATO Member ) expressing strong intent to join
This is the massive forces of the Tectonic plates of Geo politics in economic and military affairs now reaching Terminal Velocity in bringing about a New World Order that is based on peaceful cooperation, Mutual respect for each culture, religion and history
And never to interfere or coerce any fellow members
Not in the form of A Camp basis such as G 7 or NATO etc. which has My way or No way built in
A lose lose situation for all who engage
Whilst BRICS is a Win/ Win scenario

Confucious Quote
” Stand Tall and See Far ‘
Display your Humility
But hide all your Strength
The West is crouching in its bunkers and shows no humility
And when it’s strength shown then
They plain for all too see as being actual weakness
E.G. USA decision to impose 100 % tariffs on Chinese EV batteries and Vehicles a move that only hastens the collapse of USA automotive industry
All America had to do was cooperate

The Rise of The Right is standing at a crossroads
You decide go right and then wither and rot