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Views on the success of Europe’s green parties

June 27th, 2019

A left-wing political analyst and a conservative commentator wonder why green parties have become so popular in Western Europe, and how the advance of environmental thinking will impacts mainstream parties.

In Népszava, Ádám Paár considers the new momentum of green parties in Western Europe. The left-wing economist recalls that in the most advanced EU member states, green parties surged in the EP election, while traditional social democratic parties declined. Paár explains these developments in terms of the ideological and organizational shifts on the Left. He points out that social democratic parties abandoned their initial radical rhetoric long ago. Today, social democratic parties want strong welfare states, but do not criticize global capitalism as such. Paár adds that the mainstream Left’s base is the middle class, and not blue collar workers. Therefore, centrist social democratic parties cannot embrace tough anti-globalist and anti-capitalist green ideology. He suggests that in Europe, green parties have replaced communist parties in channeling anti-globalist and anti-capitalist radicalism.

On Mandiner, Dénes Mihály Uri argues that Conservatism can easily be squared with green doctrines. The conservative commentator claims that conservatives by definition stand for the protection of the environment along with the protection of religion, families and other traditional communities. He adds that conservative anthropology also rejects progressive ideologies that put material well-being, as well as the left-wing liberal perception of individuals as ‘homo economicus’ in the first place. Environmentalism presupposes inherent natural values as well as human community, just as Conservatism does, Uri contends.

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