One Hundred Years of Ideology

Simon Hix has published graphs showing the percentage share accruing to different ideological families in European elections since 1918.


The first thing that strikes one is how constant things have been, all things considered. There was a Radical Right spike in the early 1930s, and a longer-term Radical Left resurgence following the war that petered out half a century later, but otherwise preferences have been remarkably steady.

Some might be concerned about the modern day Radical Right surge, especially since it appears to be far more stable than the fleeting one during the Great Depression. However, its worth emphasizing that the Radical Right today are essentialy the Conservatives of yesteryear. For instance, here is what Charles de Gaulle had to say about multiculturalism:

It is very good that there are yellow French, black French, brown French. They show that France is open to all races and has a universal vocation. But [it is good] on condition that they remain a small minority. Otherwise, France would no longer be France. We are still primarily a European people of the white race, Greek and Latin culture, and the Christian religion. Those who advocate integration have the brain of a hummingbird. Arabs are Arabs, the French are French. Do you think the French body politic can absorb ten million Muslims, who tomorrow will be twenty million, after tomorrow forty? If we integrated, if all the Arabs and Berbers of Algeria were considered French, would you prevent them to settle in France, where the standard of living is so much higher? My village would no longer be called Colombey-The-Two-Churches but Colombey-The-Two-Mosques.

Compare and contrast with his ideological successor, Nicolas “Le métissage obligatoire” Sarkozy.

The Left, too, has grown far less hardcore. Nationalization of the commanding heights of the economy and some degree of openness to central planning characterized Social Democracy a half-century ago and earlier. Now they’re just a slightly different shade of the neoliberal center, while most Communists now abandoned the class struggle in favor of various SJW inanities.

Anatoly Karlin is a transhumanist interested in psychometrics, life extension, UBI, crypto/network states, X risks, and ushering in the Biosingularity.


Inventor of Idiot’s Limbo, the Katechon Hypothesis, and Elite Human Capital.


Apart from writing booksreviewstravel writing, and sundry blogging, I Tweet at @powerfultakes and run a Substack newsletter.


  1. If you see the graph that includes non-voters

    it seems that main story of late 20th/early 21st century is rise of apathy. Ultimately, the left/right conflict is teacup tempest, more and more irrelevant every day. The non-voters are on steady rise, and the future belongs to them.

  2. A very strange graph, does not seem plausible. In the 1930s half of Europe was fascist that is far-right. But in 1945-1990 whole Eastern Europe was 100% socialist plus the rise of the Left in Western Europe in the 1960s. That means there must be a peak of the Left red during 1945-1990 on the graph. On the contrary by 2000 there must be a major steep decline of the Left, unless one thinks that the fall of communism in Eastern Europe was compensated by an unbelievable rise of the left in the Western Europe. His other graphs which treat the post-war East and West differently seem more plausible.

  3. Author of the graphs calculated them from results of elections. Of course, the socialist “elections” with 99,99% for communist party were omitted.

  4. You make a good point about de Gaulle. The alt-right and neo-reactionary hambones might be more colourful and dramatic than old school, continental centrists like de Gaulle, Putin, the Front National or José Ortega y Gasset but I don’t really care.

  5. I think we’re finally leaving the late 20th, early 21st century era now. You’re quite right that was a time of rising apathy. Peter Oborne’s The Triumph of the Political Class (2007) discussed the steady drop in political party membership across the spectrum, along with many other symptoms of this malaise. The political class weaponized boredom and apathy to stay in power no matter how third-rate they became.

    Hillary Clinton was at the head of the stagnant political class who came together at the the end of the Cold War and hung around for more than two decades. Seeing Bono and John McCain at the recent Munich conference reminded yet again just how stale the Swamp really is.

  6. “most Communists now abandoned the class struggle in favor of various SJW inanities.”

    Those are no longer communists, they are now either right-wing Trotskyites or burgeois decadents and the sooner a latter day Ramon Mercader pays them a visit the better.

  7. Hector_St_Clare says

    “most Communists now abandoned the class struggle in favor of various SJW inanities.”


    This is only true in western Europe. In Eastern Europe some of the rump communist parties (the small Workers’ Party in Hungary and the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia) have opposed the Muslim migrant flux, which has spurred some bemused questioning by people who don’t understand how a communist could be against migration. And then of course there’s the communist party in Russia, you know about them better than me, but they seem to be relatively culturally conservative as well.

    There are probably good reasons for that: as my friend who’s a politicial statistician likes to point out, in Eastern Europe leftism is anticorrelated with liberalism (i.e. people with liberal cultural views are more likely to favour capitalism and the market). Even in western Europe, though, the ordinary voters of the communist parties seem to have drifted towards ethnonationalist parties like the National Front.

    “Those are no longer communists, they are now either right-wing Trotskyites or burgeois decadents and the sooner a latter day Ramon Mercader pays them a visit the better.”


  8. WTF is a “right wing Trotskyite?”

  9. We’re seeing some crazy times where the SJW cultural “left” has the elitism and anti-working class, pro-imperialist stance of the old Right and where the populist foundation of the old Left is adopted by the new far Right.

  10. Jaakko Raipala says

    Much of the “rise” of the non-voter must be the inclusion of ex-communist countries since 1990. If you look at any voter turnout map, it looks like this:

    Also, if EU wide elections are included after some date, that also brings another drop that doesn’t actually mean an increase in voter apathy, rather it means that voters never became enthusiastic about the europarliament elections that have been added beside our national elections (which haven’t had a huge drop in turnout at least here).


    The rise of the non-voter share is slow, but steady in the old democracies of Western Europe too. The new rise of radical right comes from the conservatives, the couch potatoes stay unmoved.