Quick theory on why Neoliberalism is doing so badly and why it’s not going to get better (hardly any of this is original, but I’m too lazy/busy to list all the sources.
Neoliberalism causes sterility.
Societies that accept neoliberalism therefore have to begin the mass imporation of people to make up for the fertility sink (it’s hard to call this ‘immigration’ which implies the newcomers will actually join the local society).
The people have to come from places that have not accepted neoliberalism to any great extent. This also guarantees cultural values clashes with the local population.
The inflow can’t be slowed down or the arrivals could also be infected with neoliberalism too, and a steady stream of new arrivals keep traditional (as opposed to local) values strong in the ghettos they create.
Since they don’t have neoliberal values most of the new arrivals cannot really succeed in a neoliberal society and they grow to resent the locals who lock them out of their closed circles of prosperity.
The locals resent the foreign values and the lack of success of the newcomers.
Before you know it the political scene fragments into two extremes:
At one extreme there is a coalition of the winners in the human capital game who suffer none of the negative consequences of neoliberal politices and reap the benefits of the increased consumer base. Their primary concern is to keep being winners and to marginalize all the losers. The newcomers they’ve brought in tend to side with them because they’re all that’s keeping a crap ton of angry locals at bay.
At the other end are the local losers who turn to more and more extremes in hopes of regaining something of their lost position.
You can see this most clearly (at varying stages in the US, the UK and now France) and there’s a lot of other European countries where the situation is getting worse and not better.
This is bad, among many, many other reasons, because the center is where effective policy is made and hollowing out the center is not a recipe for progress but for war. Sometimes the missing center is blamed on large scale immigration alone but this leaves out the reason large scale immigration exists in the first place.
For now, I’m fairly sure that Macron will win and this will be heralded as a triumph over populism and nationalism.
In reality, that just means that the loathesome Le Pen will be followed by an even more loathsome populist. This is not a genie that can be held in the bottle indefinitely.