Revival of the European Far-Right

8 views

The rise of Hitler’s Nazi Party and Mussolini’s Fascist Party in the 1920s and 1930s first demonstrated the idea that economic instability and a perceived leftist threat could provoke a far-right, nationalist backlash. War reparations, sluggish economies, and the threat of communism in those decades created an environment in which reactionary, racist, and nationalist ideas suddenly became amenable to the general public. Today, a similar crop of right-wing parties (albeit of a milder variety) is gaining traction once again in Europe.

Thanks to the current euro-crisis and the threats of European integration and increased immigration, established political forces have been losing ground to right-wing populism and nationalism. Far-right parties in almost every European country, including France, Britain, Holland, Italy, and the Scandinavian countries, have seen all-time high levels of support in recent months. For the most part, these parties are anti-EU, anti-immigration, and anti-Islam, and many have a past history of racism and anti-Semitism. In light of looming European Parliament elections in May, the popularity of these extreme right-wing parties is all the more alarming. European Union advocates fear that an increase in the number of Euro-skeptic, nationalist parliament members could roll back years of progress and integration, and weaken the EU at a time when it is needed the most. Although authoritarian regimes will not spring up any time soon, these right-wing parties have strong potential to shift political debate by exploiting popular dissatisfaction across Europe.

In France, polls suggest that the National Front (FN), a protectionist, anti-EU, and anti-immigration party with an anti-Semitic past, could win a plurality of the vote in the upcoming elections. UKIP, a British right-wing party with 10 out of 766 total seats in the European Parliament, played a major part in convincing British Conservatives to hold a 2017 referendum on EU membership.

Despite their far-right platforms, UKIP and FN are relatively moderate compared to similar parties in other countries. Geert Wilders, leader of the Freedom Party (PVV) in the Netherlands (the country’s third largest), has called the Koran a “fascist book” and has openly expressed his hatred of Islam. In Greece, Golden Dawn, a party that has been described as neo-Nazi, fascist, and xenophobic, garnered 7% of the popular vote in national elections in 2012, allowing it to enter Greek parliament for the first time in its history. The ultra-nationalist Jobbik party, founded only 11 years ago, has become the third largest in Hungary. Jobbik, which has been associated with anti-Semitic and anti-Roma attitudes, describes itself as a radically patriotic Christian party aiming to protect Hungarian values and interests. In November 2012, a Jobbik deputy leader, Maron Gyongyosi, suggested to draw up a list of Hungarian Jews on national security grounds.

Although these parties are of varying degrees of virulence and differ according to local views on various issues, what they do have in common is hostility toward the supranational EU and immigration and a shared goal of defending their respective nations’ traditions, borders, and sovereignty. At its core, this crop of right-wing movements taps into people’s fears about globalization and change, using such rhetoric as the Euro-zone crisis, immigration, and EU bureaucracy to further its message of national identity and self-determination. Politicians should do all they can to make sure that this band of nationalists does not interfere with the goals of economic and political unity in Europe.

[Image Credit: http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/02554/Magyar-Garda_2554371b.jpg]

About author

Alak Mehta

Originally from Montville, New Jersey, Alak is a junior in the College of Arts & Science, working toward a double major in economics and philosophy. He is interested in a variety of political themes and institutions, but is particularly intrigued by the Supreme Court. At Vanderbilt, Alak is also a site leader for Alternative Spring Break, a community service organization that runs volunteer trips over spring break, and a member of WilSkills, an outdoors student organization. When he‘s not busy doing schoolwork or writing VPR articles, Alak loves to hike and watch soccer. He hopes to attend law school after graduation.

Comments
  • John Deere Repair Manuals#1

    April 18, 2019

    Hello There. I found your blog using msn. This is a really well written article. I’ll make sure to bookmark it and return to read more of your useful information. Thanks for the post. I will definitely comeback.

    Reply
  • Sang#2

    April 12, 2019

    Hi, i have a cost-free wordpress blog site. I have actually added the widgets that come in the widget section. However exactly how do i include widgets that are from third parties such as clustrmaps? If free wordpress blog sites do not permit that, which free blog service permits that?.

    Reply
  • Judson#3

    April 11, 2019

    How can I fix Firefox browser because it opens everytime not only my homepage but 2 more pages from NoScript and Firefox update? I tried cleaning cache and everything I found. Still no ideea! Thanks!.

    Reply
  • Zona#4

    April 11, 2019

    Firefox / internet does not work but internet connection is excellent?

    Reply
  • John Deere Technical Manuals#5

    April 10, 2019

    I’d should talk to you here. Which is not some thing I do! I quite like reading a post which will make people believe. Also, many thanks permitting me to comment!

    Reply
  • look at these guys#6

    April 8, 2019

    What hosting sites will allow my blog to make money off adds being placed on my blog?

    Reply
  • John Deere Diagnostic and Test Manuals#7

    April 6, 2019

    i would love to use hydrogen fuel on my car, this fuel is really nonpolluting but is not yet very available,.

    Reply
  • John Deere Service Manuals#8

    April 6, 2019

    Oh my goodness! an incredible article dude. Thank you Nonetheless I am experiencing problem with ur rss . Don know why Unable to subscribe to it. Is there anybody getting an identical rss drawback? Anybody who is aware of kindly respond. Thnkx

    Reply
  • see it here#9

    April 3, 2019

    I just want to say I am beginner to weblog and seriously loved your web page. Likely I’m planning to bookmark your blog . You surely come with fantastic articles and reviews. Bless you for sharing your website.

    Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *