Europe's Political Turmoil and the Rise of the Far Right

Drucker, Peter

Publisher:  Europe Solidaire Sans Frontieres
Date Written:  01/11/2018
Year Published:  2018  
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX23232

A look at the recent rise of far-right governments all over Europe and the failure of the left to effectively counter this.



Even in parts of Europe where the current recovery seems strongest and unemployment is approaching record lows, wages are still not catching up. Nor have cuts to social programs been significantly undone or major housing shortages eased. On the contrary, skyrocketing rents in a number of metropolitan regions are increasing homelessness...
Muslims, people of color and EU bureaucrats in Brussels make a convenient, composite scapegoat. The upshot is steady gains across societies for nationalism, racism and reaction, including (invariably male) racist violence on the streets. Politically, this means that in virtually every election where a significant far right party takes part, its share of the vote is a new record high.

Of course, it would make more sense for voters to blame capitalism for their troubles than Muslims or Eurocrats. But sensible explanations on their own don’t convince people. Progressive arguments have to be made and pushed by progressive movements. The weakness of labor and other social movements, and therefore of a left alternative to neoliberalism, is one more central factor behind the rise of the far right.

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