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Tue Oct 29, 2013, 07:11 AM

The European far-right is growing (by adopting "left" polices).

The rise of the French NF mirrors the growth in support for nationalists across Europe, with the far-right in Austria, Bulgaria, Poland and Austria also registering high in the polls on current projections. Dutch anti-Muslim populist Geert Wilders is polling well and Greek Neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn is now the third biggest party in Greek politics.

“Fear of immigration, crises of identity and recession combined have created a climate propitious to ultranationalist, anti-European ideology,” writes Le Nouvel Observateur columnist Jean-Gabriel Fredet.

Ironically, France’s FN has grown in popularity as the party has combined anti-immigrant sentiment with the sort of anti-globalisation, anti-market rhetoric that is usually the preserve of the left. This explains why the French Socialist Party is losing just as many voters to Len Pen as the centre-right UMP.

This combination of economic populism, anti-establishment rhetoric and xenophobia is not new – 20th century fascism was well known for it - but it has become an increasingly effective tool of the far-right as mainstream parties of the left have come to be seen as just as much a part of the establishment as their conservative counterparts.

http://www.leftfootforward.org/2013/10/the-european-far-right-is-growing-and-not-only-for-the-reasons-you-think/

It is interesting how the European far-right has kept its most disgusting policies - racism, xenophobia, ultra-nationalism - while covering it with a "populist dressing of the left and centre" - pro-choice, gay-friendly, anti-globalism, anti-market, anti-EU. The mainstream liberals are more pro-EU, pro-immigration and pro-trade.

The tea party types in the US are similar in terms of their disgusting policies but different in that they do not support most of the "populist dressing of the left and centre" like the European far-right.

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Reply The European far-right is growing (by adopting "left" polices). (Original post)
pampango Oct 2013 OP
Laelth Oct 2013 #1
pampango Oct 2013 #3
Laelth Oct 2013 #4
Puzzledtraveller Oct 2013 #2
JHB Oct 2013 #5
Puzzledtraveller Oct 2013 #7
Laelth Oct 2013 #6

Response to pampango (Original post)

Tue Oct 29, 2013, 07:40 AM

1. Truman was spot-on.

This quote often gets truncated, but the whole thing is necessary to understand its full implications:

I've seen it happen time after time. When the Democratic candidate allows himself to be put on the defensive and starts apologizing for the New Deal and the fair Deal, and says he really doesn't believe in them, he is sure to lose. The people don't want a phony Democrat. If it's a choice between a genuine Republican, and a Republican in Democratic clothing, the people will choose the genuine article, every time; that is, they will take a Republican before they will a phony Democrat, and I don't want any phony Democratic candidates in this campaign.

http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Harry_S._Truman


When, in a modern republic like the United States, the center-left party is seen as a defender of the status quo, Republicans win, according to Truman. What the present article shows, is that fascism erupts when the center-left party no longer is seen as the defender of the people. That's exactly the position that the 3rd Way Democrats have put us in.

k&r for exposure.

-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Reply #1)

Tue Oct 29, 2013, 09:04 AM

3. In much of Europe the center-left has constructed societies with high/progressive taxes,

effective national health care systems and strong unions and safety nets.

Defending that status quo from attacks from the far-right is more complicated than in the US where the status quo is much worse. The far-right - both in Europe and the US - seeks to define "the people" along more racist and nationalist/xenophobic lines than does the center-left which has a more non-racial, pan-European and global perspective.

I agree that the left should always defend "the people" (using a broad definition) from conservatives of both the corporate variety (which skew power and money to the 1%) and the far-right "populist" variety who defend only "the people" who meet their very narrow and immoral criteria.

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Response to pampango (Reply #3)

Tue Oct 29, 2013, 09:15 AM

4. Admittedly, the dynamics vary by country.

My central point is that fascism erupts when the center-left parties are seen as defenders of the wealthy and the powerful, and I suspect I could have made that point more clearly.

Thanks for the response.

-Laelth

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Response to pampango (Original post)

Tue Oct 29, 2013, 07:43 AM

2. Nationalism+Socialism?

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Response to Puzzledtraveller (Reply #2)

Tue Oct 29, 2013, 09:31 AM

5. The Strasser faction of the Nazis was that way (before Hitler purged them...

...during the night of the long knives). Their view could be characterized as "socialism for good True Germans, the stick for everyone else". About ten of the NSDAP's original "25-point program" involved social welfare (for Germans), anti-profiteering, and seizure of certain assets of the wealthy (the definition of which was never too far from 'the Jews', but was still at least nominally about economic power). The rest was the common assortment of RW nationalist and anti-semitic things Hitler made them infamous for.

Whenever you hear RW rewriting of history that the Nazis were "left", this is what they point to, conveniently ignoring (or just ignorant of) the fact that they were just a faction of the Nazis, and were not the ones who took control of Germany and became The Nazis as Americans think of them.

(Not to in any way imply that the Strasser faction was any prize, merely to point out that they were of the "good stuff for us, screw everyone else" camp of RW ideology)

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Response to JHB (Reply #5)

Tue Oct 29, 2013, 11:33 AM

7. Thank you

I think that lays it out really well and how you can see the right try to run away with it. Using The Golden Dawn for example if they were the ruling power and basically took over controlling everything, all policy. What form of government would they be or create?

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Response to pampango (Original post)

Tue Oct 29, 2013, 10:26 AM

6. Kick. n/t

-Laelth

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