Who may profit from the rise of the extreme right in the West?

European Parliament.Plenary session week 41, 2013 in Strasbourg - Rise of right-wing extremism in Europe Council and Commission statements. It’s the 7th Parliamentary Term. Gurmai, Zita (S&D, HU) has the floor in the Plenary. Not many of her colleagues are there to listen though. (EP Audiovisual Services, 09/10/2013).

European Parliament. Plenary session week 41, 2013 in Strasbourg – Rise of right-wing extremism in Europe, Council and Commission statements. It’s the 7th Parliamentary Term. Gurmai, Zita (S&D, HU) has the floor in the Plenary. Not many of her colleagues are there to listen though. (EP Audiovisual Services, 09/10/2013).

The European Parliament seemed abruptly awoken yesterday to an ugly reality, by recognising the rise of right-wing extremism in Europe, while discussing the murder of Pavlos Fissas, the Greek social activist slaughtered by the gangs of Golden Dawn. Of course the EU Parliament is not the only western top decision making body to suddenly discover, that in many ways our western democracies are hostages to right wing extremism. The American Good Old Party of Republicans appears currently to have fallen in the hands of a small group of extreme right-wing deputies, who are closely related and actually elected with the support of tea-parties, the circles which regroup the most backward and antisocial elements of the American society. Now these few Republican deputies have dragged the GOP to such a point of political absurdity, as to threaten the US and the world with a total financial collapse.

Coming back to Europe, EU legislators saw this murder as the latest symptom of a growing movement which does not spare any EU country. Many said the the EU needs to pay more heed to citizens’ concerns, as the prolonged crisis has left them more willing to turn to extreme views. Unfortunately for them this tendency is at least three years old and the symptoms of social malaise are massively taking now the form of support of political extremism.

Support for extremism; why?

With communism utterly discredited and the European left wing parties having been included in the established political elites, the only extremism left in the political spectrum is, then, the extreme right of the right. As a result, some newly appearing or fast emerging from the margins, political hodgepodges, have attracted the amorphous and muffled reaction of a growing part of the population. This is a fast growing number of people, mainly young ones or middle aged and of low qualification and unemployed, who are deprived of any prospect of regular employment, guaranteeing integration to mainstream society.

In view of all that, MEPs on all sides of the Parliament “acknowledged that people’s anxiety, disillusionment, and economic instability had provided an ideal breeding ground for the far right”. Having observed the ugly present economic reality they proposed that “This needs to be addressed by using the rule of law to curtail these movements but also by making sure that governments and the EU institutions do more to take citizens’ concerns on board and adapt their policies accordingly”.

Where do all those extremists come from?

Of course these recommendations go only half way and may even return as a boomerang. Countering social anxiety with police forces is not only dangerous but it leads invariably to the glorification of those who fight the faceless and insensitive authorities. In Greece the poll showing of Golden Dawn, after its leadership was put behind bars, isn’t much affected. In France, Marine Le Pen’s National Front, a rather watered down version of extremism, is gaining momentum and presently comes first in polls, ahead of the centre-right and Holande’s socialists.

In Austria, Finland and the Netherlands the extreme right political formations are now mainstream political parties. Clownish Nigel Farage’s UKIP, an anti-European and quite irrelevant until recently extreme right British political party, prepares for a strong showing in the next European elections. Germany is not speared from extremism. The Alternative for Germany AfD newly formed anti-EU and anti-euro inward looking party managed to gather 4.7% of the votes in the last elections. Not having crossed the 5% threshold to enter the Bundestag, it is now thought to have surpassed this benchmark.

Despite these deafening developments, European MEPs all they had to say was that the Commission should “investigate the activities of neo-Nazi organisations across the EU and set up a database and observatory on hate crime”. Again it’s the dangerous idea that this is a policing matter and not a political economy huge issue. As Bill Clinton had said before gaining his second term as US President, “it’s the economy, stupid”.

Police solution to social problems

As long as almost half of Europe’s youth have no prospects whatsoever for a regular and secure employment, right-wing extremism will continue flourishing. Mainstream political parties and the totality of the European political and economic elites are equally responsible for the present deplorable politico-economic situation in the Old Continent.

It’s more than certain that all the above arguments have been analysed, discussed upon and weighted behind closed doors in every corridor of power in Brussels and all the major European capitals. However, it seems that there is a widespread ‘ideology’ in our western politico-economic elites, that political extremism and along with it, social discomfort aka unrest, can be countered by increasing the police forces and spending more money on security systems, monitoring every group of citizens or individual.

Everybody knows that in many EU countries NSA practices were in absolute cooperation with national security forces. The problem though, when police methods are used to solve political issues, is that this strategy usually exacerbates the problem. We have seen this all over the planet wherever the West tried to install its own governments, without the slightest concern about people’s needs.

Local societies in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria and elsewhere have completely disintegrated after the West tried to govern the places with military and security forces. Of course it’s highly probable that complete dissolution was the target of those interventions in the first place. In Europe and the US however the scenery is quite different. Our western societies have very deep rooted traditions and functioning democratic buffers.

However, if the banks continue extracting a growing part of the wealth produced and accumulated in our welfare countries and keep on ‘guiding’ our political systems with invisible strings, soon a growing part of our tidy countries will start looking like Iraq and Afghanistan. This is already true in the US, where the old peaceful climate in hard labouring towns and large cities’ neighbourhoods gave way to lawlessness and terror. Exactly the same is true for large parts of many European cities.

All in all, in both sides of the North Atlantic Ocean, socio-economic developments are parallel. If the current trends continue for a number of years, the extreme right formulations will strengthen and will surely cooperate with those who pull the strings. After all, right wing extremists might prove cheaper than mainstream politicians.

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

This start-up is making a palm oil alternative from used coffee grounds

What India’s route to universal health coverage can teach the world

World Health Organisation and young doctors: is there any place for improvement?

UN, world leaders, condemn Sri Lanka terrorist attacks targeting churches, hotels, which leave more than 200 dead

Lorenzo Natali Media Prize: 2020 winners announced

How smart farming is helping Brazil feed the world

Window for a Brexit deal: Brussels to think again May’s proposal

4 innovative renewable energy projects powering Europe’s green future

Commission unveils its first Strategic Foresight Report: charting the course towards a more resilient Europe

WEF Davos 2016 LIVE: “You just don’t know if the oil price will be 20$ or 100$ in the next 2-3 years!” top Harvard economist Kenneth Rogoff underscores from Davos

Maros Sefcovic Canete European Commission Energy

Better late than never? Commission runs now to fight energy dependency on Russia with the sustainable energy security package

Eurovignette: provisional deal on new road haulage charging rules

Why the West supports the yen’s devaluation and Japanese over-indebtedness

Main results of G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina

‘€1 million’ fines for rescue boats prompts UN concern for future sea operations

A day in the life of a refugee: the wait

Senior UN children’s advocate says they ‘should never be targeted by violence’

A new era of computing is coming. How can we make sure it is sustainable?

Remembering Kofi Annan

Commission reports on progress in risk reduction in the Banking Union and calls for faster progress on Capital Markets Union ahead of EU Leaders’ meetings

An entrepreneurial point-of view on tackling the migration crisis and the risks of abolishing Schengen

Huge data gaps’ hampering ‘evidence-based’ national migration policies

The European Sting at the Retail Forum for Sustainability live from Barcelona

Where EU air pollution is deadliest

End Syria fighting to avoid ‘even greater humanitarian catastrophe’

‘Water-forecasting’ and fish farms fed on waste: how innovation is driving the blue economy

EU boosts sustainable cocoa production in Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana and Cameroon

EU regional differences betray an unjust arrangement

Thomas Cook bankruptcy: Better consumer and employee protection needed

It is now the era to evolve mutually as the bacteria do

Afghanistan: Civilian casualties exceed 10,000 for sixth straight year

This NATO experiment used fake Facebook accounts to trick soldiers into sharing sensitive information

Coronavirus is creating retirement insecurity. These 10 steps can diffuse the timebomb of an ageing population

Can climate change action lead to better inclusion?

On Kristallnacht anniversary, UN chief urges renewed fight against ‘crime’ of anti-Semitism

DR Congo: Restore internet services as ‘a matter of urgency’, urges UN expert

COVID-19: MEPs call for measures to close the digital gap in education

Why social working cultures are happier and more productive

Nuclear weapons in Lithuania: defence against Russia or target for terrorists?

Journey of my life

Has the EU economy truly revived from the financial crisis?

FIFA and UN kick off healthy living campaign, to harness global game’s ‘huge potential’

The EU Commission by serving the banks offers poor support to European mainstream political parties

The European Sting Cookie Policy

European banking stress tests 2014: A more adverse approach for a shorter banking sector

This is how we make cancer care sustainable and available for all

Can ocean health lead to wealth? Our latest House on Fire podcast tackles blue finance

UN rights office calls on Zimbabwe Government to end ‘crackdown’ in response to fuel protests

The next talent opportunity for the digital workplace? Neurodiversity

Amazon on fire: the interference in global health

How 5G can be a force for social equality

Trump’s Syrian hit the softest option vis-a-vis Russia

Greener tourism: Greater collaboration needed to tackle rising emissions

Why Italy will not follow the Greek road; Eurozone to change or unravel

Q and A: This is how stakeholder capitalism can help heal the planet

Living to 100: why we should plan for more sushi, chocolate and work

EU citizens disenchanted with Economic and Monetary Union over rising poverty and high unemployment

IFMSA and IPSF on the Health of Migrants and Refugees

Mental health: the challenge of society

COVID-19, higher education and the impact on society: what we know so far and what could happen

More Stings?

Comments

  1. Alchemist says:

    If you want to know whether we, Europeans, are able to control own far right ultranationalists like Breivik, uniting their attempts with Ukrainian followers like Yarosh, click here (doubtingsteven.blogspot.ru/2014/12/yarosh-genius-or-evil-genius.html)!

Leave a Reply to Alchemist Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s