By Junyoung Veronica Kim (March 24, 2016)
As Roberto Savio remarked recently, “there is no single European country (with few exceptions like Spain, where the [Partido Popular] can encompass all right wing positions), where right wing and xenophobic parties have not grown since the 2009 crisis, and often are the tipping point in national parliaments.”
Perhaps even more disturbing is how this resurgence of right-wing extremism is being framed in the mainstream corporate media. As the headline of this piece from The New York Times suggests, racialized peoples in Europe are being cited as the cause for the rise of right-wing extremist parties who seek to eliminate them from the region. In other words, immigrants are to blame for their own victimization.
If we reexamine the quote from Savio above, however, it becomes abundantly clear that immigration/migration has nothing to do with the rise of the far right. Rather, it is the global crisis of the neoliberal economic model, prompting European governments to bury the masses of people under one austerity measure after another, while the ruling elites consolidate their wealth and power, that is spurring people to seek out radical solutions. Add to this dire situation the fact that the ruling elites in Western Europe have spent the last several decades discrediting left radicalism through mass disinformation, and those in Central and Eastern Europe have spent the last 15-20 years legally banning outright any ideas even remotely associated with communism, and the result is the perfect terrain for the rebirth of fascism.
This article includes a map showing all of the countries with active far-right political parties. You’ll note that almost all of the countries on the map are shaded and some of the ones that aren’t, Ukraine for example, should have been. Just this past Saturday, hordes of right-wing thugs in Lviv shut down an LGBT festival, throwing rocks and shouting “kill, kill, kill,” ultimately overpowering riot police. The map also shades certain areas in red and others in blue to indicate danger — which is misleading. In France, for example, the far-right has established itself as a contender in the next presidential election.