The Global Rise of Far-right Politics
In her renowned work, Eichmann in Jerusalem, Hannah Arendt famously asserted – which has almost become a cliché – that it was ‘thoughtlessness’ rather than inherit evilness that forced Eichmann to carry out those barbaric orders in such a mechanical manner. The notions that Arendt raised several decades ago seems like are still quite relevant today. With the rise of far-right politics, the question becomes imperative, and whether it’s merely thoughtlessness that’s driving the voters to abandon the mainstream political parties or are there legitimate grievances that the system and structures in place have failed to address. However, before we ponder upon the reason behind their rise, let first explore the extent of their influence.
In merely last few years, there has been a surge in support of far-right politics across the globe – Donald Trump might be the one making the headlines, but far-right political parties are making massive gains in the election. According to the statistics available, in the EU, Swiss People’s Party is leading the way with 29% support, while others aren’t far behind: Austria’s Freedom Party (21%), Denmark’s Danish People’s Party (21%), Hungary’s Jobbik (21%), Finland’s The Finns (18%), France’s National Front (14%), Sweden’s Democrats (13%), Netherlands Freedom Party (10%), Slovakia’s Our Slovakia (8%), Greece Golden Dawn (7%), Italy’s Northern League (4%), and Germany’s Alternative for Germany (4.7%). While in Asia, this has been the trend for decades now – since progressive parties rarely came to power and in most countries are a non-existent and almost an alien entity.
With their rise one is reminded of a famous line that Nasti asserted in Sartre renowned play Devil and the Good Lord that, “you bring about the disorder. And disorder is the best servant of established power”.This line embodies the false hope and on occasion vicious and rather troubling promises that the far-right seems to be making – while the moderates and liberals are quarreling about non-issues, the far-right are gaining massive support through classic rhetorical claims taken from the playbooks of 19th and 20th century fascist and the public is supporting those ‘ideals’.Even though each of these parties have different agenda’s and goals, but the common element that they all are promulgating are anti-immigration, fiscal and monetary independence from big banks, corporations and in the case of EU from European central bank; additionally, a closed economy with cultural homogeneity, dominance of a certain religious orthodoxy and a coherent nationalistic narrative.
Some problems it seems are quite legitimate if not all – globalization and the 2008 financial crash caused massive unemployment in several sectors while other factors like economic inequality and disparity are fueling the shift as well – however, the response by the public is apparently where thoughtlessness lies. The right-wing politicians are in every sense of the word same self-centered and ‘personal interest first’ realise who are merely igniting the flames of hatred and disparity to fulfill their goals of coming to power. The rise of these figures and their ascendance will pose a significant problem for the world as they are bound to cause more damage to the culture realm, economic sector, and overall global discourse. One doesn’t have to look further, but merely ponder on the policies; these groups are advocating, a return to the racist, gender selective, economically selective and regressive, culturally homogenous and exclusive past, when Europe ruled the world (most of the world at that time was either colonized or dependent on them) and in the case of US – no one’s sure what Trump really wants, however if we take him on his words then everyone from Muslims to Mexicans, from Chinese to Europeans should prepare for an apocalyptical nightmare that would be both Orwellian and Kafkaesque at the same time. While in Asia on the other hand, they have quite successfully over the years prevented any advancement in education, health, economy or the cultural realm and their continuance dominance will maintain the same power structures that have hindered progress for decades.
Overall, the notion that many people have either failed to comprehend or are willingly ignoring it is that right-wing politics has always brought disaster with it, whether it’s in the form of Hitler, Stalin or ISIS, and Taliban. Additionally, promulgation and support of bigotry is a dangerous and suicidal proposition and the construction of identity which such proximities and propinquities in mind is another place that one should in all circumstances avoid. The solution to global problems whether it’s global warming, conflict settlement in the Middle East and other regions, gender and wealth inequality and many others are dependent upon constructive deliberations, thorough and inclusive debates and progressive politics – Asians democracies and the one’s in EU, US and across the globe should have learned this by now that the problems are quite complex, and they can’t be solved by a far-right bigots.
The writer is a freelancer employee for The Lahore Times Company. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org