For decades after the end of the Second World War,
political parties and movements of the ultra-right bloc in Europe were
ostracized and associated with the ideology of Mussolini and Hitler. The far
right of the fifties and sixties was mostly neo-Nazis or revisionists. They
wanted another state and order. Their speakers and, to an even greater degree,
their supporters appeared to be the rude rebels, terrifying citizens.
In the early 1970s, a group of Western European
writers, historians and philosophers, Alain de Benoist, Dominique Venner,
Guillaume Faye, Pierre Vial, later called the «New Right», criticized the state
of «European affairs», posing questions about the crisis of European identity,
«erasing faces «of national states, decrease in the efficiency of national
economies and a general weakening of Europe amid «global challenges». The
organizational expression of this movement was the «Group for the Study of
European Civilization» (GRESE), which united in the late 60s of the 20th
century. Nearly five hundred intellectuals were prominent politicians,
scientists and representatives of the creative intelligentsia. The main goal of
the «new right» was «the revival of European culture, affected by «the diseases
of the leftism of nihilism» and the «loss of roots».
Almost everywhere in Europe the popularity of
right-wing nationalist parties was growing with the appearance of a new
theoretical concept. And this was not a phenomenon which only researchers
notice. National elections, as well as elections to the European Parliament
made it clear. It would be difficult to control the new political wave by
politically correct ideologists. From terrorism and power acts, they slipped to
the political struggle.
New parties and movements are coming differently than
their predecessors to the power. Such things still exist, they arrange
skirmishes, but today in most countries they do not have a chance for broad
support, as before.
What has changed since then is that the urgent issues
only for the far right have become a common agenda now. This followed a series
of unpleasant events for Europeans, which were caused by the economic crisis of
2008 along with the wave of immigration that we are witnessing nowadays.
The popularity of radical parties among the electorate
is linked not only with a change in the political conjuncture, but also with
the change of radical image, course and the shift of these parties towards
Several right-wing parties existed and had popularity
in 2000. They conclude the «People’s Party» in Denmark, the Italian «Northern
Union», the Hungarian “Jobbik” and the Austrian «Freedom party».
In this essay I
will describe and analyze the theoretical framework developed to analyze the
theoretical basis that have in common the right-wing parties.
of right-wing parties
Traditionally, the basis of
differentiation on the right and left in political science are socioeconomic
factors. The right advocates for the minimal role of the state in the economy
and believe in self-regulation of the market, while the left insists on active
intervention and redistribution of income. Such a definition is little suited
to present-day realities, when the far-right often advocates for a “welfare
state” (however, only for indigenous people). More relevant is the
division in relation to egalitarianism – the extreme right basically insists
that inequality is a natural phenomenon and lies outside the sphere of state
But there is also a variety of terms relating to
right-wing parties: “ultra-right”, “extreme right” and
Pippo Norris, an Italian researcher, compiled a
combined 10-point scale where the anti-immigrant orientation and the party’s
position on the left-right axis are estimated, the right-wing party is
considered to be right-radical if it scored more than 8 pp. The Dutch
researcher presented his scale, where parties could score from 0 to 1.0, to the
far right included parties that scored more than 0.85 for a number of
characteristics. In general, these studies distinguish one and the same group
of parties, which fall and selected for analysis in this paper. Of course,
there are many differences between right-wing parties, but they have much in
Analyzing the ideological and programme component of
the extreme right-wing parties’ basis in Europe, we can single out that they
all correspond to one or several theoretical features:
Striving to dissociate themselves from the fascist movements of the past that
have been compromised, the neo-fascists in practice, nevertheless, reveal their
ideological and political connection with the forms of fascism that have
developed between the two world wars. The most important distinctive features
of all neo-fascist political trends and organizations are extreme nationalism,
chauvinism, the racism, criticism from the ultra-right positions of governments
,operating within the framework of the parliamentary system; the use of
violent, terrorist methods of political struggle. Neo-fascism is hostile to
humanism, cultivates low-level instincts, often uses fascist attributes
(swastika, black uniform, fascia, etc.) and rituals (greetings through hand
thrown out, torchlight processions, etc.). Using the methods of social and
nationalist demagogy modified (with regard to the emerging political
situation), neo-fascists try to cover part of the population (primarily small
entrepreneurs, middle-level officials, some layers of youth, etc.), which has
been knocked out of habitual conditions as a result of exacerbation
contradictions of modern capitalist society.
is an ideology, the basic principle of which is the thesis of the highest value
of the nation. As a result, in modern Europe we have two opposing nationalist
ideologies that feed each other, colliding in conflicts on ethnic boundaries.
There are no fundamental worldview divergences between them, differences are
observed only in the specifics of the development of states and nations, at the
level of their economic, political and demographic state. The first group of
nationalists can be called national conservatives, supporters of the
preservation of the status quo, protectors. As a rule, these currents are
reactionary, they are primarily oriented toward combating migration from other
countries, preserving the mono ethnicity and monoculture of the country.
Maintaining national identity from the point of view of the first group can
mitigate the negative aspects of globalization, manifested in the expansion of
civilizational and cultural elements that are not characteristic of the titular
nation. This kind of nationalism is mainly characteristic of countries that are
at a high level of economic and social development, but at the same time with
low demographic indicators – Britain, Germany, France, etc. These factors
create objective conditions for migration from abroad, which, in turn, affects
the popularity of nationalist ideology.
The second group of nationalists is interested in changing existing
state and ethnic borders, referring to the right of nations to
self-determination, declared in the resolution of the UN General Assembly. As a
rule, the National Revisionists represent the peoples of the outskirts of
former empires, in which the centers continue to restrict the independent ties
of the provinces with the world community. Overcoming dependence on the
metropolis, from the point of view of modern separatists, should help the
nation directly to contact the world’s major centers of power that can ensure a
comfortable existence of the people better than the outdated structure.
or propaganda of exclusivity or superiority of one part of the population over
another. In spite of today’s world absence of ability to have such obvious
racial hatred as in the days of fascism, the right-wing parties constantly
exploit the image of immigrants (mainly with Islamic roots) as black sheep in a
white flock or as trash that invades the country. Islamophobia plays for the
new racism a role that before World War II anti-Semitism played for nationalism
and fascism. The caricature of a Muslim Arab painted by modern xenophobia does
not differ from how it portrayed Jewish anti-Semitism in the early 20th
century. Beards and caftans, which in the past distinguished immigrant Jews in
Central and Eastern Europe, correspond to the beards and veils of Muslims
4. Commitment to liberal principles. The vast
majority of right-wings parties demand to reduce the influence of the state in
the economy. So called economic liberalism – ideology, that further the
laissez-faire economy, free market and maximum trade freedom and competition,
the supporters believe that political freedom and social justice are
inseparable from economic freedom.
– tactic of direct «flirting» with a wide masses of the people, distribution of
unreasonable promises in order to gain popularity in the election campaign.
Nowadays, throughout the world, we can see the growing popularity of the
so-called «populism» which presents outstanding politicians and parties that
speak with voters in an understandable, simple language, opposing to an
establishment that has lost touch with folk speech and expectations. Populists
offer clear answers to all these challenges: «worthy life for everybody», «no
to the establishment», «let’s face the problems and call a spade a spade”. This
attracts ordinary people from the province, representatives of various power
structures, starting from the army and finishing the police and civil servants
of the lower level. This is a reason why right-wings parties attracts many people, especially young people, who
reject the current society, who want to fight to change it and try to do it
with a different style from traditional politics, through occupations,
concerts, conferences, pub nights, projects, and mobilizations. Young
supporters who want to demonstrate their beliefs. And as the party’s programme
contains an implicit consent to violence, one can not exclude that the force
will be used repeatedly in the course of various actions (on the initiative of
the party s members or in response to
the opponent s actions).
6. Anti-Semitism, xenophobia and anti-communism. Fascist
ideology is generally characterized by a constant search for internal and
external enemies. This is necessary to rally the nation and prepare it for
aggression. Therefore, the basis of psychology is the obsession with the idea
of a conspiracy, if possible international. People should feel themselves besieged.
The best way to focus the audience on a plot is to use the xenophobic springs.
However, the internal conspiracy is also suitable, Jews and Communists are well
suited for this, because they are both inside and outside. These stereotypes,
often referring to foreigners with pronounced physiological and psychological
differences, flow from oriental and colonial thinking, which allowed them to be
identified through a negative, fear-based identification of the
“other”, which was always perceived as an “invader” and an
“enemy.” It can be argued that the mood of intolerance and discord is
practically spread in the information space, while the role of anti-Semitism as
a key, the central theme turns out to be a kind of psychological factor
stereotypes and myths designed to work out the technology of hatred and
radicalization. For Mussolini, the socialists were a constant enemy. Hitler
declared the Communists the enemies number one,
because they were the main obstacle for the Nazis to get the workers on
their side and in winning the election. Jews were declared enemies by Hitler
because they, in his opinion, littered and weakened the “Aryan race”,
and also because of personal antipathy.
To date the existing diversity of
ultra right parties, often have a different requirements. Thus, there are
ultra-right parties of a neo-fascist character characterized by nationalism,
anti-Americanism, anti-Semitism, opposition to Marxism and liberal ideology,
traditionalism in the social sphere, aspiration for authoritarianism, etc.
These parties do not have much influence, however, they are often engaged in
extremist activity. In addition, such parties are judged to be successors to
fascist and national-socialist parties that existed in the 20th century.
Certainly, the existence of a certain principles and
priorities depends on the specific situation in the country, its economic
There are still debates whether it is worthwhile to
classify neo-fascist parties and organizations as one of the extreme right. We
should admit that fascism is the sign of the extremely right ideology, but many
modern extreme right-wing parties and movements have not transformed into a
rise of this phenomenon was caused by the economic crisis, political turmoil
and continuing unemployment, falling
living standards, absence of opportunities, and corruption have called liberal
free-market values into question.
political practice, fascism, in order to create a total unity of the nation,
used methods of terror and the destruction of political opponents, reprisals
against all dissidents.
The political system of the state
with the arrival of fascists to power became typically totalitarian due to the
state-owned media, the education and upbringing system, the destruction of the
multiparty system, and the expansion of punitive organs. The goals of foreign
policy fascists considered the expansion of the state at the expense of the
territories of other countries, the conquest of “living space”.
After the Second World War, which ended
in the defeat of fascism, its ideology was condemned and banned by the Nuremberg
Tribunal. Therefore, there are no officially functioning fascist parties
anywhere in the world.
Nevertheless, in the modern world
there is a fascist ideology. Neofascist groups and associations manifest
themselves in Germany, Italy, Spain, the United States, Russia and other
The rise of the popularity of extreme right-wing
political parties around the world reflects the inability of modern governments
to solve problems of public concern. Therefore, on the wave of growing
confidence in the rhetoric of the far-right forces, the lessons history taught
us we should never forget, namely, that the consequence of radicalism is the
lack of freedom, destruction and a huge number of victims of the fascist`s
dictatorship and National Socialists. History repeats itself and one who does not
learn from the past pay the price in future.