Saturday, December 3, 2022
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Carmen P. Flores

Nationalism and far right

Editor of TEJ. Journalist

Populism, nationalism and the ultra-right have resurfaced again in much of the so-called civilized world. Although these political movements deny their relationship with each other, at the beginning of the last century Lenin had said on more than one occasion that "extremes touch". He hinted that the most radical positions, being extreme, end up coinciding in what they propose.


"Nationalism is war," said François Mitterrand. Just a few months ago, the president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Junker declared "nationalism is poison", recognizing that populisms are no longer hidden, they are there and has to be fought against, given the risk that they present for democratic Europe.

Capitalize on euro-rage, the frustration over a changing and unpredictable situation, the rejection of foreigners and everything that comes from outside. The events that have been on-going for a few years now; the refugee crisis, the terrorist attacks, the Greek crisis, have caused profound changes in the way Europeans think and act... This is evidenced by the rise of populist, far-right parties in Europe. 

Analysts are concerned about this phenomenon It is advancing, with the increasing presence of the Far Right and the so-called nationalist parties in institutions.

Former French Prime Minister Manuel Valls explained at a conference in Barcelona that Catalonian nationalism shares the anti-Europeanism of right-wing or extreme-right populism and endangers the future of the European Union, because it opens the door to similar movements in the rest of the continent. 

Valls considers that we have to put an end to the hateful discourses of the independence movements. For the former prime minister, the rise of populism and nationalism is due to the lack of self-criticism in the different European governments. Therefore he calls on the European community to debate values to combat the populism that has been born out of fear and the fact that politicians have not been up to the level of European challenges.

As regards populism-nationalism, which describes itself as peaceful, but with no respect for the law, historian Loris Zanatta places beyond the "rule of law", and illustrates it with examples such as Mussolini, Berlusconi, Beppe Grillo, Falange, Franco, and Catalonian nationalism. 

They all have a common denominator, which is none other than the rejection of liberal democracy, based on legality, which seems an apt description of the latest events in Catalonia.

For Fernando Savater, nationalism is a misunderstanding of the modern state. They intend a return to uniform like the ones that has caused so many evils in Europe over the last century.

Nationalisms, populisms, Far Right, everyone says it all means the same. There are examples of the consequences. In this issue of TEJ, people who are quite knowledgeable about the subject will put their knowledge at the service of readers who want to have more information.



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