Nationalists and Populists (II)


Nationalists and Populists (II)

Written by Alfonso Elizondo


The far right knows how to pick up the discontent of the common citizen and respond with simple solutions to underlying problems that were hidden by traditional parties. So these new parties use populist tactics to oppose the elites who are associated with the old politics and the people. In a way, all these tactics are movements that challenge the established political order, according to Pol Morillas, director of CIDOB. In fact, it is the rejection of globalization from the political right. Unlike political movements on the left, the elites not only hijacked the rights of the people, but are traitors to the nation because they have fostered multiculturalism, according to Xavier Casals a historian who studies the far right.

For Jordi Vaquer, director of the Open Society Initiative for Europe, the current crisis has created a window of opportunity that allows the discourse of the elites against the people to work very well, even when the people are having a very hard time. However, the experts point out that there is no direct correlation between the economic crisis and the rise of the far right because the causes of the current malaise are many and quite varied, such as changes in technologies, new production models, globalization , growing inequality and especially the great disrepute into which politics has fallen .

According to the historian Xavier Casals, there are five cracks in the theory advanced by the French Pascal Perzineau to explain the rise of the far right in today’s world: 1º.- The rift between the losers and the winners of globalization. 2º.- The greater or lesser openness to freedom of movement. 3º.- The division, at the cultural level, between the supporters of a system of liberal values ​​and those who support traditional values. On the geographical level, the clash between large cities and the periphery of medium-sized cities or deindustrialized areas. 5º.- In the political sphere, the clash between those who defend a culture of government and those who defend a culture of protest.

For his part, Jordi Vaquer thinks that there is a reactionary and ultra-conservative response to the advancement of minority rights and the feeling that neoliberal models have failed. Vaquer says that since 1989 there has been an extended period of not only liberalization but also of regression. What everyone is seeing in the current environment is that political discourse has become polarized because everyone is seeking to ridicule their opponents and this increase in aggressiveness is aimed at minorities. This is evident in the emergence of social networks and the great crisis that exists in the media.

For Alex Cobo, co-founder of the Proxy Project against hate speech on the Internet, there is no need to demonize social networks such as his channel, even if it is true, since they have helped to decentralize public expression and bring into the public sphere discourses that previously remained in the private domain.

Addendum: I will continue dealing with this view of the Far Right and Populism in the next and final instalment.