The real threat to Europe isn’t a fascist revival, it’s the end of politics
If there is a single overarching tendency to emerge from the European polls it is therefore not the widely taunted “revival of fascism,” but rather a withering of the traditional “left versus right” distinction amongst political parties, coupled with a realignment along new political lines. This could be described as the emergence of a new axis of political opposition, between technocracy and populism.
The ‘”technocrats” are the members of the traditional political parties, appealing to reason and common sense in order to justify a perpetuation of the current European framework and policies. The “populists” are the anti-establishment movements appealing to nationalist sentiment and a generalized sense of disenfranchisement, calling for a radical rejection of the whole system.
A sense of democratic emergency is lurking in Europe. Although hardly unexpected, the European elections, which favored anti-European, rightwing parties across several countries, have elicited reactions of indignation and dismay from the political establishment. German chancellor Angela Merkel referred to the results as “alarming” and “regrettable,” while the recently nominated French Prime Minister, Manuel Valls, described them as a “political earthquake.”
In the mainstream press, there has been widespread allusion to the potential threat of a “fascist revival” sweeping across Europe, as a reaction to the ongoing crisis, with numerous analysis likening the current situation to Weimar Germany.
These kinds of analyses help the mainstream opinion’s conscience, drawing a line between the “reasonable,” “respectable” part of Europe that voted for the traditional parties, and the “dangerous” and “irrational” part that chose vent its frustration through a protest vote. Furthermore, and perhaps most importantly, they urge all those who think of themselves as belonging to the first…
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