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Far-right: growth, resilience, and normalization

Part I – The importance of identifying the strengthening of these ultra-authoritarian alternatives today, in order to advance in combating them

André Freire, from Resistência-PSOL (Brasil)

There is a clear growth of the far-right in various regions of the planet. This strengthening combines with the resilience of some of these ultra-authoritarian alternatives and also with a process of normalization of their presence in governments and their terribly reactionary political proposals.

Europe stands out as the main exponent of this process.

In the European continent, the growth, resilience, and normalization of the far-right become very evident. We can cite just a few examples:

In Italy, the third-largest economy in the Eurozone, we witness a government led by Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, formed by an alliance of two far-right parties – Brothers of Italy (Meloni’s party, with strong historical ties to Italian fascism) and The League (Matteo Salvini’s party), along with a third right-wing party – Forza Italia (the party of the recently deceased Silvio Berlusconi). With over six months in power, this government has been implementing a radical agenda against immigration and the rights of oppressed groups, especially the LGBTQIA+ community.

In the upcoming legislative elections in Spain on Sunday, July 23rd, polls indicate a possible victory for the People’s Party (PP), the country’s main right-wing party. However, the PP is unlikely to secure an absolute majority in parliament to form a government (parliamentary regime) and will probably have to form an alliance with VOX, the main representative of Spanish neo-fascist far-right, which became the third political force in the recent regional elections held last May. Government agreements between PP and VOX already exist in three regional governments and several municipalities.

France has experienced major mobilizations again this year. Firstly, there was a strong wave of strikes and protests against a pension reform harshly imposed by the Macron government, using violent repression and anti-democratic measures that bypassed even the parliament. More recently, we have witnessed strong and radical protests, mainly led by black youth from the suburbs, against the police killing of Nahel, a 17-year-old black youth from an immigrant family. The existence of strong popular mobilizations, which deserve all our support and solidarity, unfortunately, as everything indicates, has not managed to curb the strength and resilience of the French far-right. Marine Le Pen remains one of the main exponents and an even further-right alternative in the face of Macron’s government’s decline. To give an idea of the seriousness of the situation, far-right sectors are running a fundraising campaign to support the police officer who committed the killing, which has already raised over one million Euros (over 5 million Brazilian reais). Moreover, the majority of police unions publicly support the criminal actions of this officer and endorse the far-right’s proposals and candidates.

Another important piece of information that has been widely circulated in recent weeks concerns the growth of Alternative for Germany (AfD). This far-right organization in Germany, founded just over a decade ago, has recently won leadership in two regional governments, a small municipality (Raguhn-Jeßnitz), and a district administration (Sonneberg), all located in eastern regions of the country. In a recent poll conducted by the Ipsos Institute, AfD ranks second with 22% of voter intentions (compared to 10% in the last elections), behind only CDU (Angela Merkel’s right-wing party) with 26%, and ahead of the Social Democratic Party (SPD), which currently leads the federal government, but has experienced considerable wear and tear and appears with only 18%. AfD also leads the polls for the upcoming elections in four German states covering most of the territory of the former East Germany.

It’s worth mentioning the maintenance of far-right governments in Poland and Hungary, recently re-elected, which are fully normalized by the authorities of the European Union; the rise of new governments in Finland and Sweden, formed through agreements with far-right organizations; and André Ventura’s party Chega, Portugal’s neo-fascist far-right, which remains the third political force in the Portuguese Assembly of the Republic.

The resilience of the far-right is also evident in the Americas and other parts of the world.

In the Americas, we see the resilience of Trumpism in the United States and Bolsonarism in Brazil. There is also a growth of far-right currents in some significant countries, notably Chile.

Trump’s victory in the 2016 presidential elections was a crucial milestone for the global growth of the far-right. Similarly, Trump’s defeat in the 2020 reelection was also a significant blow to the far-right, both within and outside the US. However, even Trump’s electoral defeat did not halt the growth and resilience of these ultra-authoritarian organizations in various regions of the world. Currently, despite the Capitol invasion, a sexual assault conviction, several ongoing lawsuits, and investigations, including the mishandling of government confidential documents, Trump remains a strong favorite to win the Republican Party’s nomination for the 2024 presidential elections, amid a decline in Biden’s popularity.

In Brazil, Bolsonaro narrowly lost his reelection last year by less than 2% of the votes. The defeat of the attempted coup on January 8 in Brasília and Bolsonaro’s recent loss of political rights for 8 years, as decided by the TSE (Superior Electoral Court), put the far-right in a somewhat defensive position. However, Bolsonaro’s electoral defeat, while significant, did not mean the end of broad support for the neo-fascist far-right current in the country, which still maintains about 32% of popular support according to recent opinion polls.

The Chilean elections for a Constitutional Convention in the first half of this year were won by the Republican Party, confirming the trend of far-right growth. Its leader, José Kast, had already obtained 45% of the votes in the second round of the Chilean presidential elections, losing to Gabriel Boric, the left-wing candidate. Now, this Chilean far-right organization is controlling, in alliance with other right-wing parties, the drafting of a new Constitution.

In October of this year, presidential elections will take place in Argentina. One of the leading candidates in some opinion polls is Congressman Javier Milei, a far-right candidate who claims Trump and Bolsonaro as political references.

There are many other examples, such as in the Paraguayan presidential elections, where a candidate known as the “Bolsonaro of Paraguay,” Payo Cubas, obtained 23% of the votes, ranking as the third most voted candidate. In Colombia, Gustavo Petro was recently elected in a very tight second-round election, with the far-right candidate, Roberto Hernández, obtaining over 48% of the votes, with a difference of only 700,000 votes. Additionally, the far-right presence is evident in the support base of the dictatorial and illegitimate government of Dina Boluarte in Peru.

This process of resilience is also observable in other parts of the world. Three of the most important examples are Erdogan’s government in Turkey, which has been in power for two decades and was recently reelected for a five-year term; the strength of Modi’s government in India, with its deep nationalism and religious extremism; and the new Netanyahu government in Israel, formed by the most far-right alliance in the country’s history, intensifying attacks on the Palestinian people and seeking even more reactionary political reforms in the racist Israeli state.

In Part II of this article, which will be published shortly, a closer analysis will be conducted regarding the normalization process of the far-right, the factors that may explain the existence of this strengthening process, and the current importance of prioritizing the fight against these alternatives.

Marcado como:
Far-right / neofascism