The EU Goose Steps to the Right as Far-Right Parties Surge in EU Elections

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80 Years on From D-Day The EU Suffers Amnesia.

In a deeply concerning shift, the European political landscape has taken an unmistakable lurch to the far-right following the recent elections to the European Parliament. France’s President Emmanuel Macron has been forced into a dramatic move, dissolving the National Assembly and calling snap elections after his centrist party suffered humiliating defeats at the hands of Marine Le Pen’s ultra-nationalist National Rally.

Le Pen’s hard-right forces nearly doubled their support, raking in a staggering 32% of the vote – a 10 point increase from 2019 and more than double Macron’s 15% tally. A “weakened president” in the wake of this rebuke, Macron admitted the EU election was “no good” for his government, decrying the “rise of nationalists” as a danger to France and Europe itself.

Macron’s decision to disband parliament and put the country’s future to a new popular vote in June and July is a desperate Hail Mary – a “huge risk” according to analysts. Yet it underscores just how perilous the menace of far-right populism has become on the continent. From Le Pen’s National Rally to the neo-fascist Brothers of Italy, which won up to 30% of the vote, a tide of nationalism is swamping the political economic policies the European project was founded upon.

The Rise of The Far Right.

We are witnessing a reckoning this blog long foretold – the terrible consequences of the European Union’s contradictory marriage of noble Enlightenment ideals dished out to the liberal left with a coldly corporatist, neoliberal reality.

For years, critics cautioned that Brussels’ dogmatic pursuit of austerity, open borders, and deindustrialization would ultimately sow the seeds of its own undoing. That putting the narrow interests of big business over those of its very citizenry courted a furious backlash as the dispossessed inevitably revolted against their disenfranchisement.

Yet the Eurocrats arrogantly dismissed such warnings, doubling down on their self-defeating economic paradigm that immiserated the masses. Well, the chickens have finally come home to roost with this seismic lurch toward ethno-nationalist extremism.

Observe how the European body politic convulses in a populist paroxysm entirely of the EU’s own making. France’s National Rally, Italy’s neo-fascist Brothers, the AfD scapegoaters – all have been empowered by decades of EU policies privileging corporate dominion over the well-being of its very people. A tone-deaf, undemocratic regime in thrall to special interests and detached from popular concerns created this swelling backlash.

Let there be no conflating this insurrection with the UK’s reasoned assertion of sovereignty and self-determination. No, this is an altogether more cataclysmic rebellion incubated by the EU’s own ideological dissonance – its lofty humanist rhetoric betrayed by the grim material reality of precarity, downward mobility, and civilizational dislocation wrought by its neoliberal diktats.

We’re watching the inevitable outcome when a supranational body purporting to champion Enlightenment values instead relegates entire populations to expendable economic inputs, to be displaced and discarded on the altar of bottomline profiteering. The inevitable blowback when those mislabeled “globalists” prove themselves the most rapacious ethnic nationalists of all, transferring entire nations’ patrimony to an unaccountable oligarchic caste.

However, perhaps most chillingly, the far-right’s ascendance appears driven substantially by younger generations disenchanted with the bureaucratic, undemocratic face of the increasingly distant Brussels establishment. In Germany, the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party surged to 16.5% support, making it the second biggest party as its gains came predominantly from youth voters feeling alienated by EU institutionalism. Their co-leader Alice Weidel tapped into this zeitgeist, claiming “people have become more anti-European” and “annoyed by so much bureaucracy from Brussels.”

It’s a narrative that finds fertile ground amid the EU’s tone-deaf austerity policies and embrace of neoliberal economics that have failed younger generations. Millennials and Zoomers, battered by insecurity and dimming prospects, have proven susceptible to the far-right’s disingenuous economic framing – a con that obscures their true ultranationalist, ethno-exclusionary agenda behind rhetoric of pragmatism. Indeed, across numerous EU states, this deeply unsettling electoral trajectory points towards a future where the EU is under existential threat. The liberal forces of the EU make it easy pray.

Despite token resistance from fading center-left and green parties, a new illiberal hegemony may be rapidly congealing. One which rejects pluralism and the EUs open borders. Its fundamental core principles, instead championing an alienating vision of “ethnic” A Europe hostile to immigrants, minorities.

Again, the EU’s own contradictory policies have helped fuel this resurgent nationalism. By allowing a steady influx of migrant workers to serve as a cheap labour force across the continent, Brussels enabled a dynamic that depressed wages and stoked cultural anxiety among native populations feeling overwhelmed by rapid demographic shifts in their communities. Coming in the wake of a grueling recession, this potent mix of economic dislocation and social upheaval has proven ripe for exploitation by far-right demagogues capitalising on fear and resentment.

Both France and Germany have witnessed firsthand the effects of this EU framework, as an influx of workers from Eastern Europe benefited businesses with an endless supply of low-wage labor, even as it bred a backlash among local populations struggling with stagnant pay and a sense of their nations fundamentally transforming around them. At its core, the European project has always prioritised economic interests over those of its very people – cultivating the seeds of this surging populist outrage.

The ramifications should be deeply unsettling . For if this latest ballot serves as prelude, the continent’s decades-long dance with revanchist ethno-nationalism could undergo a shocking renaissance – representing the bitter undoing of everything achieved since the fratricidal world wars. Lest we forget, it was such chauvinistic ideologies that previously brought Europe to rack and ruin before.

This watershed moment lays bare the contradictions simmering at the EU’s core. A cosmopolitan facade masking virulent identitarian self-interest for a myopic transnational elite. Professed humanism weaponised as a battering ram against rooted peoples with the audacity to demand economic dignity. It portends a civilizational crisis whose ramifications we’re only just glimpsing.

The choice is clear: democratize and de-financialise this neoliberal citadel, or risk stoking the very right-wing conflagration the EU allegedly exists to prevent. For by stubbornly clinging to its globalist economic catechism, Brussels may achieve the ultimate tragic self-defeat – catalyzing the Third Reich’s ideological reincarnation it was created to inter. Mark this moment well.

The backlash has begun. The EU – like others before – has cultivated the reactionary seeds of its own potential annihilation. What blooms next in those poisoned fields remains the great variable of our uncertain era.

Whether this shameful backslide towards the continent’s darkest impulses can be arrested remains to be seen. But its inexorable advance underscores more than ever that eternal vigilance remains the price of upholding democratic pluralism – a struggle in which complacency could prove ultimately fatal.

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