Why is Europe moving to the Right?
It is becoming evident that the political Right in Europe is surging in popularity. In the UK Nigel Farage’s UKIP have scored a monumental success in the recent Brexit vote. In France Marine Le Pen’s National Front won almost 25% of the vote in the 2014 European Parliament elections in France. In Austria Norbert Hofer’s FPÖ almost won the recent election, which will be re-held due to voting irregularities. Germany has the PEGIDA and AfD parties, while Hungary has its Prime Minister Viktor Orbán a vocal antagonist against the EU’s immigration policies.
With such political developments in Europe one may wonder as to what is the cause of the Right’s resurgence? The standard answer of the Left is that the nationalistic sentiment shared by a significantly portion of the European population is due to xenophobia and Islamophobia. In my view such an explanation is merely a shameful attempt to disparage and discredit the Right as evil bigots. However, a German journalist Nicolaus Fest has a different and much more reasonable explanation. In an article of his, Fest argues that “Anyone who wants to defend the freedom of the Western lifestyle will find answers only with the new Right.” In other words the Left is no longer an advocate and defender of freedom, and many in Europe now realize this. For Europeans who value their freedom and want to maintain it and regain it, the only viable political choice appears to be the Right.