23 June 2009

"Culturally protectionist"

Mark Steyn (yeah, I know, but he actually has some good points here) looks at the reasons behind the startling success of far-right and outright fascist parties in the EU elections a few weeks ago. The critical point:

But, in the western half of Continental Europe, politics evolved to the point where almost any issue worth talking about was ruled beyond the bounds of polite society.....if the political culture forbids respectable politicians from raising certain issues, then the electorate will turn to unrespectable ones.

It astonishes me that western European anti-fascists apparently still think that the best way to stop people from voting for fascist parties is by exhortation and denunciation. Surely the first step is, rather, to understand why they're doing it. In countries where a sane alternative party was available which did openly address the "forbidden subjects" (basically, Islam and loss of sovereignty to the EU), such as Britain's UKIP or the Wilders's Freedom Party in the Netherlands, that party far outperformed the fascists. There is not some sudden huge groundswell of neo-Nazi sentiment among European populations. But there is frustration at an insular and unresponsive political establishment. Let it start responding, and give the voters something to vote for, and they'll come back from the lunatic fringe.

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