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Europe’s Fault Lines: Racism and the Rise of the Right

An expansive investigation into the relationship between contemporary states and the far-right
It is clear that the right is on the rise, but after Brexit, the election of Donald Trump and the spike in popularity of extreme-right parties across Europe, the question on everyone’s minds is: how did this happen?

An expansive investigation of the ways in which a newly-configured right interconnects with anti-democratic and illiberal forces at the level of the state, Europe’s Fault Lines provides much-needed answers, revealing some uncomfortable truths.

What appear to be “blind spots” about far-right extremism on the part of the state, are shown to constitute collusion—as police, intelligence agencies and the military embark on practices of covert policing that bring them into direct or indirect contact with the far right, in ways that bring to mind the darkest days of Europe’s authoritarian past.

Old racisms may be structured deep in European thought, but they have been revitalized and spun in new ways: the war on terror, the cultural revolution from the right, and the migration-linked demonization of the destitute “scrounger.” Drawing on her work for the Institute of Race Relations over thirty years, Liz Fekete exposes the fundamental fault lines of racism and authoritarianism in contemporary Europe.

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  • Building a Political Alternative: Stathis Kouvelakis on the French Presidential Election

    Feyzi Ismail's interview with Stathis Kouvelakis — a member of the Greek Popular Unity party and a supporter of La France Insoumise — about Emmanuel Macron's victory in the French presidential election and the prospects for the radical left was first published at Counterfire


    France Insoumise International Women's Day demonstration, March 2017. via Flickr.

    What is your assessment of Macron's victory over Le Pen and how did we get to this?


    We shouldn't underestimate the danger of Le Pen's result of 34.5%, even if she wasn't elected. This is a solid performance that makes her appear as a credible alternative for power, which means the slogan we have been hearing that says "Macron in 2017 equals Le Pen in 2022" has the potential to become true. This is one essential reason why against all odds the left should have been supporting a tactical vote for Macron for the second round. Abstention under these conditions was not an option.

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  • Let's Now Make Sure the Fight Continues



    A huge win for Emmanuel Macron on 65.1% and a bit of a slap in the face for the Front National, who failed to hegemonise either the Right or the so-called "anti-neoliberal" vote. These, indeed, are not united constituencies. There seems to have been a relatively poor turnout (5% or so lower than usual) plus about four million spoilt ballots, historic in the French context or indeed any advanced democracy. 

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  • What tomorrow will be…

    First published in Libération. Translated by David Broder. 



    "What tomorrow will be…" — here I am re-using a title of Derrida’s, in turn borrowed from Victor Hugo.1 This is very apt indeed as a reference to something that is troubling a lot of voters on the more or less radical Left, as they face up to their "electoral duty" in the second round of the presidential election. I do not claim to be getting rid of the uncertainties now clogging up our horizon. But I do want to try to circumscribe and name them, which is in our common interest.

    We know what we are going to vote against, why we are doing so and how to do it. There is no prevarication, here: we will be choosing Marine Le Pen’s adversary, who has a name on the ballot, which is Emmanuel Macron.

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