Liberal Heresy

Post-liberal movements in Europe are often denounced as “fascist,” “racist,” or “far-right.” Timothy Less disputes this. Populist parties – “France’s National Front, the Alternative for Germany, the Danish People’s Party, Poland’s Law and Justice, Hungary’s Fidesz and the Austrian Freedom Party” – usually cut across existing left-right divides.

He concedes that “they articulate the concerns of social conservatives, as UKIP does,” but observes that “in matters of economics, their agenda has far more to do with Jeremy Corbyn than Nigel Farage.”

“Far Right” is wholly inaccurate: “Notwithstanding the fact that their party programmes have almost nothing in common with the nihilist visions of Hitler or Mussolini, they invariably sit to the left of a genuinely Far Right party, such as Bulgaria’s Ataka or the People’s Party-Our Slovakia.”

While “unsavoury people associate themselves with these parties as they do with all parties,” in fact “the ‘racist’ label is one applied by a nervous establishment to discredit parties which are willing to challenge the orthodoxies of Liberalism – the modern equivalent of shouting ‘heretic’. More accurately, their politics cut across the traditional left-right divide. It is not conservatism, let alone fascism, but post-Liberalism – and many ordinary voters like it.”

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