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Is the Re-nationalization and the Populism of Right Wing Parties Putin's Ideological Paradigm and Strategy for the Destabilization of the EU? Is the Re-nationalization and the Populism of Right Wing Parties Putin's Ideological Paradigm and Strategy for the Destabilization of the EU?
by Dr. Emanuel Paparella
2014-05-28 10:16:23
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Is the Re-nationalization and the Populism of Right Wing Parties Putin’s
Ideological Paradigm and Strategy for the Destabilization of the EU?

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Neue Rechte (Germany), Fronte Nazionale (Italy), British National Party, United Kingdom Independence Party (UK), French National Front (France), Jobbik Party (Hungary), Ataka Party (Bulgaria). What do all these parties, from six different EU member states, have in common? In the first place they are all extreme far right neo-Nazi parties fomenting a revisionist form of nationalism characterized by authoritarianism and populism. In the second place, they, together with other neo-Nazi parties such as Golden Dawn in Greece, Finn’s Party, Sweden Democrats, Danish People Party, Party for Freedom of the Netherlands, Flemish Interest of Belgium, Austrian Freedom Party, Northern League of Italy, Alternative for Germany, have generally improved their position in the last EU elections for the EU parliament of Sunday the 25th of; from 21% they have gone to 30% overall of the EU Parliament; last but not least, and this may surprise some readers, a good number of them are pro-Russia. 

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It was actually a secret for the two decades or so since those right wing parties were formed from 1988 to 2012, but as they continued gaining increasing legitimacy and became part of the mainstream political spectrum, the secret has come to the surface. For example, recently Nigel Farage, who leads the United Kingdom Independence Party revealed that Putin is the world leader he most admires while at the same time blaming the EU for destabilizing Ukraine. Sounds like putting the cart before the horse, but there it is for everybody to see.

This is political phenomenon of right-wing leaders who can agree on little else except dislike for the EU and admiration for Putin is highly intriguing, considering that those parties even if nationalistic and against the EU are generally not ideologically left of the political spectrum, rather they are on its far right. In fact from the very beginning of the Ukraine crisis, Vladimir Putin has consistently accused the Kiev government of being Fascist and Neo-Nazis, and the EU of raising racist and anti-Semitic tendencies among its member states. If that is indeed the case, how to explain this steady flocking to Russia of far-right nationalists?

To begin to unravel this confusing conundrum we need to go back to Putin’s intervention in Crimea of a couple of months ago. The message then was clear: he does not consider the borders established after the Cold War as legitimate. In fact he had already said as much in Nuremberg many years before. Moreover he has appointed himself the champion and protector of ethnic Russians outside of Russia. And here, in this kind of ethnic populist agenda is where the European right-wing extremists see harmony with their own populism and nationalism.

Consequently, and as paradoxical as this may sound, one begins to wonder if European voters are aware that a vote for a right wing party may far from being a mere protest vote for the lack of vision of the European politicians and bureaucrats, is also a vote for Putin. How so?

Here too we need to review some recent events: after the clearly illegitimate referendum in Crimea last March a delegation of Germany’s far right Neue Rechte movement visited there and came back praising the so called “election” as a model to be emulated by the EU. Moreover, Bulgaria’s neo-Nazi Ataka party has demanded that its government recognize Crimea’s annexation by Russia. In France a spokesman for Marine Le Pen, the leader of France’s National Front who has done quite well in the recent EU parliamentary elections, defended Putin’s annexation of Crimea arguing that historically “Crimea is part of Mother Russia.” To go even further back, Russia’s invasion of Georgia in 2008 was supported by most extremist parties in Eastern Europe. The leader of the UK xenophobic British National Party commended Russia for its “robust, transparent and properly democratic system.” Italy’s Fronte Nazionale had praise for Putin’s opposition to gay rights. Bulgaria’s Ataka Party is replete with ultra nationalism, anti-Semitism and xenophobia and has launched its campaign for the EU parliamentary elections in Moscow.

The crown jewel of those far right EU parties is Hungary’s Jobbik, the largest in Eastern Europe and the third largest in Hungary (which won one-fifth of the votes in its national parliamentary elections) and which seems to have the closest relationship with the Kremlin. It proudly shelters Nazi sympathizers and anti-Semites. It promotes the separation of Hungary from the EU and the joining of Putin’s Eurasian Customs Union.

For its support and legitimation of Russian propaganda in European political institutions and fomenting its geopolitical designs to destabilize Europe by promoting pro-Russian politicians on the Continent, this Hungarian party, as well as many of the others, are rumored to be actually funded by Russia

Now, considering those antecedent facts, the question arises: what is it that the European far right neo-fascists find so appealing in Putin? It cannot be his dubious democracy, as shown in his forceful annexation of Crimea. Rather, it may be his macho authoritarianism, populism, extreme nationalism and imperialism combined with a moral conservatism championing the superiority and purity of Russian traditions and culture against a decadent Western culture in both the EU and the US claiming global hegemony, with Russia positioning itself as a key global power.

In effect Putin has provided a political paradigm for right-wing parties throughout the EU. Since the beginning of the 21st century he seems to have determined that the time is now ripe for exploiting the weaknesses and disunity of the EU, not to speak of those of the NATO alliance; in effect he determined that it was time to aggressively promote its re-nationalization. The words of Jefferson may be appropriate at this juncture of the EU history when many seem to be asleep at the switch: “eternal vigilance is the price of freedom.”


      
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Emanuel Paparella2014-05-28 20:26:28
http://www.businessinsider.com/russia-pushes-ahead-with-its-eu-alternative-2014-5

A relevant footnote: the above link will take the interested link to a complementary piece on this issue of Russian expansionism in an attempt to rival the EU. It is by Robert Colson of Radio Free Europe and it titled: "Russia is Still Trying to Build An Organization that can Rival the EU."


Leah Sellers2014-05-29 02:54:13
This is not just Putin's Conscious/Subconscious strategy, sir. Check out all of the State Rights movements (led by the Red Raging Republican-Tea Partiers) throughout America, espousing nullification rights and secession. This is a cancer grown out of the Fear-Anger-Hatred-Violence-Mayhem Ancient Cycle that has been stimulated Globally.
We can OverCome this Cycle of Insanity and Oblivion, but it will take Hard Work, Communication and the Ascension of Doing unto Others what We would have them Do unto Us Thinking and Feeling, Courage, Open Minds and Open Hearts.
Interesting and Insightful article, sir. But President Putin isn't the only Reactive and Bad Actor pushing the Oligarchic, Autocratic, Right-Wing Old World Insanities and Nihilistic Vagaries down the World's over stretched gullet.


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