World (NI) – Don’t just think of it as a dirty word, says Richard Swift; a genuine populism of the Left is long overdue. Populism sure is getting bad reviews. All manner of evil is getting laid at its door: racism, xenophobia,…
On July 23, 2016, Tobias Stone wrote a great article explaining how the victory for the Leave camp in the Brexit referendum could embolden the far-right in America and beyond and lead to a wave of far-right populism. Fast forward six months, and many of Stone’s predictions have come true. Trump has been elected to the American presidency and far-right candidates like Marine Le Penn, Geert Wilders, and Frauke Petry are posing serious threats to establishment candidates throughout Europe. In addition, there has been a major resurgence of racism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, and neo-Nazism in America. In response to this, the left has prepared for a political battle to stop the spread of far-right populism.
Stone, however, argues that those who oppose right-wing populism are fundamentally unprepared to combat it. He chillingly states:
“What can we do? Well, again, looking back, probably not much. The liberal intellectuals are always in the minority…The people who see that open societies, being nice to other people, not being racist, not fighting wars, is a better way to live, they generally end up losing these fights. They don’t fight dirty. They are terrible at appealing to the populace.”
Unfortunately, historical events like the rise of the Third Reich and the Rwandan Genocide, help to support Stone’s claim. This leaves many of us wondering what we can do to stem the rise of far-right populism.
The European Parliament (EP), on November 23, 2016, approved a non-legislative resolution to counter or combat “disinformation campaigns and propaganda of countries such as Russia, and non-state actors such as Daesh, Al-Qaeda and other violent terrorist groups”.
Presented by the Polish MP Anna Fotyga of the group of European Conservatives and Reformists, this resolution affirms that the Russian government increased its campaign against the European Union (EU) after having annexed Crimea and launched a “hybrid war” in Donbass (Ukraine).
Turkey plans a referendum by next May on constitutional changes that would expand the powers of the president and will then hold presidential and parliamentary polls together in 2019, a deputy prime minister said on Friday.
Nurettin Canikli told A Haber TV in an interview that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) would submit its proposal on the constitutional changes to parliament on Friday and that the nationalist MHP opposition would support the bill.
“The referendum looks like it could be held around March or April, but it could also be pushed to May,” he said, ruling out any early election before 2019, Reuters reported.
The European Union has a censorship addiction, and a desire to inflict the costs of indulging that addiction on the world’s top tech companies.
Vera Jourova, the EU’s Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, complains that Facebook, Twitter, Google and Microsoft respond too slowly to demands that they delete posts deemed “hate speech” from their platforms.
In May, those companies “voluntarily” affirmed a code of conduct committing themselves to 24-hour turnaround on doing Jourova’s dirty work for her. Six months later, she claims the companies are too slow and that the EU may be “forced” to enact laws to punish them for not shutting people up as quickly as she wants them shut up.
The inaction of Ukraine’s law-enforcement institutions and unrestricted hate speech by top officials is enabling further violence against the country’s journalists.
Watching a video of journalists running for their lives amid choking smoke in a building set ablaze in Kyiv is horrifying. It is even more chilling to realise that some of these people are colleagues and close friends you have known for years.
We would disagree on many political issues, but it is still shocking to see where the exercise of freedom of speech in post-revolutionary Ukraine can lead you. At the same time, the increasing violence against Ukraine’s journalists brings powerful voices at home and abroad together in the expanding uprising against Soviet mentality, which has plagued the country for the last 25 years.