Angela Merkel’s party, CDU, came in first in the German national election. However, this is not a great victory because what’s important here is that for the first time in post-World War 2 history, an extreme right-wing party, the Alternative for Germany (AfD), came in third in the national election, getting around 13% of the votes.
Few ideologies have changed the contemporary world to such an extent like liberalism did. Liberal demands for the rule of law, democracy, and market economy have been introduced to some extent in all highly developed countries. This, however, does not mean that liberalism, as political philosophy, became redundant in public life.
The Swedish think tank Timbro has presented its “Authoritarian Populism Index”. The index “aims to shed light on whether populism poses a long-term threat to European liberal democracies” (it includes the EU countries as well as Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, Serbia, and Montenegro)
Recently, the eyes of Europe were on the presidential election in France. Macron managed to convince 8.6 mln voters to support him within a year. Although no politician dares to say it out loud, by looking at the outcome, all politicians think about their own careers. And draw conclusions.
What sets liberals apart from representatives of other ideological options is a strong trust in the capabilities of an individual and the key role of protecting the rights of an individual. Building a liberal community is currently of utmost importance, both in Poland and Europe in general.
The rising popularity of nationalist thought all over the world is evident. It has already won several battles in the political competition. Nevertheless, it is important to highlight an interesting occurrence here: nationalists operate with at least two incompatible opinions on the functioning of economy.
In the face of Europe’s biggest so called ‘refugee crisis’ since WWII, many right wing and centrist politicians are using Islamophobia as a way to leverage policy-making in the West, to the detriment of human rights. The so called ‘refugee crisis’ reflects a crisis within Europe.
Similarly to Le Pen, Donald Trump or Brexit, Kotleba has been playing on the same phenomenon (the frustrated, dissatisfied people), which he skillfully manipulates to such an extent that he easily gets public support. The real threat to Europe is right now posed by Europeans themselves.
The answer to populism is not more populism. Demagogues can be defeated without lies. In the recent U.S. election two extremely untrustworthy candidates tried to outbid each other in telling the biggest lies. You can promise blood, sweat and tears and still be loved.
It is not true that we face a drastic crisis of liberal movements – it is the alternative to these organizations that has changed radically as a result of a deep structural crisis of the left wing. To put it plainly and oversimplifying a little, the democratic struggle in the Western world takes place between the “liberal” and “non-liberal” camps.