With the global recession, there has been a rise in extremist parties and politics in many countries around the world, mainly right wing, but some
hard left as well, somewhat echoing the similar rise during the depression and the lead up to WW2. The people of many countries are more and more
supporting radical and parties on the far left and right, in response to their floundering economies and immigration, among other issues.
In Europe especially, the right wing has been making strong gains, after slowly but steadily rising for the last decade or so. Many of the parties
that are gaining now are relatively new, coming into existence in the last 20 years or so, and form part of a backlash against multiculturalism. There
have been protests and riots in the past 2 years in Greece, France, Ireland, Belgium and Spain.
In Sweden, the far right Swedish Democrats gained their first ever seats in the Swedish parliament, winning 20 seats. This in a country with no real
right wing tradition, known for its liberalism and famous for its Swedish Model politics. Although not a large ammount of seats, it deprived the
centre-right parties an absolute majority, and marks a significant landmark in Swedish politics, which shocked many moderate Swedes.
In Denmark the government is currently lead by a right wing party, all though they are not as an extreme right party.
In the Netherlands, Geert Wilders Party for Freedom won 24 seats and became the third party in last years elections, built on the parties anti-islam
policies, gaining influence in the Netherlands, while Geert Wilders has become relatively famous as the face of the European right around the world
and the fight against Islam.
Belgium still has no government, 7 months after elections, with the largest party being the New Flemish Alliance, which supports the secession of the
Flemish region from Belgium.
In Austria, the far right made massive gains in the 2009 elections. "Last September, Austria’s far right gained massive political influence in an
election that saw the FPO along with another far right party – Alliance For The Future (BZO) – gain 29 per cent of the vote, the same share as
Austria’s main party, the Social Democrats. The election stirred up terrifying memories of the rise of the Nazi Party in the Thirties."
Neighbouring Switzerland saw a ban on the building of minarets introduced in 2009, while the right wing Swiss People's Party got 29% of the vote in
the last election, the highest ever of any party.
In Italy, the right wing Northern League forms part of a coalition government with Silvio Berlosconi's party. "It is, at the age of 21, the
fastest-growing and most powerful political party in Italy, having tapped directly into local Italian and broader European fears about the economy,
immigration and loss of local identity.
It makes the Tea Party in the United States look quaint — and today, the very political survival of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi lies in its
There have also been a spate of bomb attacks on embassies in Italy, linked to the far left and anarchist groups.
In France, Jean Marie Le Pens National Front have receded somewhat since the highs of the 2002 election. However, they have started to make gains
again, including in the 2009 regional elections, and Marine le Pen is set to take over leadership of the party from her father, has being polling
reasonably well even before she takes over. Some have also accused Nicholas Sarkozy of picking some far right policies for his own gain, such as the
deportation of Romas. The 2012 elections could see him move further right, as well as see a resurgence of Le Pens National Front party, who could
become the third largest party. In recent years, France has also seen riots, from race riots in the poorer Muslim areas, to student riots. Although
France does have a history of protest.
In Ireland, the hard left looks set to make strong gains in elections expected to be held this year. Although unlikely, Irelands biggest paper has
speculated that the first ever left-lead government is possible, which would be supported by parties and candidates on the far left.
In Hungary, the right wing Jobbik party gained in the last elections. "For those old enough to remember the suffering of the war, the rise of Jobbik
feels like a frightening case of deja vu. "Though I was only six years old in 1944 when the Arrow Cross came to power, I remember the reign of terror
that followed," said Maria Juhasz, a Budapest pensioner. "I remember when they took away the Jews, including our village doctor, and the young men
they hanged at the side of the road with placards round their necks saying 'This is the fate of deserters'. The Hungarian Guard and Jobbik, the
uniforms, the language and rhetoric all remind me of the Arrow Cross and that era."
Greece has also seen riots in reaction to anti-austerity measures introduced by the government. There have also been bombings linked to far left and
The British elections showed small but not substantial gains for the BNP and the UKIP. There is however an increasing anti-immigrant sentiment and
racial tensions in some areas, and there have been a few terrorist plots uncovered in the past few years, which doesn't help matters, and concerns
from some about the Islamification of Britain. Scotland is also due to to have an election on its independence, which may call into question the
make-up of the United Kingdom.
Other counties to show a rise in support for the right include Slovakia and Latvia.
Several countries in the rest of the world have shown a rise in more extremist parties in recent years
The United States has seen the rise of the Tea Party movement.
In Sudan, the government has promised a tightening of Sharia Law in the north, if South Sudan votes to breakaway from it.
In the Lebanon, the Government has just fallen to Hezbollah and its allies.
Pakistan has seen the assassination of a governor who criticized the counties blasphemy laws.
This is in addition to the political systems already in place throughout the middle east and countries like Venezuela.
With no real sign of proper recovery in world markets, do people think things could get worse, in Europe in particular? The Eurozone faces particular
difficulty, and any more shocks could do it serious damage, especially to Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Italy and Belgium, the latter four who
could come under severe pressure in the coming months from the bond market, after the latest European attempt to fix the problems in Ireland and
Greece don't look to have been enough, and look more like a temporary solution. If the domino effect continues for those countries, and even France,
the Euro would struggle to survive, causing even more economic catastrophe for Europe and its trading partners. Britain also could be vulnerable with
its large debts if the world economy doesn't pick up.
The anti-Islam backlash in Europe also shows no signs of stopping, and if any terrorist attacks like the ones foiled were to succeed it would more
than likely increase significantly.
In several countries, the rise shows parallels to the rise of fascism during the Depression in the 1930s, and the current will try to use their
current gains to consolidate and build in the future.
Do people think that there is the possibility of the far right or left gaining power in the next decade or so? Or anywhere else in the world that I
haven't mentioned? If the world economy doesn't pick up soon, and the problems with immigration, particularly Islamic, I can see these kinds of
parties continuing to increase their support, and probably not for the good of the world.
Sources for some of the quotes: