The Fascism of the Far Right

The xenophobic rhetoric of the far right is a greater threat to freedom than ISIS

by Maurice H. Alexander

Behind towering fences wrapped in razor-wire, people are trapped, crowded like cattle. Men, women, and children are forced to scramble for food thrown over the fence by armed guards. Despite not being charged with any crime, they are not free to leave. Not far away, police write numbers on the arms of desperate people before they are crowded onto trains. In impassioned speeches at flag-draped podiums, enraged politicians propose a national database of all members of a religious minority and a ban on any others entering the country. There is news every day of yet another xenophobic, or anti-foreigner, attack.

This is a description of 1930s Nazi Germany, but more alarmingly, it is also a description of now, of events occurring over the last year in the supposedly liberal democracies of the West. Fascism, which by all accounts had died and been laid to rest without a tear, has returned from the grave, strengthened on the fear bred by more than a decade of a War on Terror.

Due to conflict in the Middle East, this past year has seen the largest migration of people in Europe since the end of World War Two. They are mainly Syrians fleeing their destroyed homes and the compounded threats of ISIS, the Assad government, and the bombing campaigns of 13 other nations, but they are also people fleeing decade-long, often Western-caused conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and other areas of unrest.

This influx of refugees comes at a time when …

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