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Why Do Right-Wing Populist Parties Prosper?: Twenty-One Suggestions to the Anti-Racist
University West, Department of Social and Behavioural Studies, Division of Social Work and Social Pedagogy.
2019 (English)In: Society (New Brunswick), ISSN 0147-2011, E-ISSN 1936-4725, Vol. 56, no 1, p. 47-58Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In this piece, Goran Adamson argues that the anti-racist rhetoric is naive and dangerously counter-productive. In theory, they refer to populist parties fueling on the anti-racist elite’s outcries. In practise, however, the anti-racists have forgotten all about it, and seem to believe that right-wing populism will vanish if only it is told off. Shocked, anti-racists say populist parties gain voters despite having certain views. But nobody votes on a party despite its view. True to leftist sensationalism, anti-racists always talk about fascism within right-wing populist parties, thereby overlooking a wide array of other causes for voter appeal. Prone to instant aggression, anti-racists react with fury to any populist provocation, thereby contributing to the meteoric rise of contemporary populism in the West. Instead of conducting a proper analysis, anti-racists say how can people vote on these parties and so on - much like an anti-racist bourgeoisie. Anti-racists, Goran Adamson claims, seem to think knowledge of right-wing populism is compromising, as if you would be tainted by it. In fact, it is the other way around. Criticism requires knowledge - and an ignorant anti-racist might, in the long run, have no power to resist the allure of right-wing populism. People vote on right-wing populist parties, anti-racists maintain, because these people fail to understand. But they claim they do, even though they have reached other conclusions. The responsibility of the financial and political classes for provoking popular reactions is minimized, while the distress among ordinary people is belittled or moralized. The political class ignores a central leftist principle: social behavior has often political/economic explanations. As a direct result of multiculturalism, the pet theory among anti-racists, society’s underprivileged groups - domestic workers and migrants - are in constant conflict instead of uniting against globalization and neoliberal deregulation. This is called divide and rule. In their quest for ideological purity, any anti-EU sentiment, anti-racists claim, is right-wing extreme, hence driving scores of voters into the arms of right-wing populism. These parties are further boosted by the fact that anti-racists sneer at family values and cultural traditionalism. Vocal victims of EU’s austerity measures are dismissed as right-wingers, further fueling political polarization. Popular and populist, anti-racists maintain, is basically the same thing. As a result, democracy becomes politically tainted, and the anti-racist elites are the only safe-guard against unaccountable elites. Right-wing populists never cease to talk about our roots, while multiculturalists never stop talking about roots overseas. Save for that geographic detail, they are two branches of the politicalromantic tree. Right-wing populist parties prosper, but not despite anti-racist efforts, Goran Adamson argues, but as a result of them.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 56, no 1, p. 47-58
Keywords [en]
Anti-racism; Right-wing populism; Right-wing extremism; Fascism; National socialism; Nazism; Multiculturalism; Socialism; EU; Johann Herder; Elitism; Austrian Freedom Party; The establishment
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies) Gender Studies
Research subject
SOCIAL SCIENCE, Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hv:diva-14936DOI: 10.1007/s12115-018-00323-8ISI: 000459828400008Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85061190982OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hv-14936DiVA, id: diva2:1391573
Available from: 2020-02-05 Created: 2020-02-05 Last updated: 2020-03-10Bibliographically approved

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