“A specter is sweeping through Europe–the specter of communism.” All the powers of old Europe are united in the world in the hunt against that specter: the Pope of Rome and the Tsar of Russia, Metternich and Guizot, French radicals and German policemen.” Given that the communist specter has long since left the stage, this beginning of the “Communist Manifesto” could be ironically adapted to the spirit of the times and the latest political fashion, in the following manner:
A specter is sweeping through Europe–the specter of the right (hard, radical, extreme, etc.). All the powers of old Europe are united in the world in the hunt against that specter–journalists, professors, thinkers, politicians. Although the Pope of Rome is silent, and Metternich, Guizot and the Russian Tsar are justifiably absent, the policemen are fortunately there. It is the new police, the mind police, which controls the media, global social networks and the digital space, and dictates what is true and who is (un)fit to advertise in the public space.
Tragically, especially for someone who has always leaned left, the sovereigntist right is the last, feeble barrier against the Orwellian control of society to which we are dutifully becoming accustomed.
On the global scene, there is an abundance of texts and analyses expressing dire concern and fear about the “normalization” of the right–it is a matter of condemning the political processes by which the right is becoming more and more acceptable to an increasing number of voters. The populist right (as they call it) is on the rise in Italy, Sweden, France, while in Hungary it has been in power for a long time. On the other side of the great sea, “Trumpism” disrupts political harmony and, oh the horror, threatens democracy. The situation is even worse in those non-Western countries that stubbornly refuse to be made happy with liberal values that, as even the birds know, are universal.
The liberal, democratic, enlightened, progressive, tolerant–in other words, the fine world–is appalled by what is happening in the political arena. Right-wing populism is corrupting both the young and the old by pulling the card of cheap, mundane emotions and conservative prejudices whose time has long passed–such as the family and family values, nation, religion, traditional sexuality and primitive, binary division into male and female. Of course, the right also plays on the fear of non-Christian immigrants. Is it possible to make a blacker and more reactionary inventory of populist prejudices than the one I have just listed?
As much as the worse part of my soul pulls me towards irony and sarcasm, as much as I would enjoy continuing with mockery and persiflage, here, out of consideration for the fine world mentioned above, I will stop and try to be serious. It is time to remember how concern for liberal values works in reality when the masks fall down and the hypocrisy of the promoters of those values is exposed.
For example, how is it possible to tolerate the blackest Nazism and racism, which have been on the scene for a long time not only in allied Ukraine but also in some NATO countries? How is it that today liberal luminaries are the loudest advocates of censorship and suppression of freedom of speech… in the name of democracy? Is the problem of sexual minorities really a much bigger problem than global poverty? How is it that those caring liberal humanists supported all the brutal interventions that triggered the rivers of refugees over whose fate bitter, liberal tears are being shed today? How is it that liberal humanists see problems everywhere in the world, but fail to see the misery of their fellow citizens living in enclaves of poverty, drugs and crime? How is it that in the liberal world there is always money for financing wars, but none for health and social care? This column is too short for a detailed list of liberal hypocrisies.
On all extreme sides of the political spectrum, there have always been and will be dark political phenomena and personages. But their numbers are growing and they are moving from the margins inward only when humanists cynically ignore the problems of the vast numbers of their compatriots.
History also teaches us that liberal humanists are not bothered by just any right wing. A brutal, comprador right of the Latin American variety is always acceptable. Liberal humanists are only bothered by the sovereigntist right. They are bothered by those parties that threaten (probably in vain, but anyway) that they will disembark their countries from the globalist ship of lunatics that is sailing to ruin. It is about the right that tries to resist the normalization of the abnormal and pathological–like sexual or environmental extremism, like stifling freedom of speech, freedom of choice or control of the private sphere. Tragically, especially for someone who has always leaned left, the sovereigntist right is the last, feeble barrier against the Orwellian control of society to which we are dutifully becoming accustomed. This also applies to the freedom of movement, the freedom to raise our children ourselves or to decide for ourselves whether, for example, we will be vaccinated or not.
The sinking of the left, its cowardice, willingness to compromise and corruption is also tragic. The left, step by step, has gone over to the side of its political enemies and identified with their goals. We live in a time where everyone has protectors and advocates except those who work hard but live in poverty from which they have no way out. Their number is increasing daily, but this is another topic.