TAKIS FOTOPOULOS *
ABSTRACT: The article examines the all important issue of the rise of a neo-nationalist movement in Europe and beyond in the last few years and attributes its flourishing, particularly in Europe, to the theoretical and political bankruptcy of the globalist “Left”, as a result of its theoretical and political failure.
On the morning following the Austrian presidential election, when it became certain that the neo-nationalist candidate had not won the Austrian presidency (thanks to a few thousand overseas votes, mostly belonging to the middle class), there was a great sigh of relief from the Transnational Elite, (TE), i.e. the network of economic and political elites running the New World Order of Neoliberal Globalization (NWO), mainly based in the G7 countries. The huge expansion of the anti-globalization movement over the past few years was under control, for the time being, and the EU elites would not have to resort to sanctions against a country at the core of the Union —such as those which may soon be imposed against Poland. In fact, the only reason they have not as yet been imposed is, presumably, the fear of Brexit, but as soon as the British people finally submit to the huge campaign of intimidation (“Project Fear”) launched against them by the entire transnational elite, Poland’s —and later Hungary’s— turn will come in earnest.
The elites are not used to “no” votes, and whenever the European peoples did not vote the ‘correct’ way in their plebiscites they were forced to vote again until they did so, or they were simply smashed —as was the case with the Greek plebiscite a year ago. The interesting thing, however, is that in the Greek case it was the so-called “Left” represented by SYRIZA, which not only accepted the worst package of measures imposed on Greece (and perhaps any other country) ever, but which is also currently busy conducting a huge propaganda campaign (using the state media, which it absolutely controls, as its main propaganda tool) to deceive the exhausted Greek people that the government has even achieved some sort of victory in the negotiations!
At the same time, the working class —the traditional supporters of the Left— are deserting the Left en masse and heading towards the neo-nationalist parties: from Britain and France to Austria. So how can we explain these seemingly inexplicable phenomena?
Nationalism vs. neo-nationalism
As I tried to show in the past, the emergence of the modern nation-state in the 17th-18th centuries played an important role in the development of the system of the market economy and vice versa. However, whereas the ‘nationalization’ of the market was necessary for the development of the ‘market system’ out of the markets of the past, once capital was internationalized and therefore the market system itself was internationalized, the nation state became an impediment to further ‘progress’ of the market system. This is how the NWO emerged, which involved a radical restructuring not only of the economy, with the rise of Transnational Corporations, but also of polity, with the present phasing out of nation-states and national sovereignty.
Inevitably, the phasing out of the nation-state and national sovereignty led to the flourishing of neo-nationalism, as a movement for self-determination. Yet, this development became inevitable only because the alternative form of social organization, confederalism, which was alive even up to the time of the Paris Commune had in the meantime disappeared.
In other words, the peoples’ need for self-determination, in the NWO, had no other outlet but the nation-state, as, up to a few years ago, the world was dominated by nation–states, within which communities with a common culture, language, customs etc. could express themselves. The nation-state became again a means of self-determination, as it used to be in the 20th century for peoples under colonial rule struggling for their national liberation. The national culture is of course in clear contradiction with a globalist culture like the one imposed now ‘from above’ by the Transnational and national elites. This globalist culture is based on the globalization ideology of multiculturalism, protection of human rights etc., which in fact is an extension of the classical liberal ideology to the NWO. In fact, the Transnational Elite launched several criminal wars in the last thirty years or so to “protect” human rights (Yugoslavia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and indirectly Syria) leading to millions of deaths and dislocations of populations. It is not therefore accidental that globalist ideologists characterize the present flourishing of what I called neo-nationalism, as the rise of ‘illiberalism’.
It is therefore clear that we have to distinguish between old (or classical) nationalism and the new phenomenon of neo-nationalism. To my mind, the main differences between them are as follows:
- a) Nationalism developed in the era of nation-states as a movement for uniting communities with a common history, culture and usually language under the common roof of nation-states that were emerging at the time but also even in the 20th century when national liberation movements against colonialist empires were fighting for their own nation states. On the other hand, neo-nationalism developed in the era of globalization with the aim of protecting the national sovereignty of nations which was under extinction because of the integration of their states into the NWO;
- b) Nationalism’s emphasis was on the nation-state (or the aspiration for one), whereas neo-nationalism’s emphasis is not so much on the nation but rather on sovereignty at the economic but also at the political and cultural levels, which has been phased out in the globalization process;
- c) Unlike old nationalism, neo-nationalism raises also demands that in the past were an essential part of the Left agenda, such as the demand for greater equality (within the nation-state and between nation-states), the demand to minimize the power of the elites, even anti-war demands.
Naturally, given the origin of many neo-nationalist parties and their supporters, elements of the old nationalist ideology may penetrate them, such as the Islamophobic and anti-immigration trends, which provide the excuse to the elites to dismiss all these movements as ‘far right’. However, such demands are by no means the main reasons why such movements expand. Particularly so, as it can easily be shown that the refugee problem is also part and parcel of globalization and the ‘4 freedoms’ (capital, labor, goods and services) its ideology preaches.
The rise of the neo-nationalist movement
Therefore, neo-nationalism is basically a movement that arose out of the effects of globalization, particularly as far as the continuous squeezing of employees’ real incomes is concerned —as a result of liberalizing labor markets, so that labor could become more competitive. The present ‘job miracle’, for instance, in Britain (which is characterized as “the job creation capital of the western economies”), hides the fact that, as an analyst pointed out, “unemployment is low, largely because British workers have been willing to stomach the biggest real-terms pay cut since the Victorian era”.
The neo-nationalist movement had already created strong roots all over the EU, from its Western part (France, UK) up to its Eastern part (Hungary, Poland) and now Austria. Even in the USA itself Donald Trump, who has called on Americans to resist “the false song of globalism”, expresses to a significant extent neo-nationalist trends and may be tomorrow the next President of the “Free World”. Of course, given the political and economic power that the elites have concentrated against these neo-nationalist movements, it is possible that neither Brexit nor any of these movements may take over, but this will not stop of course social dissent against the phasing out of national sovereignty.
The same process is repeated almost everywhere in Europe today, inevitably leading many people (and particularly working class people) to turn to the rising neo-nationalist Right. This is not of course because they suddenly became “nationalists” let alone “fascists”, as the globalist “Left” (that is the kind of Left which is fully integrated into the NWO and does not question its institutions, e.g. the EU) accuses them in order to ostracize them. It is simply because the present globalist “Left” does not wish to lead the struggle against globalization, while, at the same time, the popular strata have realized that national and economic sovereignty is incompatible with globalization. This is a fact fully realized, for example, by the strong informal patriotic movement in Russia, which encompasses all those opposing the integration of the country into the NWO —from neo-nationalists to communists and from orthodox Christians to secularists, while the leadership under Putin is trying to accommodate the very powerful globalist part of the elite (oligarchs, mass media, social media etc.) with this patriotic movement.
But, it is mainly Le Pen’s National Front party, more than any other neo-nationalist party in the West, that realized that globalization and membership in the NWΟ’s institutions are incompatible with national sovereignty. As Le Pen stressed, (in a way that the “Left” has abandoned long ago!):
“Globalization is a barbarity, it is the country which should limit its abuses and regulate it [globalization].” (…) Today the world is in the hands of multinational corporations and large international finance” (…) Immigration “weighs down on wages,” while the minimum wage is now becoming the maximum wage”.
In fact, the French National Front is the most important neo-nationalist party in Europe and may well be in power following the next Presidential elections in 2017, unless of course a united front of all globalist parties (including the “Left” and the Greens), supported by the entire TE and particularly the Euro-elites and the mass media controlled by them, prevents it from doing so (exactly as it happens at present in Britain with respect to Brexit). This is how Florian Philippot the FN’s vice-president and chief strategist aptly put its case in a FT interview:
“The people who always voted for the left, who believed in the left and who thought that it represented an improvement in salaries and pensions, social and economic progress, industrial policies (…) these people have realized that they were misled.”
As the same FT report points out, to some observers of French politics, the FN’s economic policies, which include exiting the euro and throwing up trade barriers to protect industry, read like something copied from a 1930s political manifesto, while Christian Saint-Étienne, an economist for Le Figaro newspaper, recently described this vision as “Peronist Marxism”. In fact, in a more recent FT interview, Marine Le Pen, the FN president went a step further in the same direction and she called, apart from exiting from the Euro —that she expects to lead to the collapse of the Euro, if not of the EU itself, (which she —rightly— welcomes)— for the nationalization of banks. At the same time she championed public services and presented herself as the protector of workers and farmers in the face of “wild and anarchic globalization (…) which has brought more pain than happiness”. For comparison, it never even occurred to SYRIZA (and Varoufakis who now wears his “radical” hat) to use such slogans before the elections (let alone after them!) Needless to add that her foreign policy is also very different from that of the French establishment, as she wants a radical overhaul of French foreign policy in which relations with the regime of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad would be restored and those with the likes of Qatar and Turkey, which she alleges support terrorism, reviewed. At the same time, Le Pen sees the US as a purveyor of dangerous policies and Russia as a more suitable friend.
Furthermore, as it was also stressed in the same FT report, “the FN is not the only supposedly rightwing European populist party seeking to draw support from disaffected voters on the left. Nigel Farage, the leader of the UK Independence party has adopted a similar approach and has been discussing plans “to ring-fence the National Health Service budget and lower taxes for low earners, among a host of measures geared to economically vulnerable voters who would typically support Labor”. Similar trends are noticed in other European countries like Finland, where the anti-NATO and pro-independence from the EU parties had effectively won the last elections, as well as in Hungary, where neo-nationalist forces are continuously rising, and Orban’s government has done more than any other EU leader in protecting his country’s sovereignty, being as a result, in constant conflict with the Euro-elites. Finally, the rise of a neo-nationalist party in Poland enraged Martin Schulz, the loudmouthed gatekeeper of the TE in the European Parliament, who accused the new government as attempting a “dangerous ‘Putinization’ of European politics.”
However, what Eurocrats like Martin Schulz “forget” is that since Poland joined the EU in 2004, at least two million Poles have emigrated, many of them to the UK. The victory of the Law and Justice Party (Prawo i Sprawiedliwosc, PiS) in October 2015 was due not just to a backlash by traditional Polish voters to the bulldozing of their values by the ideology of globalization but also to the fact, as Cédric Gouverneur pointed out, that “the nationalist, pro-religion, protectionist, xenophobic PiS has attracted these disappointed people with an ambitious welfare programme: a family allowance of 500 zloty ($130) a month per child, funded through a tax on banks and big business; a minimum wage; and a return to a retirement age of 60 for women and 65 for men (PO had planned to raise it to 67 for both). In fact, PiS used to be a conservative pro-EU party when they were in power between 2005 and 2007, following faithfully the neoliberal program, and since then they have become increasingly populist and Eurosceptic. As a result, in the last elections they won the parliamentary elections in both the lower house (Sejm) and the Senate, with 37.6% of the vote, against 24.1% for the neoliberals and 8.8% for the populist Kukiz while the “progressive” camp failed to clear the threshold (5% for parties, 8% for coalitions) and have no parliamentary representation at all!
The bankruptcy of the Left
It is therefore obvious that the globalization process has already had devastating economic and social consequences on the majority of the world population. At the same time, the same process has also resulted in tremendous changes at the political and the cultural levels, in the past three decades or so. Last, but not least, it has led to a series of major wars by the Transnational Elite in its attempt to integrate any country resisting integration into the New World Order (NWO) defined by neoliberal globalization (Yugoslavia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria).
Furthermore, there is little doubt anymore that it was the intellectual failure of the Left to grasp the real significance of a new systemic phenomenon (i.e. the rise of the Transnational Corporation that has led to the emergence of the globalization era), and its consequent political bankruptcy, which were the ultimate causes of the rise of a neo-nationalist movement in Europe. This movement is embraced by most of the victims of globalization all over Europe, particularly the working class that used to support the Left, whilst the latter has effectively embraced not just economic globalization but also political, ideological and cultural globalization and has therefore been fully integrated into the New World Order. In fact, today, following the successful emasculation of the antisystemic movement against globalization, thanks mainly to the activities of the globalist Left, it was left to the neo-nationalist movement to fight against globalization in general and against the EU in particular.
Almost inevitably, in view of the campaigns of the TE against Muslim countries (Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria), worrying Islamophobic trends have developed within several of these neo-nationalist movements, some of them turning their old anti-Semitism to Islamophobia, supported on this by Zionists themselves! Even Marine Le Pen did not avoid the temptation to lie about Islamophobia and anti-Semitism, stressing that “there is no Islamophobia in France (…) but there is a rise in anti-Semitism”. Yet, she is well aware of the fact that Islamophobia was growing in France well before Charlie Hebdo, with racial attacks against Islamic immigrants (most of whom live under squalid conditions in virtual ghettos), being very frequent. At the same time, it is well known that the Jewish community is mostly well off and shares a very disproportionate part of political and economic power in the country to its actual size, as it happens of course also —and to an even larger extent— in UK and USA. This is one more reason why Popular Fronts for National and Social Liberation have to be built in every country of the world to fight not only Eurofascism and the NWO —which is of course the main enemy— but also any racist trends developing within these new anti-globalization movements, which today take the form of neo-nationalism. This would also prevent the elites from using the historically well-tested ‘divide and rule’ practice to divide the victims of globalization.
Similarly, the point implicitly raised by the stand of the British “left” in general on the issue of Brexit cannot just be discussed in terms of the free trade vs. protectionism debate, as the liberal (or globalist) “Left” does (see for instance Jean Bricmont and Larry Elliott of the Guardian). Yet, the point is whether it is globalization itself, which has led to the present mass economic violence against the vast majority of the world population and the accompanying it military violence. In other words, what all these “Left” trends hide is that globalization is a class issue. But, this is the essence of the bankruptcy of the “Left”, which is reflected in the fact that, today, it is the neo-nationalist Right which has replaced the Left in its role of representing the victims of the system in its globalized form, while the Left mainly represents those in the middle class or the petty bourgeoisie who benefit from globalization. Needless to add that today’s bankrupt “Left” promptly characterized the rising neo-nationalist parties as racist, if not fascist and neo-Nazis, fully siding with the EU’s black propaganda campaign against the rising movement for national sovereignty. This is obviously another nail in the coffin of this kind of “Left”, as the millions of European voters who turn their back towards this degraded “Left” are far from racists or fascists but simply want to control their way of life rather than letting it to be determined by the free movement of capital, labor and commodities, as the various Soroses of this world demand!
The neo-nationalist movement is embraced by most of the victims of globalization all over Europe, particularly the working class that used to support the Left, whilst the latter has effectively embraced not just economic globalization but also political, ideological and cultural globalization and has therefore been fully integrated into the New World Order —a defining moment in its present intellectual and political bankruptcy. In the Austrian elections, it became once more clear that the Left expresses now the middle class, while the neo-nationalists the working class. As the super-globalist BBC presented the results:
“Support for Mr Hofer was exceptionally strong among manual workers – nearly 90%. The vote for Mr Van der Bellen was much stronger among people with a university degree or other higher education qualifications. In nine out of Austria’s 10 main cities Mr Van der Bellen came top, whereas Mr Hofer dominated the rural areas, the Austrian broadcaster ORF reported (in German).”
The process of the Left’s bankruptcy has been further enhanced by the fact that, faced with political collapse in the May 2014 Euro-parliamentary elections, it allied itself with the elites in condemning the neo-nationalist parties as fascist and neo-Nazi. However, today, following the successful emasculation of the antisystemic movement against globalization (mainly through the World Social Forum, thanks to the activities of the globalist “Left”), it is up to the neo-nationalist movement to fight globalization in general and the EU in particular. It is therefore clear that the neo-nationalist parties which are, in fact, all under attack by the TE, constitute cases of movements that have simply filled the huge gap created by the globalist “Left”. Thus, this “Left”, Instead of placing itself in the front line among all those peoples fighting globalization and the phasing out of their economic and national sovereignty, it has indirectly promoted globalization, using arguments based on an anachronistic internationalism, supposedly founded on Marxism.
On the other side, as one might expect, most members of the Globalist “Left” have joined the new ‘movement’ by Varoufakis to democratize Europe, “forgetting” in the process that ‘Democracy’ was also the West’s propaganda excuse for destroying Iraq, Libya and now Syria. Today, it seems that the Soros circus is aiming to use exactly the same excuse to destroy Europe, in the sense of securing the perpetuation of the EU elites’ domination of the European peoples and therefore the continuation of the consequent economic violence involved. The most prominent members of the globalist “Left” who have already joined this new DIEM ‘movement’ range from Noam Chomsky and Julian Assange to Suzan George and Toni Negri, and from Hillary Wainwright of Red Pepper to CounterPunch and other globalist “Left” newspapers and journals all over the world. In this context, it is particularly interesting to refer to Slavoj Žižek’s commentary on the ‘Manifesto’ that was presented at the inaugural meeting of Varoufakis’s new movement in Berlin on February 2016.
Neo-nationalism and immigration
So, the unifying element of neo-nationalists is their struggle for national sovereignty, which they (rightly), see as disappearing in the era of globalization. Even when their main immediate motive is the fight against immigration, indirectly their fight is against globalization, as they realize that it is the opening of all markets, including the labor markets, particularly within economic unions like the EU, which is the direct cause of their own unemployment or low-wage employment, as well as of the deterioration of the welfare state, given that the elites are not prepared to expand social expenditure to accommodate the influx of immigrants. Yet, this is not a racist movement but a purely economic movement, although the TE and the Zionist elites, with the help of the globalist “Left”, try hard to convert it into an Islamophobic movement —as the Charlie Hebdo case clearly showed— so that they could use it in any way they see fit in the support of the NWO.
But, what is the relationship of both neo-nationalists and Euro-fascists to historical fascism and Nazism? As I tried to show elsewhere, fascism, as well as National Socialism, presuppose a nation-state, therefore this kind of phenomenon is impossible to develop in any country fully integrated into the NWO, which, by definition, cannot have any significant degree of national sovereignty. The only kind of sovereignty available in the NWO of neoliberal globalization is transnational sovereignty, which, in fact, is exclusively shared by members of the TE. In other words, fascism and Nazism were historical phenomena of the era of nation-state before the ascent of the NWO of neoliberal globalization, when states still had a significant degree of national and economic sovereignty.
However, in the globalization era, it is exactly this sovereignty that is being phased out for any country fully integrated into the NWO. Therefore, the only kind of ‘fascism’ still possible today is the one directly or indirectly supported by the TE (what we may call ‘Euro-fascism’), which is therefore a kind of pseudo-fascism —although in terms of the bestial practices it uses, it may be even more genuine than the ‘real thing’ of the inter-war period. This is, for instance, the case of the Ukrainian Euro-fascists who are the closest thing to historical Nazism available today, not only in terms of their practices but also in terms of their history. However, as there is overwhelming evidence of the full support they have enjoyed by the Transnational Elite and (paradoxically?) even by the Zionist elite, they should more accurately be called Euro-fascists.
It is therefore clear that the neo-nationalist parties, which are all under attack by the TE, constitute cases of movements that simply filled the huge gap left by the globalist Left, which, instead of placing itself in the front line of all those peoples fighting globalization and the phasing out of their economic and national sovereignty, indirectly promoted globalization, using arguments based on an anachronistic internationalism, developed a hundred years ago or so.
National and Social Liberation Fronts everywhere!
So, at this crucial historical juncture that will determine whether we shall all become subservient to neoliberal globalization and the transnational elite (as the DIEM25 Manifesto implies through our subordination to the EU) or not, it is imperative that we create a Popular Front in each country which will include all the victims of globalization among the popular strata, regardless of their current political affiliations.
In Europe, in particular, where the popular strata are facing economic disaster, what is urgently needed is not an “antifascist” Front within the EU, as proposed by the ‘parliamentary juntas’ in power and the Euro-elites, also supported by the globalist “Left” (such as Diem25, Plan B in Europe, Die Linke, the Socialist Workers’ Party in the UK, SYRIZA in Greece and so on), which would, in fact, unite aggressors and victims. An ‘antifascist’ front would simply disorient the masses and make them incapable of facing the real fascism being imposed on them by the political and economic elites, which constitute the transnational and local elites. Instead, what is needed is a Popular Front for National and Social Liberation, which that could attract the vast majority of the people who would fight for immediate unilateral withdrawal from the EU —which is managed by the European part of the transnational elite— as well as for economic self-reliance, thus breaking with globalization.
To my mind, it is only the creation of broad Popular Fronts that could effect each country’s exit from the EU, NAFTA and similar economic unions, with the aim of achieving economic self-reliance. Re-development based on self-reliance is the only way in which peoples breaking away from globalization and its institutions (like the EU) could rebuild their productive structures, which have been dismantled by globalization. This could also, objectively, lay the ground for future systemic change, decided upon democratically by the peoples themselves. Therefore, the fundamental aim of the social struggle today should be a complete break with the present NWO and the building of a new global democratic community, in which economic and national sovereignty have been restored, so that peoples could then fight for the ideal society, as they see it.
* This article is based on Ch. 4 of the book to be published next month by Progressive Press, The New World Order in Action, vol. 1: Globalization, the Left and Neo-Nationalism. This is a major three-volume project aiming to cover all aspects of the New World Order (NWO) of neoliberal globalization http://www.progressivepress.com/book-listing/new-world-order-action
 Bruno Waterfield, “Juncker vows to use new powers to block the far-right”, The Times (24/5/2016).
 Takis Fotopoulos, “The Sell-Out of Greece by SYRIZA and the Bankruptcy of the Globalist “Left”’, Global Research (2/10/2015).
 Takis Fotopoulos, Towards An Inclusive Democracy (Cassell, 1997). Ch. 1.
 Tony Barber, “Illiberalism takes root in Europe’s fertile centre”, Financial Times (13/5/2016).
 Ed Conway, “The UK is paying the price of its jobs miracle”, The Times (14/10/2014).
 “Globalization is barbarous, multinationals rule world” – Marine Le Pen, RT (10/1/2015).
 Adam Thomson, “France’s far-right National Front seeks voters from the left”, Financial Times (4/1/2015).
 Anne-Sylvaine Chassany and Roula Khalaf, “Marine Le Pen lays out radical vision to govern France”, Financial Times (5/3/2015).
 Adam Thomson, “France’s far-right National Front seeks voters from the left”, Financial Times (4/1/2015).
 “Anti-NATO parties grab top spots in Finland general election”, RT (19/4/2015).
 Martin Summers, “Poland, Hungary used by US as wedge between EU and Russia”, RT (13/1/2016).
 Cédric Gouverneur, “Poland’s populist revenge”, Le Mode Diplomatique (March 2016)
 Adam Sage, “French Jews turn to Le Pen after Muslim attacks,” The Times (24/2/2015).
 See e.g. Clemence Douchez-Lortet. “Growing Islamophobia in France: towards a revival of the extreme right?”, St. Andrews Review (16/10/2014).
Jean Bricmont, “Trump and the Liberal Intelligentsia : a view from Europe” , Counterpunch (30/3/2016).
 see for instance Larry Elliott, “How free trade became the hot topic vexing voters and politicians in Europe and the US” , The Guardian (28/3/2016).
 Francis Elliott et al. ‘Working class prefers Ukip to Labour”, The Times (25/11/2014).
 “Austria far right thwarted, Van der Bellen elected president”, BBC News (23/5/2016). German.
 Takis Fotopoulos, “Globalisation, the reformist Left and the Anti-Globalisation ‘Movement’”, DEMOCRACY & NATURE, vol.7, no.2 (July 2001)
 Takis Fotopoulos, “The DIEM25 Manifesto: ‘Democratizing Europe’ or Perpetuating the Domination of the EU Elites?”, Global Research (19/2/2016).
 see Takis Fotopoulos, The NWO in Action, vol. 3, Subjugating the Middle East, (under publication by Progressive Press)
 Takis Fotopoulos, The NWO in Action, vol. 2, Ukraine: The attack on Russia and the Eurasian Union (under publication by Progressive Press)
 See e.g. “Globalization is barbarous, multinationals rule world – Marine Le Pen”, RT (8/12/2014).