The Rise of the Right

front-nationalFebruary 2 2017, the Oxford Union will convene to debate the motion “This house believes that liberalism has become elitist”. The backdrop for this discussion is a new Europe in which election after election have swept the old elites from power and replaced them with right wing, often nationalist, parties.

Three major elections may bring the EU to its knees. The election of Trump in America, the British Brexit and the coming French presidential election. At some point the public started associating the left with the elites, and they decided that the right wing parties, who want to dismantle the welfare state in favor of the super-rich, represent their interests. It is perhaps most clearly seen in America where a billionaire who wants to cut his own taxes has been hailed as the champion of the  common man.  And the irony is that this takes place in a world in which the divide between rich and poor has grown ever larger.

The events in Europe are being debated in all major news outlets and think tanks online. Even as far afield as China, Iran and Singpore talk shows debate the changes in European and American politics and what it means for the world. The old elites simply lost contact with their voters. The triggering factor, which brought it all to the surface, was the new flow of refugees from the middle east. Presstv commentators in Iran even claim that it began with NATO and the conflicts started in the aftermath of 9/11 and the war on terror.

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