By Austin Pellizzer
This week looked at the political phenomena of far-right student movements, specifically the Nouvelle Droite of France. Roger Griffin’s article, Between Metapolitics and Apoliteia: The Nouvelle Droite’s Strategy in the ‘Interregnum’discusses the movement founded in 1968 as an influential cultural and social movement for the nation’s young adults (35). The author notes that it is problematic to oversimplify and use interwar outlines of fascism to characterize the resurgence of fascist ideologies in the post-war era (38-39). However, one idea stuck out concerning contemporary fascist movements in a pan-European lens. When it comes to newly democratic and transitioning states, Portugal comes to mind.
In the 1970s, Portugal became one of the latest states to democratize after decades of authoritarian rule. Riccardo Marchi’s 2016 article, The Nouvelle Droite in Portugal: A New Strategy for the Radical Right in the Tradition from Authoritarianism to Democracy, elegantly discusses this exact phenomenon. When the Salazar dictatorship came to an end in 1974 (236), this French political movement which was considered a ‘re-brand’ of far-right politics became adopted in Portugal among its students and citizens (234). With these unique fascist parties being a counter-movement to the growing threat of communism and Marxism concerning the newly independent African nations of ex-Portuguese colonies (243) and the threat to democracy in Western Europe from the Soviet-controlled East, one overarching theme kept coming to mind.
In Western Europe, many far-right political parties associated themselves with the ND to some capacity to fight against the threat of socialism. Keeping this in mind, would it be possible to see far-right political parties today like AfD or Front National join forces to combat and counter the threats they see like globalization, supranational organizations and migration? Or was this phenomenon of multi-national movements under one name simply to combat the threat of communism and at the same time to re-brand their far-right ideologies?
Griffin, R. (2000). Between metapolitics and apoliteia: The Nouvelle Droite’s strategy for conserving the fascist vision in the ‘interregnum.’ Modern & Contemporary France, 8(1), 35-53. DOI: 10.1080/096394800113349
Marchi, R. (2016). The Nouvelle Droite in Portugal: A new strategy for the radical right in the transition from authoritarianism to democracy. Patterns of Prejudice, 50(3), 232-252. DOI: 10.1080/0031322X.2016.1207924