Whatever be the result of the historic referendum in the UK, the campaign for and against remaining in the European Union has brought to fore many realities of the society and politics of the Britian and to a large extent that of the EU.
On the one hand the unleashing of xenophobia by the right wingers to influence the voters in favour of Brexit, gives one more example of how the deteriorating economic condition of the masses continues to be a fertile ground for an ideology that considers liberalism as an anathema.
On the other hand the political inability of the centrist forces in discerning the factors responsible for the disenchantment of the people at large make the counter to the ultra right wing weak in the long run.
Some columnists have found historical resemblance of what is happening in the UK now with what had happened in Germany in 1930s. In the war ravaged country the Jews were made scapegoats by systematic campaign by the Nazis. Now in the many European countries the immigrants are demonised for all the misfortunes of the natives.
Author and political commentator John Wight writes in CounterPunch ” It is important to understand that the economic and social conditions that existed in depression-ravaged Germany back then have been replicated in Britain and across Europe today on the back of an economic recession compounded by the implementation of austerity, which has been tantamount to a mass experiment in human despair. This recession and resulting Tory austerity have combined to leave millions impoverished, marginalised, angry and fearful, thus perfect fodder for the kind of right wing populism and demagoguery that has underpinned a campaign that has been an insult to common human decency never mind the nation’s collective intelligence.”
Those who in the mainstream especially the man responsible for the referendum, prime minister David Cameron, who vehemently opposes Brexit has never bothered to go beyond the skin and politically understand the causes for the rise of extreme right wing elements in the country and how his party contributed to it. This hold true for Labour party as well.
The belligerence of the right wing group was on its worst display when Labour MP Jo Cox was murdered for campaigning against Brexit. Racism seems to be no more a mere marginal phenomenon in Britian as in other parts of the Europe as reflected by the performance of the anti immigrant, neo fascist political parties across Europe.
Last month, the right wing Freedom Party’s Norbert Hofer narrowly lost to Alexander Van der Bellen in the Austrian presidential election. But the fact that he got 49.7% of votes speaks about the influence the ‘anti immigrant, Austria first’ party has got.
In Poland the right wing Law and Justice party got elected in the last years election.
The rise of Nationalist Front in France also reflects how the people who are effected by the government’s economic policies are attracted by the right wing political parties.
More examples of the rise of right wing parties in various countries can also be quoted.
The irony is that it is the same European Union for which even the central left forces are forced to argue now, is the one economic bloc, which foisted the economic austerity measures on many of the member countries.
How the EU reacted to the economic mess of Greece would make clear how the EU by its unbridled liberalisation policies are making all most every country a fertile ground for various types of neo fascists to grow.
The ready made script made available to all the countries which faces some kind of economic problem is to sell their public investment. But there is no available proof to see this worked in any member country.
In fact, the politicians who argue against Brexit, because of the racist and xenophobic traits involved in leave campaign fails to understand the economic causes of the rise of right wing extremism, to which the EU also contributes a lot.