UPDATE 16/11/2016: And so, in president-elect Donald Trump, yet another charismatic leader has appeared promising a return to greatness. In office, there are signs that Trump may seek to moderate his policies and heal some of the wounds caused by the mean-spirited, nasty, knife-fight of an election. However, the appointment of Steve Bannon – a man associated with the so-called “alt-right” movement – as his chief strategist has caused controversy. Will the old campaign rhetoric return, leading to a more thin-skinned, paranoid, bullying form of politics? Does the triumph of Trump in 2016 herald further surprises in 2017 (Prime Minister Wilders? President Le Pen?)

We are, to use the old cliché, standing at a crossroads. Brexit and President Trump were both democratic choices, but the campaigns leading to those choices have undeniably caused a great deal of division and acrimony. Now that these choices have been made, can the healing begin? Will the various sides come together and try to work productively? Will the winners listen to the concerns of the losers (and the losers accept the legitimacy of the winners)? Or will the divisions in society grow deeper and more bitter? Was the rhetoric on the campaign trail just a taste of things to come?

ORIGINAL 10/28/2015: ‘Godwin’s law’ states that as an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazi Germany approaches 1. There are, however, some important corollaries to this “law” of the internet, and not all comparisons with totalitarianism trivialise the past. And while it is important not to see parallels with the rise of fascism everywhere, it is also equally important to understand the past, and not to see Nazi Germany as a singularly unique and wholly unrepeatable phenomenon. After all, those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

We had a comment sent in from Jovan, concerned that there were “parallels today with the 1930s, in how economic failure and widening inequality led to extremist fringes rising to the mainstream.” Certainly, the centre-ground in European politics is a lonely place to be today. Is it too much to say that Europe is at risk of returning to the political extremism of the 1930s?

It’s easy to get carried away. There are enormous differences between the situation in Europe today and the period between the end of the First World War and the rise of totalitarianism. For one thing, the memory of European war is no longer raw in people’s minds, and modern states (despite cuts and austerity) have social safety nets to prevent people falling into the abject poverty of the 1930s. And, with some notable exceptions (such as Golden Dawn in Greece) political parties in Europe today do not have paramilitary wings. In the Weimar Republic, even Centrist parties had armed groups affiliated with them, and violent street battles were not uncommon in Berlin.

To get a response to Jovan’s comment, we caught up with Michael Diedring, Secretary General of the European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE). As the debate over refugees and asylum seekers grows more heated (even leading to political violence in Germany), does he see parallels between the situation today and in the 1930s?

We also had a comment from Eion, who thinks the threat from extremist parties is overstated. Even if extremist parties increase their vote, Eion argues they will be “quarantined” by the mainstream. Does Michael Diedring agree?

To get another perspective, we also spoke to Franziska Brantner, a German Green MP and one of the 40 Under 40 European Young Leaders. What would she say to Jovan about today’s parallels with the early 20th Century?

Finally, what did she make of Eoin’s comment that today’s constitutional systems are better equipped to quarantine Far-Right and Far-Left parties?

Is Europe returning to the political extremism of the 1930s? Is economic failure and widening inequality leading to the collapse of mainstream politics? Or are the differences between today and 80 years ago greater than the similarities? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below, and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!

246 comments Post a commentcomment

  1. avatar
    Darin Attard

    Declining wages, TTIP, unemployment, migration of European industries, insecurity, economical insecurity, migration crisis caused by American meddling and a failed Euro. Next in line disgregation of Europe.

  2. avatar
    Miguel Pinto-Correia

    The failure to sustain economic growth, employment and wages uniformally across Europe is the reason. No major sociologic study is need to come to this conclusion!

  3. avatar
    Shah Ji

    Indeed it is as a foreseeable consequence of recent course of events. However there must never be any excuse for racism & it must never be misinterpreted under the umbrella of freedom of expression. If not addressed and controlled at its early stages, it will have devastating results in the future!

    • avatar
      Matthew Morgan

      Disallowing people from expressing an opinion will not stop people from having that opinion, All you will get is a sudden surge that you have never seen coming and people who are arrested can use that arrest to their political advantage,

  4. avatar
    Zoltan Kiss

    There comes a time when even the most liberal thinking people say no to reckless economic policies and illegal immigration without control. At the end of the day everybody wants the best for themselves and their own families. The EU can be called anything but democratic at the moment and the people say no. Disintegration is just a matter of years. It’s a shame……

  5. avatar
    Andrew Lally

    only because we are returning to the economic extremism of the 1930s – the politics is a reflection of the economics and the plutocracies we all live in

  6. avatar
    Paul X

    People are turning to extremist parties because the current crop of mainstream politicians are meandering through life in their own sweet way, doing nothing of any great significance and mainly working to justify their own existence and for the benefit of large corporations

    They are completely ignoring the real issues and concerns that are affecting the daily lives of the general public whose best interests they should be serving and it’s time they all woke up and faced reality .

    • avatar

      @ Ivan
      Funny, but not quite… For east Europeans, Bruxelles is the new Moscow….

  7. avatar
    Vijaykumar Autar Sharma

    The problem lies with the US , the biggest cancer of the world and they are the ones who makes every continent a unpleasant place to live. Europe is becoming just like the middle- east.; destabilization, chaos , dead and destruction just for its own interrst,. We should get rid of these rednecks
    first . Russia and China should get them nuked as
    soon as possible..


  8. avatar
    Ioannis Mitsou

    the situation in Europe is almost the same as before the second world war.economic crisis and on the other hand extreme nationalism is growing across Europe.many things should change otherwise the end of EU and the beginning of conflicts I’m afraid that it would be the future.we should remember that history make round

  9. avatar
    Stella Kontogianni

    We have more common problems to handle than differences. We have to focus on solutions and struggle for a more equal future

  10. avatar
    Martti Immonen

    Unfortunately it seems, that new generations after WW2 have forgotten the history. These forces seem to rise in many european countries and naturally that is something which should be noticed and also something which should be under control. When that is not done properly happens like in Hungary, where this party has increased their popularity to 57%. Scary indeed.

    • avatar

      Control? The only control for the growth of a party should be the ballot box. Hungarians have the right to vote for who they wish.

    • avatar

      Dear Martti, pls control your own country. By the way, no party in Hungary has a popularity of 57%.

  11. avatar
    Ioannis Mitsou

    the situation in Europe is almost the same as before the second world war.economic crisis and on the other hand extreme nationalism is growing across Europe.we should remember that history make rounds .

  12. avatar
    Manuel Cruz

    We are still in the 1920’s. Once again we will blame this on Germany. Germany has poorly conducted the response to the economic crisis. Germany has a coalition of the SPD and CDU that leaves no room for changes. So Europe can’t change course. Germany is being suicidal once again, seeing only it’s short-term gains. Europe will not survive this course of action (or inaction). Neither will Germany. This will be the third time in a century that Germany will take Europe down. The Franco-Germanic relations are fundamental to the EU. Now there is only Germany. France has vanished politicaly.

  13. avatar
    Debby Teusink

    Fascism is in power in Russia already and becomming powerfull in Hungary and Turkey, so indeed, it looks like the thirties.

  14. avatar
    Stephen Panev

    Perpetual Growth on a finite planet is impossible. And we are better off them most of the.world

  15. avatar
    Φωτεινή Κάππα

    It’s not only economics.Citizens are marginalised in the political process, not feeling they can actually decide about things that matter to them, or at least be taken into account. Thus, they may be attracted to demagogy. The media play a role in that, but you can’t censor the media,can you.? So, what we can do is produce better culture.

  16. avatar
    Yordan Vasilev

    The situation is similar, but not equal. There is no in Europe any country, which is prepared for a war of revenge. There is no militarization of the community. There is a crisis with refugees, which will be decided soon. The EU should look after Greece, Italy and Spain, whose economics are unstable and they provoke left and right extremism.

  17. avatar
    Maia Alexandrova

    When mainstream politicians do not listen to people, then political extremism rises. At the moment it is obvious that the strong opposition of many regarding mass migration into Europe from the Middle East and Africa is being stubbornly ignored by political leaders. This is the reason for the latest spread of extremist parties and actions against Muslims. This cannot be simply condemned as racism and xenophobia because it is deeper than that – it is the just indignation of ordinary people after they are being forced to accept values which are incompatible with European values. For example, Sharia law, slavery of women, jihad – all these beliefs are shared by the thousands of migrants crossing the borders of Europe every day. How can these “values” be integrated into mainstream societies on the continent who cherish freedom and democracy and where expression, including that of women’s beauty, is respected? Combining such opposites will always create explosions! Freedom is incompatible with slavery and oppression, democracy is impossible within a society governed by Sharia law. The concept of jihad is the opposite to Christ’s teachings of peace, love and non-violence. The longer Europe remains open for carriers of destructive “values” to freely arrive, the more extremism will rise. I don’t see any connection with 1930s, apart from having an evil ideology spread across Europe and then people rising against it. In 1930s this was faschism, now it is Islam. Both are based on the physical elimination of all those who are different, or have different beliefs. The end purpose of both is creating a new world where all people are controlled by the same evil ideology. If a politician is so immature and short-sighted to fall into that trap again and attempt to force such a cocktail of negative values into Europe, then fire and riots they will see as a result. In 1930s it was the Second World War, now what will it be? It is ironic that again Germany is at the centre of it! Merkel and Junker are making a grave mistake which could see the disintegration of the union in the near future, as the Slovakian Prime Minister said. This will be fuelled by the strong opposition of socieities to the introduction of a hostile foreign ideology on a mass scale in Europe.

  18. avatar
    Mig Pal

    There are people from the UK that think from running away from the EU that they escaping their problems, they have their problem inside also. Democracy shouldnt allow people that came to Europe with the intent to destroy the white to vote. Everyone wants to be the best, but low IQ people will try be the best not by rising themselves for they dont have that capacity, so they will try lower the others. This together with the ideology of so thinking that the way to harmony is mixture of races turns into a big problem, We need the different races. Many complain about white yet if you look freely the different cultures were always tried to be protected. We were bombarded with much inaccurate info to lower our moral, Go look at other races mentality to see what they think of us, the way they fool themselves to try higher themselves. Try to figure out what they pretend to do to us, if you white they don’t even care, so think of protecting your children. I would start to remove the vote power from them. Economically its possible to recover.
    When whites went to other countries they elevated their standard of living, but if we bring people with lower standards than our we lower our standards, they should be helped in their countries.

  19. avatar
    James Campbell

    EU politicians like to demonise nationalism partly because its own agenda is to replace European nation states with a Europe of regions, run from Brussels. For the EU, there is no “healthy nationalism”, except its own.

    If there is no space for the development or revival of healthy nationalisms in Europe, then unhealthy forms of nationalism will grow, and are growing now.

  20. avatar

    Is Europe returning to the political extremism of the 1930s?

    It could. With all leaders political inflexibility from past decade, and I mean ruthless arrogant rigidity thrown at masses, why not? Political extremism is a reaction to a stimulus (or several stimuli – as the financial crisis, war refugees, Lisbon Treaty, the rise of nationalism, etc ). The general situation in our decade is rapidly degrading just like in the 30’s

  21. avatar
    Eric banna

    What you call extremist and populist,most of the contributors on these forums would call democracy and patriotism.
    Unfortunately the difference is lost on those in charge.

  22. avatar
    adrian tunduc

    Unfortunately Europe, once again, proves its weakness, as in the 1930. The conditions are quite similar even worst, because envolves not only the germans but the entire Europe people!!!! So Europe wake up!!!!!!!!

  23. avatar
    Vicente Silva Tavares

    Piketty says that our distribution of wealth is now comparable to 1923. The signs are all over here: unemployment, concentration of wealth, racial/ethnic conflicts, nationalist parties, all the contents for a recipe of disaster.

  24. avatar
    Dino Serdar

    Yes, in Greece you have golden dawn, in Hungary Jobbik, in Serbia Vojislav Seselj a war criminal has his radical party, in Croatia you have HDSSB which has a paramilitary groupe called SS and yeah Branimir Glavas, their leader is a war criminal. So you can say there is growing extreme nationalism.

  25. avatar
    EU reform- proactive

    Why is the DE showing 1930 German ‘populist’ election pamphlets? Coincidence?

    That would be an analysis from a professional:

    And how is it perceived by us ordinary folks?:

    * Nobody seems to be burdened by past WWI consequences. Maybe by a 70 year too long peace, too many treaties & an army of invasive politicians?
    * The forces of ‘organized money’, unregulated & uninsured banks (gov.“bailouts”), unprecedented, lopsided prosperity and uneven distribution still rings a bell or two. * Stock exchanges are fueled by cheap money & “quantitative easing” on a breathtaking scale- hardly any investment in production while conservative saving gets punished. Waiting for the next crash to happen.
    * Unemployment in the EU today is ~10%-12% compared to the ~20% in central Europe or 25% in the US in the 30’s- when output also fell ~40%. Unemployment insurance etc. at least protects today’s workers!
    * Franklin Roosevelt than- was a LEADER! A quality missing in today’s EU Political chicken run- headed at times by headless super chickens. Or- is Mrs. Chicken less chicken adopting crowds of chicken to “improve” our limited & aging chicken- together with exotic foxes- for interests sake & the fun of it?
    * Debt default by Germany than- (US Dawes Plan). Greek & others today. (Troika now) Confiscating the Ruhr area by force than. Printing/”easing” money and back slapping today- to infinity! Enslaving future generations using money- standing surety- no army- oh so holy & so peaceful! And so it goes on & on. A normal world?

  26. avatar
    Mirco Tomasi

    Well the euro is pretty much like the gold standard. So yes, the parallel is accurate.

  27. avatar
    Erik Van Den Haute

    That is exactly how I feel…difficult economic situation, populism (on the left and on the right), nationalism (on the left as economic protectionism and on the right as identity/ ethnic nationalism) on the rise, hate speech (on the left against rich people, on the right against foreigners) on the rise…liberal values crushed in the middle of all these opposing factions, more violence between left and right…take any book describing the situation in the 1930s in Germany and you cannot fail to make parallels. One can only hope to be wrong…

  28. avatar

    The EU now virtually mandates hard right wing economic ideology (‘trickle down’, free trade, privatizations etc…).

    You cannot have a national election anymore and change the economic policies, because Brussels mandates that the interests of bankers and financial markets be put ahead of the interests of people at all times. At all times! Just ask people in Greece, or Portugal if we use the latest election and their presidents reaction to it as examples.

    And with TTIP, the EU puts the interests of large transnational corporations far ahead of the interests and concerns of workers, consumers and the environment.
    The worst thing about TTIP is just how blatant the propaganda is, how this Malmstrom person just spouts off corporate propaganda as if it is some kind of biblical gospel that cannot be questioned.
    But nearly every single one of the socalled TTIP benefits she cites, is either for propaganda purposes or some other outright fabrication or lie. TTIP has zero benefits for ordinary workers or SME’s. Sure, the EU successfully managed to bribe a few organizations that claim to represent SME’s but that is all it is.

    The worst thing about it is that 90%+ of the main stream media outright refuses to report any of it. Because if they did, the EU might make it that the media in question loses access, doesn’t get invited to summits anymore and isn’t considered for ‘EU journalism prizes’ anymore. Think it doesn’t work that way? Better think again. Propaganda-wise we really are back in the 1930s, with outright lies and fabrications being presented as the gospel truth.

    The political disconnect that other people mentioned is real. You can vote, but the policies won’t change. The EU won’t let you change them.

    The EU anthem might as well be ‘corporations über alles’.

    Who still believes that any major transnational corporation is interested in anything but the bottom line… especially after the latest Volkswagen scandal. Think DuPont (dumping waste and then sending corporate lawyers to attack people that sue you), think Monsanto (poisoning people, destroying biodiversity), think big banks (heads the bank wins, tails the taxpayer loses).

  29. avatar

    No but i think groups like alde group and other extremist groups like them should be banned.. Lets face it , its the pot calling the kettle black.
    The atmosphere created by these europhiles is disturbing to say the least.
    A currency forced upon the peoples of europe, the watering down of democracy , corporate political lobbying, corruption, and worst of all forced integration..
    Shouldnt the question be, is europhile extremism shaping the way the people of europe think about about the whole euro project??
    1930s extremism ,gimme a break brussels, look in the mirror!!

  30. avatar
    Gabor Molnar

    This is clearly a coordinated destabilization of the EU, the biggest question hear – who’s behind it?

  31. avatar
    Mitsakos Spyridou

    YOUR neoliberalism that massacres education,dignity and humanism in the altar of profits is leading us to a third world war. Open your eyes before it is late because when someone points you with a gun it doesn’t matter if you have billions. It’s an equal in front of an equal man

  32. avatar
    J M Perz Gnlz

    It is not economic failure what is leading the collapse of mainstream politics. Are mainstream politics who lead the collapse of their own politic. Are bankers and investors who lead to economic failure. And are all of them who are widening inequality.

  33. avatar
    Vic Vertitas

    first, I don’t think the eliments of extremism that extisted in the 1930s no longer hold much creedance. Both facism and communism have been shown to be totalitarian brutal ideologies. Second, There is likely to be a rejection of corporate politics and the two party dictatorship we have, in favour of more non alined politics.

  34. avatar
    Ivan Vikalo

    Had it been the 30s would have exterminated all non-westerns on our continent, and we wouldnt have felt badly at all, so this debate question is really off any form of reality and there is no reason to ask it…

  35. avatar
    Miene Mathon

    We try not to go towards this. But how can people realize that freedom of voting is VERY important. And to dare to vote means read good newspapers before …

  36. avatar
    Suncica Cvitkovic Anderson

    End of the radical, shallow anarcho-liberal politics that brought the world to the brink of the world war, is not extremism! It is return to politics of common sense!

  37. avatar
    Andrea Scacchi

    Economic failure? Political failure! Ue is a dead embrio and causing the shifting from democracy to tecnocracy or oligarchy (for the lucky ones) in Every major ue country. I hope for the sake of my future to see the end of this political cul de sac as THIS ue. I hope for the born of a new europe. Maybe more “mediterranean” rather then “nordic” or “eastern”

  38. avatar
    Borislav Valkov

    What? Germany and France would meet and say nothings wrong! They lead the game and everything is just perfect! Is it funny that these two statets had an idea of conquering Europe and waged wars against all others and now they are the first democrats and very close EU legalisaltion partners?

  39. avatar
    William Healey

    Yep. France, Netherlands, Poland, Hungary, the UK, Greece, Germany, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, etc are all seeing a rise in far right populism.

  40. avatar
    Raquel Pereira

    Yes. There is a rhetoric of us vs them in a globalised world so, yes we are walking slowly and, yet, steadily towards to the extremists politics of the old kind.

    When we see devision between North and South. Because people from South this this and that…. Remenber last time they didn’t started with gas chambers, they started with that rhetoric.

  41. avatar
    Francesco Haag Bellini

    Will be even worst because the extremists leftism management of Europe will attract opposite reaction in all European countries. So evident

  42. avatar
    David Fuzzey

    Not really…it is the eu and it`s undemocratic nature and unwillingness to listen causing the problems…that and those the assume that anyone disagreeing with their point of view is a racist/fascist./xenophope…but that`s `liberals` for you.

  43. avatar
    Georgi Krestanov

    In Europe are buldi islamic enclaves – like Brussels Moelenbeck – where isnt low of Europe – but rulls sharia and halifats and turkyes gangs

  44. avatar
    Richard Renckens

    When the ruling class messes things up, the votes become more extreme. EU has a lot to do with this, bringing down an increasing number of regulation, instead of Solutions to real problems. On top of that national politics seems to be pre occupied by a career in Brussels instead of solving national problems.

  45. avatar
    Gian Marco

    Very sadly it looks like so. We should be better engaged to fight against nationalism

  46. avatar
    Vinko Rajic

    YES and that is your fault . European Parliament did nothing to stop immigrants and Angela Merkel . I was sure that right wing is going to win elections if you open borders . Right wing was on the rise in many countries before Arab invasions . I was 100% sure that if you open borders right wing is going to become huge . If I could understand that than you people in the European Parliament should understand it better then myself .
    Afghela opened borders to create right-wing in Germany just because they are together , Afghela is right wing , they are the same church gang . Christians can’t win with CDU/CSU but they are going to win with right-wing and Germans don’t understand that . They just did it in Croatia , Christians could’t win elections but they created one other group under different name , a new political party called MOST . After elections they created “coalition” , they are the same church gang . Before elections a new gang(MOST) was against Christian “HDZ” but after elections only bullsh*t . They destroyed democracy in Croatia , Afghela is going to do the same in Germany . Those Christian spiders are nothing but terrorists .

  47. avatar
    Winston Zhang

    The centre parties are disappearing fast. People are moving to the extreme political left or the extreme political right. The refugee crisis have divided the Europeans.

  48. avatar
    Borislav Valkov

    I agree with David Fuzzey. It is EU that went to extremism: eveyrone who’s not agree with you is against you!?!? France’s and Germany’s elite cannot decide for us all. Refusing to listen and share is what gave birth to nationalism and other extremes. Do continue and EU will fall apart even if you do not want it. Share the EU and you will find the death of the extremism.

  49. avatar
    Luchian Melnic Dumitrache

    Islamic Jihadism is the new facscism of Europe you # morrons.They kill, torture want to make all slaves to their ideolgy and you incompetent fools say the people opposing this are the extremist.The laughing stock of humanity you have become
    wake up or let your grandchildren pay the jizya tax to be allowed to live, you morrons.

  50. avatar
    Bruno Cabral

    I thought this page would be an interesting place to share ideas and have good conversations with people, until I saw the comments

    Bye and hope you keep training! Someday you will be able to use your brains and type at the same time

  51. avatar
    Sherrie Heckendorn

    Yes- the whole world is devolving- anyone who knows history can see the similarities to the events leading up to ww2- right now there are more displaced refugees than during ww2 through ww2- our level of inequality of wealth has passed the 20s – the hatred of immigrants and specific religious beliefs is horrifying

  52. avatar
    Luchian Melnic Dumitrache

    What wealth inequalities has to do with terrorism ? Bin Laden was extremely rich, so are Isis. When will the lefties delusionals get their heads from the sand and read Islamic terrorism is based on specific Holy Quran and Hadith calls for murder and jihad which you do not know but claim they are irelevant … please it only shows how ignorant and dangerous for all of us so many people are.Regarding a new war rlax while you are outraged some people tell you the truth,teddy bears and candles and facebook will not stop our civilization being destroyed by terrorist who act based on religious beliefs you deny exist.Anyway relax Europe is not heading to a return of the Ww2, but for a daily terorism until you will submit to Islam and the world becomes all Dar al Islam.Stop being so ignorant.and check their references on the official saudi www quran com. Till then as the terrorist say we are all sheeps who think teddy bears are the solutions.

  53. avatar
    Maros Podstupka

    Yes, it is – I can definitely say that for Eastern Europe where I happened to live. Democracy, freedom, humanism, secularism … MUST not be taken for granted. Unfortunately, we don’t seem to do enough to protect our values. The freedom of speech should not cover hatred, and democracy should not allow political representation (right to be voted) for those who oppose to (or seek to destroy) fundamental, irremovable values! Our ancestors swore they would never let the inhumane atrocities happen again and we MUST honor such obligation. Who else, if not us, when else than now?

  54. avatar
    Luchian Melnic Dumitrache

    The current situation in Europe has little to do with WW2 , there are no beligerant EU countries, the situation in Europe has everything to do the fall of Troy. Terrorist are coming in, hided as gifts of solidarity like the attackers hided in the wooden Trojan Horse and to the cry of vigilence eu lefties give the same answers the trojan gave to Cassandra, the legendary priest who oppposed the entrance of the trojan horse, you worry for nothing, let’s party , sing a song blame those who opppose your insanity. Like Cassandra we tell you to be reasonable but you only hear your own illusions.

  55. avatar
    Luchian Melnic Dumitrache

    Here is something new for your slow minded delusional vision of reality : 63 mothers and children were killed in Lahore in a terrorist explosion, for the guilt of celebrating Easter . http://edition.cnn.com/2016/03/27/asia/pakistan-lahore-deadly-blast/index.html That’s you multicultural future with no limitis and no security …. Open the gates for the terrorist to creep in like in the Trojan Horse, put up flags and welcoming party, ignore the reality.

  56. avatar
    Mavis Allen

    We will all have a BIG problem if Turkey is accepted. UK . WILL SINK. enough is enough.!!

  57. avatar
    Francisc Leopold

    No. Self-defence today is not the same with assaulting others like in the 30’s. There is a tendency of generalizing again, that’s true and we must be careful so it doesn’t become like in the 30’s.

  58. avatar
    Ray de Bono

    No, but Europe is surely Ill equipped and definitely not prepared to cope with imported religious extremists, terrorism and haphazard immigration. The rise of small niche extremist parties in some EU states is not a fair representative of the continents’ most popular & long standing democratic values.

  59. avatar
    Daniel Parvanov

    Are EU politicians forget that people vote then in power or are too politically correct to address voters issues and concerns ?

  60. avatar
    Silvio Bosco

    There are signs we are going there but with a difference: from the tragedy of the past to the farce of the present European sovereign national States (Regimes) interpreting at their best the role of the dumb dwarfes.

  61. avatar
    Rozalija Baricevic

    We can see clearly now. The EU governments would like to impose people to the influence of the past so they could continue with this disastrous politics blaming people for own gambling with our future.

  62. avatar
    Enric Mestres Girbal

    Europe is returning to its natural path, the one YOU twisted for your benefit. The countries, individualy, will do much better then beeing tied in slavery chaines.

  63. avatar
    Nando Aidos

    Europe is returning to political extremism. Is it like the 30’s? Probably, but what matters is that it is returning to political extremism of possibly a new kind, propelled by new factors, and new solutions need to be found for this.

  64. avatar
    Stefania Portici

    Peggio dell’estremismo politico ci sta la UE che è una dittatura ammazza persone. Che brutto periodo stiamo vivendo !!!

  65. avatar
    Winston Zhang

    How does one define political extremism? Nowadays anyone who is anti EU is branded a political extremist.

  66. avatar
    Bódis Kata

    There’s a strangely developing trend that’s best described as *liberalfascism*.

  67. avatar
    Paulo Vaz

    a cultura é um princípio …tudo bem.Mas o que a história ensina é que a relatividade entre as torrentes ou é a amizade entre povos ou é o ódio(por ser politica,como tudo na maior parte das relações)por isso temo pelas crianças que nascem agora…
    O nosso dever,a nossa obrigação,é livra-las de toda a tirania…[…!!!…???…!!!…]
    E desculpa-me o comentário simplista mas já vai longa a noite.

  68. avatar
    Bart Van Damme

    Yet it is not the far-right parties who have destroyed freedom of speech “to protect democracy”. It is not the far-right parties who apply racism and “positive” discrimination in their quest to protect voters – I mean minorities. It is not the far-right parties who pin virtual stars on people’s jackets to stigmatize them as “racist!” or “fascist!”.

    But I guess that when you just call yourself “progressive” and “social”, it’s all ok…

  69. avatar
    Andrej Němec

    No we’re simply not going anywhere. The problems at European level are replicated at Country level. Rather what it would be needed it’s a collective effort to secure and rebuild the common house: Europe. A Europe of Regions and not of “Nation Sates” that respects diversity and pluralism : a Federal Europe . Representatives should be chosen by the people at regional level and they should undergo direct control of their voters. But the voting system should change and no unanimity should be ever required for any decision. The current Qualified Majority Voting takes into account also the less populated Countries and works perfectly. It should be implemented for ALL decisions to be taken in the reformed Federation of European Regions.

  70. avatar
    Sebastien Chopin

    Brexit is the proof of that… + Brexiters have destroyed mainstream politics worldwide by making politicians lose any form of credibility when they vanished after victory and exposed their lies… or arrogance… You would be rather ‘innocent’ if you imagine politicians in other countries are any better…

  71. avatar
    Ivan Burrows


    People are breaking away from the dogma of ever closer union of the 30’s that lead to 60 million dead, it is EU fanatics who are living in the past.

    vive la liberté

  72. avatar
    Julia Hadjikyriacou

    Can Debating Europe add a transcript link to videos for people who don’t have time or prefer the written word to read quickly?

  73. avatar
    Rozalija Baricevic

    These days I am reading the book “Histoire de la Gestapo” by Jacques Delarue, and I have found some terrible similarities between the past and present Europe. It’s scary.

  74. avatar
    Sebastien Chopin


  75. avatar
    Giulia Noia Dipresa

    EU policy is failing the people, it seems like who decides is living someplace else! I’m not antiEU but somebody must wake up and begin to listen to the people!

  76. avatar
    Tom Featherstone

    Italian banks are on brink of collapse and we all know who is going to have to pick up the tab. People are driven to political extremism by mainstream political policy.

  77. avatar
    Luis García

    Who is able to socialize losses and privatize pofits, it is the same that explain european economic problems based on etnics considerations. Again in Europe, politics shout in political rally that the fault of economics problems have other people just because they are lazy. Merkel. In Germay. Again. Homo economicus is the barbarie.

  78. avatar
    Σαντυ Μπαλμπαγάδη

    I was talking to someone and I was answering his insults about my country. Now he’s gone. I was not answering to myself. Also Mr Dean Plassaras is talking to himself. That’s not funny. We look crazy.

  79. avatar
    Ricardo Nuno

    Yes, inevitably. Politicians had lots of chances to create strong middle classes, but instead they are compromised with third parties. This leads inexorably to a popular backclash. That’s it.

  80. avatar
    Anne H. Bakke

    I truly believe one of the greatest issues in our time will be this. And what’s scary is that no one seems to see the contours of what’s happening. That today is too much like the 30’s, but we don’t seem to recognise the signs. It feels as if we haven’t learnt anything from our history, or that we just take the last 70 years for granted. My parents take it for granted at least.

  81. avatar
    Martin Georgiev

    Since we are threatened by Arabisation and Africanisation – Of Course! As Europeans we must defend our Moderland, our Countries, our People and our Culture, Religion and Language!
    You Politicians create all the World Wars and Problems, and then you blame the poor folk for your own mistakes – Politicians never learn…. :)

  82. avatar
    Silvio Bosco

    Yes, but after the tragedy we are having the nationalistic farce….the dwarfs of the national sovereignity are on the stage

  83. avatar
    Olivier Dutreil

    Uncontrolled borders unrespect of european interests by EU ,beteayal of commission which is kiner to back chinese or african or American interests leads to this situation…..

  84. avatar
    Pavel Lampa

    Yeah pretty much. It is the same propaganda but of the cosmopolitan left not fashist right.

  85. avatar
    Jokera Jokerov

    Of course it is! Just look at Mr Juncker, Mr Shultz, Mr Tusk, not to name the parliamentary groups of the EPP, PES, ALDE.

    • avatar
      José Bessa da Silva

      The dark time in my country returned in 1986 when we signed our entrance in the EEC.

  86. avatar
    Bódis Kata

    The existing left/liberalextremism may bring some of if it about as a consequence.
    Society abhors imbalance, and we now live in imbalance. The longer this drags out, the worse the backslash will be.

  87. avatar
    Γεώργιος Δανιηλίδης

    It is now ruled by political extremists without democratic rules and citizens control serving interests of big bad internationals.C.V. of European leaders show poor educated and even crooks.

  88. avatar
    Julia Hadjikyriacou

    Doesn’t the EU have access to experts to analyse and explain the triggers to the problems and offer solutions that most people already know?

  89. avatar
    Ivan Burrows


    No, the natural order is being reinstated it is the pro EU extremists that are being ignored and then removed from office at every turn.

    We will have left the EU by the time of the next European Parliament election but it will be interesting to see how many pro EU MEP’s will deselected by the voters, it is not impossible for the majority of the European parliament to become anti EU.

  90. avatar
    Ivan Burrows


    In the 1930’s a group of Europeans created an ideology to unite Europe under one flag & one anthem, sound familiar ?

  91. avatar
    Shah Ji

    Unfortunately yes! It always starts with fear mongering, blaming minorities for everything & false nationalist propoganda.

  92. avatar
    Hector Niehues-Jeuffroy

    Both in Hungary under Orbán and Poland under Kaszynski (well, nominally under Szydlo), we have right-wing governments who have used their super-majorities to nibble at constitutions and change the system in their favor. Over the last six years, driven forward first by the Eurozone crisis and then the refugee crisis, nationalist parties have reached previously unthinkable electoral success. Now, we should maybe remember the 1930s more accurately. After all, the 1930s saw the rise of fascism and – to the best of my knowledge – there are no paramilitary groups supporting a political party akin to the SA, MSVN or the FET. All the parties have kept declaring their adherence to democracy and, as of yet, no elections in the EU have failed to meet democratic standards (maybe Austria’s botched presidential election aside). I think that for the next 10 years or so, we will see a further increase in support for right-wing, conservative and nationalist parties before the pendulum swings back. Is it like the 1930s? Hell no.

  93. avatar
    Daniel Parvanov

    What i saw is years of lyberal fascism, and all that not agree even with something small and has different point of view is labeled rasics, bigot etc… I hope with new Leader of the Free World elected in Washington all will came in place

  94. avatar
    Borislav Valkov

    Political vacuum that eu created if eu were to solve the problems then this vacuum wouldn’t exist. Simply as that.

  95. avatar
    Bart Van Damme

    It’s interesting to see how the comparisons with “the 30s” always go in one direction only. Apparently, it’s “the 30s” to have a problem with uncontrolled immigration, but it’s perfectly fine to slap a “racist!” or “fascist!” yellow star on anyone who doesn’t parrot the “progressive” dogma. Here in Belgium it’s not the right-wing “Hitlers” who lock up people because their opinion goes against left-wing gospel, it’s the left-wing which claims to be against fascism.

    If we end up in another 30s scenario, it will be because people only see the black and white, and no longer see the gray. And so-called anti-fascist “progressive” “tolerant” “social” left-wing forces will be to blame for that just as much as the extreme right.

    • avatar
      Horea Scalat

      So many people seem to forget that the reason the Nazis gained power in the first place was that the moderate socialists governing the Weimar republic were never really in control of anything and were helplessly standing by while the communist hardliners were running amok. And that the better third option of true liberalism didn’t exist anymore in Germany at the time (not that it does nowadays either).

  96. avatar
    Dóris Cavalcanti

    Why to call ‘extremism’ to european workers who just want to have a good life as much as they work hard for it??? Europeans are humans too and they also have the human right of having safety, of working only to support themselves and to preserve their cultures and countries.

    • avatar
      José Bessa da Silva

      A União Europeia é uma instituição corrupta, incompetente, que fez do meu povo mais pobre que no pós-ditadura, baseada em falta de valores democráticos, criada à revelia dos povos e cujo único intuito é criar um estado federal nem que seja à força. Não afmira que os seus veículos de propagandisticos, ao melhor estilo neo-fascista e pagos pelo poder financeiro, não se coadunem em denegrir e perseguir todo aquele que levante a bandeira da liberdade.

  97. avatar
    Adnan Soysal

    as long as europe remains as a social / welfare state,
    there is no other place to arrive.

    • avatar
      Manuel Alegria

      troublemakers are bankers, IMF, Golman Sachs, Wall street, and other criinals

    • avatar
      Wendy Harris

      That’s a different kind of menace to radical Islam.

  98. avatar
    Aleksandrs Frederiks Znovs

    Yes, Europe is going this way. But the question is not in this, question is WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR IT! And answer is: selfish and corrupted politicians from EU Parliament and from any EU country, from each without exception. Especially guilty are those, who supported the invasion of LOVEST SORT of immigrants, who are not going to work and to accept European life style, who are consumers and criminals only.
    So why we have to discuss the result? We have to discuss the reason and how to fight it. The reason is: POLITICAL BASTARDS. The way to fight: ERASE THEM FROM THE SURFACE OF EUROPE.
    Sounds terrible? – May be, but there is no other way, NO SINGLE WAY and how we will “erase” them is the only subject of imagination of any of us.
    Let’s switch our brain on!

    • avatar
      Povil Ka

      so you would vote for anyone, who would promise to label them and send them where they belong?

  99. avatar
    Björn Eric Ingemar Grahn

    Yust a little, it will go down again after a while when all the Effekts after 2008 have settled and also they getting custom to bi in a free and open world. It is always some that is afraid of charge but after they see its not so bad after all most will like it. I belive that we are not to far of a world government make in 300-400 years from now. If not sooner. This is the last big conflict in the world before the leaders in some countries fiel that their power is under threat an do anything to keep it. But eventually they will have to give its yust a matter of time. A Fakt is that we need to have open borders to maintain and spread peace.

  100. avatar
    All Doughty

    The so called, New Right, Alt Right, New Nationalists may be rebranding themselves, but they are fascist to the core.

  101. avatar
    Stefania Portici

    brutto quel braccio alzato ma è altrettanto brutto stare piegati a 90° dalle politiche globaliste degli ultimi 30 anni.

  102. avatar
    Ivan Burrows


    Yes, its called the EU.

    Fortunately the peoples of Europe are turning against it at every referendum and election.

    • avatar
      Yavor Hadzhiev

      Dear Ivan, I respect your views on the EU. Please respect mine. Millions of people are pro—European, including me. I am sure we have big challenges to face such as the EU democratic deficit, but the project itself is noble and, in my view, necessary.

    • avatar
      Ivan Burrows

      Yavor Hadzhiev

      With the EU’s currency crisis, banking crisis, migrant crisis, agricultural crisis and democratic deficit crisis what is ‘noble’ about the EU ?

      It promised the peoples of the EU peace, prosperity and security but it has given fear, mass unemployment and terrorism while stealing their democracy, there is nothing noble about the EU.

      The European experiment was a 1950’s attempt to answer the problems of the 1930’s, it has failed utterly & will be consigned to the dustbin of history by the peoples of the EU.

      Vive la liberté !


  103. avatar
    Nadia Dereguardati

    Why you want scare people???? The other kind of dictatorship is at power.. do you fear to lose the power???

    • avatar
      David Fuzzey

      Yes the do….hence the scare tactics.

  104. avatar
    Graça Soares

    Depends… Fascism ONLY occurs IN SOCIALIST// COMMUNIST // LEFT Regimes!
    World Order can be safe under TRUMP, Marine Le Pen, Orban, Geer Wilders, Governts.
    Democracy under EU total Integration levels can be pretty relative…..
    EU can be ok and prosperous until economic and monetary integration, but no more than that!
    About Immigration Policies, each country should decide which External Policies they want to apply! And they should NEVER be sanctioned for their decision, even if their decision is that of the restriction…. That is Called Sovereignity and MUST be respectd.

  105. avatar
    Marko Martinović

    This open door politics is already extreme. If you are trying to connect fascism and Nazism to this, you are wrong

    • avatar
      Imanuel d'Anjou

      nice trumpy coverphoto you got there, doesn’t give you a bias at all

    • avatar
      Andrian Marinov

      Since when “open doors politics” is equal to “human rights”? You are saying that the people from the whole world are European citizens? You are sick.

    • avatar
      Marko Martinović

      No. Its about sacrificing local people for unchecked uncontroled immigration. Results can be seen

    • avatar
      Harry Procopiou

      Stupid analogy. If it wasn’t immigration it would be another reason. People always look for easy scapegoats for their problems.

    • avatar
      Marko Martinović

      Not true. Rapes and asaults have spiked incredibly. We dont have to even count sharp rise in terrorism. People want safety and civility, but get from government oposite. Ofcourse people will now vote for those who promise both. This is not extreme, it is natural reaction

    • avatar
      Tobias Jetter

      Agreed. But the more important question is: What causes this poverty?

    • avatar
      Julia Hadjikyriacou

      Greed, socialism for the rich, corporate welfare, tax havens, tax avoidance loopholes and the people’s collective tax contributions pay for it all while the people get all the cuts.

    • avatar
      Julia Hadjikyriacou

      Solution: tax the rich and create a universal unconditional income for all people

    • avatar
      Yavor Hadzhiev

      I agree Julia. And it is not just about poverty, just about material deprivation. It is also about social exclusion and political arrogance and failure to listen to citizens. Establishment politicians and traditional businessmen with their arrogance created the fertile soil for right-wing extremism that we see rising now.

    • avatar
      Cormac Begley

      Poverty is a structural corollary of capitalism. If you want to abolish poverty you need to abolish capitalism

    • avatar
      Julia Hadjikyriacou

      No, you can’t abolish capitalism in the state the world is in because the alternative is a resource based economy and humanity isn’t ready for that yet. Capitalism just needs more balance & caring and less greed. Greed is being enabled at the expense of people & the environment and it must be regulated. The first urgent and humane step is to abolish poverty.

  106. avatar
    Rumy Milten

    Yes expect Merkel is the extremist here and if you don’t agree with her politics or voice very legit concerns about her open door policy, you get called racist, Islamophobe, xsenophob etc. People in Europe are scared to talk about it openly because they don’t want lose their jobs. This is Merkel and EU for you

  107. avatar
    Bódis Kata

    There’s too much left-extremism in Europe, it’s harmful to both society and the economy. A healthier balance has to be restored. *Balance*, and not reactionary right-extremism.

    Unfortunately almost anything that’s not left gets to be labeled right-extremist in Europe these days, the political speech has been corrupted and that’s not helping. We need more clarity in political discourse. E.g. a dictator is someone who stays in power through the means of threats and violence and not an elected leader you don’t like. An oligarchy is a place where oligarchs play their puppet politicians. Etc.

    We need more clarity in our political debates because it’s been all effed up, a lot, probably intentionally to prevent clarity.

  108. avatar
    Julia Hadjikyriacou

    Solution: tax the rich and create a universal unconditional income for all people. Invest in infrastructure and public services. Free education and free healthcare. Regulate corporations. End wars and invest in renewable energy. And much much more. I am sure the EU has a report with all the possible solutions. The question is: why don’t the implement it? The answer is: lack of will and absence of caring for all people.

    • avatar
      Ander Anderson

      Tiago Bartolemeu The EU isn;t a country so the EU isn;t the problem

  109. avatar
    Ivan Burrows


    Fascism, Nazism, Communism & now Europeanism, only the colour of the flag changes.

  110. avatar
    Ivan Burrows


    Fascism, Nazism, Communism & now Europeanism, only the colour of the flag changes.

  111. avatar
    GonEprata Megarp

    And what about to look for the future in the present? What about the liberal extremism of 2016? Fuckers, the logicall response would be thee rise of nationalism (not necessarly extremist, but anything looks extreme compared too such extreme liberalism).

    • avatar
      Péter Lévai

      so why is that the liberals are aiding terrorism?

    • avatar
      Ander Anderson

      Péter Lévai What does a terrorist look like ?

  112. avatar
    Julia Hadjikyriacou

    No, you can’t abolish capitalism in the state the world is in because the alternative is a resource based economy and humanity isn’t ready for that yet. Capitalism just needs more balance & caring and less greed. Greed is being enabled at the expense of people & the environment and it must be regulated. The first urgent and humane step is to abolish poverty.

  113. avatar
    David Whittington

    The ignorant and disgruntled i.e. the Mindless Mob, are always easy to control. They always think their mindless group is going to get something for nothing. All those racists, misogynists and moronic mindless morons, who want to turn the clock back to the 19 hundred’s. In the last century we have seen the rise of hateful things before and we have always defeated these inhumane creations. So think upon this as the 1930’s with the rise of Hitler after a great depression. Black shirts use to roam our streets; they were removed either by laws or by force and then weaned off in World War Two. I see the same thing happening again, but we must be seen to be the good guys fighting on two fronts, not being the fascists against the Communists. Because it didn’t turn out too well for the Fascists last time, Did It…..

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