Radek Sikorski: Right Wing Nationalism in Europe

Radek Sikorski: Right Wing Nationalism in Europe



we've seen pictures of course in Poland during independence day in November there was a sixty thousand person March with signs that said you know white europe and white Poland what what are the roots of this right-wing nationalism a small minority among those sixty thousand were actual races and fascists but yes the optics of marching with torches at night in Europe doesn't look good and yes there is a resurgent of resurgence of nationalism which is not always condemned by the authorities but I think it's a pan Western phenomenon in in the United States you also have tribalism you have the despair of endangered majorities you have national politics and socialist economics and in different countries it plays out differently but we do have a reaction to the financial crisis a desire for more for fair capitalism and we have widespread cultural anxiety to do with endanger the identities to do with people's search for meaning and to do with the fact that as the West with every decade we are becoming a smaller proportion of the world's population and the world's economy which always produces self-doubt know the traditional role of populist s' in democratic elected political systems has been to name and and and make evident issues that have been neglected and those issues are real and have to have to be dealt with I see this point I mean I guess Poland and I agree I think it's it span Western in fact it's not just Western it there's left foot populism of course on the rise and it has been for decades and in South America but Poland strikes me such as such an interesting case because economically Poland is doing really well it has had an average of four to five percent growth over the last say 20 years it's it may be it whether the financial global financial crisis better than most other countries it does have a six percent unemployment but that's fairly low for you know for this sort of stuff and in also its ninety seven ninety eight percent high 90s and a percentage of white population it strikes me as like what are they afraid of in so you see it as more of a like a loss of identity it's something that on the on paper everything looks just fine in fact for Poland looks better than everybody else you're shrewd to have notice that Poland is a counterexample to the narrative prevalent in the West because the West is no Marxist and thinks that the economy determines everything Poland has had the best quarter century in a thousand years even during the financial crisis our economy cumulatively grew by 25% which proves your suggestion there it's about culture and about psychology and about things other than the economy even things other than economic fairness because actually the Gini coefficient has been dropping in Poland which means that the perception and reality of social inequalities is less in Poland unlike in some other countries including this one which is why Poland is such a fascinating case to study because it's about things that are hard to measure yeah it's so interesting it's so it's so kind of crazy I it's this idea and people long I think neglect this idea that culture and ideology play a huge role in how people feel I I think in Poland's case an additional factor is a rapid pace of secularization and the reaction to it of the endangered majority of traditionalists Roman Catholics are 90 percent Roman Catholic in Poland so but actually only 1/3 go to church so you see you see why the Catholic Church in Poland may not like this globalization and this European integration stuff because they blame the European Union unfairly in my view for the these new cultural norms which they don't like tolerance towards all kinds of minorities

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