Populism is an evil fairy, it bewitches with words, announcing a future prosperity. It manages to make us forget that its nets are toxic, that they produce segregation, exclusion, despair. Its arguments send us back to our physical and symbolic borders; it prepares the ground for social warfare, phobias, asphyxiation of thought and of the human bond. It manipulates our minds and our instincts.
The parties that spread this ideology are familiar birds who abruptly attack. They are part of the landscape; they lodge themselves in industrial wastelands, in quiet and bourgeois cities, in the eyes of individuals. They lurk in every inattention of our moral values, in every breach that fear makes.
In the end, this story will be the tale of an Europe grappling with itself and the redefinition of its values.
In the wake of the financial and refugee crisis, economic and social insecurity, Brexit, the current coronavirus pandemic and its attendant economic and social upheavals, identitarian movements are gaining ground worldwide. Touting visions of impending doom and gloom, including overpopulation and social decline, they fan fears and peddle purportedly “common sense” solutions and promises that breed exclusion and intolerance. All of Europe is witnessing the political ascent of right-wing populist parties: UKIP in the UK, Dansk Folkeparti (DF) in Denmark, FPÖ in Austria, AfD in Germany, Vox in Spain and SVP in Switzerland, to name just a few.