What is the Nationalism?
“Nationalism is our form of incest, is our idolatry, is our insanity. “Patriotism” is its cult. It should hardly be necessary to say, that by “patriotism” I mean that attitude which puts the own nation above humanity, above the principles of truth and justice; not the loving interest in one’s own nation, which is the concern with the nation’s spiritual as much as with its material welfare — never with its power over other nations. Just as love for one individual which excludes the love for others is not love, love for one’s country which is not part of one’s love for humanity is not love, but idolatrous worship.” [Erich Fromm, in The Sane Society (1955)]
A brief definition of Nationalism:
Several intellectuals and scholars tried to give a definition to what is nationalism or what it should be, but the common definition of nationalism is that is an ideology born in the XIX century which support the affirmation of the nation as homogeneous community and generally it’s considered as the repository of traditional values unique and typical of the spiritual heritage of the “nation”. Different nationalism waves:
-In the West at beginning the nationalism was a progressive ideology of liberalism, and it was used against the “Ancien Regime”’s system, and the idea that advocated was that the nation, and so the people, can exist without the kingdom. With this wave we have National State like Italy, France, Germany… – The second wave it was after the first world war with the independence of Jugoslav, Czechoslovak… – The third wave it was after the WW2 with clash of the Soviet Union and the Liberation wars in the Third World .
So today what is the function of the nationalism and how it’s use by the political party? Actually in Europe Right-Wing are rising because they are able to manipulate the classical issues of the financial Crisis, the immigration and recently also the “euroscepticism” . We need just to look some dates from the election result in 2010 of the “Fronte Nazional” in France, it was: 11.42%. And recently with the presidential election race, Marine Le Pen the leader of the FN came third with 17% after Hollande and Sarkozy. The FN is an expression of a kind of traditional extreme right with a strong nationalist sentiment. The Party for Freedom (PVV) the right-wing party of Geert Wilders in Netherland took in the elections for the European parliament in 2009 the 17% of the votes with 27 seats. It won with classical right-wing issues (anti-immigration, anti-Islamism, anti-europe…).
The PVV represents a populist a nationalist right-wing, but it’s different from the classical right-wing, the intellectual Jerome Jamine defines it “economically liberal and socially progressive” because they don’t condemn the homosexuality. In Italy it happened the same thing with the “Lega Nord” which in the last regional election (2010) took the 12.7% with 58 seats. With four ministers in the last Berlusconi’s government, the Lega Nord benefited a substantial influence in political terms. The Lega Nord it’s a different kind of right-wing party, it’s a regionalist rural right it’s strongly founded about the local culture (Veneto, Lombardia,Piemonte), it’s voted just by the people of the north Italy and sometimes the exponent speak also about secession or independence from Italy.
In Italy there are also some traditional right-wing party like La Destra and Forza Nuova but they are politically irrelevant. A “curious” phenomenon is Casa Pound a right social movement who use all the political and the traditional issues of the traditional extra-parliamentary left side movement. The define their self like no global, for the welfare state, anti-imperialist and sensible to animalist and green issues, but all this things hidden a strong nationalism. Of course they are against the immigration in particular from the Muslim’s countries.
Another expression of the phenomenon we have it in Hungary with the The Movement for a Better Hungary (JOBBIK) which in the elections for the European parliament in 2009 it got the 14.7% and 3 seats in the European Parliament. A neo-fascist party who uses a strong racist and anti-communist rhetoric. Riding the wave of anti-Roma and anti-European JOBBIK established in the 2007 “The Hungarian Guard” with declared objective to maintain the public order and for the “national self-defense”. It’s a paramilitary organization who “work” parallel to the normal police and who commemorate the Hungarian Empire but also the paramilitary Nazi-organization in Germany in 1930s.
The new populism of the “new – right – wing”
All the new European right wing parties use same kind of populism and this one of the most important thing that make theme very similar. The PVV, the Lga Nord and Casa Pound they changed the classical dialectic between right/left in a different dichotomy pro-system/ anti-system. For them the “system” includes the political elite , financial and trade unions and it is represented as the set of corrupt and exploitative. This new way maybe will dominate the perspective of the new European right-wing which can make their self with the populism like the only genuine Anti-system alternative who can fight the elite and corruption. So the new competition for the left side parties and for the democratic parties it will be to fight the new right-wing in the place where is growing and with the issues that they rise.
So the problem it will be to find a new different ways for the building of a multicultural society which could show that the right solutions anachronistic and antidemocratic, because of the multicultural society that the new right can rise faster, because they give a simple answer to the problem: “identity and values”. And maybe for resolve this problem it should resolve at the first the economic problems with equal redistribution of the source between all the population. So if the democratic and left sides parties will increase the welfare state maybe there will be not space for the rising of the right wing.