Thursday, August 18, 2016

Right Wing Extremism And The Liberal State

We are witnessing the growth of right wing extremism in Europe and the US.  It  often feeds on hatred directed against minority groups.  This raises difficult questions for the liberal state.  We are compelled to protect the freedom of speech because it is central to the operation of the democratic state.  On the other hand, it can lead to violence which is harmful to the groups that have been targeted by the extreme right.  Carried to an extreme, we have also seen how it can destroy the liberal state and the democracy that we value.  This article provides a good summary of the issues that are being raised by the spread of right wing extremism in Europe and the US.  Many nations in Europe have laws which are intended to reduce the threat from right wing extremism.  They have not been effective in containing right wing extremism.  Donald Trump has selected a new campaign manager who operates an extreme right wing news outlet that has targeted the leadership of the political party that nominated him as its presidential candidate as well as many minority groups.  Trump's campaign is likely to become more extreme than it has been in recent months. The US protects free speech even when it is false. That will not help him to win the election in November but it could easily lead to the formation of a right wing extremist party led by Donald Trump.  Trump has been paving the way for him to declare that the election was rigged and that he did not lose the election fairly.  Trump has a valuable asset derived from the millions of Americans who want him to destroy the "establishment".  He may choose to turn that asset into political gold.

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