The conventional wisdom is nearly always wrong, and rarely so wrong as when it comes to the EU elections, the results of which are being trumpeted as the triumph of the “far right.” The more alarmist among these uniformly pro-EU commentators are even claiming neo-fascism in Europe is on the march. Well, they’re a least half right: something is on the march. They just don’t know what it is.
The “far right” meme is based on the results In France, where the National Front of Marine le Pen has for the first time won a plurality of seats in the European Parliament, and this news is usually coupled with panic-stricken reports of UKIP’s sweep across the Channel. Yet the two parties have nearly nothing in common except for opposition to the euro and the European project. The French Front is statist, protectionist, and carries red banners in the streets on May Day. UKIP is a quasi-free market split from the Tories, pro-free market and vaguely Little Englander. They aren’t opposed to immigration per se: they just want immigrants with assets, as opposed to the poorer variety.
The only thing these two movements have in common is opposition to the rule of Brussels, but that is quite enough for the Eurocrats and their journalistic camarilla to cast them in the role of volatile “extremists,” dangerous “populists” out to tear apart the “social fabric” of Europe. One prominent Eurocrat, the former Prime Minister of Luxembourg, foresees a replay of 1914: “I am chilled by the realization of how similar the crisis of 2013 is to that of 100 years ago,” intones Jean-Claude Juncker.