With the resignation of Italy’s center-left Prime Minister announced earlier this week, the vanquishing of mainstream politicians is happening at an alarming pace: first, David Cameron as the Prime Minister of Britain, next Democratic Party mainstay Hillary Clinton and now Matteo Renzi.
Breitbart, now content with their xenophobic alt-right victory on the American home front, is setting its sights on swaying upcoming elections in France and Germany. Success in even one of these countries would be the death-knell for the European Union, and a blow to any chance of humane treatment of Middle Eastern refugees who are largely fleeing wars initiated by Western powers. Depending on the election outcome in France’s May election, it may fall to Angela Merkel’s Germany to halt the spread of irrational ultra-nationalist movements – ironic, given her country’s long history of spreading such movements. While challenges to the reigning neoliberal world order are certainly due, the failure of progressive factions to break through should be alarming to anyone concerned about a cleaner Earth or human rights. Apparently fascism has an alluring siren song, but even the most basic understandings of twentieth century history tells us it is never the answer. The philosopher Karl Marx had once a prophetic observation: “History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce.” He may be vindicated yet.