Far right labyrinth

Image: Emir Bozkurt


Behind the freedom defended by right-wing populism, to deceive, lies the unacceptable denial of human dignity, along with the treatment of natural resources as extractive commodities to enhance immediate profit.


The rise of the extreme right at the international level challenges the intelligentsia progressive. Among the variables highlighted are globalization that divides society into winners and losers, the impact of the profusion of technological innovations, inequalities that break the pact between social classes, the spillover of predispositions repressed in political correctness, the effects of immigration , aporophobia and resentment.

A diffuse and very corrosive disorder permeates the present time. “Until 2014, there were no radical right parties in Australia, Canada, Ireland, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Portugal or Spain”, highlights New York University political scientist Adam Przeworski, in democracy crises. For a Latin American touch, it is possible to re-update the regressive list with Brazil (2018) and Argentina (2023).

In many countries, the focus in recent elections has been on immigration. According to the Gallup Institute, in 2012 and 2014, in the opinion of 25% of the population in Australia, 40% in the United States and 69% in the United Kingdom, immigration should be reduced. In certain contexts, discrimination affects voting decisions more than economic issues. Even because the perception of the economy is affected by party loyalties.

After the election of Donald Trump, Democratic voters reconsidered their assessment of their own living conditions downwards, while Republican voters revised theirs upwards. It is no easy task to select the preponderant vectors in the choice of votes that strengthen the new fascism. Political scientists, sociologists, anthropologists, philosophers and psychologists are witnesses.

Economic distress weighs heavily, although accompanied by other afflictions. With a higher family income and less education, Trumpists are also prone to unemployment and exposed to competition from immigrants and commerce. Insecurity influences the orientation of your vote in the face of danger represented in the imaginary, rather than in the real. On the other hand, it is indisputable that living in racially isolated communities, in worse health situations, with precarious social mobility and a continuous dependence on social security benefits are harbingers of a pessimism about the near future, therefore, of a religious and faithful identification ideological relationship with the ultra-right.

Individuals in positions with rotating unemployment rates are more likely to vote based on economic factors. These are challenged by the programs of left-wing parties. In Brazil, the contingent of the electorate that earns one to two salaries are the most vulnerable to fluctuations in the job market. Sensitive to proposals for recovery, the vote was concentrated there to prevent the spread of neo-fascism and bring back hope in the country. The segment guaranteed victory for the third term, under the leadership of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

Radical right parties tend to appeal to the issue of transmigration, often without linking the scapegoat to proposals for economic changes and combating political corruption. Class and racist ideology are not the only categories of consciousness. “Freedom of expression” is the ruse used to propagate flat-earthism with impunity. Parallel reality attacks and delegitimizes knowledge, to abduct the entourage of believers with cultural fables that antagonize difference. Diversionary theses simplify what is complex and lead the masses to a comfort zone.

Adam Przeworski draws attention to the results of an interesting survey carried out in Europe, in 2010, to assess people's perception of social tension in four dimensions: (a) poor and rich; (b) managers and workers; (c) old and young; (d) different racial and ethnic groups. It was expected that some would blame the rich, others the administration or the disproportionate income of the elderly, in addition to immigration. But not.

People with greater subsistence difficulties tend to locate tension in all spheres. Those who perceive high tension in one dimension visualize it in the other frames. “They blame everyone (read: the system) because they don’t know who to blame,” reiterates the member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.


The conspiracist versions to unify the rebels with bizarre things defy the forums capable of distinguishing the truth from the lie, the feeling from the argument. The epistemological refusal of truth in public discussions causes the collapse of trust in traditional institutions (universities) and pressures the false equivalence of non-equivalent narratives. “All successful societies depend on a high degree of honesty to preserve order, defend the law, punish the powerful and generate prosperity”, emphasizes British journalist Matthew D'Ancona, author of Post-truth.

The relativization of truth breaks the parameter of social and political conviviality and encourages a flight to niches protected from contradiction. Reminds the advisor who, having denied the fictitious presence of a crowd in the possession of the demagogue of America First, at the White House, made a comment that became modern folklore: “We prefer alternative facts”. In Washington and Brasília, former rulers were the absolute champions of fake news. Bad faith, imposture and rudeness organized the protocol. Ignorance gained an aura of authenticity. Violence received the dystopia quality seal. Montaigne's doubt gave way to the modern podium to the theocratic and medieval certainty of Silas Malafaia, sworn enemy of the democratic rule of law.

Xenophobia, racism, intolerance and a whole host of prejudices act as fuel to energize unreason. In the USA, German immigrants were “herbs", the Italians "Dagos”, the Japanese “japs”, the Poles “Polacks”. Temporarily, the faults were contained by social etiquette through the “civilizing action of hypocrisy”. When the sewer was opened, linguistic stigmas poured out against those who sought opportunities in the new world. The wall that imperialism wanted on the Mexican border, multipolarity breaks down with pluralism and an anti-hunger agenda.

The neo-fascist, neoliberal and conservative movement has nothing marginal or anti-systemic. This is an articulation with resonance within the system, notes judge Rubens Casara in an article for Hate as politics, book organized by Ester Solano Gallego. In short, the criticism reflects the symptoms of the “legal right” reminiscent of the civil-military dictatorship: (a) conventionalism through rigid adherence to the values ​​of the expensive middle class; (b) the aggressive attitude that reeks of the dialectic of the colonizer and the colonized, of domination and subordination; (c) stereotypical thinking to assimilate the premises from which it starts; (d) the spurious confusion between the accuser and the judge. The Lava Jato operation proved itself to cover the lesa-patria project, which specialized in the dissemination of lawfare. “I am the power” that echoes in the courts is fed by the excessive judicialization of politics.

According to economist JK Galbraith, the welfare state is the most significant event of modern times. Brucutu extremism advocates a historical setback by proposing a return to the Hobbesian “state of nature”, in which capitalist accumulation imposes war of all against all and, socioeconomic Darwinism, exchanges ideals of solidarity for competition: I = Me – You. In the neoliberal conception, there is no place for egalitarian and emancipatory policies. The solution to inequities in society is joint efforts in favelas and volunteering in squares, not the engagement of authorities and the community. Social participation is a sport.

The media, the internet, digital networks and fake news robotics are the sources of manipulation, in the absence of local and global legislation on the subject. Behind this freedom defended by right-wing populism, to deceive, lies the unacceptable denial of human dignity, along with the treatment of natural resources as extractive commodities to enhance immediate profit. 1% of Gaia's inhabitants benefit from the predatory model, which is socially and environmentally unsustainable. The association with necropolitics is evident. Understand, etymologically How / eats prehendere / catch, does not imply making people an object to deceive, shape, maneuver. The other is always an alterity necessary for the constitution of our identity, constructed in an unfolding: I = You + We, to exit the labyrinth of the extreme right. Shoo X!

* Luiz Marques is a professor of political science at UFRGS. He was Rio Grande do Sul's state secretary of culture in the Olívio Dutra government.

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