We’ve been reporting on the amazing surge of the patriot right in Italy, France, Sweden, Hungary, and Poland, but NOW the populist right is taking the nation of Austria by storm! We’re going to see the latest of what’s going on there, and we’re going to see why the nationalist right’s success throughout Europe is just beginning!
-The nationalist right is BACK in Austria!
-Huge electoral wins prove 2024 could be the year Austria gets another crack at nationalist governance
-This is part of a much wider shift going on ACROSS THE CONTINENT!
A number of reports have been coming out of late on the astonishing rise of the Austrian Freedom party, the populist patriot party that’s taking the nation by storm! Just a few weeks back, the province of Lower Austria held their regional elections and pundits were absolutely astonished by the surge in support for the Austrian Freedom Party. They won over 24 percent of the vote, up nearly 10 points from the last state-level election back in 2018. Their showing was so impressive, that the establishment conservative party known as the People’s Party, officially entered into a coalition with them, which in effect means that Austria’s largest province is now governed by a nationalist populist coalition. Now, commentators have noted that this coalition in many respects is in fact a reunion; it’s a kind of back to the future relationship!
You see, back in October of 2017, nearly a year after President Trump won his election, the nationalist populist Freedom Party along with the more establishment conservative People’s Party won an overwhelming 60 percent of the vote in Austria’s national elections. It was just a stunning move to the right, and they of course formed a coalition, headed by the young and charismatic Sebastian Kurz as Chancellor, who was himself the head of the People’s Party, and a fellow by the name of Heinz-Christian Strache who was the head of the nationalist populist Freedom Party, and he of course became the Vice-Chancellor! And together, they oversaw what was perhaps the single most conservative government in all of Europe, outside of Viktor Orban’s Hungary and the Law and Justice Party in Poland. In fact, one of the more controversial moves of the government was the shutting down of several mosques and expelling a number of Turkish-funded imams as a part of a crackdown on Islamic extremism within the borders of their nation.
However, a huge scandal ended up bringing down the government! The leader of the Austrian Freedom Party and vice-chancellor, Heinz-Christian Strache, was secretly video-taped talking to a woman purporting to be the niece of a Russian oligarch. Apparently they were in a villa on the resort island of Ibiza, a Spanish island when Strache was covertly filmed discussing how this supposed Russian oligarch niece could gain control of the country’s largest-circulation tabloid and install editorial staff who would help the Austrian Freedom Party’s election campaigns. In return, Strache suggested the possibility of awarding public contracts to this person. And so, of course, Strache resigned as vice-Chancellor, along with all of the top leaders of the Austrian Freedom Party and the government eventually just collapsed and they’ve been replaced with a leftist government ever since! That looks like it’s all about to change, if what happened in lower Austria is any indicator! The populist Freedom Party has made a stunning comeback, they are now officially polling as the number one party in all of Austria! They are IT, they are on top, they’re polling nationally around 30 percent support, which is huge given that Austria has multiple parties in their parliament. If they sustain this momentum, they will win the upcoming parliamentary elections in 2024! Again, it’s an absolutely stunning comeback, and it’s a testimony to precisely WHY the nationalist right is storming Europe!
Perhaps the fundamental dynamic behind European populations increasingly turning to the populist right is the rise of what scholars call post-security politics, where the three basic securities that are supposed to be guaranteed by the nation-state border security, economic security, and cultural security have all begun to erode under the pressures of globalization. Globalization has eroded border security primarily through mass immigration, but also through its free flow of goods in transnational trade and electronic money. Globalization has eroded economic security with something called a global division of labor, where manufacturing and factory jobs are shipped out to third world nations while capital and finance are relocated to urban centers, leaving rural populations highly unemployed. And globalization has eroded cultural security by recasting a nation’s culture, customs, and traditions as now bigoted, racist, and all kinds of phobic!
So, the three securities that we used to rely on with the nation-state project: Border security, economic security, and cultural security, have all eroded under globalism. And so, there is currently a massive backlash where populations, particularly in Europe, are more and more reasserting their national sovereignty and their customs, culture, and religions as mechanisms of resistance against the anti-cultural processes of globalization and its secular aristocracy. And the way it’s working out is rather simple: border insecurities are awakening a new nationalism, renewed efforts to restore national sovereignty like what we saw with Brexit. Economic insecurities are awakening a new populism, where the people are standing up to multi-national corporations and bringing back their manufacturing and industries. And cultural insecurities are awakening a new traditionalism, where populations are embracing their customs and traditions, most particularly their religious traditions again as mechanisms of resistance against the woke leftism pushed by globalism!
And so, a new politics is emerging around these three forms of security, and that politics is the politics of the new right, the nationalist, populist, and traditionalist right! By the way, this is why the populist left has seen a resurgence, but they tend to be limited to economic issues; they’re still woke, and they’re still addicted to open borders. So the new right, in embracing all three forms of post-security politics, is seeing massive electoral success across the continent, and it looks like Austria will be its next success!