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Far-Right German AfD Party Set to Defeat Merkel in East Germany as Bannon Lurks

Michael East, Red Revolution

The far-right German Alternative für Deutschland is set to defeat Chancellor Angela Merkel across the east of the country, potentially acting as a severe blow to the German Chancellor.

Despite remaining relatively low in terms of overall national popularity, the far-right party looks set to win victories in dozens of local elections after taking the lead over Merkel’s Christian Democrats in pre-election polls. While the lead is slender, 23% to the CDU’s 22%, the news comes as a worrying sign both for Germany and anti-far-right activists across Europe as it opens the possibility that the AfD could be on course for an electoral breakthrough in the autumn.

Jörg Meuthen, Federal spokesman of the AfD | Olaf Kosinsky

A victory for the AfD later this year in any of the former East German states of Thuringia, Saxony or Brandenburg would bring the far-right back into the German parliament for the first time since the fall of the Nazis.

The news comes as it was revealed that the AfD has invited former Donald Trump advisor Steve Bannon to a media conference for “right-wing” journalists and bloggers. The so-called Conference of the Free Media will seek to inform the “right-wing” press on better and more effective methods of influencing the media in the future.

“Islam doesn’t belong to Germany”, “Freedom of the woman is not negotiable!” | Rosenkohl

Bannon, the former chairman of the far-right Breitbart, has met with many of the European far-right over the previous months, meeting Marine Le Pen of France’s National Rally (formerly the National Front), and also has plans to work with the Islamophobic and antisemitic Viktor Orban of Hungary.

Bannon has attempted to act as a power-broker or go-between of sorts as Italy’s Matteo Salvini and Le Pen attempt to forge a united far-right front across Europe.

The far-right is expected to make gains at the May European elections, with one poll in Germany’s Bild suggesting they could even double the number of seats they currently hold.

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Fascism and Dictatorship: The Third International and the Problem of Fascism

By Nicos Poulantzas

The resurgence of the far right across Europe and the emergence of the ‘alt-right’ in the US have put the question of fascism urgently back on the agenda. For those trying to understand these forms of politics, there is no better place to start than Fascism and Dictatorship, the unrivalled Marxist study of German and Italian fascism. It carefully distinguishes between fascism as a mass movement before the seizure of power and what it becomes as an entrenched machinery of dictatorship. It compares the distinct class components of the counterrevolutionary blocs mobilised by fascism in Germany and Italy; analyses the changing relations between the petty bourgeoisie and big capital in the evolution of fascism; discusses the structures of the fascist state itself, as an emergency regime for the defence of capital; and provides a sustained and documented criticism of official Comintern attitudes and policies towards fascism in the fateful years after the Versailles settlement. Fascism and Dictatorship represents a challenging synthesis of factual evidence and conceptual analysis, a standard bearer of what Marxist political theory should be.


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