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U.N. Special Adviser Compares Modern Far-Right Surge the Rise of the Nazis, Criticises Boris Johnson

Michael East, Red Revolution

The United Nations special adviser on the prevention of genocide has said that the rise of far-right politics across Europe is reminiscent of the rise of the Nazis during the 1930s.

Speaking on Wednesday, Adama Dieng said that we can no longer tolerate the rhetoric from the right against minorities, urging the left to do more to combat the growing menace.

“We cannot allow human beings to be treated the way they are being treated. The signs of the ’30s are resurfacing. Unless we are blind or of bad faith, we should admit that it’s time to stand up, it is time to speak out.”

Adama Dieng, United Nations special adviser on the prevention of genocide

Citing the damage done by “powerful states” withdrawing from their international commitments and the rhetoric from the likes of Matteo Salvini and Victor Orban, Dieng was sharply critical of the left playing politics instead of pushing back against the far-right.

While praising the likes of Germany’s Angela Merkel and New Zealand’s Jacinda Ardern, Dieng was sharp in his criticism of Boris Johnson and his comments on the burqa.

“This shows exactly how dangerous it is when someone who is in a position of leadership, who can influence, is using a discourse which can impact terribly on the lives, the security and the safety of human beings.”

Adama Dieng, United Nations special adviser on the prevention of genocide

In was in August of last year that Boris Johnson made his now notorious comments on the face veil, stating in The Telegraph that the garment makes the wearer resemble a “letterbox” and “bank robber”. The comments were widely condemned, with Baroness Warsi accusing him of “dog whistle” politics and Theresa May calling on him to apologise. However, the comments drew support from the hard to far-right, with Nadine Dorries arguing that the face veil should be banned entirely.

An internal Conservative investigation eventually cleared Johnson of any wrongdoing in December, stating that Johnson was “respectful and tolerant”.

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The New Faces of Fascism: Populism and the Far Right 

By Enzo Traverso

What does Fascism mean at the beginning of the twenty-first century? When we pronounce this word, our memory goes back to the years between the two world wars and envisions a dark landscape of violence, dictatorships, and genocide. These images spontaneously surface in the face of the rise of radical right, racism, xenophobia, islamophobia and terrorism, the last of which is often depicted as a form of Islamic fascism. Beyond some superficial analogies, however, all these contemporary tendencies reveal many differences from historical fascism, probably greater than their affinities. Paradoxically, the fear of terrorism nourishes the populist and racist rights, with Marine Le Pen in France or Donald Trump in the US claiming to be the most effective ramparts against ‘Jihadist fascism’. But since fascism was a product of imperialism, can we define as fascist a terrorist movement whose main target is Western domination? Disentangling these contradictory threads, Enzo Traversos historical gaze helps to decipher the enigmas of the present. He suggests the concept of post-fascisma hybrid phenomenon, neither the reproduction of old fascism nor something completely differentto define a set of heterogeneous and transitional movements, suspended between an accomplished past still haunting our memories and an unknown future.


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