Right-wing politics have been on the rise globally in the past years. Many European countries such as Germany, France, Hungary, Poland, UK, Italy and Sweden are getting more towards the right-wing in politics. The changes in political situation in European countries from the year 1999 can be seen here.
Right-wing populism and nationalism are also in power for example in Russia, Turkey, India, Israel, Brazil and the United States. Conservative right-wing politics are not only driven by rich and older generation, but also by ordinary young people.
Why is the world getting more right-wing and what does it mean?
One of the reasons for rising right-wing politics in Europe has connection to higher number of immigrants, as the European refugee crisis started in 2015. This has impacted people and it has resulted in negative attitudes towards immigration as well as in growth of nationalism. Due to rising number of immigrants it is easy to blame problems on immigration. Far-right political movements and parties have benefited from European refugee crisis, and they have gotten more supporters during refugee crisis.
The control of immigration was one of the main arguments of Brexit campaigners in Britain. Free movement within EU countries had brought Britain more immigrants and it was not seen as a positive thing. The campaigns for Brexit included false facts and fear of immigration was used to get people to vote leave. Brexit has contributed to the rise of right-wing politics and nationalism in Britain.
Controlling immigration was a big theme also in Donald Trump’s presidential campaign in the last election in the USA. The wall that he is threatening to build on the border between Mexico and USA has got a lot of attention globally, as well as the separation of illegally entered immigrant families. Underage children are separated from their parents at the border of USA, and it continues to happen.
Also here in Finland in the last parliamentary election, nationalist right-wing political party True Finns got 17,5% of the votes, which made them the second most popular party in Finland. The chairperson of True Finns, Jussi Halla-aho, has in the past published racist and homophobic texts.
Fear and false facts together with charismatic speakers are contributing to the growth of nationalism and right-wing politics.
However, immigrants are not the only group of people that suffer the consequences of right-wing politics. Inequality, that is connected to righ-wing politics, spreads to other parts of society as well. People who are socioeconomically in low position disadvantage of right-wing politics. Strong right-wing politics create even bigger gap between rich and poor, creating social problems and creating a risk for social exclusion.
For example in Britain, due to benefit cuts and a recent two-child policy for getting benefits, there are now 4,5 million children living in poverty. The situation is expected to get worse. There are plenty of organisations and charities trying to help the situation.
In the USA, Donald Trump wants to get rid of affordable care act “Obamacare”, in which case it will be harder for poor people to afford healthcare. Trump is also known as a threat for women’s rights, for example for trying to affect and end the right for women to have abortions. Another far-right leader, new president of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, has given homophobic comments and therefor created a greater risk for homophobic crimes to happen. Bolsonaro has also threatened to forcefully stop Brazilian environmental activists and organisations that work for homeless or paperless.
On top of everything, right-wing politics do not support environmental acts, and climate change denial is strongly linked to right-wing nationalism.
Growth of right-wing politics is a global threat, that puts human rights and our planet and all other species in danger. We must start spreading information and standing up for those who are oppressed. We must stand up for human rights and we must stand up for our planet together!