The Alt-Right and the way to Post-Capitalism

The political systems in Italy, Germany and Israel are quite different from each other. However, the three are marked by the process of enormous political and social polarization. In Germany, the old political apparatus is uncapable anymore of building strong coalitions. The CDU and the SPD are weaker than ever. In Italy, the extremist right is flourishing. While these lines are written, no one knows yet who would win the elections; however, the polls indicate that the Left won’t be able to defeat neither Silvio Berlusconi nor his rightist, populist rival. And in Israel, the ruling Likud party is expected to win the coming elections following its historic lurch to alt-right positions though only 25 percent of the voters are keen to vote for the party. No one thinks that the probes held against Mr. Netanyahu can prevent him from entering his office for the fourth time. The common denominator between these three countries is clear: while the established Left and Right parties can’t address the needs and desires of the people, the alt-right and some fascistic movements step into the political spectrum and fill the void.

The old political establishment refuse to acknowledge the fact that people want it to deliver simple solutions to complicated problems. The ordinary man is sick and tired of immigrants’ problems, widening social gaps, huge but unrecorded unemployment among the White working class, instability in terms of the way the state can address the needs of its citizens, etc. That’s what brought President Trump to power, not a dogmatic belief of the White people in the Republican values. That’s what led the Italians to side with the corrupted Forza Italia of Mr. Berlusconi; the same is true about Germany where the nationalistic right could have become the second political party in terms of support among East and West Germans. The Left and the Right, the socialists as well as the conservatives, have nothing to offer but old slogans. While people are afraid, for instance, of future where automatic robots might replace the workingmen, and detest possible situation where new immigrants, cheap labor, would work for nothing instead of the ordinary Western worker who wants social benefits as well as good wages, the old Left speaks again on the old welfare state and the old Right promises nothing but more austerity. They are not even familiar with terms like Universal Basic Income, and all they wish to propose is more of the same.

There are no miracles in politics and the only way to prevent the alt-right and the nationalistic fascisms from rising is to offer a new political platform. While Socialism is certainly dead in every political term, liberalism constitutes a dead-end when it comes to the needs of people living out of their decreasing wages. The time for post-capitalist society is already here and if the centrist parties wish to mobilize the masses against the reactionary tendencies within the political spectrum, they must start telling the people which future they wish to carry forward; people don’t need any grander ideologies but simple explanation and solution concerning their very lives. Without serious centrist rejuvenation, a reality of new fascist regimes is not that far.

About the Author
DAVID MERHAV is a journalist writing for The Jerusalem Post, The Jerusalem Report and The Forward. Since 2008, he is working as journalist & Op-Ed columnist in Makor Rishon daily, Hebrew conservative newspaper published in Jerusalem; He also served as the Public Relations director for the Jabotinky Institute in Israel.