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Resistance, Right and Left


At Eurozine, German political scientist Claus Leggewie examines how the call to resist!, which in the context of Europe has been historically associated with resistance to fascism, is now being appropriated by the far right in countries like Germany and Hungary, who call on their supporters to resist immigration and ethnic diversity. Leggewie argues that the resistance we must practice instead is an organized, nonviolent resistance to authoritarianism and thinly veiled fascism. Here’s an excerpt:

But ought one even to consider resistance as long as the Orbáns, Trumps and Erdogans are winning absolute majorities and can thus claim democratic legitimacy? The answer is yes, if they continue to treat elections as plebiscites, as opportunities to take an axe to the pillars of democracy, to denounce minorities and to undermine fundamental rights. Passive resistance is then not just a right, but a duty. And whoever does not object to the victors in effect consents to them.

The Washington Post, a major newspaper very much on the side of the resistance, recently asked if the Parkland schoolchildren had taught the rest of society to think and act more maturely. The goal of resistance from civil society should also be to escape the fixation on ‘refugees’ and ‘Islam’ and to spread ideas about another, better world. The right feeds on the social inequality caused worldwide by unbridled financial capitalism and on the mass migration caused, among other things, by the immense destruction of nature in the global South. The goal of resistance is to go on the offensive with better ideas and practicable plans, and to offer a democratic and European alternative to citizens flirting with the right.

Image via Eurozine.