Last September, Abe Newman, Jeremy Wallace and I had a piece in Foreign Affairs’ 100th anniversary issue. I can’t speak for my co-authors’ motivations, but my own reason for writing was vexation that someone on the Internet was wrong. In this case, it was Yuval Harari. His piece has been warping debate since 2018, and I have been grumpy about it for nearly as long. But also in fairness to Harari, he was usefully wrong – I’ve assigned this piece regularly to students, because it wraps up a bunch of common misperceptions in a neatly bundled package, ready to be untied and dissected. [click to continue…]

How dangerous is the European far-right ?

by John Q on July 25, 2023

As is usual with trends of all kinds, some recent electoral successes for far-right parties in Europe have been extrapolated into a narrative in which the rise of the far-right is just about unstoppable.

That narrative took a blow with the recent Spanish elections in which the far-right Vox party performed poorly and its coalition with the traditional conservative Popular Party failed to secure a majority. Possibly as a result, the leader of the German CDU backed away from a suggestion that his party might go into a similar coalition with the AfD. And a similar coalition government in Finland appears to be on the verge of collapse.

From the other side of the world, it’s hard to know what to make of all this, but important to try to understand it. So, I’ll toss out some thoughts and invite readers closer to the action to set me straight.

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