Beyond 2022, the threat of Neo-Nazism and White Supremacy in the West remains
Coverage of Muslims and Islam in conservative media outlets in the Western world for example, is contributing to the rise of white supremacist extremism being mainstreamed.
The greatest threat to the West lies within the Western countries per se, as stated clearly by UN Chief Antonio Guterres at the end of the year annual UN press conference in New York. His assertion is on merit and warrants greater attention as far right, neo Nazi and armed nativist groups across the world pose an existential threat to the Western model of governance. Such terrorist groups remain adamant in replacing the existing world order with hardline dispensations which has been evident in Germany, as followers of the Reich Citizens endeavored to overthrow the government by installing a national prince instead. Such trends are alarming as the world moves into the year 2023 and must be addressed immediately for world peace.
The truth is that White supremacy and neo-Nazism have been a defining feature in Western democratic societies. Lobbyists, advocates and legislators which openly disagree and disparage multiculturalism, diversity, peaceful coexistence and immigration have often morphed their initial far-right leanings into political parties which appeal to broader constituencies of disenchanted citizens. The rise of Giorgia Meloni in Italy, Marine Le Pen in France and Donald Trump in the United States are instances where white supremacy and neo Nazism become institutionalized, entrenched and embedded into national psyche.
Around 3,000 officers of the German police conducted operations across 11 German federal states against followers of the so-called Reichsbuerger movement. This is despite the fact that unlike most Western democracies, Germany retained Angela Merkel’s doctrine of pacifism, peaceful coexistence, and multiculturalism. As a result, lack of political recognition of far-right groups in countries such as Germany acts as a motivation for such terrorist groups to undertake radical steps that involve violence or overturning political orders to replace them with narrow, parochial and self-serving ideologies. According to German Interior Minister Nancy Faesar, such groups are enemies of democracy and trends in Germany suggest that such entities are here to stay.
Not far from Germany is France, with a recent history replete with Islamophobia and cultural crackdowns against its Muslim population. A 69-year-old white Frenchman, William Mallet opened fire at a Kurdish cultural center in Paris and killed three people while admitting to racist motives for the attack. The attack follows attempts by the Macron administration as well as the far-right National Party of Marine Le Pen to curb the influence of the Muslim population by banning headscarves and equating accommodation of Muslims as a failure of Republicanism in the country. This standard playbook has been unabashedly adopted by polarizing and divisive politicians at the helm of power in Paris which has emboldened far right terrorists to attack minorities with impunity. Such is the state of Western democracies today.
The enablers of neo-Nazism also lie on social media platforms such as Gab, 4 and 8chan. The freedom of speech narrative promoted by business magnate Elon Musk is also contributing to the growing malaise as censorship calls are conveniently labeled as ‘political correctness’. Musk for example, has been advocating for a removal of censored content that has often featured Donald Trump making seditious and blasphemous remarks which in turn, foment neo-Nazism. His status as a billionaire with millions of followers on social media has enabled him to publicize his views with good effect despite bordering on bigotry and racism. Similarly, perpetrators of white supremacist terrorism such as the Christchurch Mosque shooter, Brenton Tarrant were radicalized on websites such as 4 and 8Chan which promotes racist content and provides ideological basis for terrorists to carry out heinous crimes against humanity. With unregulated and uninhibited social media characterizing the tech landscapes of Western democracies, the probability of white supremacist terrorism increases significantly.
Lack of legislation penalizing hate speech and racist rhetoric clearly points at apathy, incompetence and in certain cases, plausible deniability from sovereign governments. Much of the far-right cadre is recruited from the dark corners of the unregulated internet which lack any accountability from authorities. This in turn, gives a free license to white supremacist terrorist organizations to promote their vindictive propaganda and gain mass appeal for their nefarious designs. On social media, UN Chief Antonio Guterres said that companies had a particular responsibility to preserve both freedom of speech and avoiding spreading hate. Several groups such as ‘The Proud Boys’ and the ‘English Defense League’ continue to use social media to attract followers, particularly from the lower strata of society who are often left on the fringes of rising economic prosperity, social reform and welfare.
This irrefutable fact also raises questions on the viability of the Western democratic model in catering to the needs of all segments of the local population as policies often leave segments of society being vulnerable to indoctrination and brainwashing. Coverage of Muslims and Islam in conservative media outlets in the Western world for example, is contributing to the rise of white supremacist extremism being mainstreamed. There is little accountability for punditry from demagogues such as Tucker Carlson or Alex Jones which promote anti-Islam conspiracy theories and make their way into mainstream democratic discourse. Any native who is brought up in such toxic environments will be inclined towards conformity and linear thinking as the right course of action. There are then, bound to commit heinous acts, especially if violence is considered as the appropriate modus operandi.
All trends point at how white supremacy and neo-Nazism are existential threats to the West. The problem lies within...