Letter from Austria

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Manfred Ecker reports from Vienna on what is behind the growth of support for the Austrian far right parties.

The recent general election was a warning. The extreme right could soon become the strongest force in the Austrian parliament. The Austrian Freedom Party (FPO) got 17.5 percent and Jörg Haider's Alliance for the Future of Austria (BZO) got 10 percent.

Ordinary people in Austria are angry and feel betrayed by the elites. The left must build an alternative to the Social Democrats (SPO) otherwise the extreme right is going to strengthen its influence.

F is for Fascism

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Fascism is so often used as an insult that any real analysis of its specific meaning is often obscured.

There are those who use it to describe any authoritarian action, or any extreme racism or anti-Semitism. There is the opportunistic labelling of Saddam Hussein as a fascist to justify the war on Iraq. There is also a more serious argument on the left put forward by John Pilger that George Bush and the US are in a pre-fascist situation.

Elections: A Left Response to Europe's Right Turn

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Four years ago it all looked so different. Social Democratic parties had swept to office in all but three European Union states, in some cases, as in Britain, putting an end to over a decade of right wing rule.

Now Le Pen's success in France has underlined the failure of those governments and the bitterness they have created. His breakthrough in the first round of the presidential election comes after a series of successes for fascist and far right forces in Europe.


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