The recession in 2008 was perhaps the worst economic breakdown after the great depression of the 1930s. It created fear in the minds of people, and led to an atmosphere of insecurity and fear, across the globe. The world also saw the inception of a global far-right, brewing in various sections of the society.
Across the world, there is now a growing trend of the rise of the right. Leaders in various nations have sensed this insecurity across the globe and are using it to manipulate the minds of the voters. The 2014 general elections in India saw the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), touted as a nationalist right-wing party, achieve a landslide mandate. The voters were swayed by the narrative of development and ‘acche din‘ (good days) in a collective bid to overthrow the Congress government, which had already been marred with allegations of corruption. A concoction of anti-incumbency and the populist narrative of ‘good days’, therefore, enticed the voters to deliver the majority-mandate to the BJP.
The xenophobic and Islamophobic campaign by Trump bore fruits when he was elected the President of the United States (US), much to the dismay of the liberals. Trump’s campaign of ‘Let’s Make America Great Again’ was specifically designed to appease white, Christian males, through a narrative which reeked of misogyny and disdain towards the minorities. He incited the insecurities of the Americans, concerning loss of jobs and the apparent rise in terrorism in the nation due to immigrants. His campaign was even supported by far-right groups like the Klu Klux Klan (KKK).
Brexit, which was another shocker for the world, saw the United Kingdom (UK) parting ways with the European Union (EU) – after a referendum which saw 52% of British people voting in favour of an exit. A survey showed that most of the people who voted for the exit did so, due to job-related fears. The anti-immigration rhetoric also turned out to be victorious again, in this case.
The referendum in Turkey also shocked the world, when the incumbent President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was chosen as the leader of the nation. The referendum, after the failed coup in 2016, saw around 51% votes being cast in favour of the continuance of Erdogan’s supposed dictatorship. Erdogan, who is believed to have jailed many journalists and activists, is another leader who belongs to the right-wing.
Globally, it has been observed that the worst fears of people, especially concerning cultural and economic crises, are being provoked. The far-right leaders of the world, as observed in the case of France and Netherlands, are setting their campaigns along lines of Islamophobia, anti-immigration narratives and a promise to make their respective nations ‘great’, thereby giving the campaigns a nationalist tint.