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The dictatorship of the majority


General discontent generates populist nationalisms, which turn the will of the majority against the ruling class.

Supporters of the German PEGIDA (Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the West) displaying a sign against Chancellor Angela Merkel. REUTERS/HANNIBAL HANSCHKE/CONTRASTO

General discontent generates populist nationalisms, which turn the will of the majority against the ruling class.

Rooted in an alienation from modern individualist and international societies around the turn of the century, a social trend is developing that is affecting ever larger segments of society. And this trend reaches well beyond the members of the populist and nationalist political parties and groupings which appear to have benefited from it the most. Such populist and nationalist parties have been developing everywhere. Sometimes they have risen out of fairly well-established rightwing fringe parties such as UKIP in Great Britain, National Front in France, FPÖ in Austria or Geert Wilders’ Party for Freedom (PVV) in the Netherlands. Elsewhere populist developments have gone almost unnoticed, for example with the founding of anti-EU parties in Scandinavia. 

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