The Misuse of the Term “Far-Right” in European Politics: Obscuring Distinctions and Hindering Understanding

Robert Thompson
News and Narrative
Published in
3 min readJun 16, 2024

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Photo by Mika Baumeister on Unsplash

The term “far-right” has become a catch-all phrase in contemporary political discourse, often used by the media to describe a wide array of political parties and movements across Europe. However, this broad application dilutes the term’s meaning and can obscure significant differences between various political groups. It is crucial to recognize that the sound of jackboots is not echoing through the streets, despite the recent electoral gains of right-of-centre parties.

Far-right parties in Europe encompass a variety of ideologies, including populist, nationalist, and ultra-conservative elements. This diversity makes it challenging to categorize them under a single label without losing critical distinctions. For example, Giorgia Meloni’s Brothers of Italy and Nigel Farage’s Reform party are often lumped together with Germany’s AfD and Austria’s Freedom Party, which have members and apparatchiks with questionable pasts and potential links to collaboration. Lazy media types grouping these parties together only makes it harder to identify the real enemy.

The rise of far-right parties is not uniform across Europe. In some countries, such as Germany and Austria, far-right parties have seen significant electoral success, while others have…

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