Fintan O'Toole: The populism of the far right is utterly phoney

We need to take the reactionary threat seriously without taking seriously the grandiose self-image of the reactionaries

Steve Bannon, former adviser to president Donald Trump, and  Marine Le Pen, president of  France’s far-right party Front National (FN),  giving a joint press conference during the FN party annual congress on March 10th in Lille. Photograph:  Sylvain Lefevre/Getty Images

Steve Bannon, former adviser to president Donald Trump, and Marine Le Pen, president of France’s far-right party Front National (FN), giving a joint press conference during the FN party annual congress on March 10th in Lille. Photograph: Sylvain Lefevre/Getty Images

‘History”, Steve Bannon told the far-right National Front in Lille last week, “is on our side and will bring us victory . . . Every day we become stronger and they become weaker.” On the surface he seems right.

History certainly does tell us that when large groups in society feel insecure and when inequality breeds resentment, liberal democracy is ripe for destruction.

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