Our European Crisis

Journalist Igor Stokfiszewski reflects on the cultural crisis underpinning the growth of rightwing populist movements in Europe. This article based on his intervention at the conference "L'Europe face au populisme" which took place at the Paris Center on Oct. 2-3, 2017.

Editor's note:

This article appeared in the online magazine Political Critique on Nov. 13, 2017.

Igor Stokfiszewski
January 16, 2018

It is pointless to ask: how can we combat populism? As if there were options on a table and we – people who resist populism – were supposed to choose one of them according to their efficiency in different contexts. Isn’t it true that there’s only one option available to assure a victory over populism? That is to deepen democracy; a complete overhaul of our democratic system. The true question therefore is not: how can we combat populism but  – how can we reconstitute democracy?

We are leaving a decade of unprecedented systemic crisis. Economic collapse revealed an essential intrinsic political instability. “Democracia Real Ya!” – “Real democracy now!” was people’s response to the financial breakdown. New social movements and progressive forces were born and the economic status quo was declared war on. But the crisis has still not been conquered. Populism is proof of this fiasco. What happened?

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