Spectator on facebook

Spectator on facebook

Confronting far-right extremism

To function at their best, democracies must be inclusive and confident.

Former American skinhead Christian Picciolini during a discussion in Banská Bystrica.(Source: Sme)

We are seeing it daily in our newspapers. In the past years, months, even weeks, we have witnessed the rise of far-right groups and their political parties in the United States, in Europe, and here in Slovakia. Their growth is partially due to frustration with governments that seem incapable of addressing people’s needs. In these complicated and challenging times, it is understandable that people are looking for easy answers to complex problems.  They want results from their political leaders, and they want them quickly. 

Radical groups realize this, and they have presented themselves as political outsiders who reject the establishment and offer a helping hand to those who are struggling. They have also changed their tactics – they wave flags with Nazi symbols less frequently and have toned down rhetoric about racial supremacy; instead they talk about protecting people from immigrants.

But political parties and ideologies espousing hatred and intolerance do not have the answers; in fact, they are part of the problem. These parties seek to blame society’s ills on outsiders – people who look different, speak a foreign language, or worship in a different way. They’d prefer to turn others into scapegoats rather than search for real solutions to the challenges we face. 

A former American skinhead, Christian Picciolini, recently visited Slovakia to share his personal story. 

The rest of this article is premium content at Spectator.sk
Subscribe now for full access

Annual subscription
29 €
Buy
You save 17.80€ compared with monthly subsription
Quarterly subscription
9.90 €
Buy
You save 1.80 € compared with monthly subsription
Monthly subscription
0.98 €
Buy
Price is only for new subscribers for their first month. All other months are standard price of 3.90 €

I already have subscription - Sign in

Subscription provides you with:
  • Immediate access to all locked articles (premium content) on Spectator.sk
  • All exclusive materials published on our web page
  • A PDF version of the latest issue of our newspaper, The Slovak Spectator, emailed directly to you (26 issues a year)
  • Access to all premium content on Sme.sk and Korzar.sk

Top stories

Legitimising fake news

One of Slovakia’s media schools has invited a well-known conspiracy theorist to an academic conference. What does this say about the state of the Slovak media?

Tibor Rostas

Suicide game does not exist and visa-free regime for Ukrainians is not a lie

The Slovak Spectator brings you a selection of hoaxes from the past two weeks.

There is no computer game that makes people commit suicides.

It’s not easy being an ‘alien’ in Slovakia

Are Slovaks scared of foreigners? The stories of those who are trying to make their homes here suggest that ignorance and bureaucratic inertia, rather than fear, cause more problems.

Dealing with state offices may be difficult and time-demanding.

President Kiska uses train for first time Photo

After criticism from coalition MPs for flying and a troublesome car trip, Slovak President Kiska to commute to Bratislava by international train, boarding it in his hometown of Poprad.

President Kiska gets off the IC train in Bratislava.