Everywhere in Europe, the ghost of ultra-rightwing populist ressentiment is bubbling-up, in the form of anger about the modern world, with wrong, fake, false ideas, wilfull distortions, primitive reactions, and an overall refusal to want to take notice of reality. The usual collective scapegoating of 'foreigners', fugitives, letter people, etc. in combination with an archaic nationalism, longing for a 'pure' country without all those troubles that are not understood and not handled well by the established political parties. It is the voice of the lowest layer of society, mobilized by politicians who know they sell nonsense but who want power, position, and their narcissistic voice filling the void of the media. Masses who are first being neglected and then manipulated, misled, mobilized against their own interests, but who have no idea.
In the Netherlands, an ultra-rightwing party has won the elections, which is a complete disaster which will throw-back the country for many years. And the country was already in serious decline due to decennia of a government which was only focussing on business, and made sure that the welfare state which had developed since WW II got cut as much as possible, with increasing poverty, frustration, and a health system cracking on all sides - which got especially visible during the pandemic. The winning populist party however hopes for a pure nation, free of foreigners, with closed borders, and an exit from the EU - all pure and undiluted nonsense which whips-up the enthusiasm of the frustrated lemmings. Where does this make us think of? Indeed... it is proto-fascism. Do such people learn from history? But they don't know anything about history, and neither does that party's leader, who is a fan of bloody dictator Putin, who denies climate change, who scorns the constitution and basic rights, and the justice system, and who fulminates against 'immigrants' while he himself is a descendant of immigrants form Indonesia - hence he bleaches his hair blond to cover-up that embarrassing truth. But so many people simply don't want to know, they project their longing for a 'leader' upon this entirely fake figure, wanting their voice to be heard. The result of many years of grave mismanagement.
The worst is that this absurd party, which made its way with blatant lies and pertinent nonsense, has a program that undermines the constitution and basic rights. But a majority of people voted for that, showing the level of intelligence and education of the country's masses.
For culture that means: even more subsidy cuts; for the many immigrants and descendants of immigrants: a sudden increase of existential insecurity. The scum of society will feel greatly encouraged now that its unfounded hatred and scapegoating is vindicated by policy. Will it lead to the burning of books, and to attacks in the streets of people with a coloured skin? Hopefully not, but some obstacles to such events have now been removed - knowingly.
How did the bleached clown mobilize the support of a quarter of the people who have voted? Many people, at the bottom of the economic ladder, experience serious income problems: prices increasing, including and especially the living costs, and that is a real problem in the country - aggravated by the epidemic and rising energy costs due to the Ukrainian war. Then they see on the news that fugitives, who fled death and destruction and lost everything, get housing and an allowance, and they think: 'Why them? Why do they get things for free while I am working my tail off and still cannot make ends meet?' And thus, they vote for the clown who promises: 'The Netherlands for the Dutch!' And in this way he hopes to fight against the 'islamization of the Netherlands', as he has claimed for decennia, his greatest obsession. And the 'muslem problem' has nothing to do with immigration and fugitives, and is a delusion fed by misrepresentation.