The implosion of the respectable left emerges irrefutably from recent events in the Socialist-led European Union countries. Implosion in the broadest sense: in Austria, because of the political crisis triggered by immigration, and in Italy and in France because of the parties’ genetic mutation into a self-styled “restoration force.”
The Austrian reaction to the migration wave replicates in an extreme form a classic phenomenon. The tensions and conflicts caused by the lack of integration are concentrated in the suburbs and left-wing working-class neighborhoods, which have since turned into the strongholds of the ultranationalist right. For months, the neo-Nazi teams in Vienna have felt emboldened and have multiplied their attacks.
On the other hand, the government has chased the xenophobia, as shown in its Brenner Pass policy and with the launch of a more restrictive law on asylum rights. We already know how that turned out, for the moment. In the elections, the heir of Jörg Haider lost, by the skin of his teeth. But the real loser is the Social Democratic Party that, after 10 years in office, leaves a divided country, more than ever reluctant to come to terms with its black past, and a racist right favored by one of every two voters.