It seems a given that the far right political fringe has gained a new energy and sense of legitimacy in recent years. It's a general sense rather than something for which one can find concrete proof. Nevertheless one can point to things like the close-run Austrian presidential election, Le Pen making it to the last round of the French presidential election and some of the nefarious characters Trump has seen fit to elevate to cabinet.
Maybe this overtly biased, but I find this deeply worrying. We've seen where this has the potential to lead and that fear goes beyond traditional left-right economic politics into something inhumanly destructive. The warning signs seem very clear: the parallels between the triumphalist, "fake news" narratives of the modern far right and those of Nazi Germany are obvious, direct and scary.
The speed and scale with which elements of the far right have risen back into the mainstream has been dazzling. Immigration has been a top political concern in the West for some years now, but I find it hard to believe that's the fuel for this sudden rise. There seems quite a clear distinction between the desire to limit immigration and the far-right message that immigrants are inferior, dangerous and must be kept out at all costs.
So, what's powering this sudden attempt to get back into mainstream politics? Have there been armies of silent far-right supporters who just kept quiet for fear of the prevailing cultural narratives? Are younger people forgetting the lessons of the past? Has anyone done some serious studies on what's going on here?