This evening it has quickly become apparent that Norbert Hofer of the Austrian Freedom Party (FPOe) has lost out in the country’s presidential election, with Green-backed independent Alexander Van der Bellen becoming the next man to occupy the Hofburg. This is a crushing blow to nationalists across Europe, as many saw Hofer’s potential election as a continuation of the winds of change sweeping across the west, following on from Britain’s
vote to leave the European Union and populist Donald Trump’s election in America. However, it appears that the ‘established order’ has been resumed in continental Europe and with Van der Bellen’s election we can be sure that Austria will continue to be a satellite state of the Marxist establishment in Brussels, accepting refugees by the tens of thousands and bending over backwards to throw money at bureaucratic, wasteful EU institutions.
Before we dissect the exact reason for Hofer’s somewhat surprising defeat in today’s poll, let us explore the platform on which he was standing and the party that he represents. Norbert Hofer is a former aeronautical engineer-turned-politician who has been a member of the FPOe for over 20 years, starting as a provincial party secretary before holding a number of roles including party spokesman for the disabled and energy & environmental speaker from 2006 to 2015. He has also been a close adviser to party leader Heinz-Christian Strache since 2005. In January 2016 he was chosen as the FPOe’s candidate for the presidential elections, running on a platform of ‘putting Austria first’ and with strong opposition to Angela Merkel’s open-door asylum policies, as well as mass-immigration sanctioned by the Austrian establishment parties. He is an Austrian nationalist, who throughout the campaign spoke of a need for greater national security and a wish to preserve the identity of the homeland, or ‘heimat’. Hofer is also an advocate of the welfare state, but is a realist who understands that a multi-ethnic society and the welfare state are mutually exclusive concepts.
For the presidential campaign, Herr Hofer actually toned down the rhetoric that usually emanates from the FPOe, who are vehemently anti-immigration, anti-globalism and nationalistic. The FPOe first came into being in 1956, with former National Socialist Minister of Agriculture and SS Officer Anton Reinthaller becoming its first leader. The party’s second leader was also a former SS Officer. The party initially fell under the ‘national liberal’ ideological banner, becoming more centrist in the late 1970’s and early 80’s, before moving back to the right under the leadership of Joerg Haider between 1986 and 2000. The party has never governed Austria exclusively, but has participated in coalitions first in the 1980’s and again between 2000 and 2005, the latter occasion drawing mass international condemnation. Since Austria opened her borders to mass third world immigration in the mid-90’s (in accordance with UN Agenda 21), the FPOe have taken an increasingly tougher stance on immigration in line with Austrian public opinion. The party has occasionally flirted with notions of pan-Germanism (the belief that Austria should be part of a greater German nation), but has dropped this policy since Haider resigned as leader.
In terms of this election, Norbert Hofer lost not because his policies were bad or because Austrians don’t like the FPOe, but his presidency would have marked a drastic shift from the current established order. This was a problem for him because it is much easier to encourage people to vote with the status quo than it is to get them to vote for drastic change, no matter how positive that change may be. In this instance, Van der Bellen represents smooth continuity of globalist policies and even though those policies are damaging in the long run, the average Austrian has not been affected enough by them yet for him/her to vote for such drastic change. It is the unfortunate position in which a nationalist finds himself, having the foresight to see the problems that current policies will cause but finding it difficult to translate that into exactly why the average man or woman should vote for nationalistic change.
That is not to say the average voter is unintelligent, far from it. In fact, the average voter is perfectly capable intellectually to decide on any issue of his/her nation’s future, it is just that they do not spend as much time as politicians pouring over the minute detail of political trends. This is where establishment propaganda is so effective, as they can point to the reasonable job, two-week summer holiday and family car that the average Austrian has in his/her life and say to them, “look! Things aren’t so bad, keep your head down and stick with us and you can continue to enjoy your life as it is.” It is difficult however, to convince a person that what they have now will not last and that your policies to avoid this downturn are the right ones.
Yes, many Austrians have been affected by globalism, none more so than the women raped and murdered by fake asylum seekers, or the men, women and children injured or killed by Islamic terrorism in the country over recent months and, many people probably voted for Hofer as they see this danger. But, there is an ‘I’m alright Jack’ attitude that has been bred into European society over the last half a century or so that has encouraged people to vote for what they perceive benefits themselves solely, as opposed to what may bring greater benefits to society at large, so it is easy to see how these social issues revolving around immigration could be ignored on polling day. This is particularly true of people living in cities such as Vienna who, whilst living close to the epicentre of migrant problems, seem to have a far more materialistic, hedonist view of life thanks to modern city lifestyles.
Nationalists across Europe will not see any great success until we experience a greater economic downturn, for then the people will have a tangible problem to wish to change that is the direct result of globalist policies. This is not to say that nationalism is only successful in times of turmoil, but rather nationalism is the antidote for the problems caused by globalism. For example, the National Socialists came to power in Germany with a backdrop of mass unemployment and hyper-inflation and whether you are a sympathiser or not, their nationalist policies did indeed fix Germany’s economy. Similarly, this parallel can be drawn with the recent American election too, which saw Donald Trump get elected on an economically nationalist platform which is seeking to solve the issue of jobs moving out of the country and a loss in manufacturing (both of which are a direct result of globalist policies).
So whilst the Austrian middle class still has its relatively decent jobs and a few weeks of summer holiday, it was always an uphill task that Herr Hofer faced to win the presidency. However, that is not to say that we should lose hope, for it is only a matter of time before globalist policies bring the economies of Europe crashing down around us. Their strange combination of free-market economics, cheap migrant labour and quantitative easing, is resulting in mass youth unemployment across Europe, as well as inflation which will only hasten as the markets become increasingly more uncertain. These things are unsustainable and will need a nationalist solution to fix them. Perhaps this is not the year for Europe, but at some point in the very near future, the winds of change will pick up once more and take the continent by storm.