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What type of fascism is driving the far right today?

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If anyone needed further proof that fascism is still alive and well in Italy, the footage of Carola Rackete, the 31-year-old captain of the migrant-rescue ship Sea-Watch 3, getting arrested in Lampedusa for trying to save 42 asylum seekers, provides a graphic illustration.

The late Italian fascist leader, Benito Mussolini, would have been proud of Italy's Interior Minister Matteo Salvini for creating a country in which a young woman may face up to 10 years in prison for the unforgivable crime of saving human lives.

Salvini currently heads Italy's largest political force and also recently launched the new Identity and Democracy populist group in the European Parliament, which includes other far-right parties such as France's National Front (FN) and Alternative for Germany (AfD).

Beyond Europe, efforts to unify right-wing populists have spanned the globe. Former White House aide Steve Bannon, for example, dreams of creating a united cross-border front - from Brazil, through the United States and Europe, all the way to India and the Philippines - against refugees, cosmopolitanism, and anyone who supports these, including Pope Francis.

The world has not seen a resurgence in the radical right since fascism was defeated in the first half of the 20th century. But these new proponents of this global right-wing upsurge markedly differ from the fascist leaders of the past century; they seem to espouse a new type of fascist ideology.


© Al Jazeera