To The Editor:
Examining the historical record of the 1930s, it is stunning how many truly extreme political groups became rather popular as the economies of Europe began to crash. The most prominent was the Nazi Party in 1928 that won a meager 2.6 percent of the vote and went on to take 40 percent of the vote in 1932. Germany was hardly alone. Most of Europe, including France, Austria and Romania, had seen the rise of previously marginalized groups. The axiom is: As economies slump, “fringe groups” become “mainstreamers.”
Since the financial crisis of 2008 began, 11 European countries have seen their governments fall, and the Arab countries of the Middle East are in full-fledged meltdown. The Muslim Brotherhood is coming to power in many places such as Egypt and Libya.
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