Right-Wing Extremism in the Netherlandswhy it is still a marginal phenomenon
The Extreme Right has always been weak and fragmented in the Netherlands. It lacked an
ideological tradition as well as a solid social base. A landowning aristocracy no longer played
a significant role in Dutch politics in the nineteenth century – power had shifted to a patrician
bourgeoisie already in the Dutch Republic (1588-1795). Moreover, the Dutch did not have to
deal with a national question that could have given rise to a nationalist movement with
extremist tendencies. It is true, reactionary anti-democratic forces did emerge in the late
nineteenth century, but they were divided between Liberal, Catholic and Calvinist parties.
Only has survived until today, the Reformed State Party (Staatkundig Gereformeerde Partij ,
SGP). This party has come to accept democracy in practice, but not in theory. It would like to
replace universal suffrage by ‘organic suffrage’, i.e. give the right to vote only to (male)
heads of households.3 However, it is not a nationalist, racist or xenophobic party.4 Since 1925
it has occupied two or three seats in parliament.