Though Russia has trumpeted its goal of fighting fascism more or less continuously since the Second World War, many in Europe have assumed such an ideology to be definitively outmoded. Today, the West must figure out how to speak to disenfranchised citizens in a meaningful way, to show them that dysfunctional democracies can be reformed, and that directing political frustration at society's most vulnerable members is never a constructive way forward.
In France, since the European elections of May 2014, and Marine le Pen's breath-taking 25% of the vote - to the ruling Socialists' paltry 13% - she has said very little. She does not need to; between them, the left and the right are opening up a royal road for her to go through to the second round of the presidential elections in 2017...
Farage himself predicted an "earthquake" while other prominent right wingers envisage "the liberation from the European elite, the monster in Brussels". So are they correct? Their success would certainly send a shockwave across the continent but are we really about to find ourselves at the mercy of the most anti-EU, combatively euro-sceptic European Parliament to date? No.
Despite my passion for the EU, I have a confession. Not only have I never really been a fan of the European Parliament, but I get a bit embarrassed when the EP tries to hype up the European Elections. It's like they're watching all the hoopla of the US elections and shouting "But look at us! 500 million people! We matter too!"
Oxford and Cambridge Universities have an awful lot in common. And last week was no exception. By inviting polarising political figures from the left and the right - George Galloway and Marine Le Pen, respectively - both institutions reaffirmed what is at once perhaps the most sacred and the most imperilled of all our values: the freedom of speech.
For nearly 200 years the Cambridge Union has existed to promote free speech. At times this inevitably leads to controversy. In the 1960s, it stemmed from the Union's invitation to Enoch Powell and Oswald Mosley. Last term it was Julian Assange, and before that Dominique Strauss-Kahn. This time it was Mme. Le Pen.