I NOTE your articles on the rise of the right ("Democracy's light dims as darkness descends, The Herald, November 7).

On Sunday Britain will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Armistice that ended the First World War One. My grandfather was the youngest of five brothers who went off to war in 1914 but he was the only one who lived long enough to hear the guns fall silent in 1918. This gruesome anniversary should remind us of the evils of nationalism but instead all we hear is sanctimonious guff about sacrifice while the world is being swept by Hitler wannabes.

How have we managed to come so far in 100 years but change so little? The patriotic insanity that gripped Europe in the early 20th century was no accident. The Continent's ruling classes were haunted by "the spectre of Communism" so they tried to exorcise international revolution with pathological nationalism. Unfortunately, the leaders of Europe's Socialist movements were just as gutless then as they are now and, even though they pledged to halt the looming European war by calling general strikes, when push came to shove they sold out to the bosses and supported the slaughter.

The German Socialist Rosa Luxemborg had earlier warned her "comrades" that humanity faced a choice between "socialism or barbarism" but they chose barbarism and the consequence of that fatal decision led to the rise of fascism after the war.

In recent years we've witnessed a similar – though thankfully less bloody – development with the mainstream left selling out to globalisation. The result of this capitulation is that the heirs of Hitler have been free to occupy the ground surrendered by the likes of Tony Blair and pose as defenders of the nation. But, just as it was in the 1930s, the far right's remedy to the ills of globalisation is to freeze capitalism in national cryogenic chambers. The “White Socialism” espoused by America's alt-right is a conscious remix of Hitler's "National Socialism" – the aim being to intimidate the business class into ceding power to far-right demagogues so that they can carry on with business as usual under authoritarian regimes. Hitler crushed trade unions, cut wages by 40 per cent and corporate profits rose by 28 per cent; Germany's capitalists laughed all the way to the bank. They made even more money out of his rearmament programme then, when he lost the war, said that "they were only taking orders" and went back to making money under a democracy. It's the same old mugs' game being used to con the same old mugs. The answer to this right-wing populism is left-wing populism – not liberal whingeing. But you wouldn't know it to hear Jeremy Corbyn's critics. If they had their way Labour would still be in the hands of Blairite collaborators and the British far right would be having a field day. Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it – thankfully some of us have better memories than others.

Sean Pigott,

Flat 2/L, 13 Wilson Street, Largs.