What is different about today's far right?

For two years the global far right has been enjoying a period of success greater than at any time since 1945. Far-right parties are already in government in Italy, Austria, and now Brazil. A number of mainstream politicians—notably President Trump—are willing to court those further to their right. The reasons for the far right’s success are widely understood. The response to 9/11 and the subsequent War on Terror legitimized racism against Muslims and saw a massive extension of borders against the global poor. The neoliberal centrist and left-wing parties of the 1990s and early 2000s have been discredited as a result of their record in office, above all by the role they played during the economic crisis of 2008–9, during which they chose to protect the banks, setting in train a decade of cuts to welfare and services. This article focuses not on why the right is doing so well—that has been widely discussed elsewhere—but on what is new about this version of the right compared to, say, its predecessors in the 1970s. It examines three aspects of the emerging right: first, the international ties between different far-right groups; second, the recurring alliance between parts of the mainstream right and the far right; and third, the relative marginalization of fascists within the right.

Internationalism on the right

A report published by the think tank More in Common in autumn 2018 and widely circulated in the press estimated that just six percent of Americans consistently agreed with far-right views about immigration, sexual harassment, and Islamophobia.1 The same broad picture can be seen in other countries: in the European Union2 just three percent of voters see themselves as extreme right.3 At first, this seems to give a reason for hope, until you recall how many countries there are in which far-right parties consistently poll far above this supposed ceiling of support, including Austria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Switzerland; in each of which the far right won more than ten percent of the vote in the most recent national elections. If far-right opinions are held only by a small minority, why is the right able to challenge for power? One reason is that we are living in a moment where the right is able to draw on international links and use them to magnify its presence. Far-right activists can draw on funds, infrastructure, and speakers from allied groups in other countries. This process makes them seem larger than they would be if they relied just on their domestic support.

In the UK, for example, on June 9, 2018, a “Free Tommy Robinson” demonstration was called after Robinson, one of the most popular figures on the British far right, pleaded guilty to contempt of court charges. Some 15,000 people marched along Whitehall in his support, more than had attended any comparable mobilization by the British National Party, the National Front, or the interwar British Union of Fascists. Part of the reason for the high attendance was Robinson’s success over the previous decade in allying with Islamophobes outside the UK. His original group, the English Defence League, had started in alliance with an Anglo-Danish campaign Stop Islamization of Europe, and on leaving the EDL Robinson had set up a UK sister party to Germany’s anti-Muslim Pegida movement. Prior to his arrest in 2018, Robinson was a journalist for Canada’s Rebel Media, for which he was paid he was paid £8,000 a month (or around four times the salary of the average British worker).4

These international ties helped to shape the protests in Robinson’s support. Geert Wilders, leader of Holland’s Party for Freedom, was one of the speakers at the June rally calling for his release. At a further demonstration in July, Debbie Robinson from the Australian Liberty Alliance spoke, as did Filip de Winter from Vlaams Belang in Belgium, Kent Ekeroth of the Swedish Democrats, and Jerome Riviere from France’s Rassemblement National (previously the Front National). The final speaker was the Republican Congressman for Arizona’s fourth district, Paul Gosar.5

In prison, Robinson launched a funding drive to pay for his release. The main institutional backer of his campaign was an American think tank, the Middle East Forum.6 The Forum was previously best known for its anti-Palestinian campaign, Campus Watch, which keeps covert dossiers on left-wing academics such as Judith Butler and Joel Beinin. There is a bleak irony in these blacklisters reinventing themselves as supporters of what was supposedly a free-speech campaign.

A petition called for Robinson’s release and some six hundred thousand people signed it. The campaign group Hope not Hate found that around two-thirds of the signatories came from the UK, with ten percent of those signing having email addresses in Australia, and a similar number in the United States. An even larger proportion of Robinson’s supporters on Twitter, 32 percent, were US-based.7

There is, meanwhile, a similar process of international cooperation among the electoral right, with victories in one country being used to recruit imitators elsewhere and with endorsements travelling each way across borders.

So, for example, following the Brexit referendum in the UK,8 the result was taken up in France by the Front National’s Marine Le Pen, who tweeted after the vote that the result was “the most important event our continent has known since the fall of the Berlin Wall.” Through winter 2016–17 Le Pen positioned herself as the French advocate of Brexit, saying that France needed its own referendum.9

Meanwhile in Italy, Matteo Salvini of the League (previously the Northern League) has worked to present himself as the American equivalent of Donald Trump, meeting the Republican candidate in Philadelphia in April 2016, even before Trump had secured the Republican nomination and six months before the presidential election. Salvini characterizes Trump’s victory as “the triumph of the people against globalisation, against the mainstream press and the big economic interests.” The reward for Salvini’s early alliance with Trump came in the final days before the March 2018 Italian elections, when Steve Bannon was interviewed on the front page of Italy’s Corriere della Sera newspaper, praising both Matteo Salvini of the League and Beppe Grillo’s Five Star movement, endorsing their proposed coalition.10

These international contacts have accelerated since the 2016 presidential election. The first international leader Trump contacted following his victory was Egypt’s General Sisi, the butcher of his country’s 2011 uprising. Trump has lavished praise on the Philippines’ Rodrigo Duterte who has likened himself to Adolf Hitler in his willingness to kill millions of drug addicts. He has travelled to Warsaw as a guest of Poland’s Law and Justice government and adopted its message that Poland was under threat from its tiny Muslim minority. Trump has promised to “work closely together” with Jair Bolsonaro.11 In making these alliances Trump is not an exception, but cuts with the grain of contemporary far-right organizing.

Convergence between mainstream and extremes

A second distinctive feature of this moment in global politics is that the barriers which existed in previous generations to prevent the far right from capturing the institutions of the mainstream right have been significantly lowered. We can call this process “gatekeeping” to describe how ordinary capitalist politicians try to prevent outliers from getting access to political power. To say that gatekeeping has all but collapsed on the right is not to glorify the right in its previous incarnations; often this process of exclusion took place opportunistically, sometimes deceitfully. Gatekeeping was just as likely to be used against the left as it was against the right.

Over the past century there are numerous examples of the mainstream right seeking to tame rather than tail its outsiders. For example, one of the most catastrophic periods in the history of British fascism came in 1934 when the fascist leader Oswald Mosley held a huge indoor rally at Olympia with dozens of Conservative MPs and other wealthy patrons invited. Socialists infiltrated the event, at great personal risk. They heckled Mosley, who ordered his stewards to attack his critics, shining spotlights on them as were dragged, bloodied, from the crowd. In the aftermath of Olympia, his Conservative allies turned against Mosley. His main institutional backer, the Daily Mail, disowned him. Over the following year, his party shrank from its high of 40,000–50,000 members to one-tenth of that support.

A similar refusal to adopt marginal opinions could be seen in 1968 when Tory leader Edward Heath responded to Enoch Powell’s infamous Rivers of Blood speech attacking Black migration to the UK, by dismissing him from the Conservative shadow cabinet. Over the next half-dozen years Powell was perhaps the most popular politician in Britain; but his parliamentary career was at an effective end.

Another example of gatekeeping was the way in which the Republican Party responded to David Duke, previously the Grand Wizard of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, after he stood successfully in 1989 for a seat in Louisiana’s state legislature. In 1990, Duke campaigned for the Republican nomination for the US Senate in Louisiana. Polling showed that he was likely to win against the party’s preferred candidate, Ben Bagert. In the final days of the campaign, Bagert withdrew, after which GOP leaders called on their supporters to vote for the Democratic candidate J. Bennett Johnston Jr., who went on to win the election, with Duke coming second with 44 percent of the vote. The Republican Party of the 1990s was content to lose a seat in the Senate rather than have it occupied by someone who would contaminate their party’s brand.

The clearest recent example of right-wing politics leaking across the boundaries separating the mainstream from the far right is the success of Trump in winning the votes of 90 percent of registered Republicans who voted, even while the chief executive of his campaign was Breitbart’s Steve Bannon. Political theorists in future generations may give Bannon any label they choose: an ideologue of the far right, an avid reader of Julius Evola,12 a fascist . . . Whatever label they come up with; the reason Trump won is that US elections are polarized between two equal camps and Trump did better than Hillary Clinton in persuading existing voters to support him on party lines.

Trump’s alliance between the mainstream and the street right is not unique. Since 2016, similar dynamics of convergence have been seen repeatedly beyond the United States. During elections in Austria in autumn 2017, press reports in Germany revealed that the leader of Austria’s far-right Freedom Party (FPÖ) Heinz-Christian Strache had taken part in military exercises as a member of far-right group Wiking-Jugend. Other reports found FPÖ members trading photographs and quotes from Hitler, joking about the Holocaust, and being photographed in T-shirts with the names of Nazi tank divisions. Yet in response to media predictions of a high vote for the FPÖ, Sebastian Kurtz’s center-right People’s Party (ÖVP) promised to reduce benefits for refugees and to criminalize the wearing of the Islamic niqab. These policies did not damage the FPÖ, whose vote rose. The result has been a coalition between the two wings of the right.13

In the 1990s and early 2000s, when far-right parties first entered European governments (Italy in 1994, Austria in 2000–5) they did so in the face of huge protests, which drained these regimes of authority and boosted their electoral opponents on the left. The present Austrian government has been in power, at the time of writing, for over a year. It has faced minimal public opposition. As of October 2018, neither coalition partner had seen any significant fall in its vote.

Much the same could be seen in the French presidential elections where Marine Le Pen’s success in coming second in the first round and making it to the final run-off stage of the elections, caused the center-right to splinter with Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, one of two center-right candidates for the presidency, endorsing Marine Le Pen in the second round.14 Over the previous twenty years, Dupont-Aignan had held elected positions as mayor of Yerres and then as a member of the National Assembly for Essonne, for the center-right UMP party. Dupont-Aignan justified his decision to endorse Marine Le Pen in the second round of the elections by saying that the Front had changed and that Marine was nothing like her fascist father. Dupont-Aignan characterized the fears of the Front as “folklore and delirium . . . phantasmic.”15 Protests against Le Pen were muted and since the election, support for France’s liberal but autocratic President Macron has fallen while support for Le Pen has grown.

To return to the example of Tommy Robinson in Britain: in spring 2018 (i.e., in the last few weeks before he was jailed), Robinson was repeatedly supported by Gerard Batten, the leader of the electoral party UKIP. On his release from prison, Batten (who had already recruited Milo Yiannopoulos to his party) called for Robinson to join. When Robinson had his Twitter account shut down, Batten even allowed himself to be photographed with masking tape covering his own mouth.

Such behavior offends what we think of as the usual relationship between the right and the far right. Although often described as far right, the UK Independent Party has recently enjoyed the support of millions of people. In the 2015 general election it won just under four million votes, indeed in the 2014 Euro elections a similar level of support (on a lower turnout) meant that UKIP was able to win more votes than any other party, with Labour 300,000 votes behind in second and the Conservatives a distant third. For seventy years, parties that are serious about winning elections have prioritized the authority of their own leaders over any passing alliance with the street. In a period when the Conservative government is divided over how to implement Brexit you would expect UKIP to be wooing the Tories’ mainstream audience. Instead of which, it has been aiming very consciously to win over the cadres of the far right.

Robinson should be, in contrast with UKIP, a marginal figure. He has led two tiny parties (the EDL and Pegida-UK) into collapse. Save for his time on the payroll at Rebel Media, he has barely held a paid job in the past ten years. Yet what Robinson has, and Batten lacks, is a significant social media presence. It is this which UKIP is chasing and which it sees as the basis for its renewal.

Even in the early years of the postwar period, when there were parties which called for a revival of fascism, they recognized that the electoral component of the far right needed to distance itself from the far right. Commentators on the Italian MSI used to call this relationship, il doppiopetto e il manganello: “the double-breasted suit and the bludgeon.” The suits would repeatedly distinguish themselves from their supporters on the streets. Left-wing critics of the Italian far right used to complain that such distancing was shallow, insincere, and hypocritical. Yet, from the right’s perspective it was necessary. The leaders of the electoral right could not allow themselves to be associated too closely with violence. That fear seems to have passed. We are living in a moment where the mainstream right wagers that by moving onto ground previously inhabited by the far right its own popularity will rise.

Fascism: A smaller part of the global far right

Twenty years ago, the consensus among socialists was that the parties of our own time were best understood as fascist. What we had in mind were principally the “euro-fascist” parties of the MSI in Italy and the FN in France, both of which had been set up by people who had spent their whole adult lives in recognizably fascist parties. The first three leaders of the MSI, for example, all served under Mussolini: Giorgio Almirante as chief of staff in the Salò Republic’s Ministry of Popular Culture, Augusto De Marsanich as a member of the Fascist Grand Council, and Arturo Michelini as secretary of the National Fascist Party in Rome. For much of its history, MSI was at its heart a fascist party. Its leaders were loyal to Mussolini’s memory and described themselves as fascists, with Almirante telling the party’s 1982 congress; “Let everyone know, if they search for fascism, that fascism is here.”

Adopting the dual politics characteristic of fascism, the MSI participated in elections but also in violent street protests and refused to subordinate the street to parliament. In the face of that history, the word “far right” struck many of us as an evasion: it was used by journalists to conceal the reality that voters were choosing recognizably fascist parties; naming the fascists for what they were was a first step towards defeating our antagonist.

Today, by contrast, the major right-wing parties of the contemporary world (i.e., Trump, Le Pen, Farage, Modi, Orbán) share no ideological loyalty to Hitler or Mussolini. Unlike their counterparts in the 1970s or 1990s, they do not repeat ideas borrowed from the books of interwar fascist theory; nor do they feel a need to mimic the past. They do not emulate the surface forms of the interwar fascist parties. Digging deeper, they do not promise their supporters a spiritual “revolution” (in reality, a counterrevolution), with the goal of transforming their relationship to each other and to the state. These parties have leaders with a lower-case “l,” rather than the messianic figures of the interwar period. They portray themselves as provocateurs rather than statesmen. Their “Movement” (the title of Steve Bannon’s present attempt to force an electoral coalition of European parties) is just that, a movement, not a party. In government they do not recreate the genocidal prison states of eighty years ago.

The interwar Marxists insisted that their enemy had a dual character. The fascists had reactionary ambitions, in Leon Trotsky’s phrase, to uproot “all elements of proletarian democracy within bourgeois society . . . whatever has been achieved during three quarters of a century by the social democracy and the trade unions.”16 These goals combined with the organization of a mass base, and the use of mass politics. “Fascism,” wrote Clara Zetkin, “is a movement of the disappointed and of those whose existence is ruined.” She gave the example of Italy, where

the cause of the first success of the Fascisti was that it made its start with a revolutionary gesture. Its pretended aim was to fight to retain the revolutionary conquests of the revolutionary war, and for this reason they demanded a strong State which would be able to protect these revolutionary fruits of victory against the hostile interests of the various classes of society represented by the “old State.” Its slogan was directed against all the exploiters, and hence also against the bourgeoisie. Fascism at that time was so radical that it even demanded the execution of Giolitti and the dethronement of the Italian dynasty.17

The fascists told the majority of people that they too could take part in politics, but the price of their participation was the destruction of the only organizations which provided any real chance of popular rule.

Fascism was therefore distinguished from conservatism not by the former’s racism or sexism (for these ideas were also part of the mainstream right), but by the extent to which fascists organized against parliament, against previous ruling elites, and promised to allow a new set of people to rule.

From this perspective, the most important parts of the contemporary far right are poised between conservatism and fascism. The likes of Farage or Le Pen or Trump do not propose to purge the state but rather to rule through its existing institutions. They have not created armies of followers in order to supersede liberal democracy. With the important exception of Brazil, today’s far right sees its enemy as the reforms won by the last forty years of social liberalism rather than social democracy. There has been no prospect of workers’ revolution, against which they need to offer the prospect of preemptive, counterrevolutionary violence.

The historian Neil Davidson distinguishes between three traditions on the right, conservatism, fascism, and the nonfascist far right, in terms of how far each is willing to go in the defense of capitalism. For conservatives, the best means are to maintain social relationships which already exist; for the far right the task is to restore relationships which are perceived to have been lost; for fascists the task is counterrevolution, the nation must be purged of its enemies. In Davidson’s terms, the nonfascists of the far right, “(1) are electoral and seek to attain office through the democratic means at local, national and European levels; (2) they do not worship the state and, while they seek to use the state for welfare purposes for their client groups, some have embraced neoliberal small-state rhetoric; (3) they do not seek to ‘transcend’ class.”18

We are living, in other words, in a moment of popular success not for fascism, but for the far right. What has happened in wider society is that the legacy of World War II has been joined in the collective imagination (and in the minds of the right) by 9/11 and the War on Terror. In place of the narrowly fascistic far right of the 1970s, we now face a right populated by multiple competing traditions: conservatives moving away from electoralism, euro-fascists moving in the opposite direction, new kinds of racist street movements motivated by Islamophobia rather than fascism, identitarians, and online reactionaries as well as fascists.

None of the above analysis is to suggest that—in the context of a far right, all parts of which are growing—fascism cannot return. Indeed, there are plausible reasons to think that what we are witnessing may on a longer historical timescale turn out to be merely the first step of a two-stage process, with the right initially disavowing fascism before later returning to something like it. This was, after all, the long-term strategy of such key theorists of euro-fascism as Dominique Venner, whose pamphlet Pour une critique positive is often seen as the foundational document of the French Front National. Its message was that Europe was not yet ready for fascism; what was needed was a slow march through the institutions of the French state in order to create the conditions so that an open fascist party might emerge in the future.19

Fascism has a functional utility to the far right, which motivates people to revert to it. For twenty years, this has been a weaker tendency than the sustained move to keep the right clear of the stigma still attached to Hitler and Mussolini. However, as the far right has grown, in particular since 2016, we have started to see the first signs of parts of the politics of the 1930s returning. They include the significant reappearance of antisemitism within the US right since 2016, the return of physical attacks on leftwing and Jewish targets such as at Pittsburgh, and the use by Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil of sadistic threats against the left.20

From the perspective of those who identify with the far right, fascism is a “tight” ideology, which provides a series of positions which justify the adoption of violence and offer its supporters not just the prospect of military struggle and war against racialized others but in the final stages a new society and a new fascist man. Nothing developed by the far right in the past decade, in the US or in Europe, offers the same coherence. This is why fascism may yet return; because unlike the nonfascist far right, fascism has a clear goal. But the most effective strategies for resisting today’s right will be those that assess what our enemy is doing now, rather than those which telescope the process by which it might become something else. Where fascists are organizing, the left needs to organize against them. At the same time, we also need to remember that the balance of forces between the electoral and the street right is still heavily weighted in favor of the former. It is the electoral right that is the main danger in the present period, not the few recognizable fascists.

Conclusion: Strategies to resist convergence

The convergence between the right and the far right compels the left to reconsider our organizing strategies and to think much more keenly what actually works. The right has succeeded as a result of alliances between the mainstream right and the nonfascist far right; the space at which these politics have converged has been one that is poised between the mainstream and its extremists. Donald Trump, Steve Bannon, and Nigel Farage are not fascists. Even Marine Le Pen’s electoral success has depended on a forty-year project in which the Front has repeatedly distanced itself from fascism.

The convergence of the electoral and the street right makes certain tactics harder. There is, for example, a strain of Popular Front anti-fascism which envisages alliances between the far left and conservative politicians, anyone except for the fascists themselves. But if anyone is expecting the mainstream right to be an ally in the fight against fascism they are likely to be disappointed. Rather, the distinctive feature of our present period is that the different parts of the right have repeatedly allied.

Convergence also forces us to reconsider the part played within anti­fascism by tactics of physical resistance. Historically, these were legitimized in a postwar period where the crimes of fascism were in living memory, and vast numbers of people accepted that fascism was a regime of widespread violence. One of the most popular moments in contemporary anti-fascism occurred outside the inauguration of Donald Trump as president, when Richard Spencer was confronted by protesters. “Are you a neo-Nazi?” they asked. “No, I’m not a neo-Nazi,” he answered, glaring contemptuously at them. “Do you like Black people?” they asked. “Why not?” he said, smiling at his own response. “Sure,” he continued. Moments later, a member of the crowd punched him. The verbal exchanges between Spencer and his critics made him seem dishonest. The physical confrontation was in consequence an immensely popular piece of visual propaganda and film of the attack was shared by tens of millions of people online.21 But these tactics are less effective when applied against parties closer to the mainstream. Punching a Le Pen or Farage would have different results.

When the left confronted the right in Europe, forty years ago, it was an effective strategy to condemn our opponents as fascists. If a new member of the MSI or of the National Front heard that criticism and looked at their party with open eyes, they would see countless examples of fascists: the children of Hitler’s admirers in local leadership roles, fascist literature on sale in their party bookshops. Denouncing these parties as fascist was an effective strategy because fascism remained stigmatized, because the parties were evolving away from fascism in the direction of electoralism, and because the process had only gone so far: the leaders were equivocating and unwilling to commit to it. Calling them fascists was a genuine threat to the right. When today the left cries fascist at people whose method is essentially electoral, we waste an opportunity to challenge them. The most successful parties of the contemporary right have distanced themselves from fascism. In accusing them of wanting to revive the 1930s, we seem to be the ones fixated on the past.

The left has been more successful when we have criticized the right not for the harm its ancestors worked but for the misery inflicted in our own times. In Britain, refugee children have been detained in prisons; landlords, doctors, even marriage registrars have been turned into unpaid immigration police. The number of deportations has increased, from 300 a year at the end of the 1970s to 40,000–45,000 a year in 2010–15.22 In America, Donald Trump’s hostility to immigration has taken the form of a policy of separating migrants from their children and holding both groups in metal cages within detention camps. Within a year of his election, thousands of children were living in detention camps, most of them barely distinguishable from prisons, and clips were being played on news programs of young children sobbing aloud at the realization that they might never see their parents again.23

Socialists need to remember that the right does not simply operate along the hierarchy of race but also has plans for the subordination of women; as in autumn 2016, when Trump’s campaign appeared on the verge of collapse following his boasts of sexual assault. The far right responded by challenging the very idea of women’s consent, insisting that sex was natural and sexual harassment an impossibility. Where anti-fascism takes on the shift in right-wing tactics, it is more effective. In London, the right has organized racialized protests against sexual violence with campaigns of “women and children” against (supposedly Islamic) rape. In October 2018, anti-fascists responded by allowing women’s strike activists to lead off our demonstrations against the far right. The right was confused and disoriented by having to fight their way through a mass movement of hundreds of women.

Where activists organize in online communities, for example through gamers’ unions, the left should encourage that work and assist it in any way we can. We cannot cede the internet—or the politics of transgression—to the right.

Above all, we need to cleave apart the alliance between center- and far-right. One effective place to challenge the right is by exposing today’s alliance between parliamentary and street politics. Most people in America and Europe are hostile to the right’s drift towards anti-democratic politics and its willingness to use violence against its opponents. By attacking the right for its tendency toward authoritarianism, it is possible to sever the alliance between politicians of the center right and the margins. An instance of the left breaking the link between the different elements of the right-far right coalition came at Charlottesville in 2017 when the right took to the streets but found themselves confronted by a crowd of thousands. Without that crowd, there would have been no pressure on the mainstream right to distance itself from its new allies. President Trump refused to condemn the violence of the far right, even though it was responsible for the death of Heather Heyer. If anything, he tried to blame the violence on the people he termed the “alt left.” By overplaying its hand, the street right forced Trump to justify it, which in turn diminished him in the eyes of his conventional Republican electorate. The result of the anti-fascist protests was that Trump was obliged to break his alliance with the far right and dismiss Steve Bannon. Charlottesville was one of the few times in recent years that we have seen the process of convergence between the right and the far right unravel. But this is going to be a recurring task of the left in the face of our new enemy.

Thanks to the many friends with whom I have discussed (or, at times, debated) the ideas in this piece including Jon Anderson, Neil Davidson, Phil Gasper, Charlie Post, and Seth Uzman.

  1. Stephen Hawkins et al, Hidden Tribes: A Study of America’s Polarized Landscape (New York: More in Common, 2018), 4–18.
  2. The main focus of this article in the far right in Europe and the United States. However, its argument—that a coherent form of politics is emerging between classical fascism and the conservatism of the postwar right—could be applied just as well to India under the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) rule and the far-right RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh), the election of Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil, or the conservative-far right ruling coalition in Turkey.
  3. Catherine E. de Vries and Isabell Hoffmann, Is Right the New Left? Right Wing Voters in France and in the EU and How They Differ (Gütersloh: Bertelsmann Siftung, 2017), 8.
  4. Andrew Gilligan, “Tommy Robinson Winds Up Bigots and the Cash Floods In,” The Times, August 5, 2018; Lizzie Dearden, “Darren Osborne: How Finsbury Park Terror Attacker Became ‘Obsessed’ with Muslims in Less Than a Month,” Independent, February 1, 2018; “Former EDL Leader Tommy Robinson Suspended from Twitter,” ITV News, March 28, 2018.
  5. “International Far Right Gather in London for Free Tommy Robinson Demonstration,” Hope not Hate, July 14, 2018. Gosar believes that Charlottesville was a false flag operation carried out by an “Obama sympathizer” to discredit President Trump, and that George Soros (a Jewish donor to the Democrats and to various liberal NGOs) was a Nazi sympathizer who “turned in his own people to the Nazis.” Elspeth Reeve, “Congressman Suggests Charlottesville was George Soros–Backed Conspiracy,” Vice News, October 5, 2017.
  6. Mattha Busby, “US Right Wing Groups Bankroll Campaign to Free Tommy Robinson,” Guardian, July 22, 2018.
  7. Stephen Armstrong, “This Is the Twitter Data That Shows Who’s Backing Tommy Robinson,” Wired, July 28, 2018; Lizzie Dearden, “Tommy Robinson is Richer and Has More International Support after Two-Month Imprisonment, Research Shows,” Independent, August 1, 2018.
  8. The argument that follows does not imply that Brexit was only ever capable of being used by the far right. For a more optimistic account, Neil Davidson, “After Brexit Will the European Union Crack Up?” International Socialist Review 102 (Fall 2016), https://isreview.org/issue/102/after-brexit.
  9. Marine Le Pen, Twitter, June 24, 2016, June 28, 2016, June 28, 2016, October 16, 2016.
  10. Viviana Mazza, “Steve Bannon a Roma: ‘Una coalizione Lega-M5S? Fantastica, trafiggerebbe al cuore Bruxelles,’” Corriere della Sera, March 4, 2018; Alexander Stille, “How Matteo Salvini Pulled Italy to the Far Right,” Guardian, August 9, 2018.
  11. “Remarks by President Trump to the People of Poland,” whitehouse.gov, July 6, 2017; Natalie Nougayrède, “Steve Bannon Is on a Far-Right Mission to Radicalize Europe,” Guardian, June 6, 2018; Oliver Holmes, “Rodrigo Duerte Vows to Kill Three Million Drug Dealers and Likens Himself to Hitler,” Guardian, September 30, 2016; Jonathan Watts, “Trump Joy over Bolsonaro Suggests New Rightwing Axis in Americas,” Guardian, October 29, 2018.
  12. Jason Horowitz, “Steve Bannon Cited Italian Thinker Who Inspired Fascists,” New York Times, February 10, 2017; Joseph Bernstein, “Here’s How Breitbart and Milo Smuggled Nazi and White Nationalist Ideas into the Mainstream,” BuzzFeed News, October 5, 2017.
  13. Leila Al-Serori and Oliver Das Gupta, “The Strache Files,” Süddeutsche Zeitung, October 15, 2017; “Austria’s Far-Right Party Hit by Yet Another Nazi Scandal,” Times of Israel, March 23, 2018; Emily Schultheis, “A New Right-Wing Movement Rises in Austria,” Atlantic, October 16, 2017; Tessa Szyskowitz, “Austria Swings Right and How,” Carnegie Europe, October 16, 2017.
  14. François Fillon of the Republicans, the main center-right candidate did not follow him but called for a vote for Emmanuel Macron.
  15. “‘Jamais je n’aurais fait alliance avec Jean-Marie Le Pen,’ assure Nicolas Dupont-Aignan,” Europe1 (France), February 8, 2018.
  16. David Renton, Fascism: Theory and Practice (London: Pluto, 1999), 70.
  17. Clara Zetkin, Fighting Fascism: How to Struggle and How to Win (Chicago: Haymarket Books, 2018).
  18. Neil Davidson et al, “The Longue Durée of the Far Right: An Introduction,” in Richard Saull, et al, eds, The Longue Durée of the Far Right: An International Historical Sociology (London: Routledge, 2015), 4–5.
  19. Tamir Bar-On, Where Have All the Fascists Gone? (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2007), 31; D. Venner, ‘Pour une critique positive,’ Europe-Action 5 (May 1963), 3–80; Dominique Venner, For a Positive Critique (Budapest: Arktos Media, 2017); J. G. Shields, The Extreme Right in France: From Pétain to Le Pen (London: Routledge, 2007), 119–120.
  20. Anti-Defamation League, Anti-Semitic Targeting of Journalists During the 2016 Presidential Campaign: A Report from ADL’s Task Force on Harassment and Journalism (New York: ADL, 2016), 6; Anti-Defamation League, Quantifying Hate: A Year of Anti-Semitism on Twitter (New York: ADL, 2016),  2; V. Arcary, “Is Bolsonaro a Neofascist?” Socialist Worker, October 24, 2018.
  21. Paul P. Murphy, “White Nationalist Richard Spencer Punched During Interview,” CNN Politics, January 21, 2017.
  22. Nisha Kapoor. Deport, Deprive, Extradite: 21st Century State Extremism (London: Verso, 2018), 7.
  23. Fintan O’Toole, “Trial Runs for Fascism Are in Full Flow,” Irish Times, June 26, 2018.

Issue #103

Winter 2016-17

"A sense of hope and the possibility for solidarity"

Interview with Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
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