Far-right politics

political alignment on the extreme end of right-wing politics

Far-right politics, also referred to as the extreme right or right-wing extremism, are politics further on the right of the left–right political spectrum than the standard political right, particularly in terms of being anti-communist, authoritarian, ultranationalist, and having nativist ideologies and tendencies.

Historically used to describe the experiences of fascism and Nazism, today far-right politics include neo-fascism, neo-Nazism, the Third Position, the alt-right, racial supremacism, and other ideologies or organizations that feature aspects of ultranationalist, chauvinist, xenophobic, theocratic, racist, homophobic, transphobic, or reactionary views.

Quotes edit

  • When you say "radical right" today, I think of these moneymaking ventures by fellows like Pat Robertson and others who are trying to take the Republican Party away from the Republican Party, and make a religious organization out of it. If that ever happens, kiss politics goodbye.
    • Barry Goldwater, as quoted in "Barry Goldwater's Left Turn" by Lloyd Grove in The Washington Post (July 28, 1994)
  • Communism also infected other movements for the transformation of society. The totalising ideas, institutions and practices of Marxism-Leninism had a profound impact on the political far right. The one-party, one-ideology state with its disregard for law, constitution and popular consent was implanted in inter-war Italy and Germany. Neither Mussolini nor Hitler acted only in response to communism; and the forced submission of society to comprehensive control took different forms in the USSR, Italy and Germany. But the importance of precedent is scarcely deniable. The objective of an unrestrained state power penetrating all aspects of life – political, economic, social, cultural and spiritual – was a characteristic they shared. The same phenomenon emerged in the secularist Baathist regime in Iraq under Saddam Hussein and appeared in the Islamist plans of Osama bin Laden as well as in the rule of the Taliban in Afghanistan. All such leaders from Mussolini and Hitler down to bin Laden have detested communism. They dedicated themselves to its annihilation. Yet they were influenced by communist precedents even while regarding it as a plague bacillus. Communism has proved to have metastasising features. It will have a long afterlife even when the last communist state has disappeared.
    • Robert Service, Comrades!: A History of World Communism (2010)
  • We know that extremist demagogues emerge from time to time in all societies, even in healthy democracies. The United States has had its share of them, including Henry Ford, Huey Long, Joseph McCarthy, and George Wallace. An essential test for democracies is not whether such figures emerge but whether political leaders, and especially political parties, work to prevent them from gaining power in the first place—by keeping them off mainstream party tickets, refusing to endorse or align with them, and when necessary, making common cause with rivals in support of democratic candidates. Isolating popular extremists requires political courage. But when fear, opportunism, or miscalculation leads established parties to bring extremists into the mainstream, democracy is imperiled. Once a would-be authoritarian makes it to power, democracies face a second critical test: Will the autocratic leader subvert democratic institutions or be constrained by them? Institutions alone are not enough to rein in elected autocrats. Constitutions must be defended—by political parties and organized citizens, but also by democratic norms. Without robust norms, constitutional checks and balances do not serve as the bulwarks of democracy we imagine them to be. Institutions become political weapons, wielded forcefully by those who control them against those who do not. This is how elected autocrats subvert democracy—packing and “weaponizing” the courts and other neutral agencies, buying off the media and the private sector (or bullying them into silence), and rewriting the rules of politics to tilt the playing field against opponents. The tragic paradox of the electoral route to authoritarianism is that democracy’s assassins use the very institutions of democracy—gradually, subtly, and even legally—to kill it. America failed the first test in November 2016, when we elected a president with a dubious allegiance to democratic norms. Donald Trump’s surprise victory was made possible not only by public disaffection but also by the Republican Party’s failure to keep an extremist demagogue within its own ranks from gaining the nomination.
    • Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt (2018) How Democracies Die. New York: Crown.
  • It is important that we do not allow ourselves to be intimidated by the right-wing extremists. [...] We will not let up in the fight against right-wing extremism.
    • Alois Mannichl, on combating neo-Nazis and right-wing extremism, Stuttgarter Zeitung No. 297/2008 of December 20, 2008, p. 1

See also edit

External links edit

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