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The rise and rhetoric of the far right

An introduction to historical and sociological understandings of fascism.

Nicholas Cimini

on 23 May 2011

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Transcript of The rise and rhetoric of the far right

'Contrary to the prediction from both psychological and status-based theories that economic marginality prompts racist activism, the majority of informants held middle-class jobs (e.g. as occupational therapists, nurses, teachers, and librarians), were attending college, or were not employed but were married to stably employed men. About one-third could be described as living in economically precarious conditions ...'.
(Blee 1996, 686). The rise and rhetoric of the far right Dr Nicholas Cimini 'Race' and ethnicity: Week 10 Session aims Gender and organised racism The sharp grievances of small proprietors never out of bankruptcy, of their university sons without posts and clients, of their daughters without dowries and suitors, demanded order and an iron hand.
(Trotsky cited in Wolfreys 2006) 'The study of organized racism is deeply, but invisibly, gendered. From the Reconstruction-era Ku Klux Klan to contemporary neo-Nazis, the committed racist appears as male. ... Women are seen as apolitical in their own right, attached to the racist movement only through the political affiliations of their husbands, boyfriends or fathers'.
(Blee 1996, 680-1) To develop a historical and sociological understanding of organised racism and fascism.

To discuss British fascism. What is fascism? Originally an Italian word, fascio, meaning 'political league' or 'group'.

The term is now used (misleadingly?) to pejoratively describe an array of social movements, groups, parties, governments, ideas and practices. What a man! I have lost my heart!... Fascism has rendered a service to the entire world... If I were Italian, I am sure I would have been with you entirely from the beginning of your victorious struggle against the bestial appetites and passion of Leninism. 1927 Churchill to Mussolini The fascist agenda Fascism is not merely a system of reprisals, or brutal force and of police terror. Facism is a particular governmental system based on the uprooting of all elements of proletarian democracy within bourgeois society ... to this end the physical annihilation of the most revolutionary section of the workers does not suffice. It is also necessary to smash all independent and voluntary organisations, to demolish all the defensive bulwarks of the proletariat, and to uproot whatever has been achieved during three quarters of a century by the Social Democracy and the trade unions.
Trotsky (cited in Smith 2009) Russell Brand: Nazi Boy (2002) A very brief history of fascism Not all dictators are fascists Mussolini - 1922-43

Hitler - 1933-45

Franco - 1939-75 Right wing
Anti-modern Key characteristics How do you respond to a racist? In the name of freedom of speech, should we invite organisations such as the BNP to speak at Derby University?

Or, would you share a platform with a Nazi? References:

Blee, K.M., 1996. Becoming a racist. Gender & Society, 10(6), p.680-702.

Harman, C., 1994. The prophet and the proletariat. International Socialism, 64. Available at: http://pubs.socialistreviewindex.org.uk/isj64/harman.htm [Accessed April 1, 2011].

Smith, M., 2009. How do we stop the BNP? International Socialism, 129. Available at:http://www.isj.org.uk/index.php4?id=556[Accessed March 31, 2011].

Wolfreys, J., 2006. What is fascism? International Socialism, 112. Available at: http://www.isj.org.uk/index.php4?id=255&issue=112 [Accessed March 31, 2011]. 'Petty bourgeois movements only become fascist when they arise at a specific point in the class struggle and play a particular role. This role is not just to mobilise the petty bourgeoisie, but to exploit the bitterness they feel at what an acute crisis of the system has done to them and so turn them into organised thugs prepared to work for capital to tear workers' organisations apart.

That is why Mussolini's and Hitler's movements were fascist while, say, Peron's movement in Argentina was not. Even though Peron borrowed some of the imagery of fascism, he took power in exceptional circumstances which allowed him to buy off workers' organisations while using state intervention to divert the profits of the large agrarian capitalists into industrial expansion'.
Harman (1994) See also:

Rhodes, J., 2010. White Backlash,“Unfairness” and Justifications of British National Party (BNP) Support. Ethnicities, 10(1), p.77-99.

Rhodes, J., 2011. “It”s Not Just Them, It’s Whites as Well’: Whiteness, Class and BNP Support. Sociology, 45(1), p.102-117.

Smith, M., 2011. The EDL unmasked: The growth of the racist English Defence League. Socialist Review.

Trotsky, L., 1932. Fascism: What it is and how to fight it. Marxists Internet Archive. Available at: http://www.marxists.org/archive/trotsky/works/1944/1944-fas.htm [Accessed March 31, 2011].

Film: Land and Freedom, directed by Ken Loach: available on Youtube (uploaded by director, but doesn't embed elsewhere) Martin Smith (UAF spokesperson) on multiculturalism and the EDL Social base of fascism
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