Showing posts with label Arie Perliger. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Arie Perliger. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Even West Point?

I've been taken to the mat many times on here for talking too much about conservatives. So has Nikto. Both of us have said many times that the far right in this country, which more or less dominates the GOP, is dangerous and should be taken more seriously. Now the premier military academy in the school agrees with both of us.

In a report entitled, "Challengers from the Sidelines: Understanding America’s Violent Far-Right," author Arie Perliger discusses the rise in attacks (since 2007) by people aligned with far right groups. He centers his paper on three key questions.

(1) What are the main current characteristics of the violence produced by the far right? 

(2) What type of far-right groups are more prone than others to engage in violence? How are characteristics of particular far-right groups correlated with their tendency to engage in violence? 

(3) What are the social and political factors associated with the level of far-right violence? Are there political or social conditions that foster or discourage violence?

Good questions to start and he does an excellent job of identifying the three key elements of the far right: a racist/white supremacy movement, an anti-federalist movement and a fundamentalist movement.

There's quite a bit to pour over so I'm just going to highlight some points that I thought were interesting and encourage everyone else to read the whole thing.

If there is one ideological doctrine about which there is almost full consensus regarding its importance for understanding the far-right worldview, it is that of nationalism. 

Yep. This is where I get my valid comparison to Nazis. I realize this ruffles many feathers here but no one can deny that the Right are more nationalistic than the left. After all, the left hate America, right? So how can they be Nazis?

More specifically...

In the context of the far-right worldview, nationalism takes an extreme form of full convergence between one polity or territory and one ethnic or national collective. Two elements are required for the fulfillment of this version of the nationalist doctrine. The first is that of internal homogenization, i.e., the aspiration that all residents or citizens of the polity will share the same national origin and ethnic characteristics. The second is the element of external exclusiveness, the aspiration that all individuals belonging to a specific national or ethnic group will reside in the homeland. 

It's always puzzled me that the Right can't see how collectivist they act on a daily basis. Everyone has to think like they do otherwise they are not pure. We've seen this with the GOP primaries in the last two elections.

So how is this manifested?

The first includes concepts that complement the rationale of internal homogenization throughxenophobia, racism and exclusionism. Xenophobia involves behaviors and sentiments derived from fear, hate and hostility towards groups which are perceived as alien or strange, including people with alternative sexual preferences, styles of living and behavior;  racism refers to the same sentiments, but based on racial grounds, such as belief in the national and moral significance of natural and hereditary differences between races, and the conviction that certain races are superior to others. 

Finally, exclusionism is the practical manifestation of these sentiments on the communal or state level. Practically, outsiders are excluded from specific spheres of the social, economic and political arena, such as the labor market, the educational system and residential areas. 

I don't think there is a better summation of the GOP today.