LIVE BLOGGING FROM ICSR CONFERENCE — What is the New Far Right?
Old Far Right Panel
Matthew Collins, Hope not Hate
To me there doesn’t seem to be much difference between the old and new far right. The British National Party (BNP) and National Front aren’t the same parties they were when formed – they have embraced new ideas after coming close to collapse. More research is being done today on the BNP and far right while these parties (namely the BNP) are in decline. The English Defence League (EDL) was able to grow when the BNP couldn’t because it wasn’t as political – it focused on Islam, which was seen as the newest threat.
In my opinion the EDL is as good as done. It was done in September 2012. This isn’t a surprise—it was predicted for a long time. The BNP had politics, the EDL didn’t. The EDL has now splintered into 4-5 groups.
Roger Griffin, Oxford Brookes University
From the historical perspective, the right is a horribly ‘fuzzy’ concept. It fits an anti-Semitic gap and filled the media jargon during and after the 19th century. The fact that countries give up millions of lives in war for God and country makes the division between right and far right difficult.
The interwar fascist far right created a ‘post-liberal’ nationalism. The new far right is constantly evolving because it constantly revises the old far right. Post-war fascism was really a revision of pre-war fascism. The evolution is in what the far right is against – multiculturalism has become the main perceived threat.
Maria Margaronis, The Nation
We can see elements of both the old and new rights in Golden Dawn who is polling between 10-4% in national polls in Greece. Everything that we associate with Nazi Germany, they claim comes from ancient Greece, which is thought to be the root of Arian culture. They are also anti-communism and capitalism. They are very racialist—shown by discussions of Greek blood and the need for a Greek state. Though they are in Parliament, they are anti-democratic. Cultural features of the new right include music, social media and style.
There is growing evidence of links between Golden Dawn and the government in power, especially in relation to the immigration crisis. Migrants or suspected foreigners are rounded up on the street; of 80,000 people, only 4,000 were found to be illegal. The police have also been heavily infiltrated, especially in Athens.