Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Is "Alt Right" the Same as "Fascist"?

I am using the term fascist advisedly, not as a general term of political abuse.

Wikipedia says alt right is "associated with white nationalism,[1][2][7] white supremacism,[3][8][9] antisemitism,[1][2][10] right-wing populism,[7] nativism,[11] and the neoreactionary movement.[8][12]"

Is that not the summary of fascism?

I do not think Donald Trump is a fascist, because I do not think he has many specific ideological convictions.  But he certainly has mobilized and encouraged white nationalist nativists in a way they have not had a public voice since the George Wallace campaign.


Anonymous said...

You are a college professor and you cite wicipedia as a"credible" source?
Do you also allow this from your students?


Gruntled said...

Wikipedia is a fine starting point. It is not a sufficient source for an academic argument. Since I am asking a question here, rather than concluding an argument, I think it is sufficient for the purpose.

Do you think Wikipedia is wrong in what this new term means?

Anonymous said...

I'm not entirely sure that I agree that Wikipedia is a fair starting point. Since Wikipedia is in fact a liberal biased entity and as you freely state it is not a sufficient source for academic argument. I must charge that your "question" holds no more academic or other merit than the source that you chose to cite.

Disclaimer, I am a Republican and will be casting my vote for Trump. That being said... When I look at the FULL Wikipedia Alt Right article it appears that you chose only the daggers that you wanted to throw at your opposition.

What is the liberal equivalent of "Alt Right"? Extreme left? Ultra-leftism? Communism?

According to your beloved Wikipedia:
The term ultra-leftism has two overlapping uses. One usage is a generally pejorative term for certain types of positions on the far left that are seen as extreme or intransigent. The term is also used—pejoratively or not—to refer to a particular current of Marxist communism, which is closely related to council communism and left communism.

So, what exactly was the point of your "question" anyway? was it to degrade Donald Trump and his supporters or do you really want some meaningful dialogue on the differences in the platforms of the two parties and the two candidates?

Gruntled said...

My question was why a new term was invented to describe a phenomenon that already had a name - if they are, in fact, the same thing. Hence, the question of whether they are, in fact, the same thing.

What do you see as the difference between "alt right" and fascist? I do not use the latter as a general term of abuse, but in the more specific historical sense.

Also, why do you say Wikipedia has a liberal bias?

Anonymous said...

I'm honestly not sure of the origin of the New Name, i.e. Alt Right (new name for what?), was it self appointed or assigned?

Do you believe that Wikipedia is politically bias neutral?

cls said...

Hi, Beau Weston! I just stumbled upon your blog and have been enjoying it. Many thanks!

I have to disagree with the claim that Donald Trump is not a fascist because he lacks "specific ideological convictions," though. Fascism has never really been about ideology in my understanding. That's why Nazism's party name is a contradiction in terms: national socialism. And it's why Mussolini could feint and dodge so much on ideology, and why Walter Benjamin calls it aesthetics masquerading as politics. Umberto Eco calls fascism "fuzzy totalitarianism" in a fascinating article about how to define contemporary forms of fascism and his own experiences under Italian fascism of the 30s and 40s: http://www.nybooks.com/articles/1995/06/22/ur-fascism/

It's partly precisely because Trump doesn't have specific ideological convictions that he seems like such an appalling manifestation of contemporary fascism to me -- he appeals to unreason.

"There be monsters."
--Christina S.