Tuesday, October 3, 2017

A journey into America's Alt-Right

After the election of Donal Trump as the new American president and the outburst of populist and far right discourses into the mainstream media, alt-right is a term widely - and not always correctly used - in referrence to the concotion of conservative trends predominant in the heart of the Capitol and beyond. However. as usually in the case of such movements, they did not appear from nowhere, being in fact the final result of radicalisation in American politics starting early in the 1990s.
David Neiwert is an expert in extreme right movements in the USA, and I personally expected a throughout analysis of the phenomenon, and eventual connection with the similar phenomena in Europe and elsewhere. However, most of the book is offering a very detailed repertoire of the genesis and orientation of the various movements and mental patterns associated with the alt-right. Especially if you are not familiar with the actors and movements, radio hosts and Internet tools spreading the news and fake-news. From this point of view, the book is a very valuable database that can be used for further analysis and evaluations.
The theoretical approach is made only in the last chapter where the patterns of American 'fascism' are identified and the need for a change of the liberalist approach is recommended. 'Donald Trump may not be a fascist, but with his vicious brand of right-wing populism, he is not just empowering the latent fascists elements in America, he is leading his followers merrely down to a path that leads directly to fascism. If the final result is fascism, the distinction between right-wing populism and fascism is not really significant, except in understanding how it happened in the first place'.  I have my methodological reservations about various terminological implants and extension, preferring rather terms that better describe the reality, although it might involve the creation of new terms. Especially the reliance on new media and the various targets aimed at minority groups, plus the strong religious basis in many cases made it completely different from the usual European-based movements typical for the WWII period. 
The US radical right is getting a first row on the political stage and both the theoretical approach and the activist-oriented actions are needed. 
A book recommended to political scientists and curious scholars about the historical trends of the radicalization in the USA, as well as for knowing both the main actors and the pawns of this new political trend.

Rating: 3 stars
Disclaimer: Book offered by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

No comments: