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Far right

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The far right or extreme right is a political label used to identify parties and movements based on fascist, racist and/or extremely reactionary ideologies. Officially those on the far right embrace the concept of the "inequality of outcome", meaning that one group is naturally better than another. They also tend to embrace inequality of opportunity as well, favoring concepts such as segregation, or mass deportation of non-white people (or in general, people of other races), or sometimes even genocide - although they sometimes keep these abhorrent views hidden, except when trolling anonymously online (see /pol/). The label "far right" can apply to everything from absolute monarchies to Nazism, meaning that many far-rightists oppose others on the far-right who have a different idea of what the ruling class should be.

The label of "far-right" is a reference to the French Revolution to refer to those who sat on the right-wing of the Assembly and were in favor of an essentially unrestrained aristocracy in terms of the power allocated to them, essentially wanting to either maintain or (later) restore the old order. They also tended to be opposed to the Enlightenment and secularism in favor of more conservative religious influence in government.

From the start of the 20th century onwards more "populist" reactionary political philosophies such as ultranationalism/fascism, racial supremacy (often to a degree that was considered extreme even by the standards of the time), and politically-oriented religious fundamentalism started to overtake the increasingly unpopular extreme pro-Aristocrat agenda that made up what could be considered the former far-right. To what degree there is much of a difference between them in practice is up for debate and usually changes from country to country. In the 21st century the far-right in the Western world has increasingly drifted towards broadly authoritarian nativist thought, often influenced by former fascist movements.

Common opinions of the far right[edit]

As far right is a neologism used by others than those considered far right, the definition is somewhat subjective. It is sometimes used interchangeably with "radical right", though historians and political scientists draw a distinction between the two.

In the 21st century, opposition to Islam in particular has also become a big issue for the far right. One can identify certain contemporary points of commonality between the far right and other right-wing or purportedly anti-identity-politics movements, such as: opposition to Islam and/or supposedly high rates of Islamic immigration, opposition to "political correctness" (see Gamergate), etc. The online far right try to exploit these commonalities, frequently by adding in fake or misleading news, "edgy" trolling and meme magic (which has the convenient advantage that memes often aren't actually arguments and therefore can't be refuted as such), in an attempt to recruit more moderate people to their cause. It has also been argued that some apparent online far-rightists don't really believe the horrible things they post and aren't actually far right but simply post them for shock value, but it is generally impossible to tell the difference.

The "realist left" have argued that excessive emphasis on identity politics on the left, and the extreme and postmodernist views of some of the more extreme identity politics practitioners, has driven some people - particularly straight white men - away from the left, and in some cases into the arms of the alt-right, a modern form of the far right.

Gender and racial diversity[edit]

The far right in modern times is highly male-dominated, although there are a few Hitler-worshipping women to be found on social media. Far rightists try to downplay this gender imbalance by hand-waving about a supposedly silent iceberg of far right women[2], and pointing out that far-right activism is physically dangerous because of the risk of violent responses by antifa.

In majority-white countries, the far right tends to be exclusively white, for obvious reasons - however, the far right does exist in other countries too, such as in Japan, where it is exclusively made up of Japanese people. The far right British National Party was found by the British government to be illegally discriminating against non-white people who wanted to join it in its constitution. As a result, it was hilariously forced by the government to change its constitution (rather than forced to disband altogether, which would have been the more logical thing to require it to do), which it did with extreme reluctance - however, it is still racist in terms of its policies, and now uses more subtle techniques to make sure that its membership is still all-white in reality.

Criticism of the label[edit]

Conservatives and other "traditional" right-wingers might be critical of this label being applied to them. The horseshoe theory stipulates that the far right has much in common with the far left.

References[edit]

  1. Though some on the far-right, such as the Front National or Geert Wilders, may endore or claim to endorse gay rights if they think it gives them a more "liberal" argument against Muslims or other religious minorities
  2. https://www.newstatesman.com/science-tech/internet/2017/08/we-need-talk-about-online-radicalisation-young-white-women