Who comprises the “Far Right” and what do they actually want?
The Left’s habit of labeling everyone to the right of Bernie Sanders as Far Right has muddied the waters in terms of who the real Far Right are, and what they really believe. But beliefs are not the same as a worked out political program. The important political question is how those beliefs will be manifested in practice.
For example, Islamists believe in a universal theocratic monarchy in which sharia (Islamic) law is enforced as the law of the land. In practice, that means they want corporal punishments like severing hands for theft and flogging, strict gender segregation in public and a host of other rules. The first is their beliefs. The second is the consequences of those beliefs.
So who are the Far Right and what do they really want?
In the U.S., the Far Right is mainly composed of neo-Nazis and white supremacists.
Restrict the Franchise
If there is one thing the Far Right hates, it’s universal suffrage. Far-Right groups across the board oppose democracy. Neo-reactionaries (those who want the country to be like a corporation and view the enlightenment as a big mistake) view democracy as an inefficient form of government which impedes robust action and bloats the state.
Fascists view democracy as a liberal affront, and prefer the will of the people to be embodied in a single charismatic leader.
Neo-confederates and white supremacists don’t mind the franchise necessarily, but would certainly want to see it restricted, at the very least to whites only, but most likely to only property owning white males, excluding Jews, Quakers and Catholics, as it was at the founding of the country.
Whatever the faction, all Far-Right movements want to restrict voting rights in some way, and most want to create an autocracy.
Women in the Home
Like Islamists, the Far Right in general has a very strict view of gender relations. They glorify the cult of the young muscular male, encouraging body-building and combat sports as a way to build strength. For women, they proscribe a more restricted role: stay at home, raise children, be a devoted wife. Many on the Far-Right view women as inherently inferior to men, and require that women follow a male lead.
There is a huge overlap between the political Far Right and the more fringe elements of the “manosphere” (anti-feminist bloggers writing about men’s issues which have dubbed themselves “the manosphere”).
The prominent manosphere website, “Return of Kings,” mixes articles such as “The Devolution of the West Can Be Seen Through Popular Sports,” which bemoans the collapse of Western civilization, with pieces like “Anything Women Can Do Men Can Do Better,” which denigrate women as genetically inferior to men.
Perhaps the most instantly recognizable pillar of the Far Right is the open racism. It takes different forms in different places. At the gentle end, the focus on preserving heritage and culture and demanding total assimilation from any immigrants.
More extreme positions include favoring positive eugenics to improve the genetic stock of humanity by encouraging the beautiful to breed, as alt-right Twitter icon Bronze Age Mantis does.
Of course, the more violent and direct forms of eugenics still have their supporters. Other cruder, Far-Right fanatics don’t have any plans to breed out lesser races, but are happy to engage in violent lynchings.
Politically the Far Right glamorizes war and the military. They either want violence meted out against their domestic foes, or they want violence carried out against foreigners.
Either way, they want the supreme leader (or state-CEO in the case of formalism), to have total authority to use violence against those who threaten the order of the state.
But this violence is more than simply practical. Fascists and white supremacists view violence as the ultimate test of masculinity. Likewise, success in war is a value in its own sake — a spiritual calling that creates excellence. This view that violence can be positive and lead to personal growth is one of the most dangerous things about fascism.
This last point is pretty hard to explain, and is more of an aesthetic than anything else. It draws together the Far Right’s love of pageantry, their love of grand architecture and their attachment to the collective group as an organic entity.
The purpose of Far-Right movements is to bring glory to the individual and thereby the collective he is a part of through heroic deeds.
Once in power, the Far Right typically spend significant time and energy on buildings and events aimed at raising national spirits. These may include building monuments to war dead, building new government buildings and hosting large military parades.
Far-Right movements use these physical acts to create an internal feeling of being connected, self-esteem and purpose. Needless to say, these deeds are typically violent and targeted against ethnic or religious minorities.
Far-Right platforms share these essentials goals. They rail against the decadence and softness of modern society because they feel it restricts the possibility to fulfill these heroic fantasies and embody order and conquest.
The similarities between what the Far Right wants and what Islamist organizations want should not go unnoticed.