“লড়াই, লড়াই, লড়াই চাই/ লড়াই করে বাঁচতে চাই” Let us fight for our rights and live our life. You do not get to hear such slogans on the streets of my city very often. You do not get to see the entire city street getting decked up to celebrate something which millions have longed for years. You do not get to […]
This is an excerpt from the chapter titled “Hate” in Chris Hedges’ new book, “America: The Farewell Tour,” published by Simon & Schuster. IT WAS A SWELTERING JULY afternoon when fifty protesters, many dressed in fatigues and wearing shirts that identified them with groups such as Proud Boys, Oath Keepers, Bikers for Trump, the […]
On March 4, 2018, after following around Richard Spencer and his alt-right entourage for months, Serena Tarr found herself in Michigan for the Foundation for the Marketplace of Ideas conference, organized by Kyle Bristow, the white nationalist attorney who used to sue colleges that rejected requests for Spencer to speak. But due to public pressure and possibly […]
Ernst Thälmann, leader of Germany’s radical left in the last years of the Weimar Republic, thought the centre left was a greater danger than the right. We should remember his miscalculation. The leader of the left, adored for his “authenticity” and destined for cult status, saw himself as a fighter for radical change. His transformed […]
In Paul Greengrass’s new film, the Anders Breivik trial becomes a metaphor for how the far right today is using and undermining the rule of law. KEYSTONEUSA-ZUMA/REX Malign world view: the extreme-right terrorist Anders Breivik, who murdered 77 fellow Norwegians on 22 July 2011 On 22 July 2011 the fascist activist Anders Breivik shot to […]
PRISONS ARE REMINISCENT of Tolstoy’s famous observation about unhappy families: Each “is unhappy in its own way,” though there are some common features — for prisons, the grim and stifling recognition that someone else has total authority over your life. My wife Valeria and I have just visited a prison to see arguably the most prominent […]
Far right parties and groups have been enjoying increasing support across Europe. Such parties have performed well in recent domestic elections, often occupying second or third place – and in some cases joining governing coalitions. Examples include the French Front National (FN, now Rassemblement National), the Dutch Freedom Party (PVV), the Austrian Party for Freedom (FPÖ), the […]
On September 26, the Federal Supreme Court upheld the exclusion of 3.3 million registered voters who did not attend a special electoral review between before a deadline of May 2018. Most of those canceled did not register their biometrics, which became mandatory in 1,248 cities, unevenly distributed around the country, and concentrated in the traditionally left voting North East. The move has […]
The economist and political theorist Murray Rothbard, generally credited as one of the founders of right-wing libertarianism in North America, was also, somewhat contradictory, enthusiastic about McCarthyism. His support wasn’t predicated on the fervent anti-communism of William F. Buckley and other standard bearers of what was then called the New Right, but instead due to […]
In our global slide toward despotic unaccountability, three words act as the primary signifiers of the changes in governing and political norms at work around the globe. The words are fascist, illiberal and authoritarian.
Let’s take a look at the dictionary definition of each.
Fascist:A political philosophy, movement, or regime (such as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition.
Illiberal:Opposed to liberal principles; restricting freedom of thought or behavior.
Authoritarian:Favouring or enforcing strict obedience to authority at the expense of personal freedom. Showing a lack of concern for the wishes or opinions of others; dictatorial.
Whether we’re talking about Donald Trump, Viktor Orban, Jair Bolsonaro, Benjamin Netanyahu, Narendra Modi, Vladimir Putin or Daniel Ortega you see aspects of each these dangerous modes of social control being normalized and, in many instances, enacted through executive or legislative means.
While it is natural to be most alarmed by the rise of neo-fascist political parties in Italy, Germany, Poland, Sweden, France, and the UK, perhaps a more dangerous trend is the emerging religious authoritarianism infecting Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Judaism, and Buddhism. In India, Modi’s BJP has actively encouraged ethnic cleansing campaigns by Hindus against Muslims in northern states. In Israel, Netanyahu successfully passed a new law elevating the citizenship rights of Jewish Israelis over those of Muslims. In Myanmar, Aung San Suu Kyi has given tacit approval to Buddhist death squads attacking Muslim Rohingya villages. Across the Middle East, leaders leverage the Sunni/Shia divide to redraw national boundaries resulting in the refugee crisis in Europe. In the United States, Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell are rushing the decisive Christianist candidate onto the nation’s Supreme Court. In Brazil, the leading candidate in October’s presidential election is an open supporter of military dictatorship is supported by 90% of white Catholic and Evangelical voters.
Any of these political-religious movements could result in illiberal, authoritarian or fascist governing regimes. Adding the accelerant of religious dogma any of these are much more likely to spread across national boundaries and endanger regional or even global peace.
Our era will be remembered for the triumphant march of a globally unifying rightwing – a Nationalist International – that sprang out of the cesspool of financialised capitalism. Whether it will also be remembered for a successful humanist challenge to this menace depends on the willingness of progressives in the United States, the European Union, […]
The Hungary-Serbia border runs through a wilderness, tall grass flatlands ringed by imposing clusters of trees and thickets. When I visited a stretch of the Serbian side on a sunny day in June, the landscape would have been lovely — had it not been for the gigantic barbed-wire fence running straight through the middle of […]