What is the far right and how does it exploit racism and Islamophobia?
The far right consists of individuals such as Tommy Robinson (real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon) and organisations such as the English Defence League and the outlawed National Action.
The far right glorifies the nation and/or race as transcending all other loyalties. Myths of national or racial rebirth are emphasised following periods of decline. It thus aims to destroy ‘outside’ or ‘alien’ forces that threaten the nation and/or race. In Britain during the 1930s, the Jewish community was under attack and today it is mostly Islam and Muslims.
The far right is also elitist, insisting that ‘the peoples will’ is embodied in a select group or more generally, in one supreme leader and from whom authority proceeds downward. As such the ideology of the far right is not only about superiority between races but within races.
The far right rejects class struggle and workers' internationalism on the grounds that they threaten national or racial unity. It does, though frequently exploit genuine grievances against capitalists and landowners by developing radical-sounding conspiracy theories and ethnic scapegoating.
The far right may use Parliamentary methods to try and gain power but it ultimately rejects representative government or democratic organisations like trade unions. Once elected to power, the far right will stop future elections and smash trade unions, the Labour Party and independent working class organisations.
Examples of far right or fascist regimes from the past include Nazi Germany under Adolf Hitler, Italy under Benito Mussolini and fascist Spain under General Franco.