Title: The Emergence of a Violent Euro-American Radical Right
Name: Leonard Weinberg and Jeffrey Kaplan
Year: 1995, 1996
Type: Research Grant
Summary:

We suspected that a number of social and economic conditions present in Western Europe and the United States were leading to the emergence of a Euro-American radical right, a movement built around a common white racial identity and one whose exponents and ideas had a growing capacity to travel across the Atlantic in both directions. The principal conditions we believed were giving rise to such an extremist movement were these. First, both the United States and the wealthy democracies of Western Europe had aging population but were surrounded by poor countries with young, growing and job-hungry populations. This situation created very strong migratory pressures, legal and otherwise, from the poor to the rich countries. And second, we also thought that the growing trend towards the export of jobs, sending them "offshore," from the high to low labor cost Third World countries would give rise to certain tensions likely to promote a politics of backlash.

In short, we suspected that these developments would leave segments of West Europe's indigenous population as well as elements among America's white working class vulnerable to the racist and anti-Semitic appeals common to extreme right-wing movements on both sides of the Atlantic. How much or if this vulnerability would be exploited depended, we thought, on the ability of "movement entrepreneurs" or leaders to take advantage of the opportunities with which they were confronted.

We also believed however that there were at least two factors which would inhibit the formation of a common Euro-American rightist movement. For one thing, over many years extreme right movements have been characterized by their intense and competing nationalisms, German, French, and Swedish as examples, making it difficult for them to achieve the necessary degree of cooperation. Second, and related to the first objection, most right-wing movements in Western Europe hate the United States because of its multicultural population, commercialized culture and the prominent role Jews played in its economic and political life. Could these barriers be overcome?

We thought the barriers could be over come because American radical rightists, no less than their European counterparts, also hated their own country and for virtually identical reasons. Rather than being "nativist" members of the American radical right saw themselves as belonging to an estranged Aryan population no longer at home or even wishing to be at home in a multi-ethnic, multi-racial and Jewish-dominated country. In sum, despite the undeniable appeals of nationalism, we thought that race, the sense that the white race was engaged in a struggle for survival in Western Europe as well as America would help forge a common Euro-American identity which would supercede nation and form the basis of a transnational radical right.

The evidence we adduced supported but did not provide irrefutable evidence to confirm out hypothesis. The Holocaust denial phenomenon is certainly Euro-American in character. Its organized expressions, e.g. the Institute for Historical Review, cross the Atlantic in both directions. The Internet and the Worldwide Web especially make it far easier for right-wing extremists to create a "cyber-community" of common believers from California to the Urals. The racist skinhead gangs active throughout much of the Western world provide supportive evidence as does the rock music which often drives them to paroxysms of racial hatred. There are also an abundance of cases involving American radical right figures, e.g. the late William Pierce of the National Alliance, participating in neo-Nazi gatherings in Europe and vice versa. We suspect that we are witnessing the appearance of a new Euro-American radical right in the earliest stages of its formation rather than a fully formed mature movement.

Bibliography: Kaplan, Jeffrey and Leonard Weinberg. The Emergence of a Euro-American Radical Right. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1998.