Advertisement

Introduction: The New Right — Storm-Troopers in the Name of Liberty

  • Amy Elizabeth Ansell

Abstract

Over the course of the last two decades, political opinion in the USA and the UK has drifted unmistakably to the right; a new ‘smell in the air’ is palpable. Yet, the extent to which new, albeit indirect forms of exclusion are being established and justified by a new breed of right-wing politicians often has gone undetected. The most extreme manifestations of the rightward shift have been publicly recognized and condemned, such as the anti-government activities of the militia movement in the United States or the moment when Vladimir Zhironovsky, an ultra-nationalist leader in Russia, congratulated Patrick Buchanan on winning the 1996 New Hampshire Presidential primary, referring to him as a comrade in arms in the struggle for national liberation. The public furor that surrounded events such as the Oklahoma City bombing and Buchanan’s short-lived strength in the polls, following as they did in the wake of what was popularly regarded as the 1994 ‘Republican Revolution’, served to draw a symbolic boundary between the sort of illiberalism espoused by the militias or Buchanan and the seemingly more benign rhetoric and policies of the Republican Right, the Reagan Democrats, and the Clinton Conservatives.

Keywords

Affirmative Action Liberal Democracy Conservative Party Racial Issue Racial Symbol 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Notes

  1. 1.
    Arthur Miller; quoted in Observer Review (15 October 1995) p. 7.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Many scholars have elaborated on the breakdown of the post-war consensus in the mid-1970s. For example, see: Andrew Gamble, The Free Economy and the Strong State (London: Macmillan, 1988)Google Scholar
  3. Thomas Ferguson, ‘Party Realignment and American Industrial Structure: The Investment Theory of Political Parties in Historical Perspective’, Research in Political Economy, vol. 6 (1983)Google Scholar
  4. Thomas Ferguson and Joel Rogers, ‘The Reagan Victory: Corporate Coalitions in the 1980 Campaign’, in Ferguson and Rogers (eds), Hidden Election: Politics and Economics in the 1980 Presidential Campaign (New York: Pantheon Books, 1981)Google Scholar
  5. 3.
    For more on the concept of moral panic, see: Stanley Cohen, Folk Devils and Moral Panics: The Creation of Mods and Rockers (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1987)Google Scholar
  6. Philip Jenkins, Intimate Enemies (New York: Aldine de Gruyter, 1992)Google Scholar
  7. Stuart Hall et al., Policing the Crisis: Mugging, the State, and Law and Order (London: Macmillan, 1978)Google Scholar
  8. 4.
    This phrase refers to a book by that title: Murray Edelman, Constructing the Political Spectacle (University of Chicago Press, 1988).Google Scholar
  9. 5.
    Many authors (for example, Robert Miles, Racism, l989) place quotation markers around the word ‘race’ to remind the reader of this point, while others prefer the term ‘racialization’ (for example, Stephen Small, Racialised Barriers: The Black Experience in the United States and England in the 1980s [London: Routledge, 1994] or ‘racial’ (for example, Howard Winant, Racial Conditions, 1994).Google Scholar
  10. 6.
    The phrase ‘right turn’ comes from a book by that title: Thomas Ferguson and Joel Rogers, Right Turn: The Decline of the Democrats and the Future of American Politics (New York: Hill & Wang, 1986).Google Scholar
  11. 7.
    On family and moral issues see: Allen Hunter and Linda Gordon, ‘Danger from the Right’, Radical America, 16 (May-June 1982).Google Scholar
  12. On status anxieties see Alan Crawford, Thunder on the Right (New York: Pantheon 1980).Google Scholar
  13. For an emphasis on intellectual response to the 1960s see: Peter Steinfels, The Neoconservatives (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1980)Google Scholar
  14. Gary Dorrien, The Neoconservative Mind: Politics, Culture, and the War of Ideology (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1993)Google Scholar
  15. For detail about the role of religious mobilization see: Sara Diamond, Spiritual Warfare (Boston: South End Press, 1989).Google Scholar
  16. From the perspective of electoral realignment see: Gillian Peele, Revival and Reaction: The Right in Contemporary America (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1984).Google Scholar
  17. 8.
    On race and the electoral right see: Paul Gilroy, There Ain’t No Black in the Union Jack (London: Hutchinson, 1987)Google Scholar
  18. Stuart Hall, ‘The Great Moving Right Show’, New Internationalist (March 1984)Google Scholar
  19. Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies, The Empire Strikes Back: Race and Racism in 70’s Britain (London: Hutchinson, 1982)Google Scholar
  20. On racism and the press see: Paul Gordon and David Rosenberg, The Press and Black People in Britain (London: The Runnymede Trust, 1989)Google Scholar
  21. Teun van Dijk, Racism and the Press (London: Routledge, 1991)Google Scholar
  22. On the far right see: Michael Billig, Fascists: A Psychological View of the National Front (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1978).Google Scholar
  23. Important studies of Thatcherism include: Dennis Ravanagh, Thatcherism and British Politics: The End of Consensus? (Oxford University Press, 1987)Google Scholar
  24. Peter Riddell, The Thatcher Era and Its Legacy (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1991)Google Scholar
  25. and Robert Skidelsky (ed.), Thatcherism (London: Chatto & Windus, 1988)Google Scholar
  26. 9.
    Michael Orni and Howard Winant, Racial Formation in the United States (New York: Routledge, 1994, 1986).Google Scholar
  27. 10.
    Thomas Edsall with Mary Edsall, Chain Reaction: The Impact of Race, Rights, and Taxes on American Politics (New York: Norton, 1992).Google Scholar
  28. 11.
    Stephen Steinberg, Turning Back: The Retreat from Racial fustice in American Thought and Policy (Boston: Beacon Press, 1995).Google Scholar
  29. 12.
    Gill Seidel, ‘The White Discursive Order: The British New Right’s Discourse on Cultural Racism with Particular Reference to the Salisbury Review’ (Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Co., 1987)Google Scholar
  30. ‘Culture, Nation and “Race” in the British and French New Right’, in The Ideology of the New Right, ed. by Ruth Levitas (Cambridge: Polity Press, 1986)Google Scholar
  31. 13.
    Anna Marie Smith, New Right Discourse on Race and Sexuality (Cambridge University Press, 1994).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 15.
    Valuable work has been done in this regard, for example see Paul Gordon and Francesca Klug, New Right New Racism (London: Searchlight, 1986).Google Scholar
  33. 16.
    Russ Bellant, ‘The Coors Connection: How Coors Family Philanthropy Undermines Democratic Pluralism’, (Boston: Political Research Associates, 1990)Google Scholar
  34. Russ Bellant, ‘Old Nazis, the New Right and the Reagan Administration: The Role of Domestic Fascist Networks in the Republican Party and their Effect on U.S. Cold War Polities’, (Boston: Political Research Associates, 1988)Google Scholar
  35. 18.
    Authors who develop this point include: David Theo Goldberg, Racist Culture (Cambridge, Mass.: Blackwell, 1993) andGoogle Scholar
  36. Nancy MacLean, The Masks of Chivalry (New York: Oxford University Press, 1994)Google Scholar
  37. 19.
    Katherine Verderey develops a similar argument about the increased salience of nationalism during the period of the exit from communism, in her ‘Nationalism and National Sentiment in Post-Socialist Romania’, Slavic Review, vol. 52, no. 2 (Summer 1993) pp. 179–203.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 20.
    Examples of structuralist accounts include: Mike Davis, Prisoners of the American Dream (New York: Verso, 1986)Google Scholar
  39. Thomas Ferguson and Joel Rogers, The Hidden Election: Politics and Economics in the 1980 Presidential Campaign (New York: Pantheon Books, 1981)Google Scholar
  40. Thomas Ferguson and Joel Rogers, Right Turn: The Decline of the Democrats and the Future of American Politics (New York: Hill & Wang, 1986)Google Scholar
  41. Bob Jessop et al., Thatcherism: A Tale of Two Nations (Cambridge: Polity Press, 1988)Google Scholar
  42. Paul Hirst, After Thatcher (London: Collins, 1989)Google Scholar
  43. 22.
    Jessop et al., Thatcherism For an interesting exchange between these authors and Stuart Hall, see: Stuart Hall, ‘Authoritarian Populism: A Reply’, New Left Review, 151 (1985) pp. 106–13.Google Scholar
  44. 23.
    Jessop. et al., Thatcherism, p. 43.Google Scholar
  45. 24.
    This point is related to a distinction between strong versus weak versions of the concept of hegemony; for a discussion of this distinction see: Smith, New Right Discourse, pp. 29–40.Google Scholar
  46. 25.
    Stuart Hall, ‘The British Left After Thatcherism’, Socialist Review (March-April 1987) p. 50.Google Scholar
  47. 26.
    Bob Blauner, ‘Talking Past Each Other: Black and White Languages of Race’, The American Prospect, 10 (Summer 1992) pp. 55–64.Google Scholar
  48. 27.
    John Solomos, ‘Political Language and Racial Discourse’, European Journal of Intercultural Studies, vol. 2, no. 1 (1991) pp. 21–34.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. 28.
    Credit for the term ‘key categories of meaning’ is due to Carla Willig, ‘AIDS — A Study of the Social Construction of Knowledge’, (unpublished doctoral dissertation: Cambridge University, 1991).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Amy Elizabeth Ansell 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Amy Elizabeth Ansell
    • 1
  1. 1.Bard CollegeAnnandale-on-HudsonUSA

Personalised recommendations