Political Tactics of the New Right

I learned a great deal from Bar-On’s well-written article on the French Nouvelle Droite. One part of his piece that stood out to me was his description of how de Benoist and his allies in the New Right movement employed inversion as a defensive tactic against their opponents. In short, they would accuse proponents of liberalism and multiculturalism as being anti-French racists, for example, on account of their apparent support for the homogenizing of France’s ethnic makeup. I could certainly see parallels here to contemporary political dialogue, namely that conservatives and members of the alt-right have been known to label liberals and leftists as racists, typically in the context of the debate surrounding immigration. I think part of this also stems from the right’s hostility to the tenets of critical race theory and their aversion to engaging in discussions on the concept of “whiteness,” both of which have moved into the mainstream of social and political discourse in recent years. In other words, some on the right have managed to frame conversations about white privilege and the intergenerational trauma of marginalized groups as being a campaign of anti-white racism.

Another aspect of the New Right’s ideology that reminded me of current political realities were the peculiar alliances they formed, often with groups considered to be on the far left of the political spectrum. One of the more troublesome examples of such an alliance today is that between certain Neo-Nazis and Palestinian rights activists, who in isolated cases have found common ground in their criticism of Israel and Jews in general. In relation to the article, I think this phenomenon must be viewed through the lens of transnational history, because it involves an interaction between people and ideas that transcend national borders.

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