The Ironic Use of Internationalism Amongst the Far Right

By: Melyssa Clark

Internationalism has been used by the far right as a framing tool to promote a narrative that seeks to vilify a group and create division between the people and the elites. As illustrated in “The Myth of Judeo-Bolshevism”, Hanbrink discusses how the way in which tying Jewish folks to an international conspiracy helped bolster the narrative of Judeo-Bolshevism. Despite using internationalism as a tool to frame otherness, the far right, ironically, uses it as a highway to spread its ideas and collaborate with others in the international sphere. Just as Hanbrink outlined the use of internationalism as a means to vilify Jewish folks, it was also a means through which the vilification was communicated. Namely, through the unmasking of Jewish Bolshevik leaders as well as through émigrés who recounted their stories. Internationalism as a means of transporting ideas was also used as a pragmatic war tactic by the Nazi regime in which anti-colonial sentiments were stoked as a means to destabilize the United Kingdom and France’s global empires. In addition to the spread of anti-colonial propaganda, the Nazi’s also spread ideas of nationalism, which moved towards being more militant and ethnic in nature.

The ironic and pragmatic use of internationalism by the far right is ongoing. However, there is a limited scope in which they are able to operate as a collective since they have more limited commonalities and can disagree on issues outside of those linked directly to nationalism. Despite the fact that they may be split on a variety of policy goals, the participation of the far right within international settings should not be viewed without caution. Within the European Parliament, the far-right has become a more prominent group over the years. This group has often interacted within the institution with the goal to disrupt the developments of policies and use it as a means to voice right wing nationalist ideologies.

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