Taking on the Far-Right Menace
An Interview with Mark Bray

Bray, Mark; Feeley, Diana; Finkel, David

Publisher:  Against the Current
Date Written:  01/05/2018
Year Published:  2018  
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX23329

Diana Feeley and David Finkel interview Mark Bray, author of The Anti-Fascist Handbook and professor at Darmouth College. Bray answers questions about his book, facism, tracking the racist right and tactical issues.




MB: As I discuss in the book, historians have debated the meaning and definition of fascism for quite a long time. There has been no consensus and there doesn't appear to be one in the near future. Fascists historically have adopted and discarded ideas perhaps more readily than any other political tendency.

They haven't had a commitment to ideological consistency in the same way that other groups have. In that sense, I think that what the historian Robert Paxton said is appropriate: The only thing that really unites fascists across different times and places is a shared desire for the survival and domination of the favored group, whether that be a nation or a race, in a kind of imagined, social Darwinian struggle.

Everything else can come and go, whether ideas about the working class or the position of women in society. That being said, though, there are some commonalities around ultra-nationalism: masculinity.

Fascists often present themselves as a third alternative between capitalism and Marxism - both of which were blamed for being "Jewish" from the Nazi perspective. You could say fascism’s goal is class collaboration. There is an imagined return to internal values of nationalism, in terms of a racial identity and gender norms. Fascism is a kind of selective rejection of modernity.

That is, fascism is a modern rejection of modernity. It's really a paradox at its core. After World War II, fascists expanded even more widely the range of ideas and positions they put forward. With the process of decolonization in Africa and Asia, fascism adopted elements of the language of national liberation struggles. They argue that white people or Europeans also need a struggle of "national liberation."

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