Tag Archives: Trump

La amenaza que representa el antifascismo – en fantasía y realidad.

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Todos los héroes esporeados de la derecha estadounidense están de acuerdo, desde Alex Jones hasta Tucker Carlson, desde Andy Ngo hasta Donald Trump: lxs antifascistas deben ser explusadxs de la vida pública.

Cuando las mujeres marcharon en Washington para protestar en la inauguración de Donald Trump se transformaron en la imaginación de la derecha extrema en ‘las heces de la humanidad’, “extranjeras” planeando “una guerra civil” para la “tiranía”

Cuando los fascistas marcharon por Charlottesville con pistolas y antorchas gritando ‘los judios no nos reemplazaran”, cuando uno de ellos mató a Heather, fox News llamó a lxs socialistas y anarquistas, a lxs liberales y feministas que bloquearon el camino para detenerles ‘domésticas… Antifa quema todo los que viene en contacto suyo”. La derecha proyecto sus fantasías espeluznantes en sus oponentes y declaró que lxs antifascistas habían sido lxs responsables de los “asesinatos de múltiples oficiales de la policía por todos los Estados Unidos”, abriendo el camino para que Trump declarara que había habido ‘gente muy fina en los dos lados”

En el lado antifascista, el insistio, “Tenias alborotadorxs, y lxs ves llegar con sus atuendos negros, y los cascos, y los bates de beisbol, tenias mucho mal, tenias mucha gente mala en el otro grupo…no tenian permisos”

Trump quería que todo el mundo viera lo que él veía en charlottesville, una guerra entre dos grupos de gente. Uno con sus armas y simbolos fascistas y sus fantasias de genocidio. Ellxs eran lxs que habían venido a ‘protestar inocentemente’ , y contra estxs estaba antifa quienes merecían cada bala que se les tiraba.

Una y otra vez, el reproche a ‘antifa’ se ha usado no sólo contra aquellxs que confrontan al fascismo, sino hasta contra lxs liberales más blandos. ‘No estarán segurxs en la América de Biden’ advierte Pence.

Incluso ahora Trump insiste que Biden controla “gente que de la que nunca has oido. Gente que está en las sombras oscuras… gente que está controlando las calles… bandidxs usando estos uniformes oscuros, uniformes negros con equipo.” Y de esa manera, se le está pidiendo a todos los Estados Unidos – a todo el mundo observando en desconcierto y miedo- que vea al mundo a través de los ojos de los Proud Boys, The Patriots, los teóricos de la conspiración del QAnon.

Pues es que, en la mentalidad paranoica y temerosa de la derecha, si hay mil personas en Portland aun dispuestas a tomar las calles para defender a Black Lives Matter, su presencia abruma todo. Cuenta con más de las 200,000 personas que han muerto por coronavirus. Y nunca más una sociedad pensante debería tolerar la posibilidad de que en ocasiones unas pocas personas valientes se pongan en el camino de los fascistas marchando por las calles de los E.U.

¿De qué se trata el antifascismo que lo convierte en un espectro en la mente de la derecha estadounidense?, tan vivido como el espectro del comunismo era?

Cuando el fascismo comenzó, casi nadie en la política estaba de acuerdo con él. La parte de la gente que eran antifascistas potenciales era muy grande, de hecho. Incluia liberales, conservadores, cristianxs, feministas e incontables más aparte. E incluia a la gente que vuelve a Trump salvaje de miedo: anarquistas y comunistas.

Aquí quiero hablar de una fracción de ellxs en particular: Lxs Marxistas. Eran parte de un enfoque común de la política la cual era compartida por por decenas de millones de personas.  El marxismo no era una cosa en singular sino una variedad de políticas. Llamaba a la gente que creía en la realidad de la revolución y que estaba determinada a llevar a cabo un levantamiento inmediato. Era empleado también por otrxs que no querían nada con ninguna idea de revuelta masiva pero que restringieron su deseo de cambio solamente al avance lento de los derechos de lxs trabajadorxs y otros grupos subalternos. El marxismo también tenía el apoyo de millones de gente quienes (como en los E.U. hoy en día) sostenían cualquiera de las posiciones entre estos polos.

Ya cuando se desgastó el siglo veinte, el marxismo fue destronado de su posición de autoridad (por ello es que es más probable que  lxs antifascistas estadounidenses de hoy sean anarquistas que comunistas) . Pero si nos enfocamos en el periodo del surgimiento del fascismo, solo los 1920s y los 1930s, esta subordinación pertenecía al futuro. 

En el libro que he estado escribiendo sobre la generacion que invento el antifascismo encontraran a Clara Zetkin quien habia sido editora del periodico La Mujer Socialista Alemana Die Gleichheit (Igualdad) y una patrocinadora de la resolucion que llevo al establecimiento de el actual Dia Internacional de la Mujer, Leon Trotsky, el anterior lider del Ejercito Rojo Bolshevique, o Daniel Guerin, quien vivio hasta los 1950s y 1960s caundo fue anaraquista, un miembro del del Frente Homosexual de  Accion Revolucionaria en FRancia y una de las figuras principales del movimiento de liberacion gay. En la izquierda moderna, lxs pondriamos en diferentes categorías: Zetkin tuvo una carrera de décadas como socialista y comunista. Trotsky fue bolchevique, Guerin se volvió anarquista. En la Europa de los 1920s y 1930s, y de cara al fascismo, compartieron un lenguaje común y tuvieron esencialmente el mismo enfoque para resistir el ascenso de Hitler.

Escribiendo para un público internacional sobre eventos en Italia, Zetkin advirtió, “Las masas en sus miles se unieron al fascismo. Se convirtió en un asilo para todxs lxs desahuciadxs politicxs, lxs desarraigadxs sociales, lxs destitutxs y desilusionadxs.

En los panfletos que vendieron cientos de miles de copias, instando a lxs alemanxs socialistas y comunistas a unirse, Trotsky escribió, “ En el Nacional Socialismo todo es contradictorio y caótico como en una pesadilla. El partido de Hitler se dice llamar socialista, y aun así lleva una lucha terrorista contra las organizaciones socialistas… lanza pernos a las cabezas de lxs capitalistas y aun así es apoyado por estas.

Viajando por Alemania en 1933, Guerin apunta las letras de una cancio, mitad comunista, mitad nacionalista, que prometia liberar a lxs trabajadorxs del yugo judio , “Nunca he escuchado gente cantar con tal fe… Estoy perdido en mis pies, estático en medio de esta masa que moriría sin interrumpir su canción. Ya hay rumores de que  secciones de los Stormtroopers (soldados de asalto) se están impacientando, hasta amotinado, yo pienso para mi mismo que será necesario satisfacer a esta multitud – o aplastarles, brutalmente”

Lxs marxistas de la entreguerra furosn lxs primerxs en formular lo que se puede llamar el programa antifascista. Este es la creencia que el fascismo es una forma de políticas de derecha extrema especialmente violentas y destructivas, que tiene la capacidad de crecer rápidamente en tiempos de crisis social y que si se ignora destruirá la capacidad de la izquierda de organizarse y revertirá por décadas las demandas de cambio de lxs trabajadorxs y otros grupos desposeídos. Si la apuesta es correcta, sigue que es repetidamente una prioridad de sus oponentes de confrontar el fascismo, aun cuando otras formas de discriminacion son endémicas, y aun cuando otras políticas de derecha extrema tienen más apoyo que el fascismo. Esta manera de pensar asume un presente en el que el trabajo aún es explotado y la discriminacion por raza y género son prevalentes.  Y aun en estas circunstancias, advierte, el fascismo es un agente caótico de cambio negativo. Puede hacer sistemático lo que hoy es limitado. El fascismo es capaz de extender el sufrimiento en una escala enorme. Asimismo, cuando el fascismo es vencido, las otras formas de opresión en las que florece también pueden ser debilitadas.

La apuesta antifascista no es una postura distintivamente marxista; todo tipo de gente la ha sostenido en la historia. Todo tipo de gente la sostiene hoy día.

Pero la primera vez en la historia en que un grupo significante la adoptara fue a mediados de los 1920s, cuando las personas de las que he escrito comenzarán a hacer campañas contra la amenaza del fascismo fuera de Italia.  Este enfoque reconoció el potencial de Mussolini para inspirar a imitadores incluyendo Alemania.

Al tiempo que estas advertencias claras fueron hechas primeramente, Hitler era solo un mero político regional. Cualquier ganancia electoral que había disfrutado había sido modesta, y se enfrentaba a una serie de competidores en una posición entre fascismo y conservatismo, varios de los cuales estaban mejor fundados, tenían mejor acceso a los medios y medios propios para emplear violencia paramilitar contra sus adversarios. 

El decir que el fascismo, a pesar de todas las debilidades y a pesar de la influencia mayor de sus rivales en la derecha, era el oponente más amenazador a la que enfrentaba la izquierda alemana era hacer una predicción de cómo el fascismo crecería y que haría en el poder.

La apuesta antifascista  de todas las otras formas de politica, hecha por esta generacion sontenia que el fascismo era diferente cualitativamente incluyendo la derecha y hasta la extrema derecha.

A diferencia de estas, busca crear una dictadura y una en la que todas las formas de expresión de todos sus rivales sean recortadas. El panorama de la derecha de los 1930s no era más complejo que el nuestro, con cada una de estos temas a continuación prominentes en discusiones públicas = monarquistas, seguidores del ejército de la iglesia, abogadxs por impuestos fijos, abogadxs por expansión imperial- y muchas otras formas de políticas de derecha aparte de estas.  A lxs antifascistas les desagradaban todas estas tendencias, pero no veían en ninguna de ellas el potencial violento del fascismo.  

Bajo esa teoría, había otras ideas sobre el rol del fascismo en relación a otros movimientos reaccionarios. El fascismo no era un movimiento con solo una causa. Era toda una teoría de vida que proveía justificación para la subordinación no solo de lxs oponentes raciales de Musolini y Hitler, sino también de sus enemigxs politicxs , y las mujeres, y lxs gays, y las personas discapacitadas. EL fascismo tuvo la capacidad de atravesar barreras en momentos de crisis y cuando lo hizo de propagar modos de pensar derechistas hasta que sus seguidorxs habían absorbido respuestas reaccionarias a todas las preguntas posibles.   

Aparte de la rol que jugaron en el asesinato de seis millones de judixs, Hitler y Mussolini tambien eran partidarios del genocidio contra lxs Roma y Sinti, abogados por un racismo colonial ultra-agresivo y acelerado, organizadores de la eutanasia de gente discapacitada y el asesinato de hombres gays, y las subordinacion de las mujeres, la destruccion de los sindicatos y el asesinato de lxs coministas. Cada uno de estos planes se reforzaban entre sí. Esta dinámica totalizadora hizo al fascismo un enemigo destructivo único.

Es útil escuchar a la gente que captó ese riesgo, en un tiempo en el que casi todxs en la derecha y el centro estaban en desacuerdo. Al restatarlxs de la economía de atencion del presente y al mandar a lxs lectorxs al pasado para aprender de ellxs, espero que su enfoque sea de interesarse en otrxs encando la derecha diferente de nuestros tiempos.

Ya que lo que mas atrae a lxs seguidores de Trump mas que nada son sus cuentos infantiles sobre manifestantes uniformadxs de negro juntandose en secreto para vencer sus planes. Es este secreto lo que lxs engancha – la idea de un plan escondido el cual solo ha sido descubierto por algunas almas valientes derechistas. Para la derecha contemporanea , el mito de una conspiracion antifascista es tan convincente como lo fue para una generacion de derechistas diferente, cien anos atras, que el mundo esta dominado por una conspiracion secreta de judixs que se esconden en lugares oscuros, mandando sus ordenes conspiratorias fuera, contralando a los Papas y Zares, conspiradores radicales y la policia que prtende echarles un ojo.

Pero la historia del antifascismo no es de ninguna manera secreta. Mas bien, es un libro abierto.

(trans. Faithais Yáñez)

But what if it get worse from here…

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A number of friends have written to me about the piece I put up two days ago on Trump and the difficulty of making radical left-wing politics central to an anti-Trump coalition. They have said to me that the passages in which I seemed to discount any possibility of him contesting the election result were too glib. Rereading the piece, I can see how it came over that way.

I don’t want to make predictions. Part of the story of fascism and of anti-fascism is of people who at one stage in their lives thought they were doing something recognisable (they were an ordinary conservative, a socialist…), but got caught in events beyond their control, found themselves trapped in the logic of their own rhetoric. The next you knew, historic had sent them off in quite another direction. At one stage Mussolini was a socialist; at another point, he was not. At one stage Mosley was the saviour of the Conservatives. And the list goes on Tasca, Silone… You can get moments when it feels like history is just slipping out of everyone’s hands. Then, worst of all, people find themselves comfortable in what they’ve become.

If you want to think through the chance that the worst parts of 2020 are ahead of us, I am willing to acknowledge that risk. Over several years, I have been arguing that we are in a process in which events are renewing and radicalising the right, and that it has not yet exhausted itself.

If history was to somehow “stop” tomorrow, then in terms of how he has governed Trump is not a fascist, he is not even close. (Save for one really *really* important respect, which I’ll go in to) he has governed more like every other Republican administration since 1948 – each one of which faced the accusation from Democrats that it would re-run fascism.

The essential way in which Trump has been unlike fascists is that he has accepted the political limits imposed by the liberal state. When judges have told him to stop; by and large, he has. He cast doubt on the possibility of elections; he accommodated to them in reality. He has not purged the state . On the stump, he promised to jail his opponents; in office, he left them at liberty. The whole theme of my new book on fascism is that it is a specific movement, with a unique trajectory, in that it does reactionary and mass politics in equal measure. Compared to that, Trump has governed like a “reformist” of the right (albeit an aggressive one), and not a “revolutionary” (or, more accurately, a counter-revolutionary).

There is one part of Trump though which is new i.e. the intensity of his relationship with people further to the right. In Britain, every single far-right group has been buoyed by Trump and if it is like that for us, god knows what it must be like for you. When I’ve tried to explain this in recent weeks I’ve often cited the example of James Allsup, a member of Identity Evropa (i.e. a fascist, but of a particular sort) who four years ago had an audience of less than 10 people but by the time YouTube cracked down on his account it had had 70 million views. That is what Trump has done – he has listened to American fascists, he has amplified their talking points and made an audience for them – and that is even before you get into this year and the change that’s taken place in Trump’s support, its paramilitarisation around the lockdown and BLM.

In the old days, Republicans might “dog whistle” (i.e. say things knowing parts of their right-wing base would hear them), but they would also “gate-keep” (i.e. keep these people out of institutional power). Individuals like William Buckley Jr (whatever other harm he did) made it their career to keep some people in the tent and others out – while there is no-one playing that equivalent role today.

Trump does not dog whistle, he shouts out racism through a loudspeaker. Rather than keep out the likes of Laura Loomer, he acts as her number one social media fan.

The US is heading towards an election, which looks like it’s going to be miserable. I’m not worried about what happens if Trump loses by ten percentage points (in those circumstances, he will leave). I’m more than willing to acknowledge the possibility though that the result is a mess.

It’s as clear to me as I’m sure it is to everyone, that the postal votes will take days, maybe weeks, to count.

The way that the electoral college works, by artificially increasing the weight of voters who live in smaller states, means that Trump can win the election even if he loses the popular vote (cf 2016), but there is a certain point beyond which – if he does loses the vote badly enough – he must also lose the election. There’s not exact figure for that, but let’s say it’s 5 percent.

What we do know is that in most opinion polls, Trump is about 7 points behind. Sounds good, doesn’t it? But it’s not enough – a lead that small makes a “messy” election result more than likely.

A larger proportion of voters than in any previous election are likely to vote in advance, because of Covid, and because Democrats are urging people to vote postally. And checking postal votes (i.e. Democratic votes) is much slower than checking votes in person. Some states even have laws preventing postal votes from being checked before election day. Oh yes, and postal votes are more likely to be rejected. When a postal vote is checked you have to confirm that the person is on the roll, that the form is signed, and that they’ve actually voted (cf 2000 and the “dimpled chads”). All of these are likely to be disputed.

So, if Biden really wins the popular vote by 7 clear points then, on election night, as the first results come in (i.e. before postal votes are counted), you’d expect Trump to be ahead and the true scale of Biden’s lead to become apparent only long after.

In other words, it’s more likely than not that in early November, Trump will announce that he “has” won the election, and his media (Fox, Breitbart, etc) will follow him in declaring Trump the victor. That’s even – as I keep on saying – if, in reality, Biden is heading for a comfortable win.

So we’re facing a real danger of a situation where the two American don’t even agree that either candidate has won, let alone which one, and where the election result is heading towards the courts to determine (with their inbuilt partisan majority).

You don’t need to see Trump as a fascist – even if he’s just a plain old braggart authoritarian, it’s easy to imagine scenarios in which his supporters take to the streets with a view to intimidating judges and Trump starts egging them on.

In Britain, our polling companies debate whether Labour is catching up with the Conservatives. In the US, the psephologists are debating how the scenario of an unclear election result will be resolved, and whether it will be by judges or with guns. To outsiders – this is not a good look.

What I guess we need to balance – which is hard – is the way in which history provides two clear exit points from here:

a) The administration is voted out heavily, and goes, and when in 10 years time American have to explain to everyone else, “We came this close to fascism”, we’ll think you were mad. We’ll say Trump was just a nasty, ordinary, right-wing creep with a big mouth. In government – he was all talk and did nothing.

b) Trump wins the election / loses narrowly enough to drive his supporters wild. And yes, at that point, all bets – however bad are off. Political murders are already taking place in the US at Weimar rates. You have to assume, they’d go up from there. After all, we had the trial run in the spring and summer, with armed supporters of the far right invading state legislatures. At a certain point in the 1920s, the guns of the far right were a mere boast, at another point they were for real. I don’t discount for a second the possibility of Trump being trapped by his ego, the demands of his supporters, his pathological desire to flatter them…

No doubt, friends will tell me there are other routes out. But from here, they seem the main ones.

Nothing in advance of the election determines which 2020 we’ll get. Whether it will be the genuinely revolutionary politics which were once reflected in parts of the US constitution, which was after all one of the most radical systems of government in its day (it’s amazing how any politics, stuck in stone for such a long time, goes stale). Or the reality of colonial oppression, slavery and genocide, which was structured in from the beginning. No-one knows which way history will bend.

The two things we do know are that Trump has a far weaker belief in the idea of democracy than any prominent politician for years.

And that if anti-fascist do take to the streets, they will have to find ways of confronting not merely Trump’s armed supporters, but the politics of the liberal mainstream who will seek to de-escalate the situation by sending in cops to confront the left first.

It follows the the only thing which can counterbalance the risk is when people organise – when they take the streets – and make it impossible for Trump supporters to march (of for the police to disperse them).

If I was in the States I’d be thinking – is there an anti-fascist coalition in my city? What have I done to build it?

And if one doesn’t exist already: well, I talked in my other piece about the sorts of movement that could prevent the right from dominating the streets; anarchists, the DSA… Neither is enough, you’d need to pull in surviving Trotskyist groups where they exist. Maoists, people at the left edge of the Democrats. Greens.

People need to be as principled as the moment will allow, and as broad as they can be – even while knowing that these two instincts aren’t easily held together. You just have to try.

Everyone one is afraid now, and probably everyone is going be angry – the trick is to make your hope and ideas as big as the situation demands.

Because otherwise, no matter how bad 2020 is now, there’s every possibility that we’ll be look back in two months’ time on the autumn and saying, “those were the good times”.

Know your enemy: the Tommy Robinson movement (part 1)

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International organising on the Right

When journalists try to make sense of the Tommy Robinson movement, which has its next major mobilisation this Saturday, they describe it as the product of domestic factors: the demise of the BNP in around 2010, its replacement by the EDL as a new kind of Islamophobic street movement on the right, Brexit, the attempt by the Football Lads Alliance in 2017 to revive the EDL model, the rise of Corbynism and the failure of Theresa May in last year’s general election to win a majority around a programme of authoritarian (strong and stable) Conservatism, etc…

All of these factors are part of the re-emergence of a street-based right, but even to add them all together is to miss the point.

Above all else, the Tommy Robinson movement is the local chapter of a global far right.

You can see this in the people who speak at the Tommy Robinson events: Geert Wilders, the leader of the Dutch People’s Party, Milo Yiannopoulos best known for the part he played in Gamergate in the US, Raheem Kassam, until recently the editor in chief at Breitbart’s London office.

You can see the international character of the Tommy Robinson movement also in the people who have signed the petition calling for his release: around half of whom have been from outside the UK, with more than fifty thousand people signing it in each of America and Australia.

This international aspect provides the new street movement with confidence, funds, with access to media, and a model of how to organise.

In future articles, I will explain who the FLA are and how Robinson has rushed to a leadership role. Here though I want to set out briefly the main features of the far right since 2016 and how that context shapes this new movement on the right.

The global far right is different from the right of twenty years ago

When I first began writing about the far right, almost the only model of far right politics than anyone talked about was a group of “Euro-fascist” parties, principally the MSI in Italy, the FN in France, and the Freedom Party in Austria. These parties were successful in elections and in the case of Italy and Austria by the 1990s were on the verge of joining (very short-lived) conservative-far right governments.

Yet for all their popular and electoral success, the parties had their roots in attempts, after 1945, to found successor parties to the interwar fascists. In France, for example, the FN was set up by a fascist party whose members had been involved in repeated incidents of street violence, Ordre Nouveau (ON).

The shift from ON to FN was an attempt to broaden a fascist party and to repackage it, initially by pulling leading figures from other fascist groups and then through electoralism, but almost all the leading figures of the FN had been in fascist parties (including Jean Marie Le Pen: a former member of ON).

One of the ways in which Marxists distinguished ourselves from liberal commentators was by insisting that these parties were still fascist: i.e. there was a direct continuity in their leaderships between the parties of the 1930s, they were loyal to the legacy of the 1930s (hence Le Pen’s repeated remarks calling the Holocaust a detail of history), and that the parties attempted to balance between street and electoral politics, refusing to subordinate the former to the latter, and leaving open the possibility of a fascist struggle for power.

If you compare the global far right of 2018 its predecessors of twenty years ago, the first and most basic change is how much greater the variety is now on the far right compared to twenty years ago: there are Islamophobic street movements (the EDL, Pegida), there are Islamophobic political parties which have emerged in parallel to Euro-fascism but on a different ideological basis and without any interest in street politics (the Fortuyn list), some of the Euro-fascist parties have evolved into moderate right wing parties or collapsed (the MSI), other are recognisably in continuity with the model of the 1990s (the FN, the Freedom Party).

One of the clearest indicators of a fascist (as opposed to a non-fascist far-right) party is whether it maintains a private militia, to carry out attacks on racial and political opponents and potentially the state.

In the last decade, there have been just three mass parties in Europe which have maintained their own separate militia: Jobbik in Hungary, Greece’s Golden Dawn and the People’s Party Our Slovakia. None of them has prospered in recent years, not even during the favourable circumstances following Brexit and Trump.

The dominant incarnation of the global far right rejects not just fascism, but “politics” itself

In the 1990s the dominant way of doing politics on the far right involved a fascist leadership training its members into a distinct fascist tradition and then the members changing the voters. These were parties which had a very strong ideological mission and saw their role as being to induct cadres into it.

So in Italy, for example, even though the politicians of the MSI/AN had by the 1990s largely given up on terrorism, the party retained a youth movement, into which new recruits were trained. They learned the names of the fascist dead. Where their people were elected locally, campaigns grew up to rename their streets in honour of the fascist martyrs. When, in France, the FN took power locally, they removed leftwing papers from municipal libraries and replaced them with FN newspapers. Libraries were ordered to stock the shelves with writers such as Evola.

In Britain, the BNP had a routine of monthly members’ meetings, at which speakers would explain how the events of the day could be fitted in to a fascist ideology. There was a party magazine (Identity), which members were expected to read and sell.

In its present incarnation, the far right does not have a cadre model: recruits are made principally online. For the last two decades, there has been a very significant increase, internationally, in anti-Islamic racism and in the policing of borders. In a climate where racism has already been growing, the far right seeks to recruit through cultural dynamics which favour it. Using the popular cliches of the 1960s, the right is trying to swim among the people. It is not swimming against the tide.

So far, the left has failed to develop a model of how to confront the parts of the far right which operate close to the mainstream

The left knows very well how to confront fascists. In the United States, Richard Spencer’s career has not recovered from the punch that landed on the day of Donald Trump’s inauguration, from Charlottesville, or from anti-fascist protests since.

We have no comparable strategy for dealing with the non-fascist far right. That’s why tens of millions of Americans voted for Donald Trump and indeed why Trump is on approval ratings of 40 percent plus in the current polls.

At a certain point, we need to stop congratulating ourselves for the demise of the likes of Richard Spencer and confront the much larger problem which is the proximity of the electoral far right to power.

The global far right is growing through convergence with other forces

The Tommy Robinson campaign is itself a convergence between three models of organising: a right-wing social movement approach embodied in the FLA, the post-EDL politics of Robinson himself, and the present leaders of UKIP who sees in his movement a chance for them to rebuild their party.

In this way, it echoes what are much larger processes whereby people are forming alliances despite originating at different points in the spectrum between street and electoral politics. So, in the United States, Donald Trump ran in many ways as a conventional Republican candidate. So much so that – despite a widely publicised #neverTrump campaign, registered Republican voters were more likely to vote for him than registered Democratic voters were to vote for Hillary Clinton.

But if Donald Trump ran as an “ordinary” right-wing Republican, his campaign derived much of its energy from an alliance between him and his campaign manager Steve Bannon who was, by any standards, a politician of the far right.

At the end of the 1990s, government coalitions of far right and Conservative parties in Italy and Austria were subject to mass protests and collapsed within a few months. By contrast, the convergence of the centre- and far right has produced a durable coalition in Austria in 2017 and seems set to be leading to durable far right government in Italy (as well as Hungary, Turkey, India, etc etc).

The global far right is profiting from a popular rejection of globalisation

Part of the way in which the Tommy Robinson movement holds its people together is through a shared fear of betrayal over Brexit.

In the same way, Donald Trump – whose Presidency seemed doomed a mere six months ago – has been able to revive itself, post-Bannon, by returning to the politics of America First and beginning trade wars with China and the US.

In future articles through the rest of the week, I’ll extend the processes described here and show how they are reflected in the rise of the FLA/Robinson.