by Maik Fielitz and Laura Lotte Laloire
Trouble on the far right has become troubling for Europe. Not only do right-wing motivated attacks occur regularly against Roma camps, ethnic minorities, LGBTQI people and Jewish institutions. At the same time, a xenophobic discourse on refugees has gained momentum in politics and society and further blurred the lines between far right agitation and mainstream politics. In order to classify these events adequately, far right activism should not just be regarded as a security issue that can be eliminated by force, but as a threat that threatens the foundations of open, democratic and pluralist societies. Hence, we should be aware that far right politics are neither a new nor an isolated phenomenon but often bank on existing cultures of (gender, competitive, nativist) domination in capitalist societies.
by Tamir Bar-On
I am the author of two books about the French nouvelle droite (ND – New Right): Where Have All The Fascists Gone? and Rethinking the French New Right: Alternatives to modernity. In 2014, I published a piece entitled „The French New Right Neither Right, nor Left?“. Surprisingly, the French ND leader Alain de Benoist responded with a polemical and largely ad hominem article in the same journal. I must stress that I neither identify with a political party, nor a political movement. I do not support any ideological current. De Benoist does. He is self-described as a man of the right. Hence, he cannot even claim intellectual objectivity.
In this piece, I want to offer some comments on my debate with de Benoist. I argue that while we should strive towards intellectual objectivity, we cannot be silent in the face of falsehoods. In this respect, the ND plays a dishonest game. Its leader and other ND intellectuals feign intellectual objectivity and the platitudes of transcending right and left, but they want cultural hegemony and the triumph of their decidedly radical right-wing ideals.