Thursday, May 3, 2012

Far-right politics - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Far-right politics - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Far-right politics
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Far-right, extreme right, hard right, radical right, and ultra-right are terms used to discuss the qualitative or quantitative position a group or person occupies within right-wing politics. Far right politics involves support of strong or complete social hierarchy in society, and supports supremacy of certain individuals or groups deemed to be innately superior who are to be more valued than those deemed to be innately inferior.[1] The far right's advocacy of supremacism is based on what it perceives as innate characteristics of people that cannot be changed.[2] This has been confused with the centre right's criticism of inferior behaviour, such as laziness and decadence, that lead people to inferior situations in comparison to others.[3] The centre right - unlike the far right - claims that this is not innate and that people can end their behavioural inferiority through changing their habits and choices of behaviour.[4]
Far right is commonly associated with persons or groups who hold extreme nationalist, xenophobic, racist, religious fundamentalist, or reactionary views.[5] Typically the term is applied to fascists and neo-Nazis,[6] although there is a running dispute among scholars about where fascism resides along the left/right spectrum.[7][8][9][10] However major elements of fascism have been deemed clearly far right, such as its goals of the right of superior people to dominate while purging society of claimed inferior elements; and in the case of Nazism, genocide of people deemed to be inferior.[11]

[edit] Views

The far right claims that superior people should proportionally have greater rights than inferior people.[12] The far right has historically supported elitist society based on belief of the legitimacy of the rule of a claimed superior minority over the inferior masses; and that the superior minority by virtue of their superiority have the right to make mandatory decisions upon the inferior masses that decide what roles certain elements of the masses are to pursue and other issues.[13]
Far-right politics may involve anti-immigration and anti-integration stances towards groups that are deemed inferior and undesirable.[14] Concerning the socio-cultural dimension (issues of nationality, culture and migration) a far-right-wing position could be the view that population groups should stay separate, and that the interests of one’s "own" group should be prioritised.[15] At the most extreme, far-right movements have pursued oppression and genocide against groups of people on the basis of their alleged inferiority.[16] Far right politics commonly includes authoritarianism, nativism, racism and xenophobia.[17]

[edit] History

The German political scientist Klaus von Beyme[18] [19] describes three historical phases of the development of far-right-wing-parties in Western Europe after the second world war:
  • 1945 to mid-fifties : Far-right-wing-parties were marginalised; their main objective was to survive rather than having any political impact. Far-right-wing-policy was discredited by nazism and politicaly isolated.
  • mid-fifties to seventies: The so-called „Populist Protest Phase“ emerged with sporadic electoral success. Characteristics of the far-right-wing-parties in this phase were charismatic leaders and a profound dislike of the political establishment using an extingt „us and them“-model, “us” being the “common man” and “them” being the politicians and bureaucrats.
  • eighties: Electoral success of the far-right-wing-parties consolidated, while they discovered immigration as a main objective.
Anders Widfeldt argues that there is a fourh phase of far-right-wing parties in Europe.[20] This legitimacy phase, beginning around the year 2000, is characterised by the following features:
  • Far-right-wing-parties gaining political legitimacy by formal or informal involvement in government (FPÖ in Austria, Lijst Pim Fortuyn in the Netherlands).
  • Positions of the far-right-wing-parties are put on the political agenda and taken over by other parties
  • welfare chauvinism: the right-leaning economic position of the third phase has been replaced by welfare chauvinism.
  • Criticism of immigration remains a core ideological feature, but is increasingly focused on criticism against Islam, and the alleged dangers of “Islamisation” of European countries.

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