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    Understanding and resisting left-right convergence in the Internet age

    Gidley, Ben (2021) Understanding and resisting left-right convergence in the Internet age. In: Chamberlain, P. and Lyons, M.N. and Scher, A. and Sunshine, S. (eds.) Exposing the Right and Fighting for Democracy: Celebrating Chip Berlet as Journalist and Scholar. Routledge Studies in Fascism and the Far Right. Routledge. ISBN 9780367681265. (In Press)

    Gidley-Berlet-BIROn.pdf - Author's Accepted Manuscript

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    In the 1980s, as the internet was built, the far right was quick to establish a presence there. As Chip Berlet, and more recently Aaron Winter, have documented, the far right in the United States and elsewhere was pushed underground in the post-Civil Rights era by a combination of law enforcement and black-led, anti-racist social movement organising—but being forced underground also later helped propel it to go online. And as it went online it developed new and unfamiliar forms that constituted a challenge to traditional anti-fascism. Berlet’s “Right Woos Left,” first published in 1990 and revised and expanded in 1994 and 1999, remains a key text for analysing what he calls “other strains of fascism,” but also holds key lessons for understanding how radical movements can get derailed by reactionary ideas, including antisemitism and conspiracy theories. This chapter outlines some of Berlet’s key concepts, developed in that text and in other work, which are even more relevant in the 2020s, and concludes by thinking about how these concepts can help us build a more robust anti-fascist culture and healthier radical praxis.


    Item Type: Book Section
    Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of a book chapter published by Routledge.
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Left-right convergence, Conspiracy theory, Fascism, Parasitism, Narrative coherence, Producerism
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences
    Research Centres and Institutes: The Birkbeck Institute for the Study of Antisemitism
    Depositing User: Ben Gidley
    Date Deposited: 21 Jun 2021 09:29
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 18:09


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