This text explores the re-assertion of right-wing populist and fascist ideologies as presented and distributed in the media. In particular, attacks on immigrants, women, minorities, and LGBTQI people are increasing, inspired by the election of politicians who openly support authoritarian discourse and scapegoating. More troubling is how this discourse is inscribed into laws and policies.
Despite the urgency of the situation, the Left has been unable to effectively respond to these events, from liberals insisting on hands-off free speech policies, including covering "both sides of the issue" to socialists who utilize a tunnel vision focus on economic issues at the expense of women and minorities. In order to effectively resist right-wing movements of this magnitude, a socialist/Marxist feminist analysis is necessary for understanding how racism, sexism, and homophobia are conduits for capitalism, not just ‘identity issues.’
Topics addressed in this text include an overview of dialectical materialist feminism and its relevance and a review of characteristics of authoritarian populism and fascism. Additionally, the insistence on a colorblind conceptualization of the working class is critiqued, with its detrimental effects on moving resistance and activism forward. This was a key weakness with the Bernie Sanders campaign, which is discussed. Online environments and their alt-right discourse/function are used as an example of the ineffectiveness of e-libertarianism, which has prioritized hands-off administration, allowing right-wing discourse to overcome many online spaces. Other topics include the emergence of the fetal personhood construct in response to abortion rights, and the rejection of science and expertise.
Faith Agostinone-Wilson, Ed.D. (1998), Oklahoma State University, is Professor of Education at Aurora University. Her recent publications include
Handbook for Undergraduate Research Advisors (Rowman & Littlefield, 2016) and
Dialectical Research Methods in the Classical Marxist Tradition (Peter Lang, 2013).
Introduction: An Urgent Situation
Chapter 1: On the Relevance and Necessity of Socialist Feminism
“It Goes without Saying”: Against Brocialism
Chapter 2: Fascism and Right-Wing Populism: Similarities, Differences, and New Organizational Forms
Shared Characteristics of Authoritarian Populism and Fascism
Chapter 3: Who Is the Real Working Class? Moving beyond the Construction of the White Male Industrial Worker as a Marker of Authenticity
Constructing Capitalism through Race and Gender
Diversity of the Working Class
Chapter 4: Bernie Breakdown: Challenges Facing the Left in the Wake of the Sanders’ Campaign
Sanders Campaign: Lessons Learned
Chapter 5: Well, Actually: Cyber Sexism and Racism within Online Settings and the Enabling Discourse of E-Libertarianism
Forms and Functions of Trolling
Chapter 6: Abortion through the Lens of Fetal Personhood: Social Meanings and Functions
Abortion: An Overview
Fetal Personhood: Ideology & Law
Oppressive Outcomes of Fetal Personhood
Chapter 7: In Defense of Science, the Press and Expertise for the Public Good
Attack on Expertise
Conclusion: Enough Is Enough
Readership includes those interested in critical, Marxist, and feminist analyses of the role of media in the rise of authoritarian populism and fascism, within the context of recent political events.