The eighteen months between June 2016 and the end of 2017 saw the victory of Leave in Britain’s EU referendum, the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States, and unprecedented support for Marine Le Pen of the Front National in her campaign for the same office in France. Nearly a decade after the great financial crash, it is these figures and the alarmingly confident and radical version of right-wing politics they represent that have gained the initiative over a moribund center and a still weak left.
But what exactly does this new reality represent? While some argue that we are hurtling towards fascism in a replay of the 1930s, and others insist there is little substantial change from “politics as usual,” Renton takes a different and more nuanced view. In country after country, under the clouds of economic austerity and post-9/11 Islamophobia, we have seen a convergence between traditional conservatives, the authoritarian far-right, and previously marginal fascists. The result is a new, still emergent, and deeply troubling form of right-wing radicalism, at once more moderate than classical fascism in its political strategy, yet indulgent of the racism of its most extreme components.
David Renton is the author of five books on fascism and anti-fascism, a former leading figure in Unite Against Fascism, and an active socialist and campaigner.
"A essential intervention that helps us understand the political shifts taking place on the right, and points a way for the left to halt an unfolding disaster" —Dan Trilling, Bloody Nasty People: The Rise of Britain's Far Right
"A superior guide for understanding - and combating - right and far-right movements across the globe today" —Bill Mullen, Campus Anti-Fascist Network
"Welcomed for its forensic attempt to identify what is genuinely new about 'the new authoritarians" —Neil Davidson, editor, The Longue Duree of the Far Right
"At a time when the international far right is ascendant Renton deftly explains the long terms factors behind its rise, lays out the true nature of the threat and importantly, offers some suggestions for what might be done to fight back" —Joe Mulhall, Hope not Hate
"Renton is a stalwart of the anti-racist movement and his book is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the changing nature of the right" —Sasha Das Gupta, organiser, Momentum
"The best available account of today's far right and how we can stop it" —Elane Heffernan, Anti-Nazi League, 1992-2003