“For white nationalists, this is a crisis as well as an opportunity.”
By Murtaza Hussain
The Intercept (7/11/20)
AT THIS POINT, it’s become a staple of dark humor to observe that 2020 has been the year in which the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse seemingly decided to descend on the United States. Yet even before our fears of war, pestilence, and economic collapse began taking physical form, one could already observe morbid symptoms spreading within the extremities of our body politic. The strongest sign of a looming social illness has been the rebirth and spread of extremist ideologies — beliefs not long ago dismissed by liberal triumphalists as relics of historical memory.
Mutated through new information technologies and drawing strength from feelings of economic and demographic dislocation, fascist and sectarian ideologies have found a home in the hearts of members of a new generation of Americans.
Whether most people have connected the dots or not, a violent struggle is already playing out.
Whether most people have connected the dots or not, a violent struggle is already playing out. Over the past few years, a steady drumbeat of massacres have been carried out by extremists associated with the new far-right. These attacks have targeted synagogues, mosques, and communities where immigrants are concentrated. In their wake, the shooters left behind manifestos damning a world that they claimed was shrinking in space for people like them.
What these ideologues drifting within the currents of this movement have really been waiting for, however, is a real crisis, one that would give them an opportunity to put their ideas of racial warfare and ethnic purification into full effect. That crisis is here.
The combination of the coronavirus and the sudden collapse of the American economy has given society an exogenous shock unseen in generations. The pandemic and the social tensions it has unleashed are likely to supercharge the forces that gave rise to the new far-right extremism, even as they produce countervailing energies that could revive the best promises of liberalism.
Engaging in political predictions is a foolish, high-risk, low-reward activity. But having followed the iterations of this new extremist ideology at home and abroad — and grappled with the fact that there is a pool of young men who have proven themselves willing to die for it — it strikes me as irresponsible to not advise people to brace for what is on the horizon. …
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