There are any amount of names used to describe those of us on the Nationalist-Right: fascists, Nazis, alt-right, far-right, ethno-nationalists, “New Nationalists”, ad nauseum. These words are bandied about with very little care for their accuracy or lack thereof, and they’re used for targeting a broad range of views, both Nationalists and self-described “Patriots.”
Whether this is out of ignorance or malice is up for debate, but I will simply take it to be laziness — because I myself am guilty of such laziness. I find myself often calling people boomers, Stickies, Trots, etc. in varying degrees of accuracy, in order to save myself time in having to properly elucidate who are the targets of my banal current critique.
So I will cut some slack to the mischaracterisations and instead speak to the ideology of the Nationalist-Right as I see it, and will do my best to explain it, both to the few leftists who are reading this piece, and to those who would characterise themselves as conservatives or centrists.
I will refer primarily to what people think our ideology is and then try to explain it in correct terms.
In a recent podcast the antifascist activist Mark Malone made several erroneous attempts at explaining the ideology of the Right with reference to the policies of the centre-right. Malone defined the far-right as being between ethno-nationalism and fascism, in being xenophobic and in maintaining a “will to dominate”. He (much later in the interview) paradoxically claims that the far-right has become conspiratorial and has a deep “fear of State” and “totalitarianism”.
Just on a technical/philosophical point, anyone with a cursory understanding of history would know that to be false: fascism is the ultimate veneration of the State as the political power and the pinnacle representative of the Nation. Carl Schmitt, who would become the leading legal theorist of Hitler’s regime in Germany, advocated for greater repressive, and more totalitarian, powers for the Weimar Republic, and for such powers to be used against groups like the NSDAP in order to protect the State.
Malone also claimed that the far-right was “wedded to Neoliberalism”, and in particular that we held some Thatcherite views on society. Namely that the far-right is merely reactionary to “progressive social changes”; speaks to a “clerical traditionalism” of a bygone age; and focuses upon the “material changes” in a society such as immigration while ignoring “structural inequalities.”
All three of these are wrong, and very clearly so. If we take Malone at his word, that he does not bandy the term fascist around carelessly, we must assume that Malone thinks we are fascists, with all the ideological underpinnings that entails.
Fascism is an explicitly anti-Capitalist ideology, as much as it is an anti-Communist one. While it has its own economic philosophies there is not one that fits all, and fascist economies varied greatly in composition — not simply between regimes, but the same regime will alter the economy as it sees fit. Mussolini’s regime was protectionist, Capitalist, autarkic, at various stages depending on what suited it best. The economy of fascist Chile differed greatly from that of Portugal or Germany.
Fascism, in the purest Evolan sense, is an ideology which rejects material considerations over spiritual ones, and shares more in common with Catholic Social Teaching on Distributism than with “Neoliberalism.” The NSDAP was the National Socialist Party after all, and not the National Capitalist Party.
There are (to some degree) more similarities between National Socialism and Bolshevism, and Capitalism and Communism, than there is between National Socialism and Capitalism. Both Communists and Fascists claimed an intellectual lineage from Hegel, and both share broad themes on how society is structured: in Marxism the superstructure is the mechanical operation of society to benefit the Capitalist class; in Volkisch Nationalism the volksgeist is the organic existence of a spiritual and psychic link between all members of a nation/race. (Justin Moeses and Johann Herder use the term nationalgeist which had much deeper racial overtones until volk came to replace it — volksgeist was originally used by von Savigny to signify a civic rather than racial underpinning.)
Malone, and other leftist agitators and wannabe-intellectuals, are making the tired old argument that fascism (and he makes sure to name us as fascists) is just the end-stage of Capitalism, that the conservative-forces of the bourgeoisie are somehow manifesting and enabling the fascists to put down nascent Socialism. This is just not true and never has been true. The rise of the Nationalist-Right is precisely because the Left has abandoned any pretense at Socialism and is more concerned with bourgeoisie social issues. Workers don’t care about transgenderism or abortion, they care about the profit-grinding Capitalist extracting every ounce of value from their bones before it casts them on the scrap heap. UKIP and the Brexit Party took votes from Labour strongholds, not Tory ones. The Rassemblement National, dominates the youth vote in France, not the Socialist Party. Jobbik in Hungary, Kukiz/Confederation in Poland are the same.
For a man who rejects tired tropes like the “arc of history being progressive”, it is odd that he willingly chooses to hold onto the materialist lens and only interprets nationalism through the constructs of Communism.
On the issue of “clerical traditionalism,” you will be hard-pressed to find any of us who believe that. Most of us think the paedophile priests should’ve been hanged from the neck until dead, and the rest think that is too merciful. We have no intention of returning to the days of the Parish whispers and we encompass a broad range of views on religion, from the traditional Catholic to your agnostic or your Pagan. To accuse us of believing in theocracy is just sloppy ad hominem — are we supposed to be fascists or are we supposed to be theocrats in the eyes of the Left?
Are we reactionary? Certainly. There is nothing immoral about reacting to transgressions. Should a man not react when he is slapped for fear of his actions being labelled reactionary?
What then is the “far-right”?
The Nationalist-Right, as I have alluded to in an earlier piece, adopted the phraseology of being “on the Right” because we are opposed to those “on the Left” of the social-sphere, not because we are interested in economic-conservatism for its own sake. I grew up in Priorswood in the plush and leafy triangle of Belcamp, Moatview, and Darndale, where I got to experience all sorts of wonderfully middle-class extravagances as a child, like having a junkie overdose in the car outside my house or their hiding wraps of gear in the bushes of our garden.
I am not looking for sympathy. A great deal of us who are involved as part of the Nationalist-Right come from similar working-class backgrounds where such occurrences are commonplace. I only give such an example to ask the obvious question — what do we gain out of upholding Capitalism or Neoliberalism?
We are not Communists however. We believe that the Irish people are united more by nationality than are divided by class, we believe that the spirituality of Pearse and the economic pragmatism of Connolly are not two warring ideologies, but are halves of the organic whole — Connolly recognises the plight of the worker, Pearse recognises the spiritual bonds of the Nation. Both of them recognise the unique characteristics of our race: “The chief enemy of a Celtic revival today is the crushing force of capitalism which irresistibly destroys all national or racial characteristics.” —James Connolly The Language Movement 1898.
The economic philosophy of the Nationalist-Right, whilst not expounded upon in great detail, is one that draws upon Comhar na gComharsan, where the interests of moral society come before the interests of profit. A Nationalist government would, without a shadow of a doubt, nationalise key industries like heavy infrastructure and housing.
This is not green-tinted Marxism, but State-led enterprise. The State will not own the resources or property, but neither will the excuse of “private property” be accepted as reason to exploit your fellow Irishman or Irishwoman. Vulture funds would not be allowed to purchase property, ownership of business would be restricted to majority-Irish stakes, access to industries like housing and healthcare would only be allowed on the basis of the Irish people being the beneficiaries. Pay and remuneration would be increased, the working-week decreased. Family life would be encouraged, as would community engagement and social cohesion. Young families would be given homes, freely provided by the State.
Where in that does one read “Neoliberalism”? For I do not see it.
If you are to criticise us, criticise us for what we are and for what we believe and we will be more than happy to respond.
Or at least make up lies about what we believe that are less boring than about us being Capitalists.