The Latest

THE LATEST

THE LATEST THINKING

THE LATEST THINKING

The opinions of THE LATEST’s guest contributors are their own.

'The New Right' - Book Review

Justin Stark

Posted on March 19, 2020 10:53

0 user

Malice's infiltration of New Right groups and discussions with New Right leader offers readers an honest look into a section of American politics most would rather ignore. 'The New Right' is a must-read for those looking to better understand how fringe movements come to be and operate.

Even if we're pretty close to the political center, most of us still lean to one side of the spectrum. To the liberals out there, how well do you understand your conservative counterparts? Psychology professor Jonathan Haidt's research suggests that liberals struggle more than conservatives with understanding their political counterparts. The question Michael Malice asks the reader of The New Right: A Journey to the Fringe of American Politics is, how well do you know the fringe elements, on both sides?

The answer is not a lot, from both parties. The New Right is not the same as the "alt-right," rather it is a broader term for many political movements to the right of mainstream conservatism. Although the New Right has only been in the spotlight for the past few years, there’s a long history that one needs to know to fully understand how the New Right recruits, operates, and wins.

Malice is no newcomer to the movement. He makes it very clear that he in no way is a member or shares ideological beliefs with the New Right, but he has been swimming in the circle for decades. No one is more qualified to detail how this far right group works as a counter to the fringe element of the left, exemplifying the horseshoe effect. Essentially, that the two are identical, just on the other side of the spectrum.

For the non-extremist reader, this book contains explanations and justifications of highly unsavory ideas the New Right holds. This book doesn't want you to agree, only to understand where this group of mostly young men is coming from, or why these ideas from certain right-wing personalities resonate with this audience. It's easy to look at those on the fringe and assume they're dumb, ignorant, or just hateful, but Malice demonstrates that they're quite the opposite. If they were, they wouldn't be successful in their battles with the far left.

The fourth chapter, "Meme Magic is Real" is the best explanation of how the right wins on the internet that I've ever encountered. I've long been a lurker on 4chan, a site often associated with the New Right, I couldn't explain meme magic or 4chan/right wing internet culture better than Malice does. For many reasons, they see "the culture war" far more important than that of politics. Since the New Right likes to stay anonymous, much of their activities take place online.

From their thinkers, leaders and tactics, to real life events such as Charlottesville, Malice covers it all. This isn't a problem for just the right but the left as well, as the New Right is largely a reactionary movement. Through his interviews with major New Right leaders, he's shown that they can be swayed or "caught" in civil discourse, only the left has been doing it wrong for years. Malice's use of personal experience, prominent examples, and witty humor leave the reader both shocked and laughing at the absurdity laced throughout.

Justin Stark

Posted on March 19, 2020 10:53

Comments

comments powered by Disqus
THE LATEST THINKING

Webisode

Meet Brian Taylor, Sports Managing Editor at THE LATEST

Video Site Tour

The Latest
The Latest

Subscribe to THE LATEST Newsletter.

The Latest
The Latest

Share this TLT through...

The Latest