Opinion |

The 'Thrill' of Fascism: Explaining the Brutality, Hatred and Powerful Appeal of the Radical Right

Fascism only took power in a few countries, but in interwar Europe every country had fascist movements, denouncing liberal democracies and attacking communists and Jews. Understanding their allure is just as relevant today

Roland Clark
Roland Clark
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Roland Clark
Roland Clark

A recent report published by the UK-based Centre for Analysis of the Radical Right listed 2,185 separate protest events – everything from demonstrations and petitions to brawls and firebomb attacks – staged by far right groups throughout the United Kingdom in the decade between 2009 and 2019.

Characterized by nationalism, xenophobia, and authoritarianism, far right movements are an all too common feature of twenty-first century societies. Such groups look back to, and are inspired by, interwar fascism, movements that paved the way for the wartime fascist regimes that at their most extensive point ruled most of Europe. Studying the fascist movements of the past helps us understand how extremist movements work today.

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