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The “Right” 101 Draft Version – Comments welcome – Political Research Associates 1310 Broadway, Suite 201 Somerville, MA 02144-1731 PRA Copyright.

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Presentation on theme: "The “Right” 101 Draft Version – Comments welcome – Political Research Associates 1310 Broadway, Suite 201 Somerville, MA 02144-1731 PRA Copyright."— Presentation transcript:

1 The “Right” 101 Draft Version – Comments welcome – Political Research Associates 1310 Broadway, Suite 201 Somerville, MA PRA Copyright 2003, PRAVersion 2.7

2 The “Right” 101 Political Research Associates 1310 Broadway, Suite 201 Somerville, MA PRA If you are viewing this slide show online, you can choose to view the slides as a full-screen show. To do this, click on the tiny screen icon in the lower right corner. Then Click on each slide to move to the next slide.

3 Recognize that the U.S. Political Right is a complex network of social movements. The “Right” 101

4 The U.S. Political Right: No Simple Answers No one organization “controls” the Right. No single funder is “behind” the Right. Some large organizations are important, but many others appear to be more influential than they really are. Recognize that there are multiple networks of organizations and funders with differing and sometimes competing agendas.

5 Social movements are composed of activists and allies organizing around a shared grievance and common goal. They seek some change in the existing social system through a variety of strategies and tactics. These may include (but extend beyond) electoral politics and legislative lobbying. Rallies, demonstrations, conferences, alternative media, and civil disobedience are examples. Understanding How Social Movements Work

6 In addition to public events, other social movement activities include: the skillful framing of ideas and messages, the effective mobilization of available resources, and the construction of an appealing movement culture. Successful movements have effective leaders, access to resources, and the ability to exploit opportunities in the existing political scene. These key ingredients are needed to mobilize support and organize successful campaigns around shared grievances, visions, and goals. Social Movement Dynamics

7 National Organizations Local Activist Groups Think Tanks Media & Publicity Foundations & Funders Ideologues Spokespersons Cultural Workers Successful social and political movements are made up of a network of components that work together. Different Tasks, Common Goals

8 Movements for social change often provoke a backlash in the form of countermovements that seek to defend unfair privilege and power. Movements and Countermovements Civil Rights Antiwar (Vietnam) Women’s Rights Gay Rights Ecology Segregationist / KKK Pro War (Vietnam) Antifeminist / Anti-abortion Antigay / “Defense of Marriage” “Wise Use” / anti-Ecology

9 Think About It In what social movements have you participated as an ally, member, or leader? Were these movements single-issue? Did they work in solidarity with other progressive movements? Was there opposition organized to block your group’s goals? Did your group have some success? Why? Why not?

10 Think of the U.S. political right as a broad series of social and political movements that have formed a series of coalitions. This network now controls the Republican Party, the government, and the political landscape of the country. The U.S. Political Right Controls “The System” The Right is a Network of Dynamic Coalitions

11 Sara Diamond observes that social movements are “system- supportive” and/or “system-oppositional.” In the United States, the Right would be system (or State) supportive in terms of maintaining law and order domestically, and a strong military and U.S. economic, political, and military supremacy internationally; White, male, heterosexual privilege etc. It would be system (or State) oppositional when it comes to distributive justice, domestically and internationally. The Left, for the large part, would be the mirror opposite. When we talk about the “System” we usually include the government, the various institutions of the “State,” the political scene, and people with great power and wealth. Social Movements & “The System”

12 The Right has succeeded in dominating the political system, including: framing issues and debates, winning elections, passing legislation, and controlling government agencies. The Right has Institutionalized its Dominance Once a socio-political movement has institutionalized itself and penetrated many sectors of the political system and placed its operatives in government agencies, it is much harder for it to be dislodged by a countermovement.

13 The Resurgent Right: Why Now? Conservative religious revitalization Economic contraction and restructuring Race resentment and bigotry Backlash and social stress Well-funded and networked infrastructure of right-wing organizations Jean Hardisty: Mobilizing Resentment

14 A central task for much of the U.S. Political Right is undermining the system of public education Undermining Public Education

15 A Prepared Citizenry: Knowledge Values Skills Civil Behavior By preserving the system of free public education we preserve our ability to work for needed reforms to guarantee equal educational opportunity for: Impoverished Families Newcomers/Immigrants People of Color People with Disabilities Girls The secular public education system is built on the concept that informed consent and shared values are foundation blocks of democracy. Secular Public Education Secular public education is under attack by the Political Right

16 Perpetuation of sexism, racism, homophobia Theocratized knowledge base Condoning of discriminatory behavior Young adults uninformed about risks and opportunities Wider achievement gaps Fewer graduates More marginalized people Cream of crop gets all the benefits Support for public education decreases Less money goes to schools Either a 2-tiered system with haves getting most and have- nots getting less than now or a theocratized system Undermining the Constitution By focusing on the consequences, not on the intent, it is easier to explain the results of the attack on the basic foundation of public education The Consequences of the Right’s Attack on Public Education Dismantling the Schoolhouse

17 HeritageHudsonOlinBradleyScaife Manhattan AFTAH CWA Eagle Forum Edison EEN CEO AEI William Bennett Chris Whittle Chester Finn Diane Ravitch Linda Chavez Ron Unz Lynne Cheney John Silber Abigail Thernstrom Peter LaBarbera Phyllis Schlafly Source: US DOE Association Funding Organizations Foundations Ideologues Think Tanks KEY Conservative Education Bedfellows

18 Researching the Right Find out as much as you can about the right-wing groups that oppose your goals. Contact other groups that have faced similar struggles. Incorporate this information in your internal and public educational work. As an organizer you benefit from knowing a great deal about your opponents so that you can design an effective strategy.

19 Conservative Right Reactionaries New Right Christian Right Patriots & Militias Extreme Right Styles of Thought Sectors of the Right

20 SECULAR RIGHTCHRISTIAN RIGHTXENOPHOBIC RIGHT One way to help understand the U.S. Political Right is to divide it up into specific sectors There is much overlap and sectors are not mutually exclusive. Methodologies range from cautious moderation, to activism, to insurgency, to violence. Forms of oppression—racism, sexism, heterosexism, antisemitism, xenophobia—vary in each sector. The use of populist, apocalyptic, or conspiracist styles can be found in several sectors in different forms. Major Sectors of the U.S. Political Right

21 Sectors of the Right: Submovements SECULAR RIGHT National Security Militarists Economic Libertarians NeoconservativesBusiness Nationalists Corporate Internationalists Colin PowellPat BuchananWilliam WeldDonald RumsfeldBill Kristol CHRISTIAN RIGHT Christian TheocratsChristian Nationalists John Ashcroft Judge Roy Moore XENOPHOBIC RIGHT Extreme Right White Nationalists PatriotsPaleoconservatives Samuel FrancisMilitia of Montana John TantonTimothy McVeigh

22 Think About It How would you describe different sectors of the political left? What are some of the different ideas and methods? If you were building a coalition, how would you decide who was welcome and who was not? When do you set aside differences in order to focus on a specific project such as a demonstration?

23 SECULAR RIGHT National Security Militarists Economic Libertarians NeoconservativesBusiness Nationalists Corporate Internationalists Colin PowellPat BuchananWilliam WeldDonald RumsfeldBill Kristol CHRISTIAN RIGHT Christian TheocratsChristian Nationalists John Ashcroft Pat Robertson XENOPHOBIC RIGHT Extreme Right White Nationalists PatriotsPaleoconservatives Samuel FrancisMilitia of Montana John TantonTimothy McVeigh Sectors of the Right: Submovement

24 SECULAR RIGHT SubSector: The Conservative Right (Mainstream Conservatism) Corporate Internationalists —Nations should control the flow of people across borders, but not the flow of goods, capital, and profit. Sometimes called the “Rockefeller Republicans.” Globalists. Business Nationalists —Multinational corporations erode national sovereignty; nations should enforce borders for people, but also for goods, capital, and profit through trade restrictions. Enlists grassroots allies among Regressive Populists. Anti-Globalists. Economic Libertarians —The state disrupts the perfect harmony of the free market system. Modern democracy is essentially congruent with capitalism. National Security Militarists —Support US military supremacy and unilateral use of force to protect US national security interests around the world. A major component of Cold War anti-communism. Neoconservatives —The egalitarian social liberation movements of the 1960s and 1970s undermined the national consensus. Intellectual oligarchies and political institutions preserve democracy from mob rule. Sectors of the Right: Submovements

25 SECULAR RIGHT National Security Militarists Economic Libertarians NeoconservativesBusiness Nationalists Corporate Internationalists Colin PowellPat BuchananWilliam WeldDonald RumsfeldBill Kristol CHRISTIAN RIGHT Christian TheocratsChristian Nationalists John Ashcroft Pat Robertson XENOPHOBIC RIGHT Extreme Right White Nationalists PatriotsPaleoconservatives Samuel FrancisMilitia of Montana John TantonTimothy McVeigh Sectors of the Right: Submovements

26 CHRISTIAN RIGHT SubSector: The Conservative Right (Mainstream Conservatism) Christian Nationalists —Biblically–defined immorality and sin breed chaos and anarchy. America’s greatness as God’s chosen land has been undermined by liberal secular humanists, feminists, and homosexuals. Purists want litmus tests for issues of abortion, tolerance of gays and lesbians, and prayer in schools. Includes some non–Christian cultural conservatives. Overlaps somewhat with Christian theocracy. SubSector: The Hard Right (Far Right) Christian Theocrats —Christian men are ordained by God to run society. Eurocentric version of Christianity based on early Calvinism. Intrinsically Christian ethnocentric, treating non-Christians as second- class citizens. Implicitly antisemitic. Includes soft dominionists and hard- line Reconstructionists. Sectors of the Right: Submovements

27 SECULAR RIGHT National Security Militarists Economic Libertarians NeoconservativesBusiness Nationalists Corporate Internationalists Colin PowellPat BuchananWilliam WeldDonald RumsfeldBill Kristol CHRISTIAN RIGHT Christian TheocratsChristian Nationalists John Ashcroft Pat Robertson XENOPHOBIC RIGHT Extreme Right White Nationalists PatriotsPaleoconservatives Samuel FrancisMilitia of Montana John TantonTimothy McVeigh Sectors of the Right: Submovements

28 XENOPHOBIC RIGHT SubSector: The Hard Right (Far Right) Paleoconservatives— Ultra-conservatives and reactionaries. Natural financial oligarchies preserve the republic against democratic mob rule. Usually nativist (White Racial Nationalist), sometimes antisemitic or Christian nationalist. Elitist emphasis is similar to the intellectual conservative revolutionary wing of the European New Right. Often libertarian. Patriot Movement (Regressive Populists)—Secret elites control the government and banks. The government plans repression to enforce elite rule or global collectivism. The patriot and armed militia movements are one response from this sector. Americanist. Often supports Business Nationalism due to its isolationist emphasis. Anti-Globalists, yet support non- interventionist national security militarism. Repressive towards scapegoated targets below them on socio-economic ladder. Sectors of the Right: Submovements

29 XENOPHOBIC RIGHT SubSector: The Hard Right (Far Right) White Nationalists —Alien cultures make democracy impossible. Cultural Supremacists argue different races can adopt the dominant (White) culture; Biological Racists argue the immutable integrity of culture, race, and nation. Segregationists want distinct enclaves, Separatists want distinct nations. Americanist. Tribalist emphasis is similar to the race-is-nation wing of the European New Right. Extreme Right (Ultra Right)—Militant forms of insurgent or revolutionary right ideology. Separatist or genocidalist ethnocentric nationalism. Reject pluralist democracy for an organic oligarchy that unites the idealized homogeneic nation. Conspiracist views of power that are overwhelmingly antisemitic. Home to overt fascists, neonazis, Christian Identity, National Alliance, Church of the Creator. Sectors of the Right: Submovements

30 SECULAR RIGHT National Security Militarists Economic Libertarians NeoconservativesBusiness Nationalists Corporate Internationalists Colin PowellPat BuchananWilliam WeldDonald RumsfeldBill Kristol CHRISTIAN RIGHT Christian TheocratsChristian Nationalists John Ashcroft Pat Robertson XENOPHOBIC RIGHT Extreme Right White Nationalists PatriotsPaleoconservatives Samuel FrancisMilitia of Montana John TantonTimothy McVeigh Let’s take a closer look at the Paleoconservative sector of the Xenophobic Right The Paleoconservatives

31 Paleoconservatives Oppose Paleoconservatives Urge State Support For Paleoconservative Ideology Economic Economic regulations Taxation Land use regulations Internationalism Free Trade Social Community Mass democracy Dissent and rebellion Racial diversity Cultural Unorthodox behavior Multiculturalism Religious diversity Feminism & Gay Rights Economic Unrestricted Capitalism Wealth Property rights National business interests Trade Restrictions Social Individualism Elitist oligarchy Law and order Racial purity Cultural Traditional morality Monoculturalism Judeo-Christian tenets Heterosexual patriarchy

32 SECULAR RIGHT National Security Militarists Economic Libertarians NeoconservativesBusiness Nationalists Corporate Internationalists Colin PowellPat BuchananWilliam WeldDonald RumsfeldBill Kristol CHRISTIAN RIGHT Christian TheocratsChristian Nationalists John Ashcroft Pat Robertson XENOPHOBIC RIGHT Extreme Right White Nationalists PatriotsPaleoconservatives Samuel FrancisMilitia of Montana John TantonTimothy McVeigh Sectors of the Right: Submovements

33 Demonization Discrimination Segregation Separation Intimidation Violence Expulsion Murder Genocide Methodologies Vary

34 Usually more willing/able to use democratic methods Fiscal conservatives Economic libertarians Neoconservatives Business nationalists Corporate internationalists Militarist unilateralists Christian fundamentalists Paleoconservatives Theocratic Christian nationalists White racial nationalists Fascists Neonazis Usually more willing/able to use authoritarian methods As social movements, different sectors of the right use different methods, tactics, and activities to achieve their goals. The state, however, usually has the power to use the most authoritarian methods. Thus controlling the state provides great political power. Methodologies Can Vary by Sector Individuals in any sector of the Right can decide to use violence as a tactic.

35 Think About It A methodology is just a fancy word for the methods, tactics, and activities used by a movement to achieve its goals. What methodologies have progressive social movements used to achieve their goals? Were countermovements organized? When has the government responded to movements with political repression?

36 Purists vs. Pragmatists Neoconservatives vs. Theoconservatives Paleoconservatives vs. Neoconservatives Culture Warriors vs. Economic Libertarians Biological Racists vs. Cultural Supremacists Cracks in the Right The Right is not monolithic, there are divisions and debates that cause friction. These divisions can be utilized by us as we build a progressive countermovement.

37 Different Primary Targets Christian Right Patriot Movement & Militias Extreme Right While issues of race, gender, and class are intertwined in all social movements, each movement sector will frame its arguments in a way that highlights a narrower primary target. Gender & Sexuality Government & “Elites” Race

38 Complex Combinations Social movements target both primary and secondary issues, use different methodologies, and use frames and styles in different ways. Movement SectorPrimary Targets Secondary Targets MethodologiesMajor Frames & Styles by Hypothetical Rank Extreme RightRaceGovernment, Gender Insurgency: Exclusion, Violence Domination Conspiracism Apocalypticism Populist Anti-Elitism Patriot Movement & Armed Militias GovernmentGender, Race Reform: Defensive Vigilantism Populist Anti-Elitism Conspiracism Apocalypticism Domination Christian RightGenderGovernment, Race Reform: Electoral, Regulatory Apocalypticism Conspiracism Domination Populist Anti-Elitism

39 Coalition Building Christian Right Libertarians Conservatives Oppose comprehensive sexuality education in public schools While there are cracks that cause fissures and splits in the Political Right, the various sectors have often been able to work in coalitions on strategic campaigns and tactical alliances. Sometimes right-wing groups work in parallel on broadly- defined projects without an overt coalition.

40 White Anglo Saxon Protestantism, Eurocentrism, White Supremacy, Male Privilege, Heterosexism, Christian Superiority, Isolationism Ideologies of the Old Right Post WWII Fusionist Coalition Economic Libertarianism + Social Traditionalism + Militant Anti-Communism = Modern Conservatism Coalition Called the New Right New Methods and Technologies of Mobilization, New Coded Forms of Racism New Evangelical Awakening Anti-Abortion, Anti-LGBT Rights, Anti-Feminist, Dominionism, Reconstructionism. Ideological Influence of Neoconservatism Funded by Right-Wing Think Tanks The New Right Coalition used right-wing populist rhetoric to build its membership & voter base. The New Right Coalition became a major building block of the contemporary U.S. Political Right & the Republican Party. Building Blocks of the U.S. Political Right s – 1980s 1950s

41 Mobilizing Resentment The term “New Right” is used to describe the conservative coalition built in the 1970s to elect Ronald Reagan as President in “The New Right captured and mobilized widespread social stress caused by rapid social and economic stress. It did not create backlash sentiments out of whole cloth. They had already existed, at least latently. New Right leaders listened to them, took them seriously, and then mobilized and manipulated them.” Jean Hardisty: Mobilizing Resentment, p. 42

42 “Populism seeks to mobilize ‘the people’ as a social or political force. It can move to the left or right. Populism can be tolerant or intolerant. It can promote civil discourse and political participation or promote scapegoating, demagoguery, and conspiracism. It can oppose the status quo and challenge elites to promote change, or support the status quo to defend ‘the people’ against a perceived threat by elites or subversive outsiders. Populism can have an upper middle/small entrepreneur class base or a lower middle/working class base.” (Chip Berlet & Matthew N. Lyons, Right-Wing Populism in America) Populist Rhetoric & Mobilizing Resentment

43 Populism draws themes from several historic currents with potentially negative consequences, including: Anti–elitism—a suspicion of politicians, powerful people, the wealthy, and high culture...sometimes leading to conspiracist allegations about control of the world by secret elites, especially the scapegoating of Jews as sinister and powerful manipulators of the economy or media; Anti–intellectualism—a distrust of those pointy-headed professors in their Ivory Towers...sometimes undercutting rational debate by discarding logic and factual evidence in favor of following the emotional appeals of demagogues; Majoritarianism—the notion that the will of the majority of people has absolute primacy in matters of governance... sacrificing rights for minorities, especially people of color and LGBT people; Moralism—evangelical–style campaigns rooted in Protestant revivalism...sometimes leading to authoritarian and theocratic attempts to impose orthodoxy, especially relating to gender and sexuality; Americanism—a form of jingoism that twists patriotism into aggressive nationalism...often promoting ethnocentric, nativist, or xenophobic fears that immigrants bring alien ideas and customs that are toxic to our culture; Producerism—the idea that the real Americans are hard–working people who create goods and wealth while fighting against parasites at the top and bottom of society who pick our pocket...sometimes promoting scapegoating and the blurring of issues of class and economic justice, and with a history of assuming proper citizenship as defined by White males. Components of Right-Wing Populism

44 As the size of the right-wing populist groups grow, they become the target for recruitment by both mainstream politicians and extreme right organizers. Dynamics of Right-Wing Populism

45 Right-wing populist rhetoric is used to build a broad coalition and attract voters to support politicians and legislation who claim to represent “the people,” but who promote policies that primarily benefit wealthy elites, and undermine attempts to achieve real democratic participation and equality. The right-wing populists use the fable of “producerism” to creates a dynamic where targeted groups are demonized so they can more easily be scapegoated and falsely blamed for creating problems in the society. Sometimes this goes further and generates conspiracy theories claiming parasitic secret elites manipulate the country through covert control of the the banks, news media, and education. These alleged secret elites are often portrayed as being in league with lazy, sinful, and subversive parasites at the bottom of society. Producerism—the idea that the real Americans are hard–working people who create goods and wealth while fighting against parasites at the top and bottom of society who pick our pocket...sometimes promoting scapegoating and the blurring of issues of class and economic justice, and with a history of assuming proper citizenship as defined by White males. Right-Wing Populist Rhetoric & Scapegoating

46 The “New” Racism Be alert to evidence of the Right’s “new racism.” The Right has replaced simple racist rhetoric with a more complex, “colorblind” political agenda which uses coded language to mask that this “new” agenda still undermines the rights of people of color.

47 Coded language about Race that uses Liberal Values for Illiberal/Conservative Ends Explicit rejection of Overt Racism and Racist Intent Shift of focus from Race and “Biological Difference and Inequality” to Cultural Difference and Differentiation Placing high visibility people of color up front in defending ideas and programs that undermine racial justice Techniques of the “New” Racism

48 Colorblindness Equality Individualism “‘American’ Way of Life” Reverse Racism States’ Rights/Democracy PRA Some sectors of the Right use a new coded language to mask policies that result in undermining true equality. The “New” Racism: Key Categories

49 Source: CIVIL RIGHTS People of ColorLGBT People The Right Note how the Right uses existing beliefs to split potential allies Using Beliefs as a Wedge

50 “ACCEPTABILITY” “Good” LGBT People & People of Color “Bad” LGBT People & People of Color The Right Note how the Right uses existing values to split potential allies Using Values as a Wedge

51 Source: REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS …...Pro-Choice …Medical Procedure Fetus Pro-Life…… Baby Killing... Unborn Child The Right Note how the Right uses language to split potential allies Using Language as a Wedge

52 Think About It Have you seen wedge issues used to attempt to break up a progressive coalition? What were the issues? How did the group respond? Did the coalition survive this test? What might be the best ways to prevent wedges from working to divide us?

53 Whatever form our activism takes, we must not fall into despair and quiescence. The struggle for justice is an old and noble one. That struggle has fallen on hard times now, as it has in the past and will in the future. No matter the challenges and the temptation to become cynical and inactive, we need to respond in solidarity with those most harmed by the Right’s policies. And we must build on the legacy of resistance of progressives who lived—and worked—in other conservative times. With a sense of history and a sense of humor, we will continue our struggles against unjust power and unfair privilege. We Must Build Coalitions to Resist Right-Wing Attacks on Democracy and Diversity The Price We Pay is Too High!

54 The Public Eye Website Study the U.S. Political RightStudy the U.S. Political Right Get Involved!Get Involved! Ground Rules & Tips for Challenging the RightGround Rules & Tips for Challenging the Right Activist Resource KitsActivist Resource Kits Defending DemocracyDefending Democracy Defending Reproductive RightsDefending Reproductive Rights Defending Public EducationDefending Public Education Defending Immigrant RightsDefending Immigrant Rights Building EqualityBuilding Equality Topics PageTopics Page Security for ActivistsSecurity for Activists Where to go for more information:


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