The Battle for a New World: The Progressive Response to the New Right

03 December 2019
Report

The far right is increasingly active globally—at the level of governments, through civil society, and in the digital sphere. Their political parties are cooperating across borders, their anti- democratic actions are undermining the rule of law, their attacks on “globalists” are eroding the efficacy of international institutions, and their racist memes are spreading throughout culture. According to the 80 academics, researchers, and activists interviewed in this report, this threat to democracy and internationalism is urgent.

Yet, the global response to this organizing on the far right has been muted. Those who oppose the far right have been focusing their efforts largely at a local and national level. Meanwhile, global threats such as climate change, a widening gap between rich and poor, and entrenched militarism require more, not less, international cooperation. A refocus on local and national struggles at the expense of organizing at the global level provides the far right with an opportunity to rewrite the rules of the international order along illiberal lines.

Key Findings:

  • An international reaction to economic globalization has been key to the right’s success. Unlike the internationalist left, the new right has been more effective at channeling discontent into political success at a national level.
  • Key to the new right’s success has been a story that can be applied effectively across borders: the “great replacement.” The argument that minorities, with help from “globalists,” will usurp the privileges of the dominant group has proven appealing to both an extremist fringe and more mainstream conservatives.
  • The new right has achieved political success with its attacks on globalization in a way the left failed to do. But the new right has a key failing: It has nothing to say about an ever-worsening climate crisis.
  • The 80 international experts overwhelmingly identified the school climate strikes as the present moment’s most promising international action and the Green New Deal as a framework that could defeat the right’s global narrative.
  • A Global Green New Deal wouldn’t just address the environmental crisis. By creating enormous numbers of well-paying jobs, it would also speak to those left behind by economic globalization. Such a narrative would undermine the new right’s anti-globalist appeals while offering up a positive vision to rally around within and across borders.

 

Download: