Retreat to the Future: The Role of Apocalyptic Thought in Current Ethno-Nationalist Extremism

Book chapter


Wilson, A. 2022. Retreat to the Future: The Role of Apocalyptic Thought in Current Ethno-Nationalist Extremism. in: Loperfido, G. (ed.) Extremism, Society, and the State New York Berghahn Books. pp. 129-147
AuthorsWilson, A.
EditorsLoperfido, G.
Abstract

This chapter will show that the extreme right relies upon a divergent version of ‘the nation’ to that typically referred to in far right discourse. In its rejection of, and rejection by, the political and cultural mainstream, the extreme right has never enjoyed the waxing and waning of acceptance that the radical right parties have since WWII. The extreme right is instead associated with a marginal set of beliefs that have existed solely in the cultural hinterlands of modern societies. This has resulted in an ongoing commingling with other forms of rejected knowledge, and this has resulted in multiple hybrid forms of extreme right ideology such as National Socialist satanism, Hitlerian UFO conspiracy theories, and the like. This might be seen to be a continuation of pre-War trends, such as early Nazism’s ideational common ground with Ariosophy, but it is argued here that this cross-fertilization of ideas has been intensified and become characteristic of the extreme right in recent years. Further, this chapter will show that the extreme right – in all its variations – can be understood as millennialist in its dependence on the organizing idea of a futural, paradisal ethnostate, what is referred to here as ‘the apocalyptic virtual nation’.

Keywordsextreme right ideology; Hitlerian UFO conspiracy ; millennialist
Page range129-147
Year2022
Book titleExtremism, Society, and the State
PublisherBerghahn Books
Place of publicationNew York
Oxford
SeriesCritical Interventions
ISBN9781800733459
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.3167/9781800733459
Web address (URL)https://www.berghahnbooks.com/title/LoperfidoExtremism
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OnlineDec 2021
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Deposited13 Jul 2023
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