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From slime mould to rhizome: an introduction to the groupuscular right

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Conventional academic research into the legacy of inter-war fascism has generally neglected the myriad minuscule and often ephemeral formations of the extreme right that have sprung up since 1945, and has concentrated instead on abortive attempts to emulate the success of the Nazi and Fascist party-based mass movements, and more recently on non-revolutionary 'neo-populist parties'. However, when examined closely, many of these formations can be observed to behave as fully developed, highly specialized and largely autonomous grouplets that simultaneously form the constituents of an amorphous, leaderless and centreless cellular network of political ideology, organization and activism that is termed here 'the groupuscular right'. As such, these 'groupuscules' are to be seen as the product of a sophisticated process of evolutionary adaptation to post-1945 realities that allows extreme variants of revolutionary nationalism to survive in the 'post-fascist' age in a form that is largely resistant to attempts to suppress them, and may represent a number of permanent, if mostly inconspicuous, threats to liberal democracy.
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Keywords: extreme right; fascism; groupuscular right; groupuscule; neo-fascism; neopopulism; post-fascism; rhizome

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2003

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