Contemporary Subscription

April 2019

The New Authoritarians

Convergence on the Right

David Renton


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‘A timely and essential intervention that helps us understand the political shifts taking place on the right, and points a way for the left not only to halt an unfolding disaster but to build something better in its place’
Dan Trilling, author of Bloody Nasty People: The Rise of Britain's Far Right

'Renton's book is a superior guide for understanding – and combatting – right and far-right movements across the globe today'
Bill Mullen, Campus Anti-Fascist Network

There's been a rupture in the traditional right – reactionaries of all stripes are converging across the world – and these new formations are still amorphous, fluid and increasingly dangerous. In this book, David Renton looks closely at these new political conflagrations to determine what is going on, and how can they be stopped.

Many are tempted to tarnish them with the label 'fascist', but Renton argues that this is too simplistic. By looking at right wing movements in Britain, the US and France, including Marine Le Pen's Front Nationale, the powers behind Brexit, and Trump's alarming political base, Renton shows that the centre-right is splitting into traditional conservatives and emergent reactionaries, who are finding themselves in frequent conflict, while the reactionaries are forging alliances with the Far-Right.

Unlike the immediate post-war years when the political system prevented the re-emergence of fascism, the structural limits of the present against authoritarianism today are, terrifyingly, much weaker.

David Renton is a barrister and historian. He is the author of Fascism: Theory and Practice.