I’ve always been fascinated by the far-right and how people can buy into their poisonous ideology. As a current affairs journalist, I spent a good part of my career studying this phenomenon and met more than my fair share of far-right extremists. If anything, the situation is far worse now than ever, with internet forums and social media helping to spread the virus that is far-right ideology.
Jeff Sparrow, using the Christchurch massacre and its perpetrator as a starting point, has investigated the phenomena of far-right terror and the new breed of so-called lone wolf attackers (though he explicitly debates the usefulness and efficacy of the term) that have been radicalised by the darker recesses of the far-right internet and social media sites.
This is a short book, a primer if you will, but it’s surprisingly comprehensive. It takes a concise, but deep dive, into the history of far-right ideology, before going onto a discussion of places like 4chan and 8chan, which cultivated the culture of shitposting and redpilling, where it’s often difficult to know who is being serious and who is not.
To the author’s credit, he also examines lesser-known (though just as important) aspects of far-right ideology, such as how the far-right have embraced ecology and people’s increasing concern with the environment and imbued it with their own hatred of foreigners and refugees.
This is a very good book and well worth a read. It can be read in just one sitting, which is no bad thing as it’s more likely to be read by a greater number of people as a result.
James Pierson 5/1*
Fascists Among Us: Online hate and the Christchurch massacre by Jeff Sparrow
978-1912854691 Scribe Paperback November 2019