“Against the Dying of the Light”: An Examination of Contemporary American Right-Wing Politics



Mitzen, Levi

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The gains made by the political right have come to characterize the political landscape of the 2010s. This rise of the political right is, in a way, a response to the various crises of the 21st century. These include but are certainly not limited to the social and economic disruption caused by global neoliberalism, the current immigration crises spurred by neocolonialism, the threat of ecological collapse, and what seems to be in many cases a political status quo unable or unwilling to deal with these crises they often had a hand in causing. However, their proposed solutions are rarely radically counter to the prevailing status quo of capitalism and Euro/“Western” hegemony. Examples of discourse/rhetoric that represent this call to defend tradition and order include Trump’s 2017 Warsaw speech, Brenton Tarrant’s manifesto, and, as we will be looking at here, the content produced and shared by organizations like Prager University and the Proud Boys. Here, I argue that this both reveals the historic placement of these actors in relation to similar right-wing politics and elucidates how right-wing politics operate during times of widespread systemic crisis. By conducting a qualitative content analysis of the discourse/rhetoric produced by prominent actors like Prager University or the Proud Boys, I can make claims about the relation of this communication to political action.



Right-wing, Proud Boys, Discourse, Prager University, Social movements, Capitalism