Summary of The European Roots of the Alt-Right

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The American media depicts the alt-right as a modern reincarnation of earlier US white supremacist movements. But, as political science professor George Hawley explains, the core of the alt-right’s ideals actually come from Europe, where, since the late 1960s, the far right has worked to recast racist and antidemocratic principles as a philosophy-based fight for cultural preservation. getAbstract believes anyone trying to understand the alt-right phenomenon will find this article helpful.

About the Author

George Hawley is an assistant professor of political science at the University of Alabama and the author of Making Sense of the Alt-Right.



America’s alt-right rose to national prominence during the 2016 presidential elections. The media pointed to parallels between alt-right ideologies and those of other home-grown racist groups, such as the Ku Klux Klan. But while these groups share strong similarities, America’s alt-right actually draws most of its inspiration from the “European New Right” (ENR), which originated in France in the late 1960s. 

In 1968, French right-wing journalist Alain de Benoist founded a conservative think tank. Influenced by German Weimar-era “conservative revolutionary ...

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