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Right Wing Styles of Thought

According to Roger Eatwell," in the period since the French Revolution the right can most fruitfully be conceived within five `styles of thought'" that "in practice can be most helpfully conceived as a variety of responses to the left." These responses in turn relate to critiques from the right of both liberalism and socialism.1 The resulting styles are as follows:
  • Reactionary Right: which looks back towards an "idealized past," and which tends toward being "aristocratic, religious and authoritarian." Can also included wistful populist nativists.2

  • Moderate Right: consisting of conservatives who tolerate change, but only in small measured doses. It tends to focus on "the concept of balance and limited government."3 At PRA we prefer Conservative Right.

  • Radical Right: with an activist vitality based on "an aggressive and romantic vision of nationalism" that owes more to a rejection of universalistic socialism rather than a rejection of egalitarian liberalism.4 At PRA we prefer Dissident Right or Activist Right.

  • Extreme Right: authoritarians (and revolutionaries) who generally eschew an intellectual tradition, and cling to a conspiracist notion of how political power is exercised. Often fascistic.5 At PRA we prefer to use Ultra Right, but avoid Extreme Right or Far Right because they are sometimes used to describe the Ultra Right and sometimes used to describe all groups to the right of the electoral system.

  • New Right: a rejection of the "liberal collectivist consensus" dominant in Western culture after WWII, and an attempt to redefine the relationships among the self, the society, and the state.6

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1 Roger Eatwell

2 Eatwell

3 Eatwell

4 Eatwell

5 Eatwell; Michael Billig

6 Noel O'Sullivan


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