Thursday, April 2, 2015

Material Structure of Ideology and Politics: Part 2

Although I find that the use of political spectrum terminology (right/left) often obfuscates more than iit aids discourse, sometimes it's impossible to avoid it entirely. In fact, that is how I mentally organized the ideological-institutional clusters that began to emerge for me. And now, in this series of posts, I will proceed more or less from right to left.

One of the ideological-institutional clusters that was closest to the fringe I termed the Radical Right. Think tanks associated with the Radical Right include the John Birch Society, American Policy Center, and the National Center for Public Policy Research. Also associated with the Radical Right are Rousas Rushdoony (founder of extreme fundamentalist Christian Reconstructionism), Glenn Beck (and other figures from LDS), the Constitution Party, and the Minuteman Project.

From some preliminary investigation, it appears that the Radical Right has its origins in white-supremacist anti-communism, along with the religious fundamentalist politics that emerged in the 1970s. The key concerns of the people and institutions of the Radical Right today are nationalism(/anti-immigration), isolationism, anti-authoritarianism, and religiously-based social conservativism. They extol "small government" principles, but are also suspicious of large corporations, and expense overseas military expeditions. They are also weary of transnational organizations, the UN in particular.

The societal ideal of the Radical Right is best illustrated by the communal concept of The Citadel.

As I mentioned earlier, the Radical Right is more of a fringe cluster. The institutional network is thin compared to the more mainstream clusters I will be describing later. Its primary base of support is extremist religious organizations, although its odes to free market principles harmonizes with most other ideological clusters and corporate interests, and an "anti-science" coalition has been forged with such corporations as Phillip Morris, who produce faux research challenging dominant scientific appraisals of the effects of smoking, pollution, etc. The National Center for Public Policy, for example, is devoted to the production of this "alternative" science.

At the same time, the Radical Right's anti-authoritarian and isolationist leanings ensure that more extended relationships with interests inside the political establishment will not develop and its institutional infrastructure will necessarily be limited.

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