Generation Z & The Alt-Right

Vice is wringing its hands about the appeal that Alt Right ideas are having with Generation Z:

The extreme right is increasingly sophisticated, globalized and actively recruiting young people, a grim new study says.

The once perpetually fractured eco-system of the far-right, from white nationalists in the US to anti-migrant groups in Europe, has become cohesive and highly adaptable. The Fringe Insurgency, a study published by the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, shows that while these movements may differ in ideology and scope, they are increasingly working together. Essentially, the extreme right—many of which state isolationism and nationalism as key ideologies—has globalized…

“There was really a need to start figuring out what was causing this explosion in extreme right activism globally,” Davey told VICE. “There was really a need to start getting data behind all of that and see what mechanism is allowing this to happen.

“They’re not all knuckleheads… The big thing here is that they are increasingly becoming more and more sophisticated. It’s a continuously growing and expanding process, if you look closely, they’re constantly learning from each other. They’re becoming more aware of the fact that they can have this greater impact.”

There are numerous goals for the far right—the election of populist leaders, removing hate speech laws, among them—but one of the major shared goals of the groups is to push what is known as the “Overton window.” The Overton window is the range of ideas that are acceptable in public discourse and the extreme right would like more of their fringe ideas to fall under this…

The study paints a bleak view of just how sophisticated the far right has become as the authors suggest the extreme right is a full step ahead of policies set up to counter them. The duo writes, that “analysis illustrated that the extreme right is currently ahead of the curve on at least three levels:” they are early tech adopters, they know how to work together, and they know how to speak to the young. Furthermore, the various far right groups are teaching and learning from each other.

“What we’re seeing, especially from the coalition building from the European Identitarians and the Americans, is that they’ve tried to leverage those different comparative advantages each of them have,” said Ebner. “The Americans have the advantage of the trolling and [online activities] and the Europeans have more of the intellectual backbone of the movement, but also more experience in staging media stunts and rallies.”

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