In the last decade the far-right, associated with white nationalism, identitarian politics, and nativist ideologies, has established itself as a major political force in the West, making substantial electoral gains across Europe, the USA, and Latin America, and coalescing with the populist movements of Trump, Brexit, and Boris Johnson’s 2019 election in the UK. This political shift represents a major new political force in the West that has rolled back the liberal internationalism that developed after WWI and shaped world institutions, globalization, and neoliberalism. It has also impacted upon the democracies of the West. Its historical origins date from the rise of fascism in Italy, Germany, and Austria from the 1920s. In broad philosophical terms, the movement can be conceived as a reaction against the rationalism and individualism of liberal democratic societies, and a political revolt based on the philosophies of Nietzsche, Darwin, and Bergson that purportedly embraced irrationalism, subjectivism, and vitalism. This edited collection of essays by Michael A Peters and Tina Besley, taken from the journal Educational Philosophy and Theory, provides a philosophical discussion of the rise of the far-right and uses it as a canvas to understand the return of fascism, white supremacism, acts of terrorism, and related events, including the refugee crisis, the rise of authoritarian populism, the crisis of international education, and Trump’s ‘end of globalism’.
Table of Contents
Introduction 1. National Populism and the Rise of the Far-Right—‘bad Nietzsche rising’ and the ‘fascism in our heads’ 2. ‘The fascism in our heads’: Reich, Fromm, Foucault, Deleuze and Guattari—the social pathology of fascism in the twenty-first century 3. The return of fascism: Youth, violence and nationalism 4. The Unforeseen: Education and the flowers of sacrifice 5. White supremacism: The tragedy of Charlottesville 6. Terrorism, trauma, tolerance: Bearing witness to white supremacist attack on Muslims in Christchurch, New Zealand 7. The refugee camp as the biopolitical paradigm of the West 8. The Refugee Crisis and The Right to Political Asylum 9. The end of neoliberal globalisation and the rise of authoritarian populism 10. Trump’s nationalism, ‘the end of globalism’, and ‘the age of patriotism’: ‘the future does not belong to globalists. The future belongs to patriots.’ 11. The crisis of international education 12. The failure of liberalism and liberal education
Michael A. Peters, FRSNZ is Distinguished Professor of Education at Beijing Normal University and Emeritus Professor at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign. He is the Editor-in-Chief of the journal Educational Philosophy and Theory and the Beijing International Review of Education. His interests are in education, philosophy, and social policy, and he is the author of over 100 books, including The Chinese Dream: Educating the Future (2019), Wittgenstein, Education and Rationality (2020), and Wittgenstein: Antifoundationalism, Technoscience and Education (2020).
Tina Besleyis Distinguished Professor in the Faculty of Education, Beijing Normal University and Honorary Senior Research Fellow, University of Auckland. She is Founding President of the Association for Visual Pedagogies (AVP) and Immediate Past President of Philosophy of Education Society of Australasia (PESA). She has published over 12 books and many articles and is deputy editor of Educational Philosophy and Theory, and an associate editor for the Beijing International Review of Education. She works closely with Professor Michael A. Peters and with a wide international network of scholars.
"We have arrived at an historical inflection point few believed would be possible in countries such as the United States, which has long claimed the bragging rights as the world's greatest democracy. The ascendency of the despotic Donald Trump and his administration that excels at grooming the public for an embrace of fascism has sent chills throughout what is left of the civilized world. The Rise of the Far-Right, Education and Violence is a book that offers both a deeply layered and granular understanding of the feral shift to an excremental far-right politics and what it means for the future of the human race while providing important insights into ways to defeat this transnational purge of our humanity."
Peter McLaren, Distinguished Professor in Critical Studies, Chapman University and author of Pedagogy of Insurrection.
"In this collection of essays, Peters and Besley examine the global return of national populism, placing it within the broader context of its historical and philosophical origins, and exploring its serious implications for education."
Fazal Rizvi, Melbourne Graduate School of Education, The University of Melbourne
"In their new book, Michael Peters and Tina Besley address the multifaceted contemporary crises of liberal democracy. So-called “neo”-liberalism has created fertile ground for the germination of a panoply of anti-liberalisms, variously classified as ethnonationalist, racist, sexist, and homophobic. Sometimes these symptoms of social malaise are tied together under the umbrella word “fascist”— in a reminder of the worst of the twentieth
century’s anti-liberal horrors. The important question Peters and Besley address in this book is the relationship between these anti-liberalisms and social inequality. The symptoms of fascism may well be proxies for a deep
seated disease that goes to the heart of liberalism itself."
Mary Kalantzis, Professor, Department of Education, Policy, Organization and Leadership, University of Illinois, USA
"The indefatigable and ever-creative Michael Peters, with Tina Besley has done it again. Critical times require critical theory that works the dialectic of facts and norms, systems and cultures, traditions and innovations, the global and the local, the big picture and the forensic detail. This book has the best qualities of critical thinking in spades and as such demands the best of us as critical readers and citizens in response."
Trevor Hogan, Co-ordinating Editor of Thesis Eleven: Critical Theory and Historical Sociology, Australia