Sunday, February 2, 2020

Immigrants as a Weapon: Global Nationalism and American Power

politics immigration neocons fascism mainstream media cold war nationalism imperialism appropriation

In the schizoid turbulence of our Donald Trump Era, America’s media and political class has been trying to get a handle on where this upsurge of racism and alt-right radicalization is coming from. What’s the deal with all these nativist mass shootings? Why are European rightwing movements on the rise? How come fascists are suddenly marching in major American cities? Why is it all happening right now?

Trump is constantly blamed. Even more often, the threat of a malign foreign influence is dangled in our faces. Racism, white nationalism, nativism — these things are supposed to be alien to western liberal democracies, right? So they must have been forced on us from abroad. Naturally, Russia is a prime suspect. As the supposed source of just about everything that ails western democracies, Russia must be the hive where all this rightwing bile and corruption originates. We’re under siege! At least that’s the message you get from countless articles, TV broadcasts, op-eds, and thinktank reports — including a widely cited New York Times expose from just the other month that pins the blame on the global “rise of far-right nationalism” almost entirely on Russia and Vladimir Putin. It’s as if racism and nativism didn’t exist in the west, not until Putin’s Russia came along.

But while people obsess with finding an external source for our racist and nativist movements, I’m launching a new project that investigates America’s own relationship to the global right.

Most people probably don’t know that over the past 70 years America has done more to promote nationalism and far-right ideologies around the world than any other country on earth. I say this without exaggeration. No one else even comes close.

Weaponizing nationalist ideas abroad while empowering nationalist communities here at home — this has been a major plank of United States foreign policy going back to the very end of World War II.  (more...)

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