In addition, they view themselves as the messianic saviors of the poor and the oppressed. Studies of Marxist movements in the 21st century has revealed that in order to bring about their desired social change, left-wing extremists adopt a vanguard strategy (p. 223). This approach operates on the premise that revolutionary conditions are the results of a generalized climate of change that was developed over time. Revolutionary conditions rarely occur spontaneously only a committed and disciplined revolutionary movement has the capacity to come up with it.
The revolutionary movement (usually composed of disaffected young educated elite) creates revolutionary conditions by raising the political consciousness of the exploited class or group. In the context of leftist extremism, political consciousness refers to the belief that revolution is the best alternative to the corrupt status quo. As soon as the desired revolutionary conditions are attained, the revolutionary movement sees to it that these are maintained. In the process, the revolutionary movement becomes the vanguard of the subjugated class or group.
The former saves them from a repressive system, as well as protects them from it. An example that illustrates the vanguard strategy is the Russian Vanguard of the Proletariat. Lenin and the Bolsheviks required the members of the Russian Communist Party to be the vanguard of the proletariat (p. 234). They were the elite who were expected to transform Russia into a Communist society by bringing about the revolution. They were to free the proletariat from the tyranny of the nobles by educating them on Marxist doctrines.
Right-wing extremists, on the other hand, are very nostalgic. They affirm their superiority usually by looking back on past glories. In the process, right-wing extremists use these previous achievements as justifications for violence. For them, carnage is acceptable as long as it is used to maintain the purity of a religion, ethno-national group or an ideology. Right-wing extremists believe that they have the moral obligation to protect an ideal order that was violated or destroyed by inferior religious values or ethno-national interests.
For them, the restoration of this ideal order is the only way to lasting peace and prosperity in society. Anyone who opposes must be eliminated through all possible means even violence. Consequently, right-wing extremism is very prevalent in organizations that represent groups that have a distinctive identity, such as regional minorities and religious fundamentalists. Below are the common characteristics of right-wing organizations: a.
Nationalism The belief that only people of a specific nationality have the right to reside within a given country. Furthermore, these nationals likewise have the right to live in their countrys borders. b. Racism The misconception that race is the main basis for all human traits and capabilities. c. Xenophobia In the context of right-wing extremism, xenophobia is the fear of belief systems that deviate from the status quo. d. Antidemocracy An aversion to the concept of pluralism in society.
In order to achieve their goal homogeneity, right-wing extremists shun political activities that foster equality and democratic rule, such as popular elections. e. Strong State Right-wing extremists advocate militarism under the guise of protecting law and order. For them, militarism is an effective means of eliminating dissidents (groups whom they deem inferior).
Martin, G. (2006). Understanding Terrorism: Challenges, Perspectives and Issues (2nd ed. ). Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.