From top: A mural in Bristol, England; Dan Boyle
For those who believe in the ‘stable genius’ theory of Donald Trump, that his very erraticism is proof of his genius; that for them he is practising a sublime form of right wing anarchism, purposefully seeking to destroy everything that doesn’t accord with his worldview, what I write here probably isn’t for you.
It would be morally suspect to invest so much credit in Trump. The more likely reality is that Trump is every inch the spoiled child he portrays himself to be. Someone who instinctively strikes out at whatever he doesn’t like.
The problem is that this accidental anarchist, however unintentionally, may be defining a particular, peculiar, and ultimately poisonous political creed.
Right wing, far right wing, anarchism is scarcely related at all to its left wing mirror image. Both forms of (wishful) thinking seek to deconstruct society.
Left wing anarchists, sometimes naively sometimes more sinisterly, want to deconstruct in order to build anew. What would follow would they believe be a kinder, more gentle society. In his books George Orwell pretty much demolished these conceits, convincingly showing how narrow the gap is that exists between Utopia and Dystopia.
Right wing anarchists, those inspired by Trump and the merrymakers behind Brexit, seek to deconstruct in order to reconstruct. This reconstruction seeks a return to supposed halcyon days. Times when everything had a place and everyone knew theirs.
A mythical place where the rich could become further rich without having to contribute to any sense of a fair society. A World of benign empire where those less worthy became more worthy merely by basking in the presence of their betters.
Right wing anarchists want to remove every triumph of social democracy. They despise labour rights – the forty hour weeks, paid holidays, maternity rights, social protections. All things they believe compromise the right to make profits.
They abhor consumer rights. The right to know everything that should be known about a good or service before purchase. What has been wrong with caveat emptor where the consumer took total responsibility for a purchase, they ask?
What RWAs (Riggers With Attitude) especially detest are the gains made by the environmental movement over the last number of decades. The idea that environmental costs have to be measured; that there is no right to pollute the air, water, soil or atmosphere, is anathema to these people.
This is the battleground – The entitled against the envisioned.
The Vanguard of the Right are no revolutionaries. They certainly are no harbingers of a better future. They are the pedants of a discredited past.
Their idyll is no Iliad. For them Trojan Horses have been used to create false expectations of a better, fairer society. Expectations have been raised, they believe, in ways that can never be met.
Far better to return to the paternalistic glow of a benign capitalism that never really existed either.
Liberal tolerance has allowed the dark right to fester. It may be that the only way of meeting intolerance is by being intolerant. Liberal distaste of ‘lowering’ themselves to levels of the New Right has given extreme right views a credibility they do not deserve.
Perhaps a head to head, point by point challenge of the hate being promulgated by the New Right being exposed, is the only way of returning them and their hateful views to the obscurity they deserve.
Dan Boyle is a former Green Party TD and Senator. His column appears here every Thursday. Follow Dan on Twitter: @sendboyle