Analyzing the Far Right: A Psychoanalytic and Feminist Critical Theory Perspective 

Description: This book draws on psychoanalytic theory, early Frankfurt school critical theory, and feminist theory to outline the interaction of economic and psychological factors that help explain why millions of people responded to the negative effects of neo-liberal capitalism--growing isolation, alienation, and economic insecurity--by supporting the far right, as well as the extremist right, in the United States and Europe.  It argues that the far right has heightened and then exploited people’s feelings of failure and anxieties around their subjectivities, which are the result of not being able to live up to the neoliberal capitalist standard of "economic success", as well as hetero-normative masculinity. It examines those psychoanalytic mechanisms that the far right uses - including the branding of women and minorities as inferior, the lifting of an inhibition of aggression against them, the introjection of the idealized leader, and a narcissistic love bond between the leader and the followers - which allow people to get rid of nagging feelings of failure and their anxieties about their subjectivities, and instead feel themselves as whole subjects and satisfied with themselves again. The book grounds the theoretical framework with examples from politics and literature. In the United States, it draws on the rise of Trump as an example of far-right politics, and the growing appeal of the Alt-Right to millennials as an example of extremist right politics. In Europe, it draws on the growing electoral success of Austria's Freedom Party as an example of far-right politics, and the historical case of a professor at the University of Vienna who supported the National Socialist regime until its very end as an example of extremist right politics. To make the theoretical framework more accessible to a wider audience, the book also uses characters from literature that display the above psychoanalytic mechanisms. 

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