American Extremism: History, Politics and the Militia by Darren Mulloy

By Darren Mulloy

This publication makes use of the military circulate as a method to ascertain the complicated dating that exists among America's mainstream and extremist political tradition. It focuses quite on how the armed forces move makes use of key facets of yank historical past to justify its extremist politics and actions. Drawing upon either extremist literature and interviews with top figures within the stream, this publication is a robust exploration of America's family extremist activities.

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Additional info for American Extremism: History, Politics and the Militia Movement (Routledge Studies in Extremism and Democracy)

Example text

For them, the significance is that, in both cases, these groups appeared to have been targeted because of their minority views. If the government was prepared to violate the rights of these groups, the militias’ reasoning went, what of those of other “minorities”? Where would it all end? Who would be next? Michigan Militia member Bob Clarke’s feelings are typical in this respect: First the feds put that Reverend Moon character in jail for tax evasion, I thought that was a great idea. Then they went after that guy from India with all those limousines in Oregon, which was OK with me too.

It is with the events, people, and documents of the nation’s founding that militia members are predominantly concerned. It is the myths, metaphors, and perceived historical lessons associated with the Revolution, the drafting of the Constitution, and the settlement of the West that are of most importance to them. Even a cursory perusal of militia movement publications reveals accounts of the Boston Tea Party or the battle of Lexington and Concord sitting alongside reproduced images of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, while seemingly endless quotations from the nation’s Founding Fathers compete for space with heroic tales of the adventures of frontiersmen like Davy Crockett and his Tennessee Militia.

The problem is that the dominance of the idea of “a paranoid style,” in particular, has tended to overwhelm consideration of any other elements of extremists’ ideological and rhetorical concerns. There is more to the militia movement— indeed more to right-wing extremism in general—than paranoia and conspiracy theorizing. Some of the core stylistic flourishes of the United States’ most APPROACHING EXTREMISM 29 significant recent right-wing extremists, for example, are borrowed from, inspired by, and are similarly understood and employed within the political mainstream.

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