Right Wing Youth Groups
The Strange Phenomenon of Right Wing Youth Groups
Back in 1992-1993, when I was a adolescent in the hood stone and hardcore subculture in Pula ( Croatia ) , a cat that used to be a hood rocker one time came back from Firenze with a complete new expression. He became a Nazi skinhead. Peoples laughed at him because he was the lone one in town, and reasonably dense already as a hood and even more as a newborn Nazi skinhead. Peoples were speaking about his metabolism as likely generated by a bad trip on LSD or something of that sort of experience. After a twelvemonth or two, he had a reasonably large aggregation of Nazi gear, fanzines, records and he got even two really immature followings. The remainder became the history of the Nazi skinhead motion in my little hometown. The cat that was a amusing lone skinhead was rejected by the skinhead scene after holding told every item to the constabulary after the stabbing of two people from the anarchist/ hood scene in forepart of the societal centre Karlo Rojc in Pula in 2005 [ 1 ] . One of his followings became some sort of a leader of the skinhead scene in town, and made it a strong scene with international connexions.
But what are the characteristics of the Nazi skinhead subculture? How much is that sort of subculture brooding on the historical Naziism? Are they a threat for society? I ‘ll seek to reply to these inquiries in the following lines.
First of wholly, it must be stressed that the skinhead subculture and motion was n’t a Nazist motion at the really beginnings. As a affair of fact the motion started as a subculture based on the Rude Boy subculture chiefly imported from Jamaica by the immigrants in the sixtiess in Great Britain, and the British Mod subculture ( Hebdgige 2005 [ orig. 1979 ] ) . The skinhead subculture had perfectly nil to make with political relations, but it carried the working category attitudes from the London suburbs. Basically, it had something to make with holding merriment among friends and listening to the music which was chiefly ska, rocksteady, reggae, and Northern Soul. “ In order to show a more rigorous ‘lumpen ‘ individuality, the bootboyss drew on two apparently incompatible beginnings: the civilizations of the West Indian immigrants and the white on the job category. [ … ] Superimposed one on the top of the other, these two really different traditions coalesced round the bootboyss ‘ ocular manner which at the same time embodied both: the clean-cut, neatly pressed delinquent expression owed at least every bit much to the rude boys as it did to the ‘formalised and really “ difficult ” stereotypes of the white lumpish males ‘ ” ( Hebdige 2005:55-56 ) . In fact, “ [ T ] he skinhead manner originally grew out of the demand to retrieve a positive symbolic value as a member of the working-class ” ( Fangen 1998:33 ) .
“ In order to be considered a ‘real ‘ skinhead in the rightist resistance, one must non merely wear the proper apparels, one must besides hold the right sense of the history of the skinhead subculture ” ( Fangen 1998:34 ) . From my experience with bootboyss I can hold with the observations of Fangen. When I had a opportunity I had listened to bootboyss and they were really frequently discoursing about “ the motion ” , the assemblages for the Rudolf Hess Memorial March, and so on.
It was merely at the terminal of the 1970s and the beginning of the eightiess that the motion started to acquire involved in a more political scene. Today if we hear the word “ skinhead ” we think right off about an extremist right flying motion. The fact is that today there are many different cabals that are called bootboyss, from the far right to the far left [ 2 ] , go throughing through the unpolitical 1s. However, the neo-Nazi “ subdivision ” is the strongest and the most ill-famed.
“ Classical ” Nazi bootboyss are reasonably easy to descry in the streets, non merely because of their haircut, but besides from their vesture. They normally wear a pilot jacket, the so called bomber ( the trade name is normally Alpha Industries ) , a brace of denims, normally Lee, and a brace of boots of many trade names, but largely Dr. Martens and similar shaped theoretical accounts from other manufacturers, or ordinary military combat boots. Possibly I should be more precise: it was easy to descry a new neo-Nazi. Nowadays it is more and more hard to descry one because they are invariably seeking for new sorts of symbols to have on in order to be recognized by their equals, but non from the larger public. In order to make that they wear trade names that in some manner have hidden symbolics, like the “ NS ” or “ NSDA ” in the logo of the sportswear Lonsdale [ 3 ] when the jacket is half-unzipped, or the New Balance athletics places which have an “ N ” on the sides as the logo of the trade name [ 4 ] . There are more trade names used by bootboyss, and in peculiar by Nazi bootboyss, an of all time more non-skinhead neo-Nazis. Possibly the best known trade name is Thor Steinar which produces jackets, jerseies, shirts, pants and other sorts of apparels that truly do n’t look like skinhead manner or right wing uniforms of any sort. Even though the vesture seems pretty normal and stylish, there are protests of left wing militants when a store of that a peculiar trade name gets unfastened someplace in Germany [ 5 ] .
There are besides the concealed symbols of the motion normally concealed in Numberss like “ 88 ” which represents two times the 8th missive of the English alphabet – the missive H – in order to acquire HH which stands for “ Heil Hitler ” , the Nazi salutation. Another figure – figure “ 14 ” – signifies the “ Fourteen Words ” of the sentence “ We must procure the being of our people and a hereafter for white kids ” attributed to David Lane, an American White Supremacist who died in prison in 2007. Normally the “ 88 ” and the “ 14 ” are used together as in “ 14/88. ” There are besides other Numberss as “ 18 ” , once more stand foring letters from the alphabet, or AH – Adolf Hitler. In add-on to Numberss it is possible to happen milder versions of Nazi symbols on vestures, runic letters, and tattooed Hakenkreuz on the organic structure, because it is non so easy to take them from at that place. The ground why there is so much hidden symbolics is because of the paranoia of jurisprudence implementing variety meats, so to be recognized by fellow companions and because in the bulk of Western states it is out to descry Nazi symbols in wide daytime. Well, in the United States of America it is non out and that ‘s why we can happen there a batch of mail order Nazi gear distributions, as “ Thight Rope [ 6 ] . ”
Extremist right flying groups are besides really active on the Internet. There are many Internet portals and forums where people belonging to that sort of subculture can discourse assorted affairs, organize protests, exchange experiences, find out where is it possible to by World War II Nazi gear, knives, brass-knuckles, etc. The most celebrated sites are Stormfront [ 7 ] , Hammerskin Nation, and others. Those sites are really unsafe because there can go on more “ extremization ” of attitudes as a consequence of cyberbalkanization ( Brynjolfsson, Van Alstyne 1997 ) and group polarisation ( Sunstein 2009 ) . Normally forums are closed to visitants, largely because of the paranoia in their lines that I already mentioned. The Internet is a perfect means to further hatred among the younger population ( see Lee, Leets 2002 ) .
There are significant differences between the European neo-Nazis and the American 1s. In the USA there are even churches devoted to the racialist political orientation with a really good developed mythology, that is at minutes reasonably inventive, but however there are people who really believe in that sort of material. To hold a appreciation in one sort of their mythology we can take the illustration of the mythology of the Christian Identity denominations.
The political orientation of the Christian Identity consists of beliefs that do n’t hold foundations in scientific discipline, there is a whole mythology built around an in the motion. For them, people of White race [ 8 ] are those who have built civilisation and civilization, and all the others are seen as a sort of parasites. There is besides a complete divinity assorted with mythology in the Christian Identity denominations which profess a philosophy that says that non-Caucasian people are soulless, and hence can non be saved. They believe that God is White and he created the White people ( in sense of Caucasians ) , the people of colour are for them the “ clay races ” , and they were created by the coupling of White persons with animate beings. The Jews are the merchandise of the coupling of Eve with the Serpent. In short, White persons are human, people of colour are semihuman, Jews are non-human and kids of Satan ( see Ezekiel 2002:53 ) .
Ezekiel says that “ [ T ] he organized White racialist motion remainders on the undermentioned four maxims: that race is existent, that White is best, that the linguistic communication of human interactions is power, and that society ‘s surface conceals confederacy. ” ( Ezekiel 2002:67 ) . So, two ideas are at the nucleus of the motion in the USA: the race is existent and those that are in th motion are God ‘s chosen.
An interesting fact is that there are non many adult females in the motion. The few adult females in the motion are normally girlfriends or married womans of the members. Nazi bootboyss even blame sometimes adult females to drag members out of the motion ( for what I have heard from some bootboyss [ 9 ] ) , but they do non hold a negative base towards adult females. It is frequently the instance that they put images of immature beautiful blond adult females in their fanzines in order to stand for the perfect Aryan adult female. Of class, there is n’t such a thing in nature or society, but it is easy to build that. An interesting state of affairs was when a skinhead fanzine published a image of a beautiful Czech erotica star as a theoretical account for the perfect Aryan. She was n’t German ( in fact, harmonizing to their beliefs she belongs to an “ inferior race ” ) , she was n’t the perfect illustration of morality, and yet she ended in the fanzine [ 10 ] .
Katrine Fangen ( 1998 ) compared the neo-Nazi skinhead motion and the historical Nazis, and she found out that there are some similarities, but there are more large differences between those two manifestations of Nazism. First of wholly, the Nazi soldiers believed in authorization, but that is non the instance with Nazi bootboyss. Nazi skinheads, as Fangen discovered, are more “ a bricolage consisting of elements with contrasting intensions ” ( 1998:33 ) .
Likenesss with Nazism are in that there is a similar sum of aggression towards the enemy, there is a binary resistance between them and all the others.
Nazi Skinheads look more like football protagonists in that they worship traditional signifiers of group solidarity. There is non a leader, and solidarity among the members and trueness to the group are prized above all. The Nordic skinheads worship working-class and the Viking codifications of award. In a manner, they are mythologising the working-class values. Besides idealised images of the past communities is a strong constituent of the societal individuality of the bootboyss.
The skinhead community is based on face-to-face contact. In that it resembles the football protagonists subculture. They gather on Marches, on concerts which are organized largely in distant topographic points, and in secret because of the onslaughts from the leftist militants and the constabulary presence.
Even though Nazi bootboyss are against the plural theoretical account of modern, some would state postmodern, societies – they in fact are copying the British 1960s manner, no affair if they are from Russia, Finland, USA, Croatia or Serbia. There are many international dealingss among Nazi groups. This twelvemonth Goran Davidovic [ 11 ] , the leader of the Serbian “ Nacionalni Stroj ” was arrested in Trieste, Italy, where his married woman lived. It seems he got local contacts, even though he was a alien.
The bootboyss attitudes resemble what Ziehe calls neo-conservativism ( cited in Fangen 1998:36 ) . They are oriented towards the realisation of the collective instead than the realisation of the ego. Even though they are oriented towards traditional values, they normally come from broken places, they live in single-parent households, they have no instruction, their prents are frequently alkies or drug maltreaters, many of them were born as lame kids full of diseases ( Ezekiel 2002:57-59 ) . They besides make that sort of households. A truly self-contradictory state of affairs.
They portion the characteristic characteristic of about all subcultures, that is, they oppose their life style with the life styles of all the other subcultures and persons. But the distinctive feature of racialist groups is non this ingroup-outgroup distinction. The difference is in that they think that some human existences can non of all time be incorporated into the rational order ( as Bauman says, cited by Fangen ) , and that class of people “ should be removed from the district occupied by the group it offends ” ( Fangen 1998:37 ) . To many bootboyss “ [ T ] his fantasy universe with its warrior-like images and proletarian manner, seems for some members to be more of import than the political point of views or the political orientation ” ( Fangen 1998:35 ) . Because of their image, the Hakenkreuz, the tattoos and the attitude they have diminished possibilities of wining in the educational system and labour market. They go in that state of affairs many times full witting, but that is a characteristic of all lifestyle subcultures.
Even though such groups reclaim a Nazi yesteryear, as a affair of fact they do non hold the same characteristics of the historical Nazi German soldiers or the same political orientation as they had in World War II. Their sort of behaviour is closer to nihilists in any sense, except for the patriot and racialist worldviews. They even start to acquire organized as nihilist groups [ 12 ] ( see Fangen 1998 ) . Nazi bootboyss are against authorization and motion leaders, and that is the chief difference between the existent World War II Nazis and them. They are in similar to anarchist groups in their speaking about rebellion, insubordination to the system which is, in their sentiment, run by the ZOG – the Zionist Occupation Government [ 13 ] .
If we take into consideration that there are besides knee bends, illicitly occupied houses, run by neo-Nazis, which is a truly new and unusual phenomenon if we have in head that the homesteaders motion was born largely in the sixtiess and 1970s from far left motions. Possibly the lone state of affairs that is similar is the crouching that happened in Great Britain in the 1940s after the soldiers came place from the war and found a dismantled England ( see Bailey 1973 ) . This sort of phenomenon, Nazi crouching ( as I would name it ) , is present strongly in Italy, particularly in Rome ( see Rao 2006 ) . The most celebrated is Casa Pound [ 14 ] . Basically, they are anti-authoritarians. In fact, an American group of bootboyss called Hammerskin Nation define themselves as “ a leaderless group of work forces and adult females who have adopted the White Power Skinhead life style. We are bluish collar workers, white neckband professionals, college pupils, enterprisers, male parents and female parents [ 15 ] . ”
It is ever perplexing to see Nazi bootboyss of different states to run into on assorted assemblages around Europe, frequently they visit each others, as is the instance with my hometown which is a touristic town, and at that place come German and English bootboyss sometimes in summer. The fact is that a “ alien who comes as a visitant and so leaves is easier to associate to than the alien who comes in order to remain ” ( Fangen 1998:36 ) . The fear of aliens comes out of the fright produced by the trouble to categorise the alien, because s/he destroys the order of mundane life of the community. The complexness of modern societies produces many ambivalencies, and that ambivalency produces indefiniteness. The polarisation in friends and enemies is an easy manner to cut down complexness of modern times by traveling back, or woolgathering about a better and more homogenous yesteryear ( see Fangen 1998:38 ) . “ For rightist bootboyss anti-racism and its ideal, multiculturalism, represent pandemonium ” ( Fangen 1998:39 ) , so they want to convey back order, their version of an idealised order. Harmonizing to Zygmund Bauman that is the really quest of modernness ( cited by Fangen 1998 ) .
Fangen says that the utmost manner Nazi skinheads want to look in public is a manner to floor the general populace. This sort of behaviour reminds me of the early hood motion where a batch of Nazi symbols in order to floor the general populace, “ to wake up ” the ordinary people, to demo them that the existent German nazi are them – the ordinary people, non the Mohawk punks ( see Robb 2006 ) .
There is besides a cult of sufferer in neo-Nazi motions. The chief sufferer are Rudolf Hess and Ian Stuart Donaldson, the vocalist of the ill-famed R. A. C. [ 16 ] set Skrewdriver. They are martyrs because of the enigma environing their deceases, and because of their dedication to “ The Cause ” ( whatever it is ) . Every twelvemonth there is the Rudolf Hess Memorial March in a different state. This twelvemonth the March was held in Budapest [ 17 ] .
The other sufferer, Ian Stuart Donaldson, the magnetic vocalist of the set Skrewdriver, died in cryptic auto accident. For the neo-Nazis he was the starting motor of the R. A. C. music manner and the whole White Power motion. When idolizing sufferer they get a feeling of being portion of something much bigger than themselves.
So, what can we state? Are they unsafe? Well, they might be in particular occasions, likely non more than other subcultures, as gangsta rappers. In fact there are non really much surveies about them, largely because the rank in a neo-Nazi group is many times secret, they are closed even if they are seeable in public as the bootboyss because any sort of research could merely profit the jurisprudence enforcement variety meats and opposition groups. Secret researches are possibly ethical in news media, but non any more in the societal scientific disciplines. There are good ethnographic researches as Ezekiel ‘s one ( 2002 ) , but we have to wait for more, particularly from the former Eastern Block states where the phenomenon is seemingly on the rise, and from other Eastern European states. It would be besides interesting to see the spread of the phenomenon is Asia and South America. For illustration, it is interesting that there are many neo-Nazi groups in Brazil and other South American states.
In respects of the causes of the rise of the phenomenon we have non that much informations. It seems that economic position is non an of import factor ( Ezekiel 2002:61 ) . We can theorize that it is because of the atomization of society, the rise of consumerism where traditional values are acquiring lost, etc. , but those replies are truly non fulfilling, particularly because there are no researches.
Bailey, Ron. 1973. The Squatters. Harmondsworth, UK: Pengin Books.
Brynjolfsson, Erik, Marshall Van Alstyne. 1997. Electronic Communities: Global Village or Cyberbalkans? Retrieved 30 November 2009 ( hypertext transfer protocol: //web.mit.edu/marshall/www/papers/CyberBalkans.pdf ) .
Christie, Stuart. 1984. Stefano Delle Chiaie: Portrayal of a Black Terrorist. London, UK: Anarchy Magazine/ Refract Publications.
Ezekiel, Raphael S. 2002. “ An Ethnographer Looks at Neo-Nazi and Klan Groups. The Racist Mind Revisited. ” American Behavioral Scientist 46:1 ( 51-71 ) .
Fangen, Katrine. 1998. “ Rightist Skinheads – Nostalgia and Binary Oppositions. ” Young 6:33 ( 33-49 ) .
Hebdige, Dick. 2005 ( 1979 ) . Subculture: The Meaning of Style. Oxford, UK: Routledge.
Lee, Elissa, Laura Leets. 2002. “ Persuasive Storytelling by Hate Groups Online: Examining Effectss on Adolescents. ” American Behavioral Scientist 45:6 ( 927-957 ) .
Rao, Nicola. 2006. La fiamma vitamin E La celtica. Sessant’anni di neofascismo district attorney Salo Army Intelligence centri sociali di destra. Milano, Italy: Sperling & A ; Kupfer Editori.
Robb, John. 2006. Punk Rock: An Oral History. London, UK: Ebury Press.
Sunstein, Cass R. 2009. Traveling to Extremes. How Like Minds Unite and Divide. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
[ 1 ] See hypertext transfer protocol: //www.pozezani.com/pz/index.php? option=content & A ; task=view & A ; id=323 & A ; Itemid=75
[ 2 ] The most of import leftist cabal are the SHARP Skinheads, where SHARP is an acronym of SkinHeads Against Racial Prejudices.
[ 3 ] It was usual to descry LoNSdale where the letters NS would come out of the unzipped portion of the jacket as in National-Socialist, or NSDA that reminds of NSDAP ( Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei ) , the acronym of Hitler ‘s Nazi party.
[ 4 ] The “ N ” should stand for “ Nazi ”
[ 5 ] See hypertext transfer protocol: //www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,587746,00.html for a narrative, or now the nazi-skinhead boycott run against the trade name Thor Steinar after it was bought by a Dubai based company: hypertext transfer protocol: //www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,587746,00.html
[ 6 ] This distribution has for the logo a hanging rope and knot that reminds of lynching mass meetings. See http: //tightrope.cc/ . The slogan of the web distribution is “ It ‘s non illegal to be White… Yet! ”
[ 7 ] See hypertext transfer protocol: //www.stormfront.org/ and hypertext transfer protocol: //www.hammerskins.net/
[ 8 ] The see race in a Nineteen century manner: “ race as a biological class with absoulute boundaries, each race holding a different kernel – merely a stone is a stone and a tree is a tree, White is a White and Black is a Black. ” ( Ezekiel 2002:53 )
[ 9 ] I hope it will be one of my future ethnographic researches.
[ 10 ] See hypertext transfer protocol: //www.boingboing.net/2006/09/04/german_racists_use_s.html
[ 11 ] See hypertext transfer protocol: //bora.la/2009/04/19/arrestato-goran-davidovic/ , and hypertext transfer protocol: //www.vesti.rs/Vesti/DAVIDOVIC-SE-NE-KRIJE.html
[ 12 ] See hypertext transfer protocol: //www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,627114,00.html
[ 13 ] Harmonizing to that consipiracy theory most Western authoritiess are merely puppet authoritiess run by a sort of “ Zionist seniors ” , and they serve the Jews.
[ 14 ] hypertext transfer protocol: //www.casapounditalia.org/
[ 15 ] See hypertext transfer protocol: //www.hammerskins.net/
[ 16 ] R. A. C. stands for Rock Against Music – explain! ! !
[ 17 ] See hypertext transfer protocol: //www.stormfront.org/forum/showthread.php? t=609580