THIS ESSAY IS A CRITIQUE OF THE REPORT
Right-wing extremism in Australia: the rise of the new radical right Geoff Deana , Peter Bella and Zarina Vakhitovab a School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia; b Griffith Criminology Institute, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia
The rise of right wing extremism October 2016.
The report is profoundly self determining and comes to conclusions about groups which it analyses using solely internet research without adequately conducting that research.
A prime example is the assertion that the political party Australian Liberty Alliance has no detailed platform of reform. The report, which stands solidly on its ability to conduct social media research simply failed to include the ALA’s entire raft of policy and reform documents which were readily available on their web site. The report states Of course, the ALA may well have a distinct reform agenda but, if so, it is one that is not publically available in any of its online documents. An assertion that is simply not true.
As to the selection of the groups that they label as Right Wing Extremists: They pretend to avoid making their own definition by saying that:
The main objective of this study is to examine the online presence of Australian right-wing extremist groups, …the researchers have adopted the US Department of Homeland Security’s definition of RWE movement:
those groups, movements, and adherents that are primarily hate-oriented (based on hatred of particular religious, racial or ethnic groups), and those that are mainly antigovernment, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority, or rejecting government authority entirely. It may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration. (‘US Department of Homeland Security’, 2009, p. 2)
Had the report writers actually used this definition instead of their own political pre-conceptions it is difficult to see how groups in Australia such as the extremist Islamists Hitz but Tahir and extremist socialist progressive groups such as ANTIFA should not have also been subjects of this report.
The report strives to group all those who oppose their underlying left wing extreme rhetoric under the banner of right wing extremists RWE even though their own research tells them that This heterogeneous nature of the RWE is one of the reasons why we do not have a universally accepted definition of this phenomenon. … and … Recognising the fact that RWE is not a homogenous phenomenon.
Eventually they have to admit that … Our findings confirm two points. Firstly, RWE in Australia is not a homogenous movement, but several very different groups and they are forced to reluctantly conclude that a group such as Reclaim Australia is simply a conservative political movement.
No matter the facts their foregone conclusion begins with this sentence:
The significance of this research is that RWE poses to varying degrees various political and community challenges to the relative homogenous nature of contemporary Australian society.
No mention of Hitz but Tahir or Antifa.
The writers are more concerned that
If this challenge is not managed well, it could translate into further community popularity for such groups as Reclaim Australia and significant political leverage at the ballot box.
In other words conservative political movements such as Reclaim Australia and political parties such as ALA should be managed by the left to stop them becoming a political force.
Fear mongering is the ultimate purpose of the report. Fearmongering to gain more government funding for the progressive left to “progressively educate” the public against the risk of political conservatism.
To that end they conclude:
If governments of … do not respond with…targeted, and appropriately resourced social cohesion programmes …, then … these political and community challenges will escalate into real concerns that have the potential to morph into political, social, and potentially security threats in the unpredictable future.
24th October 2016