Hate on the Right

Right-Wing Political Groups and Hate Speech

by Michael Waltman (Author)
©2015 Textbook X, 264 Pages


This book examines the ways that hatred comes alive in language and discourse. It asks whether much of the discourse on the political right – that which attacks their enemies – is hate speech. Extending Michael Waltman’s previous work on hate speech, this book examines the discourse and language produced by a variety of right-wing groups and attempts to determine the homology that exists among their discourses. These groups, which include the racist right wing, the political right wing, the Christian right wing, and the paramilitary right wing, are examined respectively through the lenses of the film White Apocalypse, the book Atlas Shrugged, the Left Behind trilogy of movies, and the web pages maintained by the Republic of the United States of America and the National Rifle Association. The author looks at the discourses of hate produced in these seminal texts in order to identify a homology of exclusion that unites the forms of right-wing extremism, giving them a common frame of reference when confronting social and political challenges.

Table Of Contents

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the author
  • About the book
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Table of Contents
  • Acknowledgments
  • Chapter 1: Introduction
  • Chapter 2: White Apocalypse: Camouflaging Hate Speech Among The Discourses of the Right
  • Introduction
  • Racist Novels
  • Identity Implications of Racist Novels
  • White Apocalypse
  • The Author
  • The Book
  • Analysis of White Apocalypse
  • Desired Aryan Identities Themes
  • Aryans Are the Real Americans Theme
  • The Aryan Warrior Theme
  • Anti-Liberal Aryan Theme
  • Persecuted Aryan Theme
  • Laughing Aryan Theme
  • Themes of the Aryan’s Enemies
  • Uncivilized Amerindian Theme
  • Amerindian Genocide Theme
  • Liberals Are Enemies of the Aryan Theme
  • Unscrupulous Liberal Subtheme
  • Liberals Hate Western Civilization Subtheme
  • Liberals Promote Egalitarianism Subtheme
  • Liberals Promote Diversity and Multiculturalism Subtheme
  • Liberals Promote Materialism Subtheme
  • Liberals Promote Globalization Subtheme
  • Judeo-Bolsheviks Subtheme
  • Conclusion
  • Chapter 3: Atlas Shrugged: Right-Wing Producerism
  • Overview of Atlas Shrugged
  • Characters and Basic Plot in Atlas Shrugged
  • The Influence of Atlas Shrugged
  • The Interpretation of Atlas Shrugged
  • Themes
  • The Great Men Theme
  • Work Is the Essence of Being Human
  • Value Ownership
  • Producers
  • Great Men Possess a Physical and Spiritual Grace
  • Rational/Accept Responsibilities and Consequences
  • Strong Will to Power
  • Great Seek the Great
  • America Is the Ideal System to Produce Great Men
  • Compassion Is Unimportant
  • Greed Is Good
  • Producers Will Not Produce When Production Is Punished
  • Segregation Is Desirable When the Ideal System Does Not Exist
  • Anti-Communist and Anti-Government Themes
  • Science and Intellectuals Hold Back Entrepreneurs
  • Competition Is Bad
  • Purpose of Private Property Is Public Service
  • People Have a Public Responsibility
  • Government Produces Whining, Thoughtless Rabble
  • Decline Is Initially a Slow Creeping Death
  • Fewer Competent People Left
  • Heightened Incompetence at End
  • State Is Destroyer at End
  • State Uses Power to Control and Own Business
  • Power of State Used to Coerce People
  • State Wants Individual Submission
  • State Wants a System That Serves Nothing but Need
  • Conclusion
  • Chapter 4: The Christian Right and the Left Behind Trilogy
  • Introduction
  • A Brief History of the Christian Right
  • The Movement of the Christian Right into Politics
  • Abortion
  • Homosexuality
  • Oppresses Women
  • Dominionism
  • Critique of Left Behind Movie Trilogy
  • Description of the Trilogy
  • Analysis of Left Behind
  • Christians Are Essential to the World
  • Christians Have Familiar Enemies
  • Christians Are Vilified and Oppressed by a Secular World
  • Weapons Are Needed to Fight the Anti-Christ
  • Conceptions of Maleness
  • Conceptions of Women
  • Summary of Left Behind Movies
  • Conclusion
  • Chapter 5: Discourses of Guns and the Paramilitary Right
  • Patriots and Sovereigns
  • Militias
  • Examination of the Republic for the united States of America
  • A Tale of Two Governments
  • Federal Government Is Illegitimate
  • Citizens Are Sovereign
  • Re-inhabit the Genuine United States Government
  • God Is at the Heart of RfuSA
  • Summary of RfuSA
  • The National Rifle Association
  • Examination of National Rifle Association Website
  • Sacred Stuff: An Examination of GunBanObama
  • Obama Opposes the Second Amendment
  • Obama Is a Tyrant
  • Other Liberals Oppose the Second Amendment
  • Analysis of NRA Website and NRA-ILA
  • The Federal Government Is Oppressive
  • The Opponents of Guns Are Wretched
  • The NRA Is the Protector of the Second Amendment
  • Societal Threats to Guns Are Omnipresent
  • Chapter Summary
  • Chapter 6: Homology of Exclusion
  • The homology of exclusion
  • There are superior ideas/beliefs about the social and political world to which “worthy” people subscribe
  • Stigmatized identities can be known for their inferior beliefs
  • The worthy are invited to imagine a world segregated from the stigmatized
  • Conclusion
  • Chapter 7: Conclusion
  • Racist Right: White Apocalypse
  • The Unrestrained Capitalism of the Economic Right: Atlas Shrugged
  • Christian Right: Left Behind Trilogy
  • The Paramilitary Right: The National Rifle Association and the Republic for the united States of America (RfuSA)
  • The Homology of Exclusion
  • Functions of the Homology of Exclusion
  • Hate Speech and the Right Wing
  • Final Thoughts
  • References
  • Index


Once again, I want to acknowledge the love and support of my family, the Waltmans and Leysieffers, which sustains and inspires my work. I want to thank Kirsten and Gus for patiently tolerating an absence here and there at hockey tournaments and other important family events. I also want to thank those students who helped me to critique my ideas on the "uplifting" topic of hate and hatemongers and who endured the concerned looks from the Bull’s Head Bookshop clerks when purchasing multiple texts on the topics of hate speech, hate crime, and ethnoviolence.

This work was supported by a Research and Study Leave from the College of Arts and Sciences and the Department of Communication Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

I am grateful to Mary Savigar, Sophie Appel, and the many good folk at Peter Lang for a productive partnership that nurtured and respected my vision for this book. ← ix | x →

← x | 1 →

· 1 ·


Recently, researchers studying hate speech have argued that, like organized hate groups, right-wing pundits and politicians manipulate hate for persuasive purposes (Waltman & Haas, 2010). However, when right-wing politicians use language in the same way to accomplish the same purposes, many are hesitant to characterize the language of politicians and pundits as “hate speech” and perhaps even less inclined to equate the language produced by a hate group with the language produced by those seeking electoral victories in U.S. politics. This caution is understandable. Those on the political Right react with surprise and incredulity when accused of using hate speech or hatemongering, often claiming that “patriotic” groups are accused by liberals of hatemongering (Waltman & Haas, 2010, p. 105). Certainly, many that may be characterized as “right wing” do not promote hate. It also cannot be denied that a portion of the Right is what might be characterized as the “racist Right” (Crothers, 2003; Waltman & Haas, 2010). Those who have produced racist novels for the hate movement (see Chapter 2) have addressed the connection between right-wing thinking and hate (e.g., Bristow, 2010). Indeed, academic writers have addressed various connections between right-wing thinking and hate (Crothers, 2003; Hamm, 1993). There is also a historical connection between right-wing thinking and hate. Years ago, a co-founder ← 1 | 2 → of the ultra-conservative John Birch Society, Revilo P. Oliver, left the John Birch Society to found the infamous neo-Nazi National Alliance. The John Birch Society was so extreme that they claimed that President Eisenhower was a communist for promoting high taxes on the wealthy to fund the building of infrastructure such as the U.S. interstate highway system. Such statements tended to put them at the margins of the developing mainstream conservative movement in America.

Moreover, we cannot ignore right-wing violence that is motivated by hate. Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh’s ideology of hate was informed by the militia movement of the 1990s (Crothers, 2003). Eric Rudolph’s violence was directed at abortion clinics responsible for the killing of white babies (Waltman & Haas, 2010). His actions were applauded by racists and non-racists in the right wing who opposed abortion. Most recently, Anders Breivik went on a killing spree in Norway, targeting the children of liberal politicians because his hatred of Muslims led him to view them, and the political party they supported, as a threat to Western civilization (Kay, 2011).

Is much of the discourse on the political Right that attacks their enemies hate speech? To date, the evidence for such a claim seems ambiguous. Those who might be inclined to believe so can probably marshal evidence to support that claim (Waltman & Haas, 2010). Clearly, others will view the discourse of the hate movement and right-wing political discourse as very different forms of discourse. The purpose of this book is to examine the discourse and language produced by a variety of right-wing groups and to determine the homology that exists among their discourses.

A linguistic homology “is a formal parallel that cuts across seemingly dissimilar discourses” (Olson, 2002, p. 217). Argument from homology involves examining resemblances among different discourses or texts in order to render judgments about the features texts may share even though they address different content, substance, contexts, and audience constraints (Olson, 2002, p. 217). The logic of a homological critique is that individuals experiencing texts or discourse sets are influenced by the form of the text and not simply the specific content of the text (Olson, 2002, p. 217). Put differently if a communicator is accustomed to encountering an argument in a particular discursive form, and views that form as acceptable, the form may enhance the persuasiveness of discourse content.

A homological critique, thus, will address the issue raised earlier: May we equate the language and discourse produced by different right-wing groups, some that openly endorse racism and hate and those that do not? The ← 2 | 3 → homology among these discourses will allow us to understand how racist right-wing groups may be alike and dissimilar to other non-racist right-wing groups. Understanding this homology may also allow us to understand how right-wing groups may be connected through a common language that exists between these groups and the ideology that connects one group with another. Put differently, this text seeks to identify a homology that connects the discourse of very different right-wing groups.

Next, a definition of right-wing groups is proposed, including a discussion of terms that characterize the concerns of right-wing groups. This is not intended to be an exhaustive discussion of the concerns of right-wing groups; rather it is intended to provide a useful way of thinking about these unique groups, as a whole. “Right wing” refers to groups “that generally support the state as an enforcer of political, social, and economic order but that oppose the state when its policies promote the distribution of wealth and power downward through society” (Crothers, 2003; Diamond, 1995). The endorsement of the state as an enforcer of the social order is linked to authoritarianism that sometimes defines right-wing thinking (Fiske & Taylor, 2008). Most right-wing groups, including mainstream conservatives, see state-created order as essential for individual freedom; and they see government regulation that might protect the less propertied and less powerful as communism, or its nearly as contemptuous cousin, socialism.

Right-wing groups may also be understood as promoting four principles identified by Berlet and Lyons (2000): (1) producerism, (2) demonization and scapegoating, (3) conspiricism, and (4) apocalyptic narratives and millennial visions. Producerism is a principle that differentiates people on the basis of what they produce for society. Producers generate products or resources for society and provide a net benefit to society. Those who do not provide such net benefits or resources for the society are considered a drag on society. Thus, this producerism is used as a way of constructing a social hierarchy that is sometimes identified with right-wing thinking (Marty & Appleby, 1994; Fiske & Taylor, 2008).

Demonization and scapegoating involve dehumanizing an “Other” or an out-group member and rhetorically constructing the Other as a (or “the”) source of the in-group’s suffering. In-groups may differ in precisely who they are willing to scapegoat. Some in-groups may see those who live in poverty as “choosing” to live in poverty by failing to make decisions that might better their lives. Others may see firemen and school teachers as non-producers because their salaries are paid by taxes (that redistribute wealth down) or ← 3 | 4 → because they provide a service but fail to produce something tangible such as jobs or a product that may be bought and sold.

Right-wing groups are also defined by their tendency to subscribe to conspiracy theories. Conspiracy theories elevate the Other to the role of an organized planner of the harms and evil deeds that threaten the in-group. Some militia groups see their enemy, the federal government, as systematically attempting to take away law-abiding American’s right to own guns. This attempt to take away “our guns,” they say, is just the initial attempt to take away other freedoms (Crothers, 2003).

Finally, right-wing groups tend to subscribe to some sort of story that allows them to anticipate a future apocalyptic event. Neo-Nazis and racist pre-Christian pagans believe that a Racial Holy War (RAHOWA) is the inevitable event that will place white people in their predestined position of ultimate control over the entire earth (Waltman & Haas, 2010).

Producerism, demonizing and scapegoating, conspiracy theories, and apocalyptic narratives and visions tend to describe a schematic of beliefs that is more or less shared by a variety of right-wing groups. Not all right-wing groups subscribe to all of these principles to the same degree. However, there is a tendency for right-wing groups to develop ideological beliefs that involve the dovetailing and co-mingling of these four principles. As different right-wing groups are discussed in this text, these principles and characteristics of right-wing groups will become more differentiated.

Each chapter in this book involves an analysis of texts or discourse that defines a specific right-wing group. The critique in each chapter will reveal the discourse and language functions of the text(s), including how each text is used by readers of that text. Importantly, readers will encounter critiques of specific texts that constitute the beliefs of these groups and serve as seminal examples of the group’s discourse. The formal homological critique at the end of the text will provide readers with a sense of how a homology connects the discourse of all the right-wing groups identified in this introduction.

Chapter 2 examines a new and important racist novel, White Apocalypse (Bristow, 2010). This new novel has been embraced by the Racist Right and serves as the foundation of their worldview. This novel is intended to celebrate whiteness and to articulate the enemies of the white man and Western civilization. This novel is the inheritor of racist novels like the Turner Diaries (MacDonald, 1996) and Hunter (MacDonald, 1989) that have played an important role in the ideological development of those in the hate movement. As will be discussed in more detail in Chapter 2, these novels have inspired ← 4 | 5 → and instructed violent hate crime and ethnoviolence over the last 15 years. White Apocalypse is significantly different from its predecessors because it represents a shift in the hate movement’s message to America. Withholding the explicitly anti-Semitic messages typically found in these texts until the very end of the book, the author conceals his anti-Semitism within the language of the political Right. We learn that white people and Western civilization are being attacked by liberalism, multiculturalism, globalism, higher education, and other features of modern society. A critique of White Apocalypse reveals themes used to align the Racist Right with the broader right wing in America. It is argued in Chapter 2 that White Apocalypse is an attempt to seek allies, outside the hate movement, with right-wing groups with whom they find some common ground in their contempt for the Left.


X, 264
ISBN (Hardcover)
ISBN (Softcover)
Publication date
2015 (January)
discourse language homology extremism
New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, Oxford, Wien, 2015. 264 pp.

Biographical notes

Michael Waltman (Author)

Michael Waltman (PhD, Purdue University) is Associate Professor at the University of North Carolina. His previous book, The Communication of Hate, received the Choice Award for Outstanding Academic Title and the Franklyn S. Haiman Award for Distinguished Scholarship in Freedom of Speech from the National Communication Association.


Title: Hate on the Right
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