The Leadership of the Czech Far Right 1990-2017

Changes in Practical Ideology?


  • Ondřej Slačálek

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The research note attempts to contribute to the analysis of the ideology of the extreme right. Building on Barthes and Žižek, it proposes that we should not reduce this ideology to rational postulates or statements by the participants themselves, but that instead we should look for it in their praxis. It proposes that the figure of the leader should be perceived as an important part of this ideology in terms of both the significance of the leader in the extreme right’s belief systems, and the role of leaders in various extra-parliamentary, extreme-right formations. The empirical part of the article is devoted to the figure of the leader in three periods of the existence of the Czech extreme right, and analyses the transformations in the characteristics that these leaders shared during the movement’s beginnings (1989-2001), the period of its relative decline and repression (2001-2015), and finally, during the period of the rise of Islamophobia (2015-2017). The article concludes that for leaders it is important to have immediate contact with the movement, and to maintain closeness to fellow fighters. This characteristic may outweigh the importance of the cultural capital of musicians from well-known subculture bands and the symbolic capital that may be possessed by veterans from the distant past.