The day before the storming of the Capitol, I was interviewed on my friend Luke Baumgarten’s podcast RANGE: EPISODE 23 | Anti-terrorism feat Joan Braune – RANGE (rangemedia.co) The conversation focused somewhat on the limitations of a state counter-terrorism or “Countering Violent Extremism” model of fighting fascism, but because of my concerns about the words “terrorism” and “extremism,” we also ended up talking a bit about what the discipline of philosophy can add to work against the far-right in interrogating use of language, and we also talked a bit about left strategy, in particular the problem of providing outlets for the pursuit of meaning and belonging as part of counter-recruiting from the far-right.
After the events of January 6, Luke asked me to write an article accompanying the podcast episode and updating my reflections in light of the coup attempt. That’s available here: It’s time for a different strategy – RANGE (rangemedia.co).
I appeared more informally on my old friends Babette and Gary’s Milwaukee radio program, The Grass is Greener, to chat about the coup attempt as well. That recording is here: The Grass is Greener – 2021-01-15 Prof. Joan Braune on Jan. 6 and the Far Right by wxrw | Free Listening on SoundCloud.
The past couple of weeks have been a whirlwind, and in response to the coup, I’m receiving many requests for interviews and speaking engagements as well as fielding research questions. Some of my upcoming talks with semester will focus on white nationalist recruitment of youth, and how we can push back. I’m also working on finishing my book.
The threat posed by fascism and the far-right certainly will not be going away under a Biden administration. A lot of hard work and organizing lies ahead of us, and we will have to interrogate the structures and systems–including white supremacy and capitalism–that make these manifestations possible. One of the themes of my conversations and research lately is that new legislation, harsher punishments, or increased surveillance are not going to be sufficient to stop the rise of fascism, which needs to be countered by a broad-based social movement.