The Right-Wing Issue

Why is In These Times, a publication best known for its coverage of labor and left movements, releasing a special issue about the Right?

As In These Times Executive Director Alex Han notes in the issue’s cover story, the Left historically understood that part of its responsibility is to lead the anti-fascist front.” Thousands joined the fight against Spain’s Franco and many more against the domestic fascism of Jim Crow, to oppose unjust wars and launch movements toward liberation. The Left can be fractious (perhaps a laughable understatement), but history shows we can come together as a broad front. 

While the Right is far from a monolith, we can’t overlook the current, dangerous convergence of its messy factions, which makes it stronger than it’s been in decades. Throughout the articles that follow, our contributors describe both the threat it poses and its weak points. Matt McManus, Alberto Toscano, Aparna Gopalan and Ben Lorber explore how the far Right has metastasized, rebranded and gained recruits. Jeff Sharlet and Kathryn Joyce guide us down the dark path by which some leftists (or ostensible leftists) have slid rightwards — and explain why it matters. Rick Perlstein takes the mainstream media to task for enabling right-wing violence. Bill Fletcher Jr. and Paul Ortiz spotlight where labor is rising to the moment to fight fascism — and where it’s not. Sarah Posner makes short work of Republicans’ party of the multiracial working class” con. Jennifer Berkshire has optimistic news about a backlash to the backlash against public schools. And in a frank and deeply informed conversation, Jamelle Bouie, Nancy MacLean, Olúfẹ́mi Táíwò, Tarso Luis Ramos and Alex Han discuss how the Left should fight the Right and what’s holding us back. 

The common message is clear: Today’s rising, increasingly international, increasingly authoritarian Right is not just a sideshow of the culture war.” It’s the fight of our time. And it demands an answer to an old left question: Which side are you on?