Why Are Groups Like National Action Attractive to Young People?

It may be hard to conceive—a vicious Far-Right Extremist organisation attractive to our younger generations—yet this is exactly what has happened over the last decade. The Far-Right have stepped the gear upwards in the drive to recruit younger people, and they’ve been incredibly successful at it.

When we look at the Example of National Action, we see bold and different Social Media Propaganda being used to promote their image. This is a new breed of Far-Right Extremism, not seen in this country before. In 2021, National Action is no longer an active Far-Right group—it was proscribed in 2017—yet the tactics and imagery have been carried forward by others in the same vein.

Whether it is exclusivity or simply desirability—the motive towards the younger mind in appeal has often been a mystery. Younger people are allegedly supposed to be more ‘liberal’ and in touch with equality as opposed to standing against it. Yet, since 2015, the number of young people who have been convicted of Far-Right Terrorist offences in Britain has skyrocketed.

This may be since Far-Right recruiters are seeking the “Urgent Insurgent” tactic of reinforcing the idea that they are heading towards a deadline of 2066. We see this headline emblazoned on many far-right websites including the website of Patriotic Alternative—demanding a call-to-arms regarding the impeding White Genocide forthcoming. Promoting this message means that the current generation of children will be called upon to fight in what is perceived as a “Race War” by the Far Right, an attempt at preventing what they believe will be the end of White People.

These Conspiracies simply sow fear and mistrust where instead, we need to have conversations about such concepts, where have these ideas come from? where is the evidence? are there other opinions? and then let’s talk about this, what is it people fear? And what is the reality we are facing?

Often fed lies and half-truths  for many in the far-right, this will be seen as gospel, but we have to look beyond labels to see and help people who are often fragile, vulnerable, and indeed susceptible to such Conspiracy Theories and instead of seeking to ‘ Smash Fascism’ we need to educate people away from hate, not using violence,  which never works, as such approaches only makes those attacked more angry and more militant.

Understanding the Far-Right approach may indeed seem very attractive to some, we have to acknowledge some will fall for the Call-To-Arms and seek out a life of Extremism.

These Youthful Far-Right movements are often set around the notion of ‘egging each other on’ to compete for the most shocking act, to make their ‘brothers’ proud and so often land a lengthy Prison Sentence.

This competition that we can see within Far-Right movements can lead to dangerous consequences—not only for those involved, but also our wider community. What starts off as vandalism, graffiti, and public order acts, can very quickly turn to Killing, Maiming and even Torturing People. These are all things that the Youthful Far-Right have shown they are capable of doing, often without remorse or reason—just simply to feel part of a group.

Talking to people involved one young person explained this as follows – “Our parents were tired of many of their parents Conservative ideas and rebelled against them , becoming Left Wing activists. Today we are now rebelling against their ideas and embracing fascism and many of us believe it is cool and edgy. For some it’s a fantasy, for others like me, it’s my life and I will do whatever I can to achieve my beliefs, I just don’t care” Listening to such words is very distressing, but the good news is Exit ( www.exituk.org) have engaged with this individual for many months and we are pleased to say this individual has changed his views and now is completely focused on their future.  Getting to this point is very hard work, but this is what Exit is dedicated to doing, helping people walk away from extremism one person at a time and reducing the appeal of militant far-right extremism.

Interested in helping us reduce extremism? Please have a look at – www.peaceadvocates.net

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