The Trouble with National Action [Book Review]

More than an obituary of a banned Nazi group, Hayes argues that ‘National Action may have articulated a genuinely nasty Nazi ideology, but it was largely ineffective, and the idea that State legislation is the best way to deal with the threat is an error.’ (page 71) This is not a book which is particularly concerned with government policy, nor with maintaining ‘business as usual’. Hayes takes the threat seriously: ‘fascism may not always be seen as the most unattractive and least credible product in the market place of political ideas.’ (page 56) But he is equally convinced of the threat from the ‘creeping coercive state’ (what you might call the ‘extremists of the centre’).

‘If you want to talk genuine anti-fascism, you have to talk anti-capitalism. […] In the age of austerity, where the attempt to reimpose neoliberalism after the financial crisis has exposed the naked class interests which underpin the capitalist economic system, nothing is more important than understanding the nature of the threat from the far right. We need to deal effectively with fascists, and this means replacing, once and for all, the predatory economic system that causes such misery and periodically vomits forth this vile ideology’. (page 76-77)

The Trouble with National Action by Mark Hayes. Freedom Press, ISBN 9781904491347, £5