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radical right

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See synonyms for: radical right / radical rights on Thesaurus.com

noun

the faction representing extreme right-wing political views; ultraconservatives; reactionaries.

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Origin of radical right

First recorded in 1950–55

OTHER WORDS FROM radical right

radical rightism, nounradical rightist, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

ABOUT THIS WORD

What does radical right mean?

Radical right is a term that refers collectively to people who hold right-wing political views considered extreme, such as supporting authoritarianism, fascism, or white supremacy. The radical right is more commonly called the far right.

The term does not refer to any official political party or coalition of people, and it can encompass a broad range of political beliefs. Whether someone is considered a member of the radical right depends on who’s using the term and for what purpose.

The word right is used in politics to refer to conservative or right-wing political views and collectively to the people who hold such views. Members of the right wing are generally thought to be those who oppose widespread change or reform and support preserving existing conditions and institutions or restoring traditional ones. Such people typically support free enterprise and oppose strong regulation and federal involvement in promoting social welfare.

Read our article to learn more about why left means liberal and right means conservative!

In the term radical right, the word radical is used to mean extreme in the sense of holding extreme political views. Those thought to be members of the radical right include fascists, neo-Nazis, and fringe militia groups who view any federal regulation or reforms as a form of government overreach intended to suppress individual freedom. Members of the alt-right movement are considered part of the radical right.

Someone considered a member of the radical right may be called an ultraconservative, or, more pejoratively, an extreme right-winger (or just right-winger). The term radical right is sometimes used in a disparaging way by those with left-wing views to criticize members of the right wing and their positions, perhaps in an attempt to make them seem more extreme or dangerous.

Radical right can also be used as an adjective to refer to things related to this group, as in radical right ideology.

What does radical left mean?

On the opposite side of the political spectrum from the radical right is the radical left, which refers collectively to people who hold left-wing political views that are considered extreme, such as supporting or working to establish communism, Marxism, Maoism, socialism, anarchism, or other forms of anticapitalism. The word left is used in politics to refer to liberal or left-wing political views and collectively to the people who hold such views. Members of the left wing are generally thought to be those who support measures of progressive political reform, especially to address what they see as widespread social inequality, such as through the institution of federal social welfare programs. Members of the radical left are thought to support or actively work for more extreme reforms or even revolution to fundamentally change or overthrow the existing political and economic systems.

The term radical right is used less often than radical left.

Example: Not all gun owners are members of the radical right, but the radical right holds unrestricted access to any and all firearms as sacred.

Where does radical right come from?

The first records of the term radical right come from the mid-1900s. The term radical left has been used since at least the 1870s. Use of the terms left and right in reference to politics dates back to the late 1700s. These senses of the words originated in the seating practice of European legislatures, in which members holding liberal views were assigned to the left side and those with more conservative views were seated on the right.

The term radical right is often used to refer to people who support the kind of politics and beliefs associated with extreme right-wing groups such as the Nazis led by Adolf Hitler in Germany and the fascists under Benito Mussolini in Italy and Francisco Franco in Spain. The radical right is often thought to include ultranationalists.

When radical right is used in a critical way, it often implies a link to violent right-wing extremist groups. Sometimes, this is done to make certain right-wing views or proposals seem more extreme or dangerous.

In the U.S., right-wing policies are associated with the Republican Party (while left-wing policies are associated with the Democratic Party). People considered part of the radical right are often those who consider mainstream Republican Party policies too moderate.

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What are some synonyms for radical right?

  • far right

What are some words that share a root or word element with radical right

What are some words that often get used in discussing radical right?

How is radical right used in real life?

Radical right is a highly politicized term. The term far right means the same thing and is more common.

Example sentences from the Web for radical right

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