Ideological Mutation and Millennial Belief in the American Neo-Nazi Movement

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Abstract

This article examines the process of ideological change that accompanied the evolution of the American neo-Nazi movement. The movement's psychological worldview has historically been dominated by a catastrophic millennial outlook that looks forward to the destruction of an environing order perceived to be degraded and beyond hope for renewal. By the 1970s, however, certain organizational changes had taken place in the movement that led to its fracture along separate philosophical tracks. While the millennial underpinnings of the American neo-Nazi movement's belief structure remained largely intact, highly idiosyncratic versions of the neoNazi Aryan myth began to emerge at this time. The ideological mutations that occurred came as a result of neo-Nazi groups adopting a “cultic milieu” existence in society's fringe underground of deviant beliefs. British sociologist Colin Campbell's overlooked theoretical concept of the cultic milieu may provide new insights into the process of ideological transformation in extremist groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)89-106
Number of pages18
JournalStudies in Conflict and Terrorism
Volume24
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Safety Research
  • Political Science and International Relations

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