The excellent blog sketchythoughts recently posted an interview with a South Asian antifascist living in New York City, along with an analysis of the interview. The whole thing is worth reviewing, but in particular the questions it prompts around the class composition of fascist movements. Based on his experiences fighting Hindu fascism in North America, the interviewee concludes that wealthier segments of the Indian population in the diaspora are more supportive of Hindu fascism than are working class or poor folks.
“Mathew explains that the Hindu far-right draws most of its support from the well educated professional middle class. Not surprisingly, this is in direct contradiction to the liberal myth that it is the “backwards” and poor classes which are drawn to fascism – while i certainly don’t want to pretend that the global far right is homogenous, there are many many other examples of fascism growing within the most “advanced” and “modern classes,” regardless of the traditionalist drag they may hid behind.”
This may well be the case, but it would be interesting to research the question more fully, and to think about the differences between fascist movements in exile/diaspora and those in the “fatherland,” so to speak. Some commentators (mostly from the right) seem to make a similar point in the case of Islamic fascism – whether or not the term is used with any precision. That is, the support base for Al-Qaeda and other groupings is thought to be largely in the underclasses in the middle east and Central/South Asia, while many of the targets of counter-terrorism investigations in the US and Europe are educated, often wealthy, immigrants from the middle east or Central/South Asia. I don’t know whether this assessment is accurate (in either the Hindu or Muslim cases), and I’m not sure what all the implications would be for anti-fascism, but it’s worth pursuing.