Trendy Fascism

White Power Music and the Future of Democracy

By Nancy S. Love

Subjects: Political Theory, Political Communication, Cultural Studies, American Studies, Human Rights
Series: SUNY series in New Political Science
Paperback : 9781438462042, 268 pages, July 2017
Hardcover : 9781438462035, 268 pages, August 2016

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Table of contents


1. Mobilizing White Power: Music, Culture, and Politics

2. Playing with Hate: Racist Skinheads, Skrewdriver, and Liberal Tolerance

3. Imagining A White Nation: Neo-Nazi Folk, Family Values, and Prussian Blue

4. Building A Church: Rahowa, Heavy Metal, and Racial Ecology

5. Recycling White Trash: Aesthetics, Music, and Democracy


Explores how white supremacist groups use popular music and culture to teach hate and promote violence.


Popular music plays a major role in mobilizing citizens, especially youth, to fight for political causes. Yet the presence of music in politics receives relatively little attention from scholars, politicians, and citizens. White power music is no exception, despite its role in recent high-profile hate crimes.Trendy Fascism is the first book to explore how contemporary white supremacists use popular music to teach hate and promote violence. Nancy S. Love focuses on how white power music supports "trendy fascism," a neo-fascist aesthetic politics. Unlike classical fascism, trendy fascism involves a hyper-modern cultural politics that exploits social media to create a global white supremacist community. Three case studies examine different facets of the white power music scene: racist skinhead, neo-Nazi folk, and goth/metal. Together these cases illustrate how music has replaced traditional forms of public discourse to become the primary medium for conveying white supremacist ideology today. Written from the interdisciplinary perspective on culture, economics, and politics best described as critical theory, this book is crucial reading for everyone concerned about the future of democracy.

Nancy S. Love is Professor of Political Science and Humanities Council Coordinator at Appalachian State University. She is the author of Musical Democracy and coeditor (with Mark Mattern) of Doing Democracy: Activist Art and Cultural Politics, both also published by SUNY Press.


"…timely and important … Love provides new ways to situate and understand white-power music, its fans, and its practitioners, as well as the strength it has in both drawing on and influencing mainstream culture and politics." — American Music

"While Love's book displays the rigor of serious research, her prose permits those of us who may not be as familiar with the theorists she cites to fully appreciate her thesis. Love's exhaustive critique takes the reader from how the white supremacist is mobilizing music through avenues of 'hate' to the lyrical depictions of an imagined 'white nation.' … Love's book is timely and an important work to make sense of how today's fascists have made significant use of song and lyric to attract youth." — Truthout

"Trendy Fascism has the potential to unsettle how theorists of democracy frame their most basic assumptions in the study of politics. The case studies of white power music are indeed unsettling, and at times they will bring chills to the reader. But, as Love argues, we must confront the realities of and rationalizations for the often-disavowed transnational white supremacist communities and networks in our political present if we are serious about overturning the racial contract pervading late modern states." — Neil Roberts, Williams College