Guest Lecture: Tamir Bar On | Understanding Historical and Contemporary ‘Brown Scares’ in Euro-American Societies
The Daniel S. Abraham Center for International and Regional Studies invites the public to a guest lecture by Dr. Tamir Bar-On, Assistant Professor of the Defense and Security Program, Rabdan Academy, United Arab Emirates.
The purpose of this conference paper is to understand the historical origins and contemporary manifestations of Brown Scares, a term coined by US historian Leo P. Ribuffo in the 1980s in reference to the Nazi uniforms of the Sturmabteilung (SA: Storm Detachments). The paper proceeds in six steps. First, the paper defines Brown Scares and traces the historical origins of Brown Scares and its links to the “isolationist Right” in the United States of America. Second, it demonstrates a little known historical reality, namely, that the original Brown Scares in the pre-war and World War Two periods prepared the groundwork for the more famous Red Scares in the 1950s. Third, it provides contemporary examples of Brown Scares in Canada, the US, Western European countries, Latin America, and Russia. Fourth, it then shows that although we can legitimately compare Red Scares and Brown Scares in terms of their effects on civil liberties, few in the Western mass media or academia see them as equivalent and prefer to attack alleged fascists or Nazis and often give a free pass to communist and anarchist excesses. Fifth, the paper demonstrates how Brown Scares are akin to a new “crusade”, “woke religion”, “civil religion”, or “political religion” that uses anti-fascism as the reigning ideology in order to police political boundaries and limit political dissent. Sixth, the paper concludes by examining the various social, psychological, and political functions of Brown Scares.
Moderator Prof. Raanan Rein, Department of General History, Tel Aviv University
Comments Dr. Jorge Gordin, Department of Spanish, Portuguese, and Latin American Studies, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
May 7th, 2023
Room 278, Gilman Building, TAU