EXTREMISMSiege Culture and Accelerationism in the U.K.

Published 5 July 2022

Siege Culture, also referred to as accelerationism, has been on the rise in the U.K. and elsewhere since 2016. Both Siege Culture and accelerationism refer to a violent strategy in which terrorism is used to hasten societal collapse by provoking reactions from authorities and exacerbating existing social tensions.

What follows is an introductory overview of Siege Culture, also referred to as accelerationism, as it has manifested in the U.K. from 2016 onwards. Although it is a fringe set of beliefs, Siege Culture has underpinned many of the recent counter terrorism cases linked to the extreme-right in the U.K. These introductory remarks do not assume any specialist knowledge beyond a broad understanding of the far-right. 

These remarks set out key beliefs in the Siege Culture subculture, before providing an overview of how the subculture is organized and has evolved over time. The remarks go on to consider the relationship between Siege Culture, violence, and offending, before speculating about potential future developments. 

Key Beliefs
Siege Culture takes inspiration from Fascism & National Socialism. Siege Culture supporters have an anti-democratic, anti-enlightenment, and racist or ethnically motivated violent extremist (RMVE) worldview. They believe they are Aryans, a specific and superior group at the top of a racial hierarchy. They are hostile towards non-whites, non-heterosexuals, Jews, and governments. Siege Culture includes the idea of a The System, which is a conspiracy of the government, Jews, capitalists, and all other forces acting against Aryan interests.  

Within Siege Culture Fascism is treated as a higher truth and a natural state in which Aryans will dominate all others. As a result, Siege Culture advocates believes that any softening of their message to increase their appeal is impossible, and that any form of politics or compromise is inherently flawed. Siege Culture is critical of other right-wing actors who are seen as being insufficiently committed, resulting in a form of elitism and a belief that they represent a revolutionary vanguard with access to special truths unrecognized by others.  

Siege Culture argues that societies are in a state of involution: a period of decay caused by weakness. The eventual collapse of society and destruction of The System is considered inevitable. Collapse is a necessary precursor to the rise of the organic state and a return to natural hierarchy. 

Accelerationism refers to a violent strategy in which terrorism is used to hasten societal collapse by provoking reactions from authorities and exacerbating existing social tensions. The term has come to be closely associated with Siege Culture to the extent that Siege Culture inspired groups are often referred to as accelerationists. However, accelerationism has also been a feature in the ideology of right-wing terrorists such as Brenton Tarrant and Peyton Gendron, who are less clearly related to Siege Culture.