Edric O Posted May 7, 2012 Share Posted May 7, 2012 About a year ago, in response to the thread "Rise of Populist Parties", I posted the following comments:When capitalism enters a major crisis, it always leads to radicalization and polarization. It provides an opportunity for socialists to fight and win, and it may even lead to communist revolutions. But on the other hand, far-right movements also rise, feeding on fear and suspicion.The True Finns, the "Sweden Democrats," the Freedom Party in the Netherlands, the BNP and EDL in the UK, the reinvigorated Front National in France, the Northern League in Italy, the Swiss People's Party, the FPÖ and BZÖ in Austria, Jobbik in Hungary... they are all part of a Europe-wide trend, and this is a trend we've seen before, after the Great Crash of 1929.Ladies and gentlemen, fascism is back.At the time, several people argued that I went too far in drawing parallels between the present time and the 1930s. They pointed out that right-wing nationalism in general is not the same as fascism in particular, and that most of the political parties I listed are not supporting the kind of murderous xenophobia that defines fascism.Those were all good points. Organizations like the Front National in France or the Swiss People's Party may be focused on getting votes by encouraging fear and hatred of foreigners, but they are not really fascists. They don't go that far. My argument was that their increasing popularity comes from the same social and economic conditions that gave rise to fascism, and that this should worry us, but of course "the same social and economic conditions that gave rise to fascism" are different from actual fascism.Last year, the possibility of actual, full-blown fascism coming back to life as a significant political movement still seemed quite remote.Not any more.Yesterday, Greece held a general election. As you know, Greece is a country whose people have been forced to suffer brutal austerity measures in order to pay off debts to foreign banks. Unemployment has skyrocketed, the welfare state is being torn down, government spending is being slashed to the bone, there are no jobs for young people, and more and more laws are being passed to reduce workers' rights and give more power to bosses and corporations. This has been going on for several years and people are desperate. Suicides are at an all-time high, and just a few weeks ago a man killed himself in the Parliament building.Under these conditions, the elections resulted in predictably massive gains for the radical left (see results here). The two mainstream parties (ND and PASOK, center-right and center-left), which support austerity, only managed to get 32% of the vote combined. The "Coalition of the Radical Left" (Syriza), a broad group that includes all sorts of people from left-democratic-socialists to certain kinds of communists (somewhat similar to the Left Party in Germany) came in second place with 16.7%. The Communist Party held steady at 8.5%.That is all well and good, but here is the scary part. There is another political party, which jumped from an insignificant 0.3% at the last elections to nearly 7% at these elections. The name of the party is Golden Dawn, and as for its ideas... well, let me put it this way. Look at their symbol:And if that's not clear enough, they also do this:That's right. They are Nazis. Real, serious Nazis. They only accept "Aryans" as members. Their stated goal is to get rid of all immigrants and non-Greeks from Greece, and they are already working toward that goal by engaging in street violence against people who look "foreign" and vandalism in immigrant neighborhoods. They refer to their opponents as "traitors" (if they are Greeks) or by various racist insults if they are not Greeks. Golden Dawn is as close to textbook fascism as you can get.And they got 7% of votes. So, now, there can be no doubt. Fascism has officially returned. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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