Monday, February 4, 2013

Next time ...

... you see Greek demonstrators brandishing pictures of Chancellor Merkel in Nazi uniform remember that Golden Dawn, the self-proclaimed Neo-Nazi party has members in the Greek Parliament and its current support stands at 12 per cent. They are doing considerably better than UKIP is here and that is not just because of the different electoral system.

Der Spiegel reports that the party is forming links with German Neo-Nazis, particularly in Bavaria and Nuremberg.


  1. The chickens have indeed come home to roost for the EU Kommissars. What did they expect - love and peace, man, as the cheap foreign labour came flooding in?

  2. Wait, what? I thought Americans were all fascists, and fascists were all Americans. They have them in Europe, too?

    1. MITCH . Golden Dawn are not fascists . They are Neo-Nazis . The fascists are in Brussels and wear suits and ties .

  3. I know, Mitch. A shocking thought. Even more shocking that they have them all over Europe.

  4. Knowing your stance, I am genuinely confused. Are you suggesting that the rise of the right is the consequence of the economic policies of the European Union, and that without the union there would be no resurgent fascism? That seems to fly in the face of reason and experience.

    The fiscal union does seem to run to the heart of Greek financial tribulation, but without it there would have been other hard times, for sure. Remember the Italian Lire? The Drachma would have been in a far more parlous situation. The fascists thrive on developing a sense of local identity, one that is superior to those damn foreigners who can then be blamed for all the ills felt by the populace. The European project may have its flaws, but open borders is the antithesis to the insularity needed to foster that resentment.

  5. Don't you think that open borders is exactly the sort of thing likely to create that resentment?

  6. I think we are getting into a real muddle about who and what are fascists and fascism. Firstly, may I ask people to give themselves some kind of a moniker. Anyone who stays Anonymous will be ignored by me.

    Ham, I am sorry I didn't reply earlier. The point is not whether it is extreme right or extreme left. In reality fascism was a form of socialism as was Nazism. In terms of bad political and economic ideas and bloodthirsty oppression there is little to choose between national and international socialism with the national variety, by and large, being far more popular.

    The point is that the entire European project of integration, the creation of a single European state, centralization, state regulation and protectionism and the construction of unaccountable managerial governance was always going to undermine any form of democratic or, if you prefer, accountable government as well as the rule of law. This has been happening even in Britain where both have strong roots in centuries of history. How much more likely was this going to happen in countries where the political structures are more fragile?

    On top of that it was obvious from the very beginning of the euro that economically it was a disastrous policy. Indeed, its proponents said openly that it was a political project and damn the economics. The inevitable (and it was inevitable) economic collapse was obviously going to weaken a not very strong more or less democratic system. The same is happening (as predicted) in some East European countries for the same reason.

  7. Yes, I do understand the Socialistic implications of National Socialism, which is why I referred to fascism, which is understood as being on the far right of conventional definition.

    The authoritarian nationalism that is fascism thrives on blaming outsiders for a nation's ills. Typically, it is poverty of the masses that gives the worst characteristics of the fascists oxygen. I do not accept, nor do I think you are suggesting, that the Euro is at the heart of all financial problems in Europe; the thing it does is spread the pain, infecting countries that otherwise would not be feeling as much pain. Arguably, that lessens the intensity of the pain in specific countries.

    I understand your contention that the European project undermines democracy, I've been following your consistent approach with interest. Where I disagree with you is that I think that the one thing that Europe does prevent is a resurgence of nationalism and fascism. Sure, there will be reactionary elements but if it can be made to stick (which is painful right now) then that is a price worth paying.

  8. Hi Ham. I think we also disagree on the definition of fascism. It is a socialism by most definitions and if it also involved nationalist fervour, that does not negate its main socialist ideology. Lazy media terminology remains inadequate.

    The euro, as you say yourself, or, to be quite precise, the monetary union has certainly made financial and economic problems much worse, particularly for the weaker economies who also happen to be countries with weaker political structures. That was predictable and was predicted but ignored by those for whom the ideology was more important than anything else. The price is now being paid in those very countries, Greece being the most obvious.

    I also think that the European Union (not Europe) is powerless to prevent anything, particularly not nationalism, which is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, in itself, it is neutral. One can be nationalistic and in favour of liberal democracy or one can be nationalistic and in favour of an oppressive, corporatist state and many stations between. The point is that the more people see that they have no say in the politics of their country because decisions are taken in an unaccountable way at the EU level, the more likely they are to turn to more extremist parties. We are seeing this in a number of countries, Greece being one of them though the process is balanced out by the desperate worry so many Greeks have that the dosh might stop rolling in.

    It is not a huge centralized bureaucracy that is going to build and strengthen democracy, accountable governance or genuine and non-extremi

  9. Ahem, some words seem to have gone AWOL at the end of that comment. Obviously, I was going to say:

    It is not a huge centralized bureaucracy that is going to build and strengthen democracy, accountable governance or genuine and non-extremist political parties.