Monday, October 29, 2012

Déjà Vu: Fascism on the Rise

By Justin Raimondo

Here in America we have only just begun to feel the social and political effects of the worldwide economic crisis: rising unemployment, a wave of bankruptcies andforeclosures, and a general contraction in economic activity. State and local governments are imposing austerity measures, and the federal government faces a “fiscal cliff” that may be much steeper than anyone now imagines. In Europe, however, they are already halfway down into the abyss, with Greece falling faster andharder — and several southern European countries not too far behind.
The response of governments throughout the continent has been a regime of “austerity” designed to reduce deficits piled up as a result of many decades of extravagance: populations which have come to expect government subsidies as their just due are being subjected to draconian budget cuts, and the social and political structures built up since the end of the second world war are in danger of collapse. The decline and probable fall of the euro augurs worse to come, with the spillover effectthreatening us here in the US.
The last worldwide economic depression led to the rise of national socialism in Germany, fascism in Italy, and ultimately to a devastating global conflict that killed millions: could it happen again?
The economic and social factors that led to the rise of national socialism and fascism in Europe are too well-known to require much reiteration here: the plight of Weimar Germany, with its runaway inflation, and subsequent social disintegration, pulverized the socio-economic fabric of the nation that gave us Goethe and Beethoven, empowering authoritarian ideologues of the right and the left. Marginal figures moved to the mainstream, and the results were horrific.
That process seems to be repeating itself today, with the rising tide of far-right movements in GreeceHungaryItalythe Netherlands, and even Finland. And it isn’t just Europe: the so-called Arab Spring is occasioned by skyrocketing food prices and even worse economic conditions than we see elsewhere. With Islamist parties moving to fill the breach as US-supported tyrants like Hosni Mubarak fall by the wayside, the Weimar Effect is very far from being an exclusively European phenomenon.
Greece, the most extreme case of economic implosion, is showcasing the looming threat. With more than 25% unemployment (twice that among the young), and the complete collapse of the country’s most basic institutions, an openly fascist political party is moving to fill the gap. “Golden Dawn” is quite explicit about its ideological antecedents: their symbol is the Greek version of a swastika.
The party was founded in the early 1990s by Nikolaos Michaloliakos, a fifty-five year old rightist agitator and ex-military man with a long history as a pro-Nazi propagandist. Like Hitler, he served a jail term early in his political career for his violent “activism”: imprisoned in the same facility with the leaders of the 1967 military junta, their example inspired him to create “Golden Dawn,” initially a magazine which featured apologias for Naziism, and Holocaust denial. He and his followers registered Golden Dawn as a political party in 1993. A marginal force initially, the party — which garnered less than 1 percent in previous polls — received a stunning 14 percent of the national vote in Greece’s recent parliamentary elections.
Golden Dawn’s message is all too familiar: while the far left — which is also gaining ground — blames “capitalism” for the country’s woes, the Golden Dawners are far more explicit: Jewish bankers, they say, are the cause of Europe’s economic problems and Greece’s plight (oh, and by the way, the Holocaust is a lie). Their response to the “austerity” policies of centrist politicians is to blame foreigners — 2 million of whom currently reside in Greece — for rising crime and “stealing jobs” from natives. Black-shirted toughs patrol the streets, beating up foreigners, attacking immigrant hotels, and even infiltrating the police, who have “out-sourced” law enforcement in large sections of central Athens to Golden Dawn thugs. Like all fascists everywhere, they cite historical fantasies of a “Greater” nation: if Golden Dawn ever came to power, the “lost” lands of Macedonia and portions of the former Yugoslavia would be “reclaimed,” and war with Turkey would only be a matter of time.


  1. Let's set the record straight on Fascism. It is not far right. Fascism was and is a leftist ideology, just not as far as socialism.

    1. What are the corresponding names for ideologies on the right and far right then?

    2. far right is anarchy (complete absence of the state)... far left is socialism (complete control of the state)... we are somewhere in the middle, but as mises said you either have free markets or you do not (we do not)

      Lets set the record straight on communism: Communism is a utopia that would be achieved after 1000 years of socialism (see the writings of Karl Marx). Communism has never existed in the history of mankind and will never exist.

    3. The above comment is correct, Fascism is a left wing ideology: The state knows what is best for society and as such it will create laws and regulations to keep everyone in line. I would even say that Crony Capitalism is a different from Fascism, similar but different.

      When liberals use "Fascist" what they are really referring to is a totalitarian police state, which was usually democratically elected in the first place.

    4. It depends on the political spectrum you use. If you use the historical left-right spectrum which dates back to the French Revolution, libertarianism (the philosophy, not the party) is as far left as you can go.

      If you're talking about the extremely narrow american political spectrum (which is all most americans have known since the New Deal), fascism is still on the far-right and state-socialism on the far left (as Dale said below, there is no spot for libertarianism/anarchism on the modern american political spectrum). If you were to place Romney and Obama on the historical spectrum, they'd be at pretty much the same spot.... way to the right.

      When dealing with the subjective, it helps to define the context.

    5. Google "Dialectic". It's just a way of framing issues so only two polar opposite positions are allowed. Anything like "liberty" is considered taboo.

    6. Thanks Frank. Libertarian or anarchist-minded people who still buy into the "left/right" bullshit need an education. ECONOMICPOLICYJOURNAL.COM IS HERE TO HELP!

  2. Interesting. There are even people on the Right in the US who see what's happening with "Golden Dawn" in Greece, for instance, and say that it is a good thing. The reason being that some of the Greeks are beginning to "reclaim" their culture. For the most part these groups do use a lost golden age as their ideal for the future. They are sentimental to the extreme when it comes to tradition and authority.

    I think that pointing out the difference between libertarian/austrian thinkers and racist nationalists can be helpful when explaining yourself to people who may have preconceived notions about anyone who doesn't support progressive left agendas.

    The "right" actually splits off in different directions once you begin to discard all of the political gibberish and clarify underlying philosophies.

  3. It's great to see the natives rising up and taking care to clean up the multicultural filth in their precious homeland. Hopefully an inspiration to others in the Western world who can overcome the media brainwashing of "diversity is good"...

    1. so i guess Hitler had it right then???

    2. Ahh, such an easy comeback. But perfect evidence of that brainwashing. Why don't you look into WW1/2 history a little more deeply before deciding who's right and wrong? You might be surprised, nay shocked at what you find.

      In the battle of nationalists vs internationalists, you'll find that the wrong side emerged victorious. The result is this crap world in which we now live.

    3. Yes it was pretty easy... I didnt decide who was right or wrong, i simply asked a question and your reluctance to answer spoke volumes.

      All sides were wrong in ww1/2... ww1 should have ended in a stalemate which would have prevented ww2 from ever happening.

      I have read plenty about Nazi Germany (As We Go Marching, The Vampire Economy, The Wages of Desctruction). The Jews were a scapegoat for the Wiemar Republic's terrible socialistic economic polices and Hitler's equally terrible fascist economic policies.

      If you are white and live in the US then at some point in time your ancestors were immigrants.

      feel free to anwser my question about Hitler....

    4. Your reading on 1930s Germany goes ankle-deep. Please wade into deeper waters with Witness to History by Walsh and The Nameless War by Ramsey. Then swim where that current takes you. It should be obvious that this is not the time or place to have a debate on Hitler (with 100,000+ books on the man/era). And there is way more to the discussion than mere economics, to which you apparently would reduce everything.

      Such textbook, regurgitated comments from you think there is any difference between a German farmer immigrant to 1840s Ohio (typical of my ancestors) and a Somalian immigrant to 2012 Minneapolis? On whose backs can we build a nation of individual rights, free market choices, and private property? Or is everybody just the same on the gooey inside? Damn important questions, don't you think?

    5. thanks for keeping this debate going...

      I will admit that its hard to compare modern immigrants and those of 19th century. But not because one is hard-working and one is not. In the 19th century we were a free country where you had to succeed or fail on your own, there was no welfare system to fall back on, this fostered a hearty generation of immigrants with which to build a country. Today, however, there is a grand welfare state for them to live on as well as all the wealth that has been created by immigrants like your ancestors over the past 200 years. Its all too easy to not become a productive citizen.

      Take away the welfare state and all of a sudden the immigrant problem goes away, in fact, statistics show that immigrants are actually leaving (i cant verify that last claim but it makes sense)

      Its the same problem that Germany faced when Otto Von Bismark crafted his own great society in the late 19th century, too much welfare. Yes, this is an overgeneralization but I can't write a dissertation in a blog comment.

      With your initial comments about "cleaning the multicultural filth" you implied that Hitler was right to rid German society of an inferior race (Jews, homosexuals, Gypsies, etc)... do you stand by this assertation?? Was Hitler right?? How about the white-supremist Abraham Lincoln and his initial plan to ship all the slaves out of the country?

      I, for one, think this would be a damn boring place without all the art and music that has been bestowed on us by immigrants of all races. Not only that, we are a wealthier society due to innovations that immigrant have created here after earning degrees in engineering & other sciences.

      I have had a sense for a while that neo-fascism was the end game both here and in western europe, its too bad it may be coming to fruition...

    6. Mr. Economic Man, please think beyond mere economics and seek the spiritual.

      Regarding immigrants, it's not just a matter of work ethic. One must also account for intelligence, creativity, impulse control, time preference and planning skills, tendency to favor violence vs. cooperation, rule-following, and many other characteristics deriving mainly from the (different) natures of people.

      This once-proud nation was built by a very specific and narrow subset of similar peoples with an affinity towards certain principles embodied in our founding documents. It cannot be sustained by others who do not have these principles emanating from their very nature. Why is this difficult to see?

      Thought experiment: replace those German farmers with some Somalians in your same "free country" of the 1800s. Same result?

      Myself, I'm quite fond of Austrian economics, but it really is different strokes for different folks. Good luck preaching Mises and Rothbard (great men indeed, for those who can see) to your beloved cultural enrichers. No chance, bro.

      Exotic art and music in exchange for the slow but steady annihilation of your homeland? A fool's bargain!!

      This knee-jerk name-calling of fascist, racist, et al has really lost its effectiveness. Abused Euro-Americans increasingly know the score and the PC facade of several decades is, praise the heavens, rapidly and inevitably crumbling...check this out, an article that you would fully support, and the "see-through-the-crap" comments that follow:

      Indeed, this is a taste of what is coming. When the day of reckoning comes, will you stand with your Euro-american brothers? Note that your enrichers will stand with their own, as nature dictates.

      As for AH, I won't reduce a very complex topic to a yes/no answer. Life is not black and white.

  4. The worst part of all this is that most anti-capitalist ideologues will invariably end up claiming that fascism was re-introduced in Europe because of not enough government interference.

  5. "Left" and "Right" are just a way of making people believe that there are choices. It's part of The Dialectic, preventing people from seeing "outside the box".

    Liberty is outside that box, and therefore must be demonized. A government that stayed out of the bedroom, the backyard, the school system and the wallets of the people would destroy the power of The Elite, and must therefore be marginalized.