Tuesday, 28 January 2014
Can fascism make a comeback?
Yes it can I’d argue and it already is in some parts of the world in places like the Ukraine and Greece for example there are significant forces building and more worryingly growing all the time. When I was a member of the socialist party combating fascism was not a priority we were always told the capitalists would only use a fascist koo as last resort and the working class will have many chances’ to take power well before it comes to fascism. What they did not tell us was that fascism could make a comeback well before that and indeed right under our noses’. For me it appears as though the old centre ground centre left and centre right are in crisis and are finding their votes and popular support in collapse right across Europe. The centre left in particular is facing a big decline as ice outlined in previous posts on this blog this is no more confirmed than France's president Holland this week seeing his poll ratings sink to their lowest ever for any French president of all time. This is quite an achievement considering the dross they have produced down the years. Fascism can find a hold in times of fear and desperation in the downtrodden middle class's but also the working class too. Fascism was always considered a middle class movement those who have been disenchanted but this misses the point fascism can cover multiple classes in its mass popular support it is a tempting appeal when things are heading quickly down. Fascism in its traditional sense opposes communism but this is the traditional understanding we have fascism in the future and even today will and do look very different to what we understand it to have been in the past. Things do not repeat themselves in history but can take parts of the past with them. I think we may see the rise again of a mass movement against corruption on a European scale and even more so in here in the UK with the likes of UKIP appealing to those who are fed up with the current political elite even though many of their leading figures are hardly too far out of touch of the political establishment themselves. IN a piece in the guardian last November "In the years since the global banking crisis in 2007, commentators across the political spectrum have confidently predicted not only the imminent collapse of the euro – but sooner or later an unavoidable implosion of the European Union itself. None of this has come to pass. But the "European Project", launched after the devastation of the Second World War, now faces the most serious threat in its history. That threat was chillingly prefigured last november in the launch of a pan-European alliance of far-right parties, led by the French National Front and the Dutch Party of Liberty headed by Geert Wilders, and vowing to slay "the monster in Brussels".. Of course, the growth in support for far-right populist, anti-European, anti-immigrant parties has been force-fed by the worst world recession since at least the 1930s and possibly since before 1914. Mass unemployment and falling living standards in the euro-area and the wider EU made worse by the crazy and self-defeating austerity obsession of European leaders has opened the door to the revival of the far right. Parties that skulked in the shadows for decades after 1945, playing down their sympathies with fascism and Nazism are now re-emerging having given themselves a PR facelift. Marine Le Pen, leader of the French NF, plays down the antisemitic record of her party... The Dutch far-right leader has ploughed a slightly different furrow – mobilising fear and hostility not against Jews but rather Muslim immigrants in the Netherlands. Like Marine Le Pen, Wilders obsessively focuses on the alleged cosmopolitan threat to national identity from the European Union. It is a chorus echoed in other European countries by the Danish People's party, the Finns party and the Flemish Vlaams Belang among others. For now, the French and Dutch populists are carefully keeping their distance from openly neo-Nazi parties such as Golden Dawn – whose paramilitary Sturmabteilung – have terrorised refugees and immigrants in Greece, and the swaggering Hungarian Jobbik, who terrorise the Roma minority. For now, our own Ukip is tactically keeping its distance from the new European far-right alliance while whispering a similar story about "east European immigrants". Ridiculous comparisons have been drawn by some commentators between the rise of the populist far right and the growth of the radical left – notably the Syriza party in Greece, which has pushed for a reverse of austerity crisis policies, both in Greece and throughout Europe. In fact, Syriza represents the main challenge to Golden Dawn's offensive. Moreover, while the Italian Northern League may be drawn to the far-right alliance, the bulk of the semi-anarchist followers of the comedian Beppe Grillo in the Italian parliament are anti-fascist and unlikely to take the same path. According to some pollsters – the far right might win as many as a third of all the seats in the European parliament after the European elections this May. That would still leave the centre parties – Christian Democrats, Social Democrats and Liberals – with many more members. But for the European parliament to form a credible majority all of these parties might well be forced much closer together than is good for them or good for European democracy. It could threaten eventual paralysis of the European parliament itself. Such a situation would be unsettlingly reminiscent of 1936, when the centre and the left – notably in France – temporarily halted the swing to fascism but formed an unprincipled and ineffective coalition. Its collapse on the eve of the Second World War accelerated the advent of Phillippe Petain's Nazi collaborating regime. History does not normally repeat itself in an automatic fashion. But it would be foolish to take the risk. More worrying than the growth of the far right are the temporising gestures to the racists and anti-immigrants now coming from mainstream Tory and even Liberal Democrat politicians and from some of the new "Blue Labour" ideologues. The warning from the likes of David Blunkett that hostility to Roma immigrants might lead to a popular "explosion" is worryingly reminiscent of Enoch Powell style rhetoric. An effective antidote to the growth of far-right populism requires that the European left is capable of articulating and following through on a comprehensive alternative to economic stagnation, an ever-widening income and wealth gap, the degradation of our social standards, civil liberties and democratic rights and the mindless drift to a global arming catastrophe. But to succeed that alternative has to be fought for at European as well as national and local levels, and to be delivered will require more, not less, European integration." So to conclude fascism is back in some shape or form and can grow further still if allowedto. Our job must be to oppose it wherever it raises its ugly head. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/nov/15/far-right-rise-european-marine-le-pen-geert-wilders