Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Fascism on the rise?

The Golden Dawn party in Greece is replaying the rise of fascist movements from a century ago. It sounds a bit like Germany in the early Nazi era:
The Golden Dawn has also begun engaging left-wing anarchy groups in street battles ....
But perhaps more worrisome, critics say, are signs that the Golden Dawn is establishing itself as an alternative authority in a country crippled by the harsh austerity imposed by its international lenders....As the party attempts to place a swelling number of unemployed in jobs, its officials say they have persuaded a major restaurant chain to begin replacing immigrants with Greek workers....Landlords can seek the party’s help with the eviction of immigrant tenants....
The big difference between Golden Dawn and the Nazis is that Greece does not have the economic and military capacity that Germany had. However, fascism didn't start in Germany, it started it Italy. So if Greece goes fascist, what other countries might follow?

More immediately, if the fascists bully themselves into office, how will the liberal West respond? Sure, they'll get kicked out of the EU (if they hadn't already) and they'll probably loose any economic aid. But what if a left-wing/anarchist rebellion breaks out? Will the threat of anarchy make a fascist state seem more legitimate, or will left-wing movements not seem as threatening as they were following WWI, even as history has demonstrated the threat of fascism? My bets are that the establishment will guess that it is easier to do business with (and influence) fascists than anarchists.

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