Latent Fascism by any other name…

Deeply concerning events took place in Greece in mid-September related to Golden Dawn, Greece’s disgraceful, and dangerously volatile, manifestation of the anathema that is National Socialism. It is (in my view) the quintessential case of bigotry, hatred and aggression all encapsulated in a single, rapidly growing movement akin to particularly dreadful political parties around in the mid-20th century. I strongly recommend investigating them if only to base your abhorrence on your own reasons.

This description would be more of a call to action had it been written a month prior to my attempt at an inaugural blog post. However, since an escalation of circumstances to the murder of Pavlos Fyssas (which Golden Dawn rejects responsibility for), the party has found its activities heavily curtailed. I cannot express enough thankfulness for these developments.  Due to a lengthening track record of the intimidation, harassment and assailment of immigrant workers and leftists mainly in Athens’ docking districts, the Greek government has finally reacted to the threat posed by such a movement. Last month several key members were arrested, and recently the Greek Parliament has completely withdrawn funding for the party.

The situation blackens, however. At this slightly hysterical site I found allegations that Fyssas’ death was orchestrated by the Greek government. I do not entertain fanciful speculation for longer than necessary. However, combining any basis that site provides with claims that the police have connections to, and support for, the movement, is enough to tell me that the entire situation is a web of twisted (or conveniently flexible) ideologies and blurred moral values.

The implications of such a scenario are clear I think. Golden Dawn may not have been behind the murder. Yet this does not in any way mitigate the outrage we should feel towards them, when their ideology is so clearly an affront to fundamental values of justice. We can simply extend our concern to Greece’s situation in its entirety, and implore the country’s leaders to commit to the cause of its citizens’ rights, not its own self-interest. Desperation from economic malaise is driving people to attack others on fascist grounds, and feel that it is justified, in the blindness of nationalism George Orwell encapsulated in his essay Notes on Nationalism; I fully endorse reading through that work. The only right course of action must be to completely disassociate with any such effects, something that I profoundly hope is the Greek Government’s true purpose.

The main talking-point lies in the questions we should be asking at this stage. When does a democratic system cease to be good for its own sake? When are we justified in terminating a democratic direction due to its infringements upon what we should wish to be protected in terms of individual safety and liberty? The answer is not always as clear as in the Golden Dawn’s rising popularity, as I hope to discuss in my subsequent post on the chaos in Egypt this year.

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