Neo-Nazi forces are expanding their cross-border alliances in Europe, and far right political parties from EU member countries are reviving their efforts to unite under a so-called “Alliance of Patriots.” This is happening while Putin’s ideological prophet Aleksandr Dughin (one of Putins top aides) visits fascists in Eastern Europe in an attempt to build a base to resurrect Russian imperialism. Dughin has also been in recent communication with Nikolaos Michaloliakos of the Greek far right party Golden Dawn.
The same rhetoric and propaganda which played a part in Europe turning to ruins prior to WWII is being allowed public space. Again we see the blame for the suffering of tens of millions of people in Europe being diverted from its real causes (such as austerity), towards scapegoats for far-right extremists to rally their forces against: immigrants, refugees, Muslims, Roma, Jews, sexual minorities, the increasingly criminalized poor, and, in many countries, women.
The far right are acting on two fronts: Western Europe, where they benefit from imposed poverty under the name of austerity (though they avoid attacking its real causes), and Eastern Europe, where anti-European sentiments are built on austerity measures and the poverty inflicted upon people who have been the guinea pigs of the IMF, World Bank, and experimental economic policy from Brussels during their transition from state capitalism to private capitalism. Both the Western and Eastern far right use nationalism and populism to avoid discussing the economic and social structures which are responsible for the collapse of the standard of living, high crime, and record-high unemployment.
A quarter century of bad policies, from shock therapy to artificially ballooned consumerism entrapping people into huge debts, has nurtured the soil for ultra-nationalism, religious fanaticism, and ultimately fascism to explode in full force.
In Western Europe, minorities are falsely blamed for the massive unemployment and the decline of livable wages, particularly among young people. In Eastern Europe, the state-backed Christian religion is the safe-way for the extreme right-wing forces to seduce millions of impoverished people.
Kremlin prophet preaches fascist imperialism in Eastern Europe
A few days ago, Romanian orthodox monasteries welcomed Alexander Dugin. Dugin is an aide to Vladimir Putin, and is the prophet of the new Russian empire he calls Eurasia. Eurasia is a project aimed at “reviving nations,” fueled by religious mysticism, Nazi ideology, and Christian fundamentalism.
His visit to Romania, though kept under the radar, has a symbolic political significance. One neo-Nazi blog saluted it, and posted a picture of Dugin visiting an orthodox church in north-eastern Romania.
Dugin made his intentions clear in an interview for the Voice of Russia in August 2013 when he said: ”The Eurasia project, The Economic Community of Eurasia, is starting to take off. More and more countries in the ex-USSR space are beginning to show interest in this project. Some countries in Eastern Europe are interested too, as are Turkey and Iran. Greece is considering the possibility of leaving the European Union. Hungary’s Viktor Orban is talking about approaching the Eurasia project. In fact, the Eurasia project is a rising star, while the European Union is a dying one.”
Romanian neo-Nazis praising Dugin and his Eurasia project might come as a surprise or even a paradox to some, but in reality it is neither. Fascist ideology survived well in Romania under the Nicolae Ceaușescu dictatorship, which combined state-capitalism and a Stalinist-type control over society (demanding total submission and identification of all the people with the supreme leader, the dictator).
After 1989, fascists in Romania came out stronger by playing the victim. They claimed they were suppressed under the dictatorship, by identifying with the a highly dramatized self-victimization of the Romanian Orthodox Church. This victimization was based on the destruction of some churches during Ceauşescu’s dictatorship, which was actually supported by the chiefs of the Church, and on always hiding the fact that the Stalinist dictatorship financially supported and helped the church expand under the so-called atheist regime.
Since 1989, the fascist propaganda has been supported by the state, the media and the intelligentsia elites, which demonized the “communism” imposed by the former Soviet Union as the destroyer of “the national texture of Romanian orthodox soul”. They equaled Stalinism with all leftist policies, a gross mystification, but possible in a country where the left is still dominated by Leninists. Destroying “communism” became the legitimate justification for all Western neoliberal policies imposed during the transition to “democracy”, since democracy has been sold as being equal to and the same thing as private capitalism.
Ceauseșescu’s dictatorial disaster (some remember him visiting Queen Elisabeth and being praised in `80s — the darkest period of his regime — by George Bush Sr as “our best communist in Eastern Europe”) was used to demonize all public services and resources, and economists pushed for privatization as a way to exorcise this “demon.”
The basis of the fascist propaganda, which also allowed the Romanian orthodox church to become a state of its own in Romania and to colonize all aspects of social life, was the demonization of the former Soviet Union. In the `90s, the easiest way to discredit political opponents was to label them Moscow-agents, and this is still used today (though state institutions under the current extremist neoliberal regime protected huge corruption affairs involving Russian firms).
Romanian fascists openly praising Vladimir Putin can be explained by their ideological construction. They identify the nation with the orthodox church policies. Their mentor is Corneliu Zelea Codreanu, the leader of religious mystic nationalism in Romania. He had been a militia volunteer in 1919 and believed devoutly in redemptive violence. “Anti-Semitism had a stronger popular and intellectual basis in Romania than in possibly any other country”, as Stanley G. Payne, A history of fascism (1941-1945) explained.
The following excerpts from his book are necessary to understand how the fascist ideologies in Eastern Europe are constructed and how anti-Semitism was used to destroy any chance of a democratic society and to generate and legitimize a totalitarian fascist state ideology, as Leon Volovici clearly explained in his book, “Nationalist Ideology and Anti-Semitism: the Case of Romanian Intellectuals in the 193Os”. This totalitarian ideology was the soil on which the Stalinist dictatorship could be so forcefully imposed, after the end of the World War II.
Stanley G. Payne, A history of fascism (1941-1945): “The Jewish minority was comparatively large (4.2 percent of the total population in 1930) and highly diverse. A small minority was prominent in the Romanian economic and financial elite, and many Jews filled middle-class roles, though a certain proportion was virtually impoverished. Nonetheless, Jews were more deeply resented in Romania than almost anywhere else. Anti-Semitism of one form or another became more “respectable” among the social and cultural elite than in any other European country. Soon after World War I, discriminatory policies were instituted in Romanian universities.”
“The Legion was arguably the most unusual mass movement of interwar Europe. It is generally classified as fascist because it met the main criteria of any appropriate fascist typology, but it presented undeniably individual characteristics of its own. Ernst Nolte has written that it “must not only be declared, but also plainly appears, to be the most interesting and the most complex fascist movement, because like geological formations of superimposed layers it presents at once both prefascist and radically fascist characteristics.”
“What made Codreanu especially different was that he became a sort of religious mystic, and though the Legion had the same general political goals as other fascist movements, its final aims were spiritual and transcendental—“The spiritual resurrection! The resurrection of nations in the name of Jesus Christ!” as he put it.”
“Ordinary human life was a sphere of constant war and eternal struggle, above all against the enemies of the Tara (Fatherland). The Legionnaire must forgive his personal enemies but not those of the Tara, who must be punished and destroyed even at the risk of the Legionnaire’s personal salvation. Violence and murder were absolutely necessary for the redemption of the nation; if the acts which this required placed in jeopardy the individual soul of the militant who carried them out, his necessary sacrifice was simply the greater. His punishment would consist of the earthly punishment for his deed (which he ought not to avoid) as well as the possible loss of eternal life, the ultimate sacrifice for the Fatherland, which must be accepted with joy. A principal effect of this political theology was a unique death cult, unusually morbid even for a fascist movement. Self-sacrifice was exalted in all fascist and revolutionary movements, but in the Legion martyrdom was virtually required, accompanied by the theological heterodoxy just outlined. Legionnaires were aware of the uniqueness of their doctrines and of the major differences between their organization and the secular fascist movements, though at the same time they also felt common identity and partially parallel goals with other fascists.”
“While Ernst Nolte is correct to point out that in single-minded fanaticism Codreanu was the other European fascist leader most like Hitler (whom he also resembled in intense personal magnetism), the Legionnaire martyr complex created a degree of selfdestructiveness unequaled in other fascist movements.”
“The Legion reflected the anti-individualism and emphasis on the collectivity often found in sociopolitical movements in Eastern Orthodox societies, and it has even been termed a kind of heretical Christian sect. What placed it outside even a heretical Christianity, however, was not merely its maniacal insistence on violence but its biological concept of the nation, whose essence supposedly lay in the blood of the Romanian people. The Legion had little in the way of a concrete program. Codreanu pointed out that a dozen different political programs already existed in Romania, and he proclaimed the need instead for a new spirit, a cultural-religious revolution whose goal was creation of the omul nou—the “new man” sought in varying ways by all revolutionary movements, but one that for the Legion would be consubstantial with its interpretation of the Romanian Orthodox Church and the national community.”
“The chief enemies were the leaders of the present corrupt system and the Jews. If the former were immediate targets, Jews constituted the special archenemy, to the extent that the Legion was possibly the only other fascist movement as vehemently anti-Semitic as German Nazis. Building on preexisting trends that were already powerful in Romania, the Legion encouraged the most extreme policies, to the extent that General Zizi Cantacuzino, one of Codreanu’s leading collaborators, declared that the only way to solve the Jewish problem in Romania was simply to kill the Jews. For several years the Legion remained a tiny sect, a common experience for most fascist movements in the 1920s, lacking both money and support. In 1930 it founded a sort of militia called the Iron Guard, to include all Legionnaires between the ages of eighteen and thirty, and this new formation provided the name by which the Legion was more commonly known in Romanian politics and subsequently in historical study.” – Stanley G.Payne, „A History of Fascism 1914–1945” (1995, The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System)
No wonder Dugin, Putin’s ideological prophet, is worshiped by the Romanian fascists as a fierce admirer of Corneliu Zelea Codreanu, since he is preaching the same ideology. The fascist blog which praised his visit also announced he supported some books about Codreanu’s Legion being translated and published in Russia for the first time.
“Mr Dugin knows we are haunted by the servants of the United States and Israel. We can tell you that president Putin is closely watching what is going on in Romania and he keeps his eyes on the masonic servants who run the Romanian secret services, (note: the leader of the New Right said in an interview two years ago that he welcomed “secret service people under cover” to this organisation, as would be serving their country), who are supported by their masters in Washington and Jerusalem (sic!), and he said that these people have started to annoy him terribly,” writes the fascist blog.
“You may ban the “Eurasia” movement in Romania, but then you should expect the response of Russia to this. Any member of “Eurasia” from Romania will receive the citizenship of Russia directly. Then you can wear with no problem your T-shirts with the Legion inscription on them and with the image of Corneliu Zelea Codreanu (note: they openly do this for years).”
”If you stand in the way of the Union of Orthodox People, the basis of the Holy Orthodox Bizantin Empire, then it is your problem and it means that you have at hand stronger armies than those of the Russian Federation. You alone have decided: “You are ready to die for the United States and Israel and the European Union”. So, God be with you!”, threatens the fascist blog.
The message this extremist blog transmits is that Dugin will attempt to obtain more publicity in Romania for his project. He had been declared persona non grata in Ukraine and Russia retaliated, showing that Dugin is strongly supported by Vladimir Putin.
In 2002 Dugin founded the Eurasia Party, which he later called the Movement for Eurasia. He wrote 16 books, and professes an ideology which combines authoritarian policies with resurrecting the glory of the former USSR imperialism. Mystic, fascist, Russian nationalist and imperialist, his theories are inspired by the French philosopher René Guénon, Trubetskoy and Gumilev, Halford John Mackinder and Carl Schmitt. He stands for the rights of the nations against human rights. He is an outspoken critic of the United States, and uses a so-called anti-capitalist and anti-liberal discourse typical of the Cold War days.
Dugin calls his mystical ideology “national-Bolshevik”, which is based on the prophecy that Russia is a rising Eurasian power, due to her “super-ethnos,” which emerged from a synthesis of Slavic, Mongol, Tatar, Finno-Ugric, and other ethnic groups. Unsurprisingly, an obscure intellectual in the `90s, Dugin has found a fertile soil for his ideas and political aspirations under the regime of Vladimir Putin. Dugin’s philosophy reflects the dominant trend in current Russian politics. In an article entitled “The world needs to understand Putin,” published in the Financial Times, Dugin, signing as the chairman of the department of the sociology of international relations at Moscow State University, was explicitly taking the stand as Vladimir Putin’s ideological spokesperson.
He also announced Putin’s intention for a forth term at the Kremlin: “During his third term as president, Vladimir Putin is starting to distinguish himself as a Russian conservative. Understanding this will have considerable benefit for those seeking clues to the country’s future. The swing towards conservative ideas is partly a response to what is happening in the world. As Francis Fukuyama has shown, it is the statist right, rather than the radical left, that has won the battle of ideas in the wake of the global financial crisis. But it is also in large part the result of their inherent popularity at home, and the unique relationship of the Russian masses to their leaders.”
“Russian conservatism can be traced to the time of the monarchy and is known by a simple formula: “Good tsar, bad elites.” It has always depended on giving the leader control in exchange for reining in the petty nobility. This was true of Ivan the Terrible and Joseph Stalin. It was true, too, of radical reformers such as Peter the Great and Vladimir Lenin, equally authoritarian but widely approved of because their target was the elite.”
“Modern Russian conservatism is both anti-communist and anti-liberal. It is not the same as the US version, which values a small state. Here, conservatives value undivided political power, with economic power rooted in and subordinate to it. They value the traditions of established religion, sovereign foreign policy and the guarding of great power status.”
“For his first 12 years in power, Mr Putin’s conservatism was tempered by the need to appeal to an influential liberal elite… Mr Putin will move in the direction of being a conservative modernizer at home and a realist abroad. He will insist on state sovereignty, distrust globalization, limit liberalization and keep democracy strictly within a sovereign, national framework.”
“The term “balance of power” is the key to understanding Mr Putin’s version of conservatism, which will define politics in his third and presumably fourth terms. He will pursue the national interest, regional and global power, protectionism and mercantilism. Having lost the cold war, Russia will try to revise the status quo using all available opportunities.”
Ethno-pluralism (code-name for European white supremacy), racism and religious mysticism: the common ground for fascist networks expanding
It might seem a paradox that the nationalists from various countries work with each other. But, as Der Spiegel quoted Andreas Speit, a Hamburg-based author of several books on right-wing extremism: “Neo-Nazis don’t think in terms of national borders. They don’t hinder each other’s activities, but instead they want to see the white race maintain power around the world. And as long as foreigners stay in their own countries, the neo-Nazis have nothing against them. The ideology at play here is ethno-pluralism.” In short, ethno-pluralism is the code-name for white supremacy.
Der Spiegel reports that “the one thing that unites the right-wing parties from all countries is hatred of Jews. This is a reason why many neo-Nazis had great respect for former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who openly spoke against Israel and threatened to destroy it. The bond between Islamists and neo-Nazis is not a new phenomenon, however. Already in the 1920s there were strong alliances between the right-wing groups of Europe but also with the Arab world,” said Speit, adding that the ideology behind this was banal. “The right-wing extremists realized that the other group was also fond of upholding its old traditions, including those pertaining to dealing with women.”
Fascists attempt to gain more institutional power
The New Right from Romania, Falange Española from Spain, Forza Nuova from Italy, Golden Dawn from Greece, National Reinassace from Poland (NOP), the pan-Ucrainean Union Svoboda are all part of the “European National Front, FNE”, founded in 2004 by Germany’s NPD among others. FNE’s ideological models are the Romanian legionnaire Corneliu Zelea Codreanu (1899-1938) and the Spanish fascist leader José Antonio Primo de Rivera (1903-1936). German media reported that lots of Neo-Nazi and far right extremists abandoned the NPD and have joined the Alliance for Germany (AfD) which is courted by the Dutch populist Geert Wilders (Partij voor de Vrijheid – PdV), who is attempting to create “an international of the right-wing forces”, as Radio France International reported.
Wilders is looking for allies in France, Austria, Belgium, Italy and Sweden. “Far-right parties in Europe are looking for new ways to get together and to overcome their differences. In the past, all such attempts to create a sort of “international of the right-wing forces” have failed. As Radio France International reported, Geert Wilders’ intention is to call it “An Alliance of the Patriots”. Under this name, Wilders would like to unite them, after the elections for the European Parliament on May 25, 2014, in a parliamentary group of the nationalist parties.
He had meetings already with the leader of the Liberal Party of Austria (FPÖ), Heinz-Christian Strache. He announced that he supports Wilders’ initiative and that he wished to cooperate with the Belgian organization Vlaams Belang, with the National Front from France, led by Marine Le Pen, with the Swedish Democrats (Sverigedemokraterna) and with the League of the North (Lega Nord) from Italy.
“United Kingdom Independence Party – UKIP from UK refuses to cooperate with France’s National Front, because of some arguments about the World War II. Marine Le Pen supports Wilders’ ideas, she also visited him to agree on a common strategy for action. Geert Wilders claims he rejects antisemitism, and this reason was invoked for rejecting Jobbik of Hungary into their Patriotic alliance. He also rejected Germany’s NPD.” But this is rather a PR maneuver since the core of his ideology is aimed at demonizing Muslims, immigrants, Roma, and refugees.
Immigrants were the scapegoats which helped Golden Dawn in Greece grow. Der Spiegel reports that “Golden Dawn has allies all over Europe. In 2004, it joined the European National Front alliance together with other European far-right parties, including Germany’s NPD and Spain’s La Falange. In Germany, recent investigations into the murders committed by the neo-Nazi group NSU (National Socialist Underground) have revealed an extensive international network that serves the interests of right-wing extremists.”
“Neo-Nazis began to network, also on an international level, in the mid-1990s or even earlier,” said Berlin-based political scientist and right-wing extremism expert Hajo Funke.
Andreas Speit told Der Spiegel that neo-Nazi activity can be broadly divided into three different categories. “You have to distinguish between three types: the subculture scene, the violent neo-Nazis and the politics.”
The extent of the neo-Nazi cross-border cooperation could already be seen taking a violent form, as experts, quoted by this paper, have observed: „Internationally active groups such as the Ku Klux Klan, Combat 18 and Blood and Honour can help individuals wanted for right-wing crimes go into hiding in other countries. “Such groups have become stronger in recent years because domestic intelligence agencies have allowed it to happen,” Funke said. This international networking results in violent German neo-Nazis committing crimes abroad. “There have been incidents of German neo-Nazis traveling to the Czech Republic and taking part in attacks on Roma and Sinti people – or going to Greece to see how the Golden Dawn operates,” explained Speit. “You could call this violence tourism.”
Roots in the capitalist crisis and “the invisible” helping hand of the State
However, what the mainstream intellectuals and the mainstream media still avoid to tackle is the role of the State and state politicians in the rise of the neo-Nazism. This “invisible hand” of the State was clearly exposed after the murder of the antifascist artist Pavlos Fyssas by the Golden Dawn thugs: “Already a while back, investigations by the Financial Crimes Unit revealed that Golden Dawn is funded by a group of wealthy businessmen, shipowners and orthodox priests (the latter are among the richest landowners in Greece). These are the same people who control the Greek government and media, and the same who are likely to be pulling the strings behind the “sacrificial” moves currently being taken against Golden Dawn.”
As Dimitris Dalakoglou explained, “Since Mr Samaras became Prime Minister the city has been subjected to the police operation “Xenios Zeus.” Since its inauguration in August 2012, the operation has seen the detention of over 80.000 migrants, the vast majority having broken no law according to police press releases. Eventually, most of the innocent migrants have been released with the exception of around 5.000 who were imprisoned, mostly due to lack of documents, in new detention centers built across the debt-ridden country.”
The documentary “The politics of knives” interviews Dimitris Cristopoulos, a professor of political science in Panteion University, Athens, and he’s worth being quoted at length: “It is easy to blame the crisis or exclusively the crisis (for the rise of far-right and Nazism). Yes, the crisis has to do with the rise of such ideologies, but it’s not that easy or that simple to blame the crisis for all that’s happening today in Greece in terms of the rise of this political culture. We have to go back to the Greek past. And see that in this society we have been familiar with far-right wing cultures and politics… all throughout the 20th century, starting from the interwar (period), as everywhere in Europe, the dictatorship of 1935, and, of course, the Greek civil war and how the Greek civil war was won by the winners with the support of the far-right wing, which was there to safeguard peace after the end of the war, which was not an easy peace, it was won by the rulers on the basis of submission, not on the basis of consensus.”
“Cops, TV, neo-Nazi, all scum work together” – this cry of the people of Athens in one of their street protest of 26 September should be finally heard. It is simply the truth.
Hence, Dimitris Cristopoulos: “The first one who talked about the reoccupation of the cities from the migrants has been the Greek prime-minister. It was Samaras himself during the pre-election campaign of June 2012, when he said explicitly that „We need to re-occupy the centers of our cities.” It was not Golden Dawn (which started this). Golden Dawn decided to implement what Samaras said.”
The hand of the State in all this state exposed itself even more as the State was forced to turn against the Golden Dawn, as the State had to turn antifa: “Of course the Nazis were useful idiots so far, providing the government with an a-la-carte alibi for democratic credentials, but their usefulness was never more important than the future of the government itself, whose above all responsibility consists of the continuation of austerity. The explosive situation that could have followed, had the government chosen to ignore the assassination as it had in similar cases in the past, was far too dangerous for the maintenance of social peace.”
If anything could be more serious, it is the neo-liberalization of the entire political spectrum, which has been underway throughout Western Europe since the 70s and in Eastern Europe after the collapse of the Iron Curtain 23 years ago. As Dimitris Cristopoulos explains: “This is where we are today. We have a dislocation of the whole political discourse and political culture of the country to the far-right, so it’s not only by the nazi. It is by what we used to call center-right which is completely far-right today, it is by what we used to call center-left which is today center-right or even neoliberal right today. So from this extrapolation we have a whole political space moving to the right, as an answer to the crisis. It’s not the visible enemy – the skinhead (the neo-nazi). It is exactly the political culture which contaminates the whole political Greek spectrum.”
This shift is visible everywhere in Europe, and the silence of the mainstream discourse just helps the far right-wing ideology spread internationally more easily. The effects of the economic crisis and the uncertainty felt by the working people play just a part in it. As Der Spiegel reports: “The networking between neo-Nazis only exacerbates the problem: “We can expect that they will get more mandates during the next EU parliamentary elections,” said Speit. The movement is also “unbelievably active” on the music scene. Young people from small towns are easily excited by the local right-wing extremists getting the chance to travel to Italy to attend a concert. This is why it is important to take preventative measures. “Turning away doesn’t solve the problem,” said Speit. “If you confront right-wing extremists, you have a chance to change them.””
His predictions seem to be confirmed by what is happening in Sweden and Poland. An anti-racist foundation reported at the end of June that far-right and anti-immigrant groups in Sweden have become increasingly active: “The Party of the Swedes (Svenskarnas parti) has managed to collect well-known individuals within the movement and has built up a relatively stable organization. The strategy is to attract Sweden Democratic voters by presenting themselves as a more radical alternative,” said Anders Dalsbro, editor of the magazine, in a statement.
The report indicates that the Party of the Swedes is behind a development which has led to the highest level of activity among far-right groups since 2008. Some 1,824 activities connected to the racial ideology movement were reported in 2012, an increase of 24 percent on 2011. The activities concern everything from dealing out flyers, badges to meetings and demonstrations. The number of groups active within the movement has however decreased, from 25 in 2011 to 18 in 2012, Expo reported. “The Party of the Swedes has increasingly come to dominate the racist movement and taken over a large part from the other groups and also recruited a large part of their activists,” Anders Dalsbro told Sveriges Radio. The big city areas and the counties of Stockholm, Västra Götaland and Skåne saw the most activity overall, while Värmland, Dalarna and Västmanland topped the per capita list.
Christian Christensen, a Professor of Journalism at Stockholm University, Sweden, explains here how “as the economic interests trump human rights, the idea of utopian Sweden becomes increasingly faint and fragmented.”
“Fria Tidningen” exposed how the far-right extremists from Sweden were military trained by the Neo-nazis from Hungary: “Swedish Resistance Movement, known for its violent focus in recent years, has become increasingly violent. Since 2012, the movement has been linked with a number of assaults and even a murder. This summer, attended SMC in a Nazi military camps in Hungary with weapons training and combat. SMR is regarded as the most militant in the Swedish white power movement and their activities often follow incidents of violence. From the year 2012, they have been involved in several high-profile acts of violence in the country. This behavior is a general propensity for violence within SMC. But violence trend has also been rougher elements in the last year, after an SMR activist autumn 2012 knife killed a young man in Vallentuna. The culprit was convicted in March of this year, and in his home was found a knife with the organization’s logo and the text “The fight requires more than words”.
In 2013, SMR also strengthened their ties to Hungarian National Front (MNA) a long well-organized Nazi organization in Hungary that SMC has previously visited. In July this year Swedes went for the first time openly to a paramilitary training camp in Hungary. Such training camps have been organized by the MNA for years in preparation for armed combat, given the military training of both Hungarian and foreign sympathizers, explains Kristóf Domina, head of Athena Institute in Budapest, which examines political extremism.
They only use airsoft guns, so it is safe for them to say that they are preparing for war of the white race. But we also know that they are trained by former military and former police instructors. The MNA’s camp is stocked with both shooting drills and grenade throwing. Training for fighting in buildings occurs as well. SMC have themselves portrayed on their website what their uniformed delegation participated in close combat, weapons handling and inspected by the officers.”
In Poland, the far right recruits from football fans
In Poland, Open Democracy.net quotes Rafal Pankowski, a sociologist at anti-racist group Nigdy Wiecej, explaining that “far-right groups in Poland, like elsewhere, recruit among football fans but also from other subcultures (skinhead or music subcultures) because these groups have already a collective culture in place and its associated infrastructure. Football fans have their hierarchies and slogans, they have banners and sound-making gear, websites and means of fast intra-group communication, and they notoriously know how to deal with the police.”
“The times of political glory of the Polish far-right were 2006-2007, when the Kaczynski bothers’ Peace and Justice (Prawo i Sprawiedliwość) governed together with the League of Polish Families, the latter bringing to government and leadership of state institutions various known figures of the far-right. Since the demise of the League, PiS –now the second strongest party in Poland — is thought to have incorporated much of the ultra-right discourse (strong nationalism, strong social conservatism, distrust for minorities), though as of late – and particularly since the formation of the Polish National Movement, a potential political rival – they have been trying to put more distance between themselves and the far-right. Regardless of what happens on a political level though, groups like Nidgy Wiecej raise alarm bells that hate crimes are increasing in Poland. Between 2011 and mid-2013, the group, which is the most reputed racism watchdog in the country, has documented over 600 hate crimes, with numbers on the rise each year. Two unidentified people ignited two smoke bombs during an LGBT movie night organized at the headquarters of left-wing group Krytyka Polityczna, causing panic among the 40 participants. Swastika signs have been drawn on the front walls of a synagogue in the northern city of Gdansk.”
On Independence Day, as Revolution News reported, a nazi march terrorized Warsaw and attacked the Syrena and Przychodnia squats which are home to a variety of people including young children. In another act of hate, fascists burned a monument referred to as “the rainbow.” They also reportedly attacked Russian embassy workers.
Most observers of Polish society share a feeling that far-right attacks are on the rise, accompanied by a sense of impunity for the perpetrators. Over the past years, four people have been killed in hate crimes. Chechens, one of the largest migrant groups in Poland, are being attacked and harassed. Anti-Semite and anti-migrant crimes happen, yet in a country where there are less than 10,000 Jews are left and where around 95 percent of the population declare themselves ethnically Poles, targets of the far-right are more often sexual minorities and political enemies, primarily leftist organizations and individuals. The November attack on Krytyka Polityczna mixed these two targets.
Pankowski, quoted by the Open Democracy.net, explains that Polish authorities underestimate the number of hate crimes in Poland, because they understand racism to mean “racism against black people.” Indeed, according to the Polish Ministry of Interior, 126 hate crimes took place in the country between January and September 2013, 89 cases in 2012, and 90 in 2011 – smaller figures than those of Nigdy Wiecej. Sociologist Bilewicz, who has been studying discriminatory attitudes in Poland for years, says that all his research indicates that it is socio-economic factors more than anything that make people turn to racism and xenophobia. Since the 1990s, his research shows that highs of anti-Semitism among the general population were directly correlated with intense economic hardship. The strongest discriminatory attitudes are found in the poorest, most marginal parts of the country. Bilewicz says that he has brought this issue to the attention of the Polish authorities, but to no avail: according to him, addressing inequality, unemployment and poverty as a main source of racism and xenophobia is too far from the agenda of any party in Poland today.
While this root cause fails to be addressed, the political culture of Poland makes it relatively easy for the far-right to breed. The Catholic Church, whose conservatism appears to have increased over the past years, continues to have a staggering grip on public life.”
Far right political parties are gearing up in Europe, fueling racism and anti-semitism, xenophobia and feeding on poverty created by a neoliberal agenda. As capitalism’s relentless attack on the working people in Europe grows stronger, exposing the single neoliberal road on which the right and left political parties are walking together, political elites have created more visible space for the revival of Nazi forces. The political elites are taking this gamble to prevent the working class fighting against the real culprit, which is the capitalist system, whose survival is secured by the states’ policies against people’s rights and standard of living.
What they must face, unless they want Europe turn to ashes again, is what Daniel Guerin explained too well before the break of the World War II: “Stripped of all appearances, all the contradictions which dim its real face, all the secondary aspects which hide from so many its essential character, and all the circumstances peculiar to any one country, fascism is reduced to this: a strong state intended to prolong artificially an economic system based on profit and the private ownership of the means of production. To use the picturesque figure of Radek, fascist dictatorship is the iron hoop with which the bourgeoisie tries to patch up the broken barrel of capitalism. Here some clarification, however, is necessary: the “barrel”, contrary to what many believe, was not broken by the revolutionary action of the working class; fascism is not the “bourgeoisie’s answer to an attack by the proletariat” but rather “an expression of the decay of capitalist economy”. The barrel fell apart of its own accord. Fascism is, to be sure, a defensive reaction of the bourgeoisie, but a defense against the disintegration of its own system far more than against any proletarian offensive – alas, non-existent.”
This un-confronted European history may take its worst revenge, since its lessons have still not been learned by the ever more irresponsible and narrow-minded European elite.