Oct 24, 2012

Golden Dawn’s fascist ideology

Continuing Three Way Fight’s series on the Greek neonazi party Golden Dawn, in this post I offer a profile of Golden Dawn’s fascist ideology, based on online writings from the party and its affiliated organizations (Women’s Front, Youth Front, and Green Wing), which I have accessed using Google’s Translate function. Although some of the auto-translation results are garbled, many passages come through clearly and major points are often repeated in different ways, so I believe the following is reasonably accurate. (For Greek language sources, I have provided URLs in the “Sources” section below, rather than hyperlinks.)

Golden Dawn’s web offerings feature a familiar set of fascist ideological themes, including aggressive and expansionist nationalism, a vision of racial purity through purging alien groups and influences, a crude anti-elitism based on scapegoating Jews, patriarchal traditionalism, homophobia, closeness to nature, rejection of both capitalism and communism, and a call for a strong state role in the economy and society.

The party glorifies a militaristic approach to politics. GD’s Youth Front blog, for example, declares “The People’s Nationalism stands [for the] neglected Values of Honor, Duty, of ethics, of Blood, discipline, power of will and self-improvement for Life and finally the heroic lifestyle.” [1] And U.S. neonazi influences are evident. The Youth Front posted a glowing tribute to Robert Mathews, leader of The Order, who died in a 1984 shootout with U.S. federal agents. [2] The Women’s Front blog main page features a version of the “Fourteen Words” slogan coined by Order co-founder David Lane: “We must ensure the existence of our race and the future of our children!” [3]

Against globalization
Historian Roger Griffin has argued that fascist ideology centers on a vision of palingenesis, or collective rebirth out of a near-fatal crisis or decline. This fits Golden Dawn well, as the party’s name suggests. “Today the country is going through a deep crisis. [A] crisis of values and ethics. [A] crisis economic, cultural and national” – a crisis brought on mainly by globalization. “We do not believe in any globalization and believe that this is the way for the subjugation of all peoples of mankind in [the] global conspiracy that exists today.” [4] GD cites damaging effects of economic globalization including “the depopulation of the countryside, methodical destruction of agriculture, closure of sugar factories, textiles and dozens of other productive sectors related to agricultural production,” as well as the closing of hundreds of factories and decline of the shipping industry. Because “multinationals operate unchecked,” Greece has become dependent on imports for 80 percent of food consumed, and cheap imports “create fictitious and false needs.” [5]

GD also argues that “the system” has brought about “commercialization of the arts and cultural alienation of our people” through imposition of “outlandish American subculture” and (presumably worse) even Turkish culture. These changes are “aimed at discrediting the Greek civilization and [causing Greeks] to forget their manners, customs and traditions of our nation.” [5]

The part of globalization that upsets Golden Dawn the most is mass immigration, which they regard as an attack on Greece’s cultural and racial purity. “Millions of immigrants have invaded and continue to invade our country unchecked… so in a few years the Greeks [will be] a minority in our land…” The “international system of globalization” is forcing Greece “to become multinational and multicultural…. Crime is now rampant. Neglected infectious diseases reappear.” The party calls for immediately arresting and deporting “all illegal immigrants” and securing the country’s borders with antipersonnel mines. [5]

Anti-elitism and antisemitism
Golden Dawn says that Greece is “under occupation” – controlled by outside forces. “The local corrupt political establishment, hooked to power, executes all the commands of dependence and subordination selling out [the] country.” [5] According to GD, real power is held by global elites, who the party refers to more or less interchangeably as “multinationals,” “capitalists,” “plutocracy,” [6] “predatory banking system,” or “international moneylenders.” [7] These terms hint at the classic fascist distinction between “productive” industrial capital and “parasitic” finance capital, but from what I have seen Golden Dawn doesn’t seem to develop this argument clearly. In any case, at the center of the conspiracy is “the one and only ruler of nations: the world Jewry.” [8]

The GD Youth Front argues that Jews use globalization “to create people incapable, [with] no future, and to eventually destroy humanity. Materialism will prevail and any value will be erased permanently from the souls of men. The consumerism will reap people and any resistance will immediately [be] suppressed.” [1] On GD’s own website we are told that Zionism (Jewish nationalism) is trying “to exterminate the ‘eternal’ enemy (the Greeks)” and that the Jewish lobby in the U.S. is behind U.S. policy in the Eastern Mediterranean region, which aims at “segmentation of the Greek State and the disappearance of the Greek Nation.” Zionism, by accelerating globalization, “put the U.S. on a slippery road [of] confrontation… with all nations of the earth.” [9])

Beyond left and right
Golden Dawn claims that “the political theories of bourgeois democracy, liberalism, Marxism and capitalism …ultimately are creations of the Jews, who incite the New World Order.” [1] Thus political left and political right are two sides of the same coin. “The right and left solutions supposedly fight each other, [but] it’s just theater[:] two partners who perpetuate the dominance of cosmopolitan internationalist and anti-national and anti-people forces.” [6] GD rejects both capitalism and communism as “instruments of the Zionist world domination attempt.” [5] “The oligarchy of money and [Bolshevik] party tyranny [are] the same. Enemies of the Nation and the People.” [6] On one side, the free market is “only the vehicle [of] internationalist capital, banks and moneylenders.” Adam Smith’s “theory of the ‘invisible hand’” (the belief that free markets channel selfish behavior into social benefits) has been disproved, because on “one finger of the hand, [is a] shining gold ring with the star of David!”

On the other side, the idea of class struggle “is opposed to our vision for unity of the people in a community of shared blood. The Bolsheviks did not believe in the reality of race.” [10] “In contrast with the sweat and blood of the worker, the leftists [have] the privileged status of rottenness and corruption.” In addition, GD claims, the left actually aids the capitalists they claim to be fighting. “While we are nationalists, [we have] argued from the outset against the invasion of foreign workplaces, [while] the unfortunate Marxists rushed to side on the side of smuggled migrants, essentially serving the interests of capitalists…. Who was actually the beneficiary of the massive invasion of foreign manpower in our country? [It] was undoubtedly the class of capitalists…” [7]

Rebirth of the nation
Golden Dawn aims to restore the unity, purity, and independence of the Greek nation. This involves not only purging foreigners, getting rid of corrupt politicians, and freeing Greece from the control of international moneylenders. The “ultimate aim” is to form “a new society and a new type of man” through “a radical renewal of the obsolete and counterfeit social values.” To GD, “nationalism is the only absolute and true revolution because it seeks [a] new birth [of] ethical, spiritual, social and mental values.” [6]

Golden Dawn’s “policy line is that the national interest stands above anything else…” [4] This means subordinating the individual to the nation. “It is important to society, the whole community of the People, not the person…. A person can only be one person who completes the socialization through capability, as [a] harmonious composition of social and individual values. This superior type of person is a new kind of person who seeks to realize nationalism.” [6]

Golden Dawn nationalism celebrates Greek culture as an outgrowth of Greeks’ racial heritage. “Tradition, the History of Law of our Nation and the Idea of Hellenism are the supreme values through which we experience the world and approach the concept of culture.” “We believe in a new Greek culture based on [the] great and eternal tradition of our race. We believe in a Greek way of life against the vile and vulgar outlandish customs.” [4] “Our way is the way of natural law: because Nature herself stated that Greek blood will be the most complete, most crystallized and perfect expression of human culture!” [10] “Nobody can refute the eternal natural law, no one can refute the Law of Blood!” [7] In this framework, “racial mixing is unacceptable, and almost always leads to disorder, mental illness, due to the destructive combination of inherited mental gifts, resulting in the destruction of human nature.” [1]

Women's duty
Golden Dawn proclaims “the importance of family and the value of motherhood.” Having babies is women's duty to the nation, in that “More children means more Greek[s], more opportunities for progression and creativity, more power to prevent any foreign conspiracy.” [8] When the party advocates services for women, such as more childcare centers or “support for single mothers to prevent abortion,” it is mainly to support their function as mothers. Similarly, the head of Golden Dawn's Women's Front, Eugenia Christou, said, "We want women to be educated because those will nurture their children, who are the hope and future of this country." [11]

At the same time, GD argues that traditional roles are a source of strength and pride for Greek women, in contrast to global culture's consumerism, sexual exploitation, and racial dangers. Declaring that women should not be treated as a "pleasure vessel or object," Christou proclaimed, “In today’s society, dominated by the standards of prostitution, where the role of the mother has become obsolete and has been replaced by superficial values, Women of the Golden Dawn, dynamic and informed about the nature of the female sex, strongly assert a healthy standard.” [11] A GD Women's Front blog post about a women's self-defense course explains, "our members were taught how with simple movements [they] can protect themselves, as attacks against women by hordes of illegal immigrants have already become a daily occurrence…. The course is for Greeks only.” [12]

Nature and tradition
Like the original Nazi party before them, Golden Dawn emphasizes closeness to nature. The party has an environmentalist affiliate organization called Green Wing, whose blog features articles about recycling, organic farming, the blight of strip mall construction, and traditional ways of harvesting olives. [13] Green Wing frames such concerns in a nationalist context. “Man is and should be in direct contact with nature and the natural environment. The rupture of this bond [through] urbanization leads to a decline in[to] a vulgar way of life, this American, cosmopolitan lifestyle away from their ancestral homes and Nature.” [14]

Taking this a step further, Green Wing has also promoted eugenics. In 2007 their blog reprinted an article by J. Bauge-Prevost on “Biopolitics and Eugenics,” which argued that “The hereditary burdened people [such] as paranoid, the mentally retarded, the schizophrenic, epileptic, carriers of mutated genes, incurable alcoholics, advanced drug addicts and others should [be] sterilized.” The same article listed “homosexuality, the degenerate marriages, racial intermarriage, [and] wild consumerism” along with “the soiling of the environment” as threats to the white race. [15]

A strong state
Golden Dawn's website refers to their ideal of the purified and unified nation as “the People’s State” or “the secular state.” “For the People nationalism is not only a numerical unity of people but a qualitative synthesis of people with the same biological and spiritual heritage, which is the source of all creation and expresses its power in the People’s State[:] the only state that can express the people as an organic whole and spiritual living.” “In [the] secular state there is no social stratification based on income-economic classes. The popular classes are collaborating organic[ally], other groups of people with special abilities and production skills each. Just like in a living body. The different systems contribute harmoniously and in full cooperation for their survival.” [6]

The People’s or secular state will be “a fair state where everybody is equal before the law and where the law is respected by all.” [4] But this formal equality will allow true, natural inequality to express itself. “The People’s State of Nationalism [that] delivers social equality of opportunity is grounded in meritocracy and [does] not ignore the law of diversity and difference in nature. Respecting the spiritual, ethnic and racial inequality of men can build egalitarian society and law.” [6] Specifically, “the Armed Forces and the people of Culture and Education” represent “a natural aristocracy.” “In our state they will be the leaders and guides of the nation and not the cunning politicians or government-nouveau riche plutocrats.” [4] (The reference to the Armed Forces as natural leaders of Greece evokes the rightist military dictatorship of 1967-1974, whose former leaders helped inspire Nikolaos Michaloliakos to found the Golden Dawn party.)

Golden Dawn advocates a strong state role in the economy. “As there can be no strong economy without private initiative, so it can not exist without public sector. The strategic sectors of the economy [should be] controlled by the national state.” [5] Further, “the state should control private property so that it is not dangerous for the survival of the People or can manipulate [the People].” [6] They want to nationalize those banks that have received bailout funds and merge them into a strong national bank, whose income will be invested in domestic production to make Greece self-sufficient. They also want debt relief for low-income people and “specialized programs to support workers, Motherhood, vulnerable groups and youth.” But at the same time, Golden Dawn also calls for a “dramatic reduction of government expenditure,” to be achieved by reducing the salaries of MPs, expenditures on parliament and the presidency, and cutting funding for political parties and NGOs. [5]

Foreign policy
Golden Dawn calls for an aggressive and expansionist foreign policy. “We denounce the abandonment of Northern Epirus [part of Albania], the constant retreats in Cyprus, Macedonia, [and] Aegean Thrace...” [4] “Macedonia is our land since ancient Greek times…. Today, some parts of it remain outside the National Backbone and Greeks living there [are] methodically persecuted.” GD wants political autonomy for Northern Epirus and Greek citizenship for ethnic Greeks living there. They declare that “Cyprus is Greece” and call for the liberation of occupied Cyprus from Turkish rule. They also want to expand Greek territorial waters to 12 nautical miles,  “close the Turkish consulate and [deport] agents of Ankara.” [5]

              *         *         *

Golden Dawn’s website and blogs offer a relatively traditional form of fascist ideology, not that different from what was common in the 1920s and 1930s. Like many current-day fascists, GD has adapted old themes to fit new circumstances – thus the rejection of globalization and the scapegoating of immigrants. Golden Dawn has apparently not gone in for any of the more systematic reworkings of fascist ideology, such as Alain de Benoist’s ethno-pluralism, Julius Evola’s racial mysticism, Lyndon LaRouche’s esoteric conspiracy theories, or Troy Southgate’s national anarchism. GD is also not significantly influenced by national bolshevism, Strasserism, or any other avowedly anti-capitalist variants of fascism. Although one of their articles proclaims Golden Dawn’s “own real socialism,” all this amounts to is providing a Greek-only employment agency, emergency food distribution, and a blood bank. [7]

Golden Dawn advocates a rightist revolution against Greece’s established political and cultural order, but it bolsters capitalist economic power through its attacks on the left and large sections of the working class, and by channeling many people’s frustration and rage at the economic crisis into anti-immigrant bigotry and violence. I agree with clandestina that here “capitalism uses fascism, as it also has in the past,” but I’m skeptical of their claim that the rise of Golden Dawn (“a seemingly ‘militant’ fascist organization”) was simply part of a campaign manufactured by the ruling class. Yes, there are close ties between Golden Dawn and the police, but that doesn’t explain the genuine popular support for the party or address the question of possible divisions within the ruling class or the state.

Similarly, I agree with "9 Theses on the Golden Dawn..." that Golden Dawn stands with one foot “in increasing totalitarianism, mafia and violence” but not that its other foot is in “neoliberal rationalism.” Arguing that the free market is a tool of Jewish power and that “the state should control private property so that it is not dangerous for the survival of the People” is flatly at odds with neoliberalism. It seems more likely that Golden Dawn is aligned with sections of the Greek ruling class that are resisting neoliberal demands from the European Union and global capital.

SOURCES (titles translated from Greek):
[1] “Fighting the People’s Nationalism, fighting the natural order!” Resistance-Hellas, 5 January 2012, http://resistance-hellas.blogspot.com/2012/01/blog-post_05.html
[2] “Robert Jay Mathews,” Resistance-Hellas, 8 December 2011, http://resistance-hellas.blogspot.com/2011/12/robert-jay-mathews-16-1953-8-1984.html
[3] Golden Dawn Women’s Front main page, http://www.whitewomenfront.blogspot.com/
[4] “Front Youth,” Golden Dawn, http://www.xryshaygh.com/index.php/kinima/neolaia
[5] “Our positions,” Golden Dawn, http://www.xryshaygh.com/index.php/kinima/thesis
[6] “Identity,” Golden Dawn, http://www.xryshaygh.com/index.php/kinima
[7] E. Karakostas, “Our own real socialism!,” Golden Dawn, 14 October 2012, http://www.xryshaygh.com/index.php/enimerosi/view/o-dikos-mas-pragmatikos-sosialismos
[8] “Our Ideas,” Golden Dawn [former website], http://clubs.pathfinder.gr/kynaigeiros2/307050
[9] Apostle Karaiskos, “Zionism and Globalization,” Golden Dawn, 25 September 2012, http://www.xryshaygh.com/index.php/enimerosi/view/siwnismos-kai-pagkosmiopoihsh
[10] “The Meaning of Struggle,” Golden Dawn, 3 October 2012, http://www.xryshaygh.com/index.php/enimerosi/view/to-nohma-tou-agwnos
[11] “Women meeting fronts T.O. Upper Llosa,” Women’s Front, 2 August 2012, http://www.whitewomenfront.blogspot.com/2012/08/blog-post_2.html
[12] “Women’s Self Defense Lessons,” Women’s Front, 9 October 2012, http://www.whitewomenfront.blogspot.com/2012/10/blog-post_9.html
[13] Golden Dawn Green Wing, posts dated 21 March 2012, 14 April 2011, and 18 November 2011, http://www.oikologiko.blogspot.com/
[14] “Where Nature Meets Tradition,” Green Wing, 11 November 2011, http://www.oikologiko.blogspot.com/2011/11/blog-post.html
[15] “H Republic condemns innocent creatures lifelong torture,” Green Wing, 14 May 2007, http://oikologiko.blogspot.gr/2007/05/h.html. A critique and translation of this text is available on the Persona ParadoXia.blog at http://parvypalmou.blogspot.com/2012/10/the-neonazis-of-golden-dawn-chrysi-avgi.html

Golden Dawn-affiliated websites and blogs:
Golden Dawn (http://www.xryshaygh.com)
Youth Front (http://resistance-hellas.blogspot.com/)
Women’s Front (http://www.whitewomenfront.blogspot.com/)
Green Wing (http://www.oikologiko.blogspot.com/)

Related posts on Three Way Fight:
Golden Dawn violence and police collaboration, 12 October 2012
White nationalists praise Golden Dawn, 8 October 2012

Oct 18, 2012

Black Orchid Collective on strategizing against repression and fascism

The Seattle-based Black Orchid Collective has a great post on developing strategies for combating both privatized repression and insurgent fascism. The piece is intended to prompt discussion and touches on a lot of issues and resources: police outsourcing repression to private security forces, gangs, and far rightists; Don Hamerquist on the hollowing out of states; ruling-class theorist John Robb on open source warfare and counterinsurgency; the book Confronting Fascism; the Sojourner Truth Organization on anti-fascist strategies; and Trotsky's strategy of a united front against Nazism.

A united front means "a tactical alliance of mutual protection that operates at the street level, not the electoral level" in which "each group maintains its politics [and] the radicals don't subordinate or hide ours." In applying this, as the BOC's post emphasizes, it's important to avoid sliding into a popular front approach (in which radicals are instructed to tone down or abandon their politics to unite with liberals). It's also important

"to account for how some of the fascists are an insurgent right-wing movement from below. They are competing with the Left and the anarchists to express the anger that many people feel against the capitalist system. Any force that gets too close with electoral reformism could get discredited as this reformism leads to new rounds of austerity and capitalist crisis. This could happen to Syriza too [the largest socialist party in Greece]. All the other socialist electoral parties have ended up imposing austerity and subordination to imperialism and global capital. If Leftists get too close to these parties and do not criticize them, the fascists can say 'look, the Left failed to fight austerity, we are the only force left capable of doing it, so side with us'."

Read more

Oct 12, 2012

Golden Dawn violence and police collaboration

Following up on my previous post about white nationalist responses to the Greek neonazi group Golden Dawn, I want to pull together some information and analysis about Golden Dawn itself. This post focuses on GD’s campaign of violence and its close relationship with the police. A later post will focus on GD’s fascist ideology.

Greek anti-fascists have emphasized that Golden Dawn is far more violent than most far-right parties in Europe. This violence is primarily directed against immigrants and refugees but also against leftists, LGBT people, and others who don’t fit GD’s fascist vision for Greece. The website Infomobile (“information with, about and for refugees in Greece”) reported on August 13 that there had been “more than 500 fascist attacks against migrants in the last six months.” Whether or not all of these attacks have been perpetrated by Golden Dawn members, it’s clear that the party is spearheading and driving the racist campaign.

As a snapshot of this violence, the blog ANTI published a chronology of selected racist attacks in Greece during the week following the June 17 elections. Here is a summary:

          June 17 early hours – A mob of seventy stops buses in central Athens, punches and kicks non-Greek passengers; similar attacks take place at three other locations in the city. Local kiosks of the leftist parties ANTARSYA and SYRIZA are vandalized and torched. In Chania (on Crete) a gang of four attacks two Algerians with knives and metal bars, sending them to the hospital.
           June 17 night – A group of Golden Dawn supporters attacks an immigrant in an Athens subway station, as part of wider night of violence celebrating GD’s electoral success. In Chania, a homeless Egyptian immigrant is attacked with a metal bar, and is beaten so badly that he has to have emergency surgery to remove his kidney. 
          June 18 – Two teens punch non-Greek street sellers in Alimos and hit them with clubs. A Pakistani cyclist near Corinth is chased down by a group of six on motorbikes and beaten with clubs; police dismiss the attack as an inter-Pakistani feud and arrest ten of the victim’s friends for being undocumented when they visit him in hospital. 
          June 20 – Two teens attack street-sellers in Palaio Faliro. 
          June 21 – A group of ten thugs attacks immigrant street-sellers in Kalamaki.
          June 23 – A Golden Dawn gang in the Athens suburb of Nikaia goes to every shop owned by a non-Greek and threatens violence if they don’t leave within a week; their visit is closely observed by police who do not intervene. In the Elaionas neighborhood of Athens, a group of twenty thugs attacks non-Greeks with clubs, then vandalizes four immigrants’ houses; later, the local “ordinary” Greeks attack the remaining immigrants; police respond to both attacks by arresting undocumented immigrants.

Golden Dawn’s campaign of violence is connected to the police in at least two ways. First, the Greek police are implementing their own official campaign to crack down on immigrants and refugees. Since April there has been a series of mass sweeps leading to arrests and deportations. In “Operation Xenios Zeus” (named for the ancient Greek god of hospitality), police rounded up 6,000 people in the greater Athens area in one day alone. Christoph Dreier on World Socialist Web Site reports:
“According to eyewitness reports published in the Guardian newspaper in Britain, the police teams acted with the utmost brutality. Police are said to have randomly stopped foreign-looking individuals and packed them into windowless buses. After several hours, the officers searched them and checked their papers. Those who could produce a residency permit were released; all others were taken to police stations and a temporary detention facility near Athens…. Other reports speak of humiliating scenes in which the victims had to spend hours kneeling on the ground. There are reports of violent attacks by police officers on detainees.”
These operations reflect the fact that Greece’s mainstream ruling parties have embraced nativist politics, even if they don’t endorse Golden Dawn’s pogromist tactics. As Dreier reports,
“The minister responsible for civil protection, Nikos Dendias of the conservative New Democracy, denounced refugees seeking asylum as worse than the German troops who invaded Greece during World War II. Speaking to Skai TV, he described them as ‘occupiers’ who have turned the country into an ‘immigrant ghetto.’”
At the same time, there is a close relationship between the Golden Dawn fascists and the police -- whether or not claims that 50 percent of police officers voted for Golden Dawn are correct. The chronology of racist attacks summarized above includes several incidents when police either ignored the attack or punished the victims, a pattern that has been widely reported elsewhere. Recently, forty anti-fascist protesters arrested in Athens told the Guardian that they were tortured and humiliated at the central police station, and that officers threatened to give their home addresses to Golden Dawn.

Sociologist Sappho Xenakis helps place Golden Dawn’s violence and police collaboration in historical context, noting that in the 1950s Greek police worked closely with far-right paramilitary groups in targeting leftists and labor unionists. Discussing political violence in the 2000s, she writes:
“Compounding the impact of state coerciveness has been the perceived immunity accorded to far-right violence, and open collaboration between far-right activists and the police in violent engagements. The number of organized and spontaneous attacks against immigrant, far-left, and anarchist targets by groups of far-right activists appears to have climbed over the 2000s. By 2009, far-right mobilizations against immigrants in central Athens by platoon-like formations of around thirty to forty black-clad and capped individuals, armed with sticks, were regularly being reported in the media. These acquired greater public recognition in 2010, when their ‘patrols’ became routine in the Athenian district of Agios Panteleimonas, a place of high tension between immigrant and Greek residents. The visibility of far-right violence reached a new level on May 12, 2011, with the daylight chasing and beating of immigrants by an estimated crowd of five hundred far-right extremists in central Athens (thought to include members of Chrysi Avgi, known as Chrysavgites), the reported injury of nineteen immigrants and six Greeks, and damage to the shops of immigrants.

“Furthermore, images of uniformed far-Rightists (suspected Chrysavgites) emerging from, or alongside, police ranks, armed with Molotov cocktails, batons, and knives, to attack anarchists and far-Leftists during demonstrations and riots, and even caught on film returning for protection behind these lines, has persuaded many of the existence of a close cooperative relationship between the far-Right and the police over recent years. One such illustration was provided on May 9, 2009, when dozens of far-right activists (again, suspected Chrysavgites) passed by police lines to attack Asian refugees housed in Omonia, central Athens, armed with shields, sticks, and grenades, leading to the injury of five immigrants.” (Sappho Xenakis, “A New Dawn? Change and Continuity in Political Violence in Greece,” pp. 445-6, available at Academia.edu with free login) [or even without the login -- see Comment below]
Two closing thoughts for now: First, the fascist threat in Greece is not a future potential or a secondary issue compared with the crisis of capitalism and the so-called austerity measures that the Greek state and the European Union have imposed on the people of Greece. Fascist violence is an immediate, physical threat now, and it plays a major role in defining the political and social direction of the country. Beyond that, Golden Dawn’s successes and aggressiveness inspire and embolden far rightists around the world.

Second, the close relationship between Golden Dawn and the Greek police doesn’t mean that Greek neonazism functions simply as a tool of the Greek state, the ruling class, or capitalism as a system. Historically, fascist movements have had a complex, contradictory relationship with the capitalist ruling class, serving its interests in some ways but clashing with them in others. To understand how that relationship plays out in the case of Golden Dawn, it would be important to look at tensions within the Greek ruling class (notably in relation to global capital and the EU's demands and constraints) as well as tensions between the security apparatus and economic or political elites (possibly left over from the end of military rule of 40 years ago).

Here are some good sources of information about the struggle in Greece:
Related posts on Three Way Fight:
Golden Dawn's fascist ideology, 24 October 2012
White nationalists praise Golden Dawn, 8 October 2012

Oct 8, 2012

White nationalists praise Golden Dawn

The anti-racist website Imagine 2050 recently posted a useful article about the Greek neonazi party Golden Dawn. Author Aaron Patrick Flanigan warns that GD’s newly formed New York City chapter may try to build connections with North American white nationalist, anti-immigrant, and Islamophobic groups. I agree that this type of networking seems likely and it is one of the main reasons that Golden Dawn’s North American venture is dangerous. For much of the far right, the flip side of nationalism is an emphasis on international solidarity with like-minded groups.

Here are some examples of praise for Golden Dawn on North American white nationalist websites:

Faith and Heritage (“a webzine presenting the views of Occidental Christians who are determined to preserve both Western Civilization and Western Peoples”) recently posted a videotape of a Golden Dawn meeting with the comment, “Hopefully this is a foretaste of a greater nationalist awakening that will sweep the West in the wake of this global economic crisis.” (The Council of Conservative Citizens, probably the biggest white nationalist organization in the U.S., lists Faith and Heritage on its homepage blogroll.)

White Reference, in a September 9 post about a Golden Dawn attack on immigrant street traders, comments, “Golden Dawn shows us what can happen when suits and boots decide to work together as one. And since Golden Dawn considers it just as important to be effective than [sic] it is to be respectable, they're winning over more support with each passing day.” (White Reference is a blog that offers “reports of crime and oppression against White people worldwide, as well as accounts of White resistance.”)

Renaissance Vanguard (also known as Renaissance Party of North America) issued a September 23 press release welcoming Golden Dawn to North America, and applauding Golden Dawn’s “efforts to resist and overcome the genocidal multi-culturalist, and anti-Hellenic agenda of the New World Order.”
 “‘We welcome the presence of Golden Dawn in NAmerika to encourage and support the development of an adolescent nationalist movement here and to build bridges where bridges may be built,’ said Sebastian E. Ronin, Chairman of the RPN [Renaissance Party of North America]. ‘We look forward to a possible opening of a Golden Dawn office in Toronto which also has a large Greek population.’” (Renaissance Vanguard describes itself as “a nascent Canadian federal political party that advocates the political synergy and recognition of Peak Oil, Ethno Nationalism, and Regional Secessionism on the NAmerikan continent.”)

Jim Goad, editor of the paleoconservative Taki’s Magazine, concedes in a May 14 article that Golden Dawn “play[s] the role of fascist street goons con mucho gusto,” but defends the party’s nativism as a natural response to the “mass immigration of mostly unassimilable and often culturally hostile foreigners.” “Only a deluded leftist ideologue or a media-brainwashed useful idiot would keep scratching their head at the persistently stubborn resurgence of nationalism without pausing to ponder that perhaps tribalism is an ineradicable human instinct rather than a sinister psychological aberration.”

Goad also highlights Golden Dawn’s proclaimed hostility to globalist elites. “Although media outlets cast a harsh spotlight on Golden Dawn’s immigrant-bashing, they don’t focus nearly so much attention on their fervid criticism of ‘global loan sharks,’ ‘bailout dictators,’ and ‘international speculators’ who are ‘selling us out and looting the sweat of the Greek people.’ For some Greeks, it seems to have come down to a choice between Golden Dawn and Goldman Sachs.”

The anti-immigrant VDare.com is more guarded in its comments about Golden Dawn. Contributor Brenda Walker both minimizes and excuses Golden Dawn’s extensive violence against immigrants, claiming: “The tribal violence is regrettable, but predictable. The Greeks are acting like typical humans, hard-wired to protect their group’s interests.” Walker also highlights the August firebombing of Golden Dawn's offices in Athens, implying that the party is more victim than victimizer.

VDare founder Peter Brimelow cites Greece as a model for the United States on “how to handle illegal immigration,” citing measures such as randomly grab[bing] illegals off the street and deport[ing] them,” which the Greek government has implemented largely in response to Golden Dawn’s rise. Brimelow euphemistically refers to Golden Dawn as an “insurrectionary Right-wing party.” (Interestingly, the other model of anti-immigrant toughness that Brimelow cites is Israel, highlighting the pro-Zionism that sets VDare apart from most U.S. white nationalists.)

Related posts on Three Way Fight:
Golden Dawn's fascist ideology, 24 October 2012
Golden Dawn violence and police collaboration, 12 October 2012