by Michael Smith (Veshengro)
In Europe today, and especially in the EU member states, fascism is again rearing its ugly head and is attempting to present itself as a solution to the disorientated and the desperate – to those whose world appears to be crumbling around them in the midst of economic ruin.
In Greece, Golden Dawn, the European organization most openly reverent of its fascist and Nazi legacy, has gained international attention for its beatings of immigrants in broad daylight, its attacks on socialists and communists, its penetration of the Athens police force, its violently nationalist rhetoric and its growth in electoral support.
This phenomenon, however, is by no means limited to Greece alone. In Hungary, Marton Gyongyosi, a member of parliament for the far-right Jobbik Party, called for the government to draw up lists of Jews who pose a national security risk and for the extermination, basically, of all Gypsies.
On March 15, 2013 in Hungary gave out honors to well-know anti-Semites and anti-Gypsy politicians and other “personalities”. Among those are the TV moderator Ferenc Szaniszlo, who called the Romani People “monkeys”. Also receiving high state honors were archaeologist Kornel Bakay, who claimed that Jesus Christ has not been a Jew but a prince of the, supposedly Magyar-related, old-Iranian nation of the Parthians, and the lead singer of the rock band “Carpathia”, which is regarded as the “house band” of the neo-Nazi party “Jobbik”, was decorated with the Golden Cross of Merit.
In Latvia in 2012 a monument was erected commemorating member of the Latvian Waffen SS and annually a parade is taking place, legally, of veterans of that outfit.
All over the European Union the Romani People are being,, basically, ethnically cleansed from many areas by proxy, whether in Romania or Bulgaria or in Italy and France, with the European Commission and the European Parliament paying but lip-service to inclusion and protection of ethnic minorities.
In many other countries in Europe, populist right-wing parties have at their core former or camouflaged fascists who, cognizant of the revulsion millions feel about their politics, have sought legitimacy through "respectable" election campaigns, focusing on opposition to immigration and Islam, and appealing to those hardest hit by unemployment, declining social services and rising inequality.
The potential for the different varieties of the far right to grow, though far from inevitable, makes it increasingly essential for the left to understand the roots of fascism, how it organizes and whose interests it serves.
Gone are, mostly, the skinheads and the bovver-boots, and the new fascists and Nazis are wearing crew cut and Armani suits. It is those that are the most dangerous and many of them are descendants of Nazis that remained, aided and abetted by the Western Allies, in Germany after the War or who had fled abroad and whose offspring are now returning to Germany (and other countries in the EU).
Only members of the high echelon of the Nazi Party of Adolf Hitler were chosen to be tried at the Nuremberg Trials; others were simple reintegrated into the positions that they held before, such as in the police, in politics and elsewhere.
The forerunner of the European Union, the then so-called European Economic Community, was founded by German and French fascists and its aim was already then to work towards a European state on fascist lines. And, as it would appear, we are seeing it coming together now.
Fascism in Europe is most commonly associated with Adolf Hitler's National Socialist German Workers Party. The rise of the Nazis culminated in unimaginable barbarism leading to the death of 6 millions Jews, 2.5 million Poles, at least 1.5 million Gypsies, and hundreds of thousands of others, including communists, socialists, unionists and the disabled. The Second World War exceeded the casualties of the First World War by many times, with 50 million dead and whole economies and societies ruined.
But fascism first seized power in Italy in 1922, with Benito Mussolini at its head – and the immediate backdrop was the catastrophe of the First World War. This was the first "total war" and the bloodiest in human history to that point, with millions dead and whole societies unraveling. The war produced a vast radicalization among masses of people angry and impatient for change.
Initially, fascism was thought to be uniquely Italian and simply another form of reactionary capitalist rule, without fundamental differences from bourgeois democracy. Italian communists believed that fascism represented one side of an internal debate within the ruling class and a political distraction for revolutionaries to focus on.
While fascism initially originated in Italy, with Mussolini at its head, the National Socialist German Workers Party under Adolf Hitler turned it into a science, so to speak, making use of the German psyche, which still seems to have this ingrained in the majority of the minds of the German people. And this mindset comes through quite frequently and that especially when it concerns the Gypsy People.
But, as already discussed, fascism is not limited to Germany, as far as the European Union is concerned, but is active in many countries and seems to have found a real fertile ground in Hungary. And in that country the excesses perpetrated against the Romani population is a very serious and worrying sign of this. The right-wing parties of that country, with Jobbik in the forefront, have called for the culling of the Romani and are now also have the Jews in their sights. Still the silence from Brussels and Strasbourg is deafening.
And, it is not just the minority of the right-wing extremists that are involved; a great majority of the people in Hungary – and elsewhere – seem to be drawn to those parties and their rhetoric.
Now, with the economic crisis in Europe and elsewhere and the European Union being at the very brink of collapse those parties are gaining more and more support from all sectors and classes, including and especially the working class.
Time and again Nazis are allowed to march in towns and cities of Germany, under police protection, while any counter-demonstration by Antifascists is being treated almost as an act of terrorism and the entire power of the police is used against such demonstrations and its participants.
And, despite many people not wishing to see it, fascists and similar groups and parties are gaining more and more support from the all sections of society, but especially, unfortunately, the working class.
Once upon a time it was the working class and its organizations who was the bulwark against fascism but today, alas, it is the working class that seems to be flocking to those parties and groupings.
Workers, understand, that the fascist is not your friend and he never will be. The fascist and the capitalist are the enemy and always will be. Learn from the lessons of history and look at what fascism did in and to Europe.
Only the working class movements can truly create, once again, a bulwark against fascism in all its forms, for the European Union for sure cannot and will not do it.
Workers of the world unite and stand against the new tide of the fascist monster.