Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Golden Dawn’s Fascist Ideology

Taken from threewayfight.blogspot.com and written by Matthew Lyons:

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.

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