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Golden Dawn: fascism becomes more popular again.
October 2, 2012 6:09 AM   Subscribe

Golden Dawn [Wiki summary] progress report: "One survey last week showed a near doubling in the number of people voicing "positive opinions" about Golden Dawn, up from 12% in May to 22%" as Golden Dawn have become vigilante enforcers where the police cannot [Guardian - short summary] and provide food and clothing for the ethnic Greek poor. "Kaiti Lazarou, 55, the owner of a newspaper and cigarette kiosk in Piraeus, agreed. “I myself have gotten food and potatoes from them in Syntagma Square,” she said. "I would not be surprised if they become the government one day, and why shouldn’t they? They protect the Greeks, while Samaras and the government are out of touch with the people" [NYT - somewhat more detailed, and with useful links]. Golden Dawn is also setting up foreign offices to collect aid [Canadian example] to distribute in Greece, both providing benefits to ethnic Greeks and attacking immigrant stalls and community centres [example attack on a Tanzanian community centre, where the police allegedly stood by].
posted by jaduncan (70 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

 
A party that hates immigrants and will help feed and clothe the poor while the country is in economic collapse? What could possibly go wrong?
posted by xingcat at 6:15 AM on October 2, 2012 [21 favorites]


Honestly I'd rather have this Golden Dawn in political power.
posted by Faint of Butt at 6:20 AM on October 2, 2012 [13 favorites]


Austerity has been tried in Europe before with similar results.

I would never argue that Europe should continue bankrolling the Greek government, given the corruption, tax evasion, etc. in Greece, but another path must be found, presumably involving kicking them out.
posted by jeffburdges at 6:22 AM on October 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


Actually, legitimacy through provision of social services reminded me a lot of Hamas and Hezbollah.
posted by jaduncan at 6:25 AM on October 2, 2012 [19 favorites]


(I read about them in Time Magazine)
posted by nathancaswell at 6:25 AM on October 2, 2012 [7 favorites]


"Long after the Nazi party took power in Germany in 1933, after the Reichstag had been burned and anti-semitic violence became official state policy, European governments remained more worried about the possibility of a socialist Germany than a fascist one. Almost until the Second World War, it remained more important to many world leaders that Germany pay down its debts. Drawing historical parallels with Nazism is a weary rhetorical technique that commentators on left and right have cheapened by tossing the simile into discussions of food labelling and over-enthusiastic traffic control. In this case, however, it's not rhetoric.

Actual fascists in actual black shirts are actually marching around Athens waving swastikas and burning torches, and maiming and murdering ethnic minorities, and world governments appear frighteningly relaxed about it as long as the Greek people continue to pay off the debts of the European elite. When the lessons of history are taught by rote, they can be easy to miss when most needed. This time, Europe must remember that the price of fostering fascism is crueller and costlier by far than any national debt.
"
posted by Blasdelb at 6:31 AM on October 2, 2012 [47 favorites]


That article posted by Blasdelb is fantastic, here's another Penny piece on the Golden Dawn.
posted by themadthinker at 6:33 AM on October 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


One of the socialist blogs I read (Lenin's Tomb, I think?) was mentioning that the police are outsourcing "security" to the Golden Dawn (and points out that a large part of Golden Dawn support comes from the ranks of the police as it is)...

The world will only give a fuck if it becomes outright genocide (and even then, it will take much push from below) or if it becomes civil war (I hope those Greek anarchists have remembered how to use their leet assassination skills) or if Greece actually starts to invade other countries.

My fear is that it would take an actual invasion of another country to make the world actually take steps to stop this bullshit.

Thankfully, so far as I can tell, there aren't any other fascist movements on this scale in Europe, but I sure as fuck hope that it can be held back and the rot not spread.

I've already seen a few questions on /r/Communism and other socialist forums about a future Lincoln Brigade and whether the forum members would join up to go fight.

I wonder if that would ever happen and if so, how it would happen.

This is so not fucking good. :\
posted by symbioid at 6:38 AM on October 2, 2012 [4 favorites]


This was very weird. Somehow, I just happened to read the Golden Dawn article linked by Faint of Butt, yesterday.

Political idiocy seems very, um, fashionable, these days. I don't comprehend. This TV-land way of politics is making it very difficult to deal with issues far more serious than the old "Who gets what, when, and how".

TV-land politics brings out the most childish forms of democracy. Like one country thinking another country must be "punished". You can't punish a nation. Thinking you can is nonsense unbecoming anyone understanding the bad parts of the 20th century and making a sincere effort to do better. (Well, you could do something bad, and call it 'punishment'. But it is still something bad, and shouldn't be done at all).

The planet is dying, and we're worried about Greeks and their fucking taxes. Let's just play this for all it's worth, baby. We don't need no stinkin' unity! Fuck the EU! Fuck the UN!

The Dwarves are for the Dwarves!
posted by Goofyy at 6:39 AM on October 2, 2012 [6 favorites]


Previously. That thread unfortunately quickly descended into yet another utterly asinine semantic quibble about the meaning of the word fascism, rather than discussion on the actual right-wing, ultra-nationalist, violent, racist bigoted and homophobic organisation that actually exists and is actually gaining support in a European country.

It would be awesome if we could avoid that derail this time around.
posted by Happy Dave at 6:39 AM on October 2, 2012 [12 favorites]


People are obviously right to be worried about the rising prominence of the Golden Dawn, but there's really only one solution, start feeding and supporting people. You're never going to argue a starving person out of supporting the person whose giving them food.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 6:42 AM on October 2, 2012 [23 favorites]


The recently featured podcast Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff devoted a section of their first podcast to the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. I've taken the liberty of transcribing the section where they talk about possible connections between the Greek Golden Dawn and the original. (all errors are mine, et.c.)
Ken: Yeats believed that the fairies, the elves, the Sidhe, the Tuatha Dé Danann, however you want to put them, were the embodiments of this Irish mythical perfect golden age past, and if they are real, they absolutely should be communed with by all true sons of Eire, and even if they are imaginary, which I suppose he went through in his varying swings of faith and doubt, that they serve a fundamental purpose in knitting together an Irish national mythology which is different and better than all other peoples' national mythologies.

Robin: Does this connection between the construction of the national myth and occultism explain why we now have a Greek fascist party called the Golden Dawn?

Ken: Well, the trouble with the Greek... well, the trouble with them beside that they're Fascists...

Robin: That's issue number one.

Ken: ...I don't speak Greek, I don't read Greek, and I have not read any of their source material. Also, because reading Fascism is not something that I do for fun at this advanced stage of my life. So, I've looked at the covers of the Golden Dawn magazine that they published back in the early 80s, or the late 70s, when he got out of prison, which is always a good sign. You know, you get out of prison, you start publishing occult magazines - that never goes wrong. But the covers very much have Golden Dawn iconography on them - more in common I think with the German version of this "national folk spirit", than specifically English ones...

Robin: If you're going for Fascism, there's a wellspring there.

Ken: You do want the pure... no pun intended... stuff. But the Golden Dawn is so influential, that's why when you're looking for something that is sending those signals of national renewal, you pick Golden Dawn, even though obviously there was no specific connection between MacGregor Mathers, or even Aleister Crowley, and Greek national thought. I think Greece and England have shared a sort of national poetic myth, at least back to Byron, and probably back to the British deciding that they were the last sons of Troy. So there's a very strong connection between the Greek pseudo-intelligentsia and the English pseudo-intelligentsia as well. But I don't know specifically that this thug in charge of the Greek Golden Dawn is an occultist, or even that he believes in any of this stuff, but he certainly knows a good logo when he sees one.
posted by zamboni at 6:47 AM on October 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


TV-land politics brings out the most childish forms of democracy.

You don't need TV. Hitler didn't have TV. Mao didn't have TV. Pol Pot would have deliberately destroyed TVs.

This is as old as the hills, and it's what happens when a government decides to ignore the people in the favor of some other group, internal or external. Then, to take over, what you do is what the government should be doing, namely, making sure that people are fed and safe.

It is a staggeringly effective tactic in desperate times -- far more so than the old tactic of killing those helping your opponents. The latter means people will help you as little as they can without getting killed. The former? That means people will help you body and soul, because you're feeding them and keeping them safe.

There's a fast way to shut them down. Also feed the people and keep them safe. There's a fast way to hand your nation to the insurgency -- ignore the people and keep sendings the wealth to whatever elites you feel require it.

Greece has chosen the latter. They should not, in any way, be surprised by Golden Dawn.
posted by eriko at 6:47 AM on October 2, 2012 [14 favorites]


Thankfully, so far as I can tell, there aren't any other fascist movements on this scale in Europe

You are wrong, unfortunately. Hungary has Orban, a right wing leader who wishes to centralise authority, remove freedom of speech, has his own uniformed militia, and shuts colleges due to them being "Jewish dens"...and Jobbik, his opposition from the right who are currently running in a rough tie for the second place in Hungarian politics.
posted by jaduncan at 6:49 AM on October 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


This is pretty unsurprising to anyone who has read John Robb's book/blog.
posted by adamdschneider at 6:53 AM on October 2, 2012


The UK also has the (increasingly demoralised and disintegrating) BNP who are being rapidly supplanted by the deeply unpleasantEnglish Defence League, which is basically the old National Front but with a focus on Muslims as the danger du jour.
posted by Happy Dave at 6:53 AM on October 2, 2012


There's a fast way to shut them down. Also feed the people and keep them safe.

But then who would beat up the immigrants?
posted by The Prawn Reproach at 6:53 AM on October 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Here's the thing: We solve this financial crisis, and this ugly tendency for fascism to rise amongst us, OR, we're going to have another big war.
posted by Goofyy at 7:08 AM on October 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


This is deeply worrying. And even more worrying is that I have seen nothing about this in the Swedish news. The US seems to be covering this just fine - am I looking at the wrong sources, or are we really just collectively sticking our heads in the sand over here?
posted by harujion at 7:13 AM on October 2, 2012




Does anyone speak Greek? The NYT link bugged me because it quoted the guy as saying "now we're going to pay our respects to the Madonna," and it seems weird that a guy speaking Greek would suddenly start speaking in Italian. I listened to the video to see if he was saying Theotokos (the term they seem to be mostly likely to translate as Madonna), and didn't hear that, but again I don't speak greek, so I might not be able to pick it out if it were there.

This has nothing to do with rising fascism, but I'd still like to know if I'm getting a good translation of what he said.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 7:17 AM on October 2, 2012


Is this an offshoot of Asian Dawn? I read about them in Time Magazine.
posted by BobbyVan at 7:31 AM on October 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


Bulgaroktonos: The word translated as Madonna in the NYT article was "Παναγία" (Panagia), the most commonly used word for the Virgin Mary in everyday Greek.
posted by slowpulseboy at 7:35 AM on October 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


This is deeply worrying. And even more worrying is that I have seen nothing about this in the Swedish news. The US seems to be covering this just fine - am I looking at the wrong sources, or are we really just collectively sticking our heads in the sand over here?

I don't think the US news has been covering it beyond bare mentions, honestly. We've got the election going on, and the news has been completely focused on that. I read the news fairly avidly, and don't see mention of Golden Dawn near often enough to actually cover and inform about what's happening. The whole business is deeply disturbing and deserves far more coverage than it's actually getting.
posted by stoneweaver at 7:42 AM on October 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


The US seems to be covering this just fine - am I looking at the wrong sources, or are we really just collectively sticking our heads in the sand over here?

The Guardian is British, so you can have EU sources at the least.
posted by jaduncan at 7:45 AM on October 2, 2012


what's this about Time Magazine?
posted by bonefish at 7:45 AM on October 2, 2012


dumb Die Hard reference... carry on
posted by BobbyVan at 7:51 AM on October 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


There's a fast way to shut them down. Also feed the people and keep them safe. There's a fast way to hand your nation to the insurgency -- ignore the people and keep sending the wealth to whatever elites you feel require it.

Greece has chosen the latter. They should not, in any way, be surprised by Golden Dawn.

Neither should any other western country where this happens, because it might.

Where austerity leads to a belief (and/or reality) that international investors are more important than the people of the nation itself, of course people aren't going to accept it meekly. That's the elites' collective conceit - that they can impoverish citizens who either won't react or who will be handled by the cops if they do. No. Political movements thrive in this hothouse environment, and the more strident they are - the more they seem to have dynamism on their side - the more successful they can be.

Hatred is dynamic, after all, and it's always lurking just below the surface anyway.
posted by kgasmart at 8:01 AM on October 2, 2012 [4 favorites]


Hitler didn't have TV.

Huh? He was on the first live TV sports broadcast in 1936 for the Olympics.

Mao didn't have TV.

Mao had TV.

Pol Pot, however, did not. He was more of a radio guy.
posted by chambers at 8:10 AM on October 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


...OR, we're going to have another big war.

We've been trying our damnedest for the past 11 years, but, so-far, none of the big kids wants to come out and play!
posted by Thorzdad at 8:29 AM on October 2, 2012


I think the charges that Hitler and Mao didn't have TV refer to the fact that set ownership wasn't ubiquitous so it couldn't be used as effectively as it could be where there is a TV in every house.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:36 AM on October 2, 2012


It astonishes me already that the governments of Greece and Spain are holding out on austerity in the face of so much opposition; sure, you can keep locking people up and beating them, but the more unemployed and desperate people you have, the less effective that is as a tactic.
posted by emjaybee at 8:50 AM on October 2, 2012


I would hope elites in the rest of Europe aren't ignoring this and assuming it couldn't happen in other EU countries. I can't believe they would be that stupid, events of the last decade and a half notwithstanding.

Because there is ongoing disquiet about immigration. A lot of people feel that nation-states have been railroaded by EU policies on migration and that the mass movement of workers has helped to lower wages and conditions and put pressure on housing. And there's the general problem—which, I guess, also happened in the early '30s—of an elite resistance to the very possibility of change. Current economic policies are broken and failing. This is clear to everyone. But no-one, and certainly not the established opposition parties, are suggesting anything different. In the UK, just this week, Labour have come out saying that they would have imposed many of the same (deeply unpopular) cuts on spending and social services that the Tories have enacted, and will, in fact, cut the welfare budget themselves if elected in 2015. As Thomas Frank once put it, "the opposition has ceased to oppose."

People could ignore this basic lack of democratic choice before the Crash, when there was the illusion of prosperity. But now, democracy itself is looking like a complete sham: even when opposition, supposedly "Left," parties are elected on anti-austerity mandates, they ... well, promptly implement austerity measures. This is what the neoliberal establishment's mantra of "There Is No Alternative" looks like when push comes to shove: the seizure of all state apparatus by a financial elite, who ensure that no democratic plurarity can combat their control.

As someone said last year over on Crooked Timber:
Faceless governments imposing painful crisis measures from behind a wall of riot police? Not the future Europe wanted for itself.
Indeed.
posted by Sonny Jim at 8:54 AM on October 2, 2012 [6 favorites]


I think the charges that Hitler and Mao didn't have TV refer to the fact that set ownership wasn't ubiquitous so it couldn't be used as effectively as it could be where there is a TV in every house.

Mao saw TVs true purpose as "Lenin's model for the media, which had it function as a tool of mass propaganda, agitation, and organization" - granted, the TV was not in every home, but the visual power and editorial policy of Chinese TV could be used in a faster, cheaper way than large film productions.

Hitler's propaganda use of TV was for the technological feat of being able to do it at centralized stations throughout the country, producing a technological wonder the German people would respond to to increase national pride and further the political ends of the Nazi party. So although the method was different, it was exploited just as much as possible for political gain at the time.

I'm just saying you don't need it in every home to harvest effective results from the "(Manipulated) Seeing is (Manipulated) Believing" effect.
posted by chambers at 8:54 AM on October 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


emjaybee:
"It astonishes me already that the governments of Greece and Spain are holding out on austerity in the face of so much opposition"
It's probably because the best alternative for their own well being is to leave the Euro. But if they do that it means that the EU experiment has failed, or at least is fundamentally flawed, so there is a LOT of pressure from the EU to stay in. And the only reason to stay in is to get help and to get help you do what they say.
posted by charred husk at 9:12 AM on October 2, 2012


It's probably because the best alternative for their own well being is to leave the Euro. But if they do that it means that the EU experiment has failed, or at least is fundamentally flawed, so there is a LOT of pressure from the EU to stay in. And the only reason to stay in is to get help and to get help you do what they say.
I think it's also a version of the nineteenth-century's Hapsburg/Saxe-Coburg-Gotha problem. The elites across Europe have much more in common among themselves than with the polities they supposedly represent. They have rarely worked outside family firms or their own political parties. At best, it seems like their only experience beyond the bubble of political privilege might be, like Ed Milliband's, a bit of TA-ing while studying Politics at Large Ivy-League University Where All the Other Technocrats Went.

And so the perception of disconnection—if not outright cronyism—continues unabated.
posted by Sonny Jim at 9:23 AM on October 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


Greek Pastafarian arrested for "Cyber Crimes"

"It's being widely reported that the arrest was instigated not by the Greek Orthodox church, but by the neo-Nazi group Golden Dawn, who currently hold seats in Parliament."
posted by homunculus at 9:36 AM on October 2, 2012




If they were really good, they'd get a backdoor into the site, and then intercept communication between sympathetic expats.

The US needs to put Golden Dawn on its list of terrorist organizations.
posted by symbioid at 9:48 AM on October 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Make sure you guys don't miss the video of Ilias Kasidiaris, a freshly elected politician from Golden Dawn, on a Greek talk show get angry at two women, in the process of rhetorically handing his ass to him, prompting him to throw water on one and pummel the other with his fists - on national television. While a warrant has been issued for his arrest, he is still at large, Golden Dawn has refused to condemn his actions, and he considered a hero by many.
posted by Blasdelb at 9:56 AM on October 2, 2012 [1 favorite]



There's a fast way to shut them down. Also feed the people and keep them safe.



Oh, come on, the people are getting a Formula One track, what more could they possibly want?
posted by dubold at 10:04 AM on October 2, 2012


Here's the thing: We solve this financial crisis, and this ugly tendency for fascism to rise amongst us, OR, we're going to have another big war.
yeah. who cares, but I keep seeing this ugly note creeping into peoples' voices, and it's not just on the right. it's like everything is kind of trending in that direction.
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 10:07 AM on October 2, 2012


So speaking of war on the horizon (which I am putting my head in the sand about), surely the nations have their own contingencies and alliances? I guess my question is: if push came to shove, who would actually ally with Greece? Spain is too socialist to join up with fascists, afaik, at least currently. I suppose, as mentioned above Jobbik and the climate in Hungary is pretty fascist, but I imagine the US would side with the EU. Of course, Russia and China are... well... I suppose they might not want to ally with the US/EU, huh?

Ugh, I really hope it doesn't ever get to that point. People are too fucking stupid, and I don't trust the wisdom of our current crop of leaders to do the right thing - of course that also means I don't trust them to do the right thing in peace or war. It's not going to be pretty if it ever gets to that point.
posted by symbioid at 10:23 AM on October 2, 2012


Wait. No. Allow me some corrections here:

There are indeed vast solidarity networks in neighborhoods and towns across Greece, actually providing food to the hungry, on a permanent basis. Some, as in the suburb of Ellinikon, are municipal:
The re-organisation of society in Ellinikon includes the introduction of food and health provision outside of state lines. Over one hundred doctors have been organised into a volunteer force that treats people free of charge. Most of the people who have found themselves without healthcare over the last few years are the elderly and families with young children. This is sorely needed, as austerity is not a policy. It is social and economic sabotage and has devasted the country causing a humanitarian crisis that is deepening...

Unofficial food markets have also been set up to allow farmers and growers to sell their produce direct to customers. The Mayor’s office negotiates prices on behalf of those in need, allowing both customer and farmer to survive.
The same is true all over Greece. The thing is that these networks do not advertise themselves through publicity stunts. An activist from the working class suburb of Vyronas describes (warning: poor Google translation) the tremendous work and the number of people involved in their actions (as well as the immense scale of the problem), but notes that they don't film their actions. They respect the people that they are giving aid to, they do not publicize their names, they are mobilizing families and neighbours, but they don't film it. The left is funding, supporting and working with municipalities and these groups, but does not and cannot use them as political ads...

What Golden Dawn does is organize few and far between media events as a show of caring. This includes the ludicrous "blood donations by Greeks for Greeks" - which they can't find a doctor to attend to. The last time they tried the food distribution stunt, they amassed 6 tons of food which they gave away, but few came. They were left with 5,5 tons of undistributed food (again sorry, bad Google translation), because most people are scared of them. They cannot organize medical care (their cadres are barely literate and they can't seem to attract educated doctors - that anyone would trust anyway) and they are hated still by a majority of the population.

Apart from that, they are consistently running into trouble. Just over the last week GD members were beaten up in the towns of Kozani, Serres and in their bases in downtown Athens, when anti-authortarian anarchists on motorcycle antifascist patrol, found two of them smashing up an immigrant's shop and beat them to a pulp. Afterwards the police came and arrested the anarchists, who it then proceeded to torture and detain without a lawyer before releasing most of them 24 hours later...

And here is why these thugs are dangerous: close to 50% of the active Athens police are their voters and some squads act more like the fascists private security then law enforcement. The reason that they can sell protection (because that is what they do, it is a protection racket, mafia-style in the slums of the center) is because the police allow them to do it. Should the left attempt anything similar they would be crushed and detained by .

But beyond that: It seems that the conservative political system and the oligarchs that run it feel threatened enough by the prospect of the left winning the next elections to actually lend the Nazis their support. Thus the major media (owned almost 100% by the oligarchs) is playing along with them, showing their "human side" some of the tv channels at a distance, but not in opposition to them, fueling their anti-immigrant agenda every day with inflammatory xenophobic rhetoric and creating a false symmetry between fascist murderers, and strikers and environmental protestors. The problem is the political system which produces monsters as it is collapsing so it can get away with as much as it can. It thus risks plunging the country into a dictatorship or even a civil war. But they do not care...
posted by talos at 10:31 AM on October 2, 2012 [35 favorites]


This is pretty terrible.

I've been amazed that Golden Dawn has managed to retain its supporters let alone gather new ones after the incident with Ilias Kasidiaris on TV never mind the party leader, Nikolaos Michaloliakos denying the Nazis used gas chambers. If Golden Dawn's hadn't managed to position themselves as the only political party taking immigration seriously their support would likely be a fraction of a percent. As it is, the other far right Greek party, LAOS, has largely disintegrated with most of its members shifting to Golden Dawn.

That said, there are a few other issues playing a role as well. Many Greeks on the Left are socially conservative. What they see as the acting out of the extreme left, the property destruction and frequent rioting, doesn't sit well with them. And it's no surprise that support for Golden Dawn among the police is as high as it is. Being a cop in Greece is a tough, dangerous job and they don't get much in the way of support or respect from the community. They are even barred from entering university campuses which hampers the arrest of rioters. For quite a few years the crime rate in Greece has been very low. The recent increase is a big issue for a significant number of people, and when a high profile crime can be attributed to illegal immigrants it gets a lot of attention.

And of course, it's hard times - 1 in 3 stores closed in downtown Athens.
posted by BigSky at 10:39 AM on October 2, 2012


The more I read about this, the more it sounds like that modern monster and genocidal maniac, Milosevic. You want to talk about televised horror shows that whipped up populations into a frenzy?

Milosevic had that shit on lock.
posted by You Guys Like 2 Party? at 10:55 AM on October 2, 2012


Thank you for the context talos, I just want to make sure to point folks towards the antifascist patrol video and the video you linked under fascist murderers. The first is a whole bunch of what look like awesome folks on motorcycles riding to protect their neighbors and the second is a really fucking brave guy taking video of a horde of Golden Dawn thugs stabbing a Pakistani guy, while the station police watches, and he tries to pretend to be talking on his phone. The cold blooded attack is profoundly disturbing and the guy with the phone stepping up to do what little he could is inspiring.
posted by Blasdelb at 10:58 AM on October 2, 2012 [2 favorites]




Oh BTW. These thugs were in Srebrenica, as well. They had ties with Arkan and his gang
posted by talos at 11:15 AM on October 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


Actually, legitimacy through provision of social services reminded me a lot of Hamas and Hezbollah.

To say nothing of Tammany Hall.
posted by Slithy_Tove at 11:23 AM on October 2, 2012


I've already seen a few questions on /r/Communism and other socialist forums about a future Lincoln Brigade and whether the forum members would join up to go fight.

YOU GONGED?
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 12:01 PM on October 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


I don't want to comment on this too much, but imagine if the KKK were actually a tiny minority party in the U.S. that managed to achieve some sort of electoral significance for some reason (or just look at David Duke, ca late 80s early 90s). The idea that Greek people in general are aligned with the Golden Dawn seems almost as bizarre to me as the idea that all Americans or all Louisiana natives were monsters who supported David Duke and the KKK.

This is certainly not what I see or know, right here on the ground. I hate to speak about this because I'm not Greek, and I'm not an expert, but I do live here, and Golden Dawn is and always has been completely reviled by everyone I know here, and... everyone they know or are associated with, and all the people they know, and etc. etc. Things are excruciatingly hard here now... I don't even think people in the U.S. can quite imagine... and stuff is getting fucking weird. But Golden Dawn is not the Greek people. I do know this.
posted by taz at 12:35 PM on October 2, 2012 [5 favorites]


But Golden Dawn is not the Greek people. I do know this.

Glad to hear it, but to what extent is Golden Dawn providing "answers" that the other/mainstream parties aren't? If the choice is between the ruling elite who consign the citizens to economic hell, and the racist, violent, frightening party that promises to take the opposite tack, as that hell intensifies, what are the chances that Golden Dawn becomes the Greek people?

Every crisis is an opportunity, and as the crisis isn't abating, the opportunities are increasing.
posted by kgasmart at 1:04 PM on October 2, 2012


Meanwhile:

Greece to spend almost €100m on building F1 track

Greece has 'unblocked' €30m so it can build a motor racing circuit capable of hosting a Formula One Grand Prix.
posted by futz at 2:08 PM on October 2, 2012


to what extent is Golden Dawn providing "answers" that the other/mainstream parties aren't?

To what degree was David Duke in the U.S. providing "answers" that the other/mainstream parties weren't? To what degree does any fascist/thug party provide "answers" that the other/mainstream parties don't? It's the same here.

If the choice is between the ruling elite who consign the citizens to economic hell, and the racist, violent, frightening party that promises to take the opposite tack, as that hell intensifies, what are the chances that Golden Dawn becomes the Greek people?

This isn't the choice, though. These are two extremes, but there are many other options, and most people don't support either a ruling elite or racist thug overlords. It's effort-free to sort this country and these people into a couple of simplistic piles of idiots, but that's just not what I see or know from living here.
posted by taz at 2:09 PM on October 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


David Duke made the governor's runoff election so he got around a third of the Louisiana voters.

I listened to the gamer's podcast "Golden Dawn" episode. Pure nonsense if you ask me. Any modern instance of Hermetic Order Golden Dawn will be explicitly apolitical in the spirit of separating church and state. When I was initiated into Freemasonry not that long ago I was advised that politics was explicitly taboo inside the lodge. There are some fringe lunatics like Christopher Hyatt who called himself a libertarian here or a Randian there but for the most part they do not mix. Obviously what goes on in a secret society is unknowable but if these right wing Greeks have any religious affiliation at all it's probably Greek orthodox and not something they make a big deal out of. Their Golden Dawn and Yeats' Golden Dawn are like Smith and Jones, coincidentally homonymous and not connected at all.
posted by bukvich at 2:13 PM on October 2, 2012


This isn't the choice, though. These are two extremes, but there are many other options, and most people don't support either a ruling elite or racist thug overlords. It's effort-free to sort this country and these people into a couple of simplistic piles of idiots, but that's just not what I see or know from living here.

Hey taz, I think there's a really interesting companion FPP to be made about Tsipras and his relationship with the ruling coalition if you'd like to make it?
posted by jaduncan at 3:00 PM on October 2, 2012


This is certainly not what I see or know, right here on the ground. I hate to speak about this because I'm not Greek, and I'm not an expert, but I do live here, and Golden Dawn is and always has been completely reviled by everyone I know here,

Sadly, I think this is observational bias: you can't get 7% in a general election without _someone_ supporting you. Anecdotally, it seems like their core support comes from inner city areas with heavy immigrant concentrations, and the parts of Attiki outside of Athens proper - places where people do fear for their safety, due to sparse police presence.

The Rafina episode is no coincidence - they are well organized there, and are rumored to have good ties to the local police department. If further rumor is to be believed, they didn't just happen accross the immigrant vendors at the fair - they were quietly invited by a rival vendor faction.
posted by Dr Dracator at 3:10 PM on October 2, 2012


If the relevant (and rather toothless) anti-racist law had been followed when they weren't a threat, things would have been better.

Anyway, an acquaintance filmed this documentary for a European audience about immigration in Greece. It includes a segment with the Grand Neonazi himself.
posted by ersatz at 5:40 PM on October 2, 2012


Golden Dawn is and always has been completely reviled by everyone I know here, and... everyone they know or are associated with, and all the people they know, and etc. etc.

That's an interesting comment in some ways. I've been reading a lot more about apartheid this year, and perhaps the thing that shocked me most about the incredible, balls-to-the-wall insanity of the whole kit and caboodle, was that all along - the whole way! - there were huge swathes of the population, and not just black people but tonnes and tonnes of white people, too. That didn't care for it, or support the National Party, or supported the NP but not apartheid policies or institutional racism or any of that malarkey.

And yet it still happened. Historical contingency obviously played a huge role, but part of that contingency was not just if people were against it, but a) how much they cared, and b) how much they knew. Visibility (or lack thereof) was a huge issue in the formulation and continuance of apartheid.

Please don't misunderstand: I certainly do not mean to say that anything like that is an inevitability in Greece, or that the current situation, or Greeks themselves are anything like that. But one thing it really has drummed into me is that things like apartheid can happen anywhere. And they don't need majority support to do it, either. Chilling stuff. And why a sense of community and an open, diverse press is so, so important to healthy democracy.
posted by smoke at 11:24 PM on October 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, completely agree, and it's very frightening. Case in point: My husband was telling me a story from a friend who was on a bus when some Golden Dawn asshole got on and started kicking at the seat where an immigrant woman was sitting, insulting her, etc... The friend said it was clear everyone on the bus was uncomfortable and pretty freaked out – but no one said anything – which was freaking him out even more, so he tells the guy, "you need to stop doing that, or you and I need to get off this bus and work out why you need to stop doing that," when a little old lady steps up and says to friend-of-friend, "my boy, you do not fight with an animal," and then tells the thug to stfu and sit down (not those exact words)... which he does. Thank goodness for yiayias.

But the very fact of this happening at all is not something that would have seemed possible to me a few years ago, and this is terrifying... so yeah. Obviously there are people who are supporting GD, and the fact that they are becoming more visible is very scary and deeply troubling – I didn't mean to suggest that they are so few that we don't worry about them. Not the case at all.
posted by taz at 12:55 AM on October 3, 2012 [9 favorites]


I know what you mean. It's nowhere near on the institutional scale of Golden Dawn, but I had a similar reaction when we had the Cronulla Riots here in Australia (ignore wikipedia, it was racial, not sectarian violence wtf).

Part of me was staggered that this could happen in my country, my city etc. But a more cynical part of me felt unsurprised. I can only imagine what would happen here if Australia was facing the scale of privation, young male unemployment, number of refugees, and disillusionment with the country's democracy that Greece is. Good on your husband, and that battle axe yiayia!
posted by smoke at 1:41 AM on October 3, 2012


People could ignore this basic lack of democratic choice before the Crash, when there was the illusion of prosperity. But now, democracy itself is looking like a complete sham: even when opposition, supposedly "Left," parties are elected on anti-austerity mandates, they ... well, promptly implement austerity measures.

When you don't control your own currency and have to borrow on the international debt markets to fund government operations, you give up virtually all of your freedom to manoeuvre. At that point, democratic governments can no more increase spending than they can defy the law of gravity, regardless of the will of the voters.

The solution of course is for Greece to leave the Euro.
posted by atrazine at 4:00 AM on October 3, 2012


Of course. Care to comment how to deal with a projected 55% fall of per capita income and 30% inflation if Greece follows your solution? The bloody crisis is not a matter of simply saying "do A" or "do B".
posted by ersatz at 5:43 AM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


The solution of course is for Greece to leave the Euro.

That works better when the debt isn't denominated in Euros anyway.
posted by jaduncan at 6:06 AM on October 3, 2012


This is the large anti-fascist patrol that was attacked by the police on September 30th, after beating up two GD nazis who were smashing an immigrant's store, in one of the Central Athens slums. The motorcade is cheered on by immigrants who apparently saw them as temporary liberators from the nazi yoke (see around 5:00 especially). The police gathered 25 of the protesters / patrol members, who were degraded, tortured with taser, beaten up, held without lawyers for 24 hours, and then had all but 5 of them released. (Annoying music background, makes most of what's being said incomprehensible)
posted by talos at 3:09 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


talos, the comments on that video are fucking frightening.
posted by molecicco at 3:11 AM on October 10, 2012


talos, the comments on that video are fucking frightening.

Jesus Christ

I'm used to seeing stormfront-like bullshit, but not taking over a public page, even on youtube - Jesus
posted by Blasdelb at 4:31 AM on October 10, 2012


Yes the "debate" has exploded. At some point there was a guy claiming he was a cop and bragging like he was in a gang or something... The nazis it seems have a whole army of web commentators with multiple accounts.
The people involved and arrested (anarchists of course, not Nazis), were then taken to police HQ and tortured... Things are getting scary over here
posted by talos at 3:03 PM on October 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Honestly, when a country is in crisis, the cowards blame the powerless and take their anger out on them. And the powerful will help them, because it shifts the blame away. How awful.

"They spat on me and said we would die like our grandfathers in the civil war," he said.

Holy jesus.
posted by molecicco at 1:05 AM on October 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


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