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"A survey by VPRC, an independent polling company, put the party's support at 14 percent in October, compared with the seven percent it won in June's election."

"Violent behavior by Golden Dawn members, who often stroll through run-down Athens neighborhoods harassing immigrants, seems to boost rather than hurt the party's standing."

"We operate like a well-organized army unit, because the military is the best institution in any country."  -Mihaloliakos once praised Hitler and denied the Nazi gas chambers existed.

All lifted straight from the article.  It's an important read.

Another banking crisis, another century.  The EU was founded as a reaction to wars of the past, but has re-engineered the social crises of the early 20th century on a smaller scale in the south of Europe.  NAZIs and banking.  I'm not suggesting intention.  But cause I cannot help but see.  In the absence of debt as the primary ordering parameter in society, in international relations, could they have ever risen?  What context but poverty amidst wealth could create this kind of unreasoning hate?

My one consolation's that the far left party outnumbers the support the facsists get by a large factor.  But the fascists have never needed all THAT much popular support.  They just needed guns.  The police work closely with them.

Here both the party and police work together in a coordinated attack on a peaceful anti-fascist demonstration.  This is why the anarchists in greece generally turn out ready to burn things down and create chaos in the streets instead of peacefully holding signs: so they can escape.

And history repeats itself.  As it always will.  Until we get rid of the goddamn banks as determiners of social policy.

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Comment Preferences

  •  14-15% is the standard support (4+ / 0-)

    extreme right wing parties get in most European countries except for Germany, where it is usually below 5%. 15% is what the neo-fascist Front National gets in France; 15% is about the share that right-wing extremists contribute to the 27-30% vote share of Switzerland's nationalistic SVP. Austria is a bit of an outlier. The extreme right-wing FPÖ raised from 5% to 27% under the charismatic leadership of Jörg Haider in the late 1999s, and the FPÖ and Haider's later spinoff party BZÖ together now still command about 27% of the vote – but then, that roughly corresponds to the 27% the Swiss SVP is getting.

    So not much to see here, or to worry about.

    Progress is confusion at a higher level. - John Boyd.

    by Berliner2 on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 06:36:18 AM PST

    •  Two points: 1. the growth rate 2. police backing (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jay C


    •  I disagree with you completely. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      anonymous volanakis

      I've been following the Golden Dawn story in Greece for a couple of months now.  I do not like what I am hearing.  Austerity has both emboldened and enabled the Golden Dawn.  They are feared, but they are also seen as the one thing standing between ordinary Greeks and chaos.  It's a very scary time in Greece right now, and the situation bears watching.  

      This. Is. Dangerous.

      "Fighting Fascism is Always Cool." -- Amsterdam Weekly, v3, n18 (-8.50, -7.23)

      by Noor B on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 07:03:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Greater risk in Greece (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Greece has a relatively recent history of military dictatorship--certainly within the lifetime of people in government and the military. Golden Dawn might be a joke, but the army isn't, and if social unrest continues to increase, there is real risk. Increasing support of Golden Dawn is symptomatic of the real pain that Greeks are going through.

    •  Extreme right was absent from mainstream Greek (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Politics until the economy collapsed three years ago.

      The popular vote share of the Golden Dawn party in the 2009 general elections was a mere 0,2%!

      •  Greek politics after the fall of the military (0+ / 0-)

        regime in 1974 was marked by clientele politics on both the right and the left. The Karamanalis and Simitis clans controlled the center-right Nea Demokratia, the Papandreou clan controlled the left-wing PASOK party, and they succeeded each other in holding the reins of government. There was no place for other parties because ND and PASOK took care of everyone through a fine-spun net of favoritism on all levels of government and even beyond. The emergence of Golden Dawn indicates, among other things, that the old clientele party system is no longer functional. Which might mean that Greece is becoming more like Western Europe in terms of its political systems. And that would be better news than any form of the continuation of the old clientele party system would have been.  So paradoxically the rise of the extreme right might be a sign of sanity, in a long term perspective.

        Progress is confusion at a higher level. - John Boyd.

        by Berliner2 on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 08:52:38 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Why focus on them? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    koNko, ConfusedSkyes, FG, FloraLine

    The Left is also rising, and much, much higher. Syriza is now the most popular party of all.

    I guess violence works.

    •  They aren't violent. Fullstop. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PatriciaVa, Jay C, Noor B, ogre

      They want to lead the country in the direction Iceland went.  They are, quite simply, the hope of the country.

      •  You misunderstand (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ConfusedSkyes, deconite

        Golden Dawn is violent, hence you have written a diary about them, not about Siriza, which has much more support, but isn't violent.

        •  1930s Germany was hard left vs. hard right (0+ / 0-)

          Desperate and frightened Germans were lining up behind either the Communists or the Nazis.  No-one had any faith in the liberal* democratic center.

          The German left - including social democrats as well as card-carrying communists - had a great deal more popular support than the far right, but they proved not to be up to a real struggle for power.  They were basically waiting for the masses to rise up spontaneously - as Marx insisted they would and had to - instead of organizing and motivating them the way the Nazis did.  There was plenty of street violence between them, but in the end the Nazis were able to win over the conservative establishment - the military and the industrialists - and the rest is history.

          * "Liberal" here is the European definition of the word, something a lot closer to what we call libertarian.  Social democrats were and are the European center-left.

          To those who say the New Deal didn't work: WWII was also government spending

          by Visceral on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 07:52:16 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Ok. Thought you were claiming the leftists were (0+ / 0-)


    •  Syriza is rising b/c the "mainstream" parties have (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Rizzo, JGibson

      ...betrayed the people of Greece.

      Syriza pols care about the average Greek, while the average PASOK pol cares about retiring in Brussels.

      Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project.

      by PatriciaVa on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 06:58:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Don't blame the banks; Blame the EuroCrats in... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ...Brussels who are determined to push through the EuroZone, against the wishes of the majority of citizens.

    Why can't these overpaid bureaucrats acknowledge that their grand experiment is a failure - that they should pull the plug on it?

    No, instead of doing so, they are prepared to bury democracy in the Eurozone, so long as their dream of a United States of Europe, headed by a tyrant in Brussels, comes to be.

    Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project.

    by PatriciaVa on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 06:50:51 AM PST

    •  Because the entire mechanism is debt/low inflation (0+ / 0-)

      Just look at who stands to win/lose.  Some politicians save face, but if you look at this country one can't really say politicians get power through the force of their will: they build coalitions.

  •  The EU has (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ConfusedSkyes, jessical, FG, Sue B, FloraLine

    probably been the single organization most responsible for putting a lid on extreme nationalism. It has its faults but has been responsible for a lot of good on the social justice front.

    suspect that you are viewing this from the USA.

    •  The EZ has exacerbated extreme nationalism.. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      upstate NY, limpidglass attempting to subvert democratically-elected governments.

      Who would have thought that appointing ViceRoys in Greece and Italy would have resulted in Greeks comparing Merkel to Hitler?  

      Who would have thought that violating German sovereignty by making Germans transfer resources to the non-core countries, despite an EXPLICIT promise that this would never be necessary, would have resulted in Germans denigrating Greek culture?

      Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project.

      by PatriciaVa on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 07:23:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  as far as social justice goes, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      native, PatriciaVa

      consider this:

      Income varied by 1 to 4 across EU countries

      Household adjusted disposable income per capita, corrected for price differentials among countries (i.e. in purchasing power standards), varied substantially in Europe. In Luxembourg, Norway and Germany, household income per capita was more than 2.5 times higher than in Bulgaria, Romania and Latvia. In the US, income per capita was about 1/3rd above the euro area and EU averages. In the euro area, it was almost 10% higher than in the EU.
      With such a level of income inequality across states, how can you expect a harmonious union?

      The EU is a monetary union but not a true economic union. You have one central currency but every state has to run its own budget and there are no central federal mechanisms to transfer wealth from richer states to poorer (via taxation and federal spending), as we have in the US.

      The system is dysfunctional and has allowed the finance sector to profit by exploiting the system to transfer wealth from poorer states to wealthier ones. It's not fair, and it can't last.

      Moreover, the EU has a historical analogue in North America. It was called the Articles of Confederation and it lasted about a decade before they decided to scrap it and establish the United States.

      It failed because there was no strong central government which had the power to set a common economic policy and tax, spend, raise armies, run national-scale improvement programs, etc.

      A couple more rounds of fiscal bloodletting, and Greece will probably decide that being broke and on the drachma is preferable to being broke and at the mercy of the banksters. At which point the Eurozone blows up.

      The only way the EU could possibly have succeeded was to become a true United States of Europe with a central European parliament in which each European state had full representation and which had the power to make laws and set a common economic policy for all Europe.

      And I think that may be the ultimate outcome, some time after the current EU goes. But I see no way out of the current mess that doesn't involve the dissolution of the Eurozone. The alternative is for countries like Greece to put the hemlock to their own lips and give up everything they have to the banksters.

      "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

      by limpidglass on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 09:15:41 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Wow, a sane voice. (0+ / 0-)

      Thank you from refraining to go the American-goggles route.

  •  when democracy fails, people seek alternatives (0+ / 0-)

    When your country's entire political establishment is united behind a program of national liquidation, mass poverty, and subservience to foreign authorities, fringe far right groups pushing a rhetoric of unity, strength, and independence are the obvious alternative.

    Germany went fascist under similar circumstances of socioeconomic breakdown and the original Nazis justified themselves with the same goal of national renaissance.  It's ironic that today German-driven policies based on a perverse and ignorant association between "loose money" and the rise of dictatorship should be fueling the rise of fascism.  The conventional wisdom in Berlin wouldn't be out of place in Washington; it's the same reason our own right-wingers are against stimulus and debt relief.  Inflationary policies didn't help Weimar Germany because all their newly-printed money was being sucked away by war reparations, then getting loaned back to them, while mass poverty and unemployment meant consumption of goods and services was at a minimum and Germany's industrial heartland had technically been given away to France.

    To those who say the New Deal didn't work: WWII was also government spending

    by Visceral on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 07:42:29 AM PST

    •  "German-driven" policies???? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      So much misplaced hatred against Germans!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Why not blame the treasonous Greek pols who insisted that Greece must join the EZ?  

      Germany has nothing to do with this.

      The Greek political class is responsible for this mess.

      And the responsible thing for New Democracy and PASOK to do is to withdraw Greece from the EZ, and reeintroduce the Drachma.

      But since the PASOK and New Democracy pols care more about how they are perceived in Brussels than in Athens, they refuse to do so, to the detriment of the Greek citizens.

      Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project.

      by PatriciaVa on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 07:53:08 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Both of you can't have it both ways (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Too extreme.

        Of course I agree with you Patricia about the horrid Greek leaders who didn't bail immediately.

        The PM from the early 2000s Costas Simitis has a great book out on the behind the scenes machinations.

        But to say Germany has nothing to do with this is crazy. Germany is using Greece as a scapegoat. That's on Germany. Not Greece.

        Then there are other discussions: what would have been the political response not only throughout Europe but in Greece itself if Greece had defaulted totally and left the eurozone in 2010?

        You can't predict that.

        There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

        by upstate NY on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 08:14:21 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  2 views on this (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    1. The Greek Neo-Nazis are being countenanced throughout Europe because Europeans fear Syriza even more. I said this to someone recently, that if there are Neo-Nazis in Germany (and there are, remember the Nazi scandal from last year) then there can be Neo Nazis in Greece. If there are no Neo Nazis in Germany, then there can be no Neo Nazis in Greece. It simply wouldn't be allowed because it would mean something even worse for Greece than the current circumstances.

    2. Greece has always had a good number of fascists around. Indeed, the entire economic system (far from being socialist) is a fascist oligarchy, where shipowners own banks, media, distribution networks, etc. This has always been Greece's real problem. Remember, Greece was already a fascist dictatorship when Mussolini and Hitler told the dictator Metaxas to yield control to the Axis. Metaxas responded simply, "No!" Thus Greece entered WW2. But that dictatorship was in place for years. After the war, the UK and USA funded the old elements of the fascist regime, including the Nazi quislings, against the rebels, who were organized by the communists and leftists. The leadership of Greece during the 1950s fell to people trained in Langley, Va. briefly in the 1960s, they reintroduced the first democratic gov'ts since the National Schism in the 1920s. But then the fascist junta took over (very good friends with the powers that be in Europe and the USA) until the mid-1970s. It wasn't until 1981 that Greece finally developed a market economy. For its entire history until then, it was in a constant state of crisis.

    Mind you, 10% of the Greek population was wiped out by the Nazis due to murder and starvation (food and goods were confiscated by the German occupiers, not to mention gold stolen from the treasury, and a huge forced loan which was never repaid by Germany). This is particularly galling to the vast majority of Greeks who still have living memory of the occupation (either through parental depredations or eye-witnessing). But the quislings--they were around then, they are around now.

    Most Greeks understand how anathema Hitler-worship is to the world, and indeed to the vast majority of Greeks. Anathema is a Greek word, after all. What they don't understand is how any of this could be countenanced by the powers that be, in Greece and elsewhere.

    The reasons it is allowed are quite simple: Europe never wanted to allow its banks to be dented by Greek debt, and thus the pain of it all fell on pensioners and poor people. This meant that certain powers were elevated (i.e. those that protected the rich) leaving a yawning gap for the Neo-Nazis.

    This is all being done by design, in other words.

    There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

    by upstate NY on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 08:25:07 AM PST

  •  don't confuse the EU with the Eurozone (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PatriciaVa, FloraLine

    Here in the UK we are members of the former but not the latter.  Denmark similarly, and Ireland.  Do we want a United States of Europe as a country - er no, not much, thanks.

    And to blame the EU for the existence of racist nationalists and the extreme right?  Please.  Nazis and the like pre-date the EU!

    •  I blame the EU for economic conditions fostered. (0+ / 0-)

      I am not saying the EU has always been responsible for all racist nationalists.  I'm saying the EU is responsible for the rise of political extremism and in particular right wing nationalism in Greece, something the EU was explicitly designed to discourage through some form of unification.  The unification mainly took the form of 1. more open borders and 2 a unification of the various banking systems.  The entire problem in Greece is an effort by the troika to defend that second element at the cost of Greek social stability.  Thus my thesis.

      As for England's role, pulled this off Wikipedia:

      "The global foreign exchange market, easily the largest financial market, is dominated by London. More than half of the trades in the derivatives market are handled in London, which straddles the time zones between Asia and the U.S. And the trading rooms in the Square Mile, as the City of London financial district is known, are responsible for almost three-quarters of the trades in the secondary fixed-income markets."

      •  unification of banking systems? (0+ / 0-)

        over the (present) government's dead body.....

        Maybe it would be a good thing, who knows, but it ain't happening in the EU as such!

        I just think you may be looking at euro issues and confusing that with the EU.

        Why is Greece in a hole?  Good question, certainly, but in part because they cooked their own books - and had some help - and are poor at collecting taxes.  It is not just the banks at it!

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