|Oh yeah, they have a solution for you, all right.|
Here’s a new meme. Or rather, a really old meme being given a new application.
As you may have heard, there is a neo-Nazi-like political party in Greece ascending in popularity. And by ascending, we mean in a big way. The party, Χρυσή Αυγή (which translates to “Golden Dawn”), is using fascistic imagery and a strict anti-immigration plan and violence against foreigners to advance its message…whatever the heck it is.
Greeks, like Germans in the early 1930s, are supporting XA because…well, because of some form of the argument “they’re the only ones making any sense.” You know your history well enough to know that the Nazis used that same whisper campaign to seize power in Germany, and that actual Germans were never really saying anything so stupid. Likewise, you will be hard-pressed to find a Greek who thinks XA is making more sense: these comments are coming from XA supporters.
Sadly, though, it is working: XA is starting to win local elections. Their actual policy is much harder to pin down; they seem to be for austerity and against unemployment…but beyond that, the specifics are tough to unpeel. They seem a totally hateful and hate-filled bunch, and will probably need to be put down within Greece before they have to be put down by somebody else. But they seem to be taking the approach of many hate-filled groups (like the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas) and getting themselves quietly elected using a reformist platform. And according to the media and even Wikipedia, XA are right-wing extremists!
Of course, politically, they are far-Right in a traditional European sense, not in an American sense (in the European model, American right-wingers would fall into the neo-liberal category, in which liberal is more libertarian). But that has not stopped the American media from referring to XA as right-wing extremists, who repetitively use the phrase right-wing when describing these morons.
The reality is that XA has nothing to do with the American right-wing, and like all good Nazis, XA would fall into our liberal spectrum. This is something, of course, liberals persistently (and understandably) deny—but Nazis are national socialists, and are indeed on the left end of our scale.
The matter of fascism being a left-wing property was not invented by Jonah Goldberg, but by one of the founders of modern liberalism—H.G. Wells, who embraced fascism as liberalism perfected. Wells, in fact, coined the phrase.
The history of going from liberal fascism to Nazism is not a direct route by any means, and modern American liberals have every reason to bristle at this comparison. Indeed, American liberals have their own skeletons to bury continually, such as the KKK, but stem from the same family tree that spawned fascism, communism, socialism, and national socialism.
But let us review why liberals in the media have no problem associating XA with American conservativism. XA has two major policy points as far as anyone can tell. They are pro-austerity, and anti-immigration.
Austerity refers to a cancellation of European government programs and public entitlements. American liberals are under the impression that American conservatives want to unleash austerity here in the United States. In fact, austerity is a Bad Thing, and will disrupt the European economy before it improves anything, as we are seeing. Worse, while austerity would work in the long run, it is only being partially and badly implemented, making things worse.
American conservatives understand the problem with austerity is that there is no secondary plan in place. Basically, it’s throwing the adult child out of the house with no explanation. American conservatives, by considerably contrast, are looking for a wholesale transformation of cultural expectations. What that mouthful means is that we are looking for comprehensive reformation of the American mindset—that it’s okay to make money, that taxes should never be more than a necessary evil, that having a job, paying your bills, and having a little left over to spend on the kids is a really good thing. Kids should not grow up expecting welfare and entitlements, but fearing them. That is quite different from austerity, which basically cuts them off completely. Conservatives like the hand up, the popular cliché goes, but not the hand out. Austerity is slapping the hand away; and without a plan to put those people back to work, the European austerity model is doomed.
Yes, the Nazis pushed for austerity as a way to force down Bismarck-level inflation, but failed to understand economic theory well enough to predict the rapid deflation that followed. The Nazis goal was statist, and they used austerity as a way to buy out independent companies and make them state-owned. This is why so many Americans objected to the government purchase of General Motors—precendents for state-owned private companies have really, really bad precedents.
Next, American liberals are almost universally convinced that American conservatives are anti-immigration. In fact, American conservatives are against illegal immigration, and wholeheartedly support legal immigration as a source of cheap labor and the potential for expanding individuals who pay into the tax pool. Of course we want more Americans. What we don’t want are non-Americans gaming the system at our expense, any more than an American liberal wants to be handed a bill from the next table in a restaurant and asked to cover it because the other folks skipped out after dessert.
National socialists hate all immigrants because they disrupt the welfare system. Sounds weird at first, but the entire nationalist argument of the Nazis, and the entire anti-Semitic, anti-gay, and anti-Romany and anti-Catholic Übermensch Nazi ideology was purely economic and carried to a horrifying extreme. The Jews, for example, were making it very difficult for Nazis to make people dependent upon the Party for support with all their regulations, rules, and merit-based promotion. They had to be vilified for their success, much in the same way the Occupy folks take on the imaginary 1%. American liberals were very quick to disassociate themselves by and large from the Occupy folks because, once again, history was clear where this leads. However, the under-intelligent media fawned over them and dimwitted Hollywood celebrities cheered them on, never really understanding what these people were.
Curiously, XA has a very hazily defined platform—undoubtedly by intent, because when you have nothing to offer, you want to create a Rorscach inkblot for others to see what they desire. Greeks hate the economic reality their socialist policies have created, and are now ready to turn to a group allegedly offering something different. But national socialism is no different than Euro-socialism—just better organized against people like you. But make no mistake—this is a creature of the far left, not the American right.