Tuesday, 26 July 2011

The home-grown fascists and the forces of evil

Events in Norway should be a salutary reminder that terrorism is a two-way process - and the moral superiority brigade must be very wary of putting down too many markers at the moment.  Fortunately the usual litany of "it couldn't happen here" has been largely exploded by the increasing evidence of a link with our very own crackpot ersatz Nazi fringe.

The English Defence League epitomises all that needs to be cauterised.  It isn't difficult to identify how a self-appointed white underclass, fed by the xenophobic and inaccurate rantings of parts of the media (yes, the usual suspects of the "Scum", "Mail" and "Express"), and fearful that its cultural leanings are so weak, irrelevant and repulsive that they will be "swamped" by immigrants and the liberal conspiracy (if only!) that it mobilises.  Fed crap about how immigrants are stealing our jobs, and how all Muslims are followers of extreme, intolerant bigoted sects, it is hardly surprising that their limited powers of reasoning and articulation are directed towards bile-fuelled hate of anything different.

The irony that these idiots fail to notice is that they have become an even more extreme version of the alleged threat that the West faces - and that therefore, in a nice ideological volte-face, they subscribe to a Marxist interpretation of historical determinism.  It is their desire to see the troubles stoked and, apparently, while condemning the details of the atrocity in Norway, they are predicting, with some glee, that the same thing would be understandable if it happened in the UK.

Given the economic background, it is unsurprising that there is at least some upsurge in support for authoritarian parties that wish to violently take over and impose a dictatorial thugocracy, either with a nationalist or a millennarian socialist bent.  In some cases the individuals are so damaged that there is no reason or rationale for attempting to engage with them, as they have defined themselves as outcasts beyond the boundary that a society can be expected to accept.

These people are fringe nutters, but they do pose a significant threat to the practice of free speech and political discourse.  Their cousins are the Tea Party movement in the USA, and they have a great deal in common with the petty-bourgeois apologists who gave much support to the Nazis and to the Vichy Republic in France.  Purely calling for them to be banned and/or locked up is giving too much credence to their grievance, but their foulness needs to be understood as well as fought.  "Know thine enemy" is a vital admonition in the current situation.

The far right has never been more than a nuisance, but they need to be contained.  In the meantime, the priority is to expose the international terrorist network that looks like an amateur Al-Qaeda rather than a prelude to a thousand-year Reich.

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