Fighting fascism in the XXI century

, by Nikola Duric

Fighting fascism in the XXI century

The human kind should never forget the suffering and pain associated with national socialism. From the numerous atrocities to the deep scars in the memories of many, the results of national socialism should never be overlooked. Condemnation of those who support nazist-values is needed by every member of the society that is fond of a humanist idea

The question that interests us is this: how to best tackle fascist ideas in the XXI century?

I hold that immediate response to any kind of violence (influenced by hatred or not) and responding with solid arguments to supporters of political beliefs like Nazism, extreme-right populism and their claims is the best way to deal with them. Faced with all the contradictions, consequences and historiography of ideas we mentioned will directly affect support of those parties and movements. Mystification of such parties and movements only increases their popularity (mostly among younger generations and adolescents). That’s why I think that banning parties, movements and all the media preaching such ideas leads only to the creation of more problems, and a rise in interest for extreme-right ideas that future generations will need to face.

An idea like fascism, infused with utter frustration of those who preach it and those who support it (through violent actions, academic debates or by simply agreeing), rises in times of great crisis. We have witnessed such events in the period between two world wars. At this moment we’re also facing an economic crisis that resulted in many people losing their jobs and with that a vital part of stability in their life. In the future that could prove to be one of the important factors of the rise of the extreme-right on the European and global level respectively. Many authors already fully support claims that a rise in extreme-right tendencies and a rise in poverty rates are directly co-related.

There are numerous reasons we could name to explain why ideas of fascism, Nazism and extreme nationalism are gaining support. For example, a campaigning approach that is characterised by easily understood arguments (that are obviously invalid and pretty hard to defend when faced with reasonable arguments from the other side) is obviously easily recognized by the masses. Economical instability (as we mentioned before) is also the one we should pay attention to. Insisting on finding enemies even when there are none and political eclectism are two more reasons, and in my opinion the most important ones.

Extreme-nationalist rhetoric is always very simple, easy for a common man to understand, and always gives easy and quick solutions to current problems. That is, if they’re giving any solutions to problems at all. If you analyse media appearances and the party programmes of the extreme-right parties, you can see that implementation of their programmes requires only few months, a year at most. That is obviously a very intelligent move from their side considering the fact that people in times of need and insecurity are not very keen on waiting a few years in order for situation calm down and stabilise. Having this fact in mind, it’s easy to see where the support of those parties is coming from. Of course, it would be an imprecise and unfair generalisation if we said that unemployed, not highly educated and financially troubled citizens are the only ones supporting parties on the far right of the political spectrum. The fact is that the strategy of such parties is mostly focused directly towards those parts of our societies.

Two very important aspects of the fascist ideology as I have mentioned before are political eclecticism and insisting on the concept of the ’other’ in a Schmittian sense. Political eclecticism could be described as a concept where an ideology ’borrows’ all the popular ideas like fighting for the rights of the workers, the middle classes, etc. from different ideologies in order to raise support in different areas of society (for example, some voters are not so interested in banning Jewish businesses, but are very interested in raising the level of workers’ rights). Eclecticism was obviously implemented in fascist Italy, and by the Nazi party in Germany during the XX century during the process of gaining votes (or support for the coup), and the tradition of such an approach has maintained its wide use in that part of the political spectrum.

Secondly, a very important and widely used concept for gaining support by the extreme nationalist groups is insisting on creating fictional enemies and by doing that creating an atmosphere of fear and instability. Declaring an obvious difference between ’us’ and ’them’, is the first step. Insisting on those differences through a certain period of time until everybody actually takes it for granted is the next one. In times of crisis, the final step takes place. The final step is to blame ’others; for the problems we have most probably created ourselves. This is a direct cause of xenophobia that is according to some public-opinion research still present in all corners of the world. On the European level, right-wingers are working hard to present the European Union and immigrants as direct enemies to our societies even though there is no evident reason for such claims.

Creating myths on the European Union and immigrants is a vital part of action that all parties of that profile are very keen on.

Graffiti on the wall saying ’Pakis out!’ or a few baldies shouting ’sieg heil’ on squares is a matter that we should most definitely direct our attention to, and through civil action we must manage to keep such elements out of the society based on mutual respect and tolerance we’ve worked so hard to achieve. The important thing is that by doing so we’re only treating the consequences and not the cause of the problem.

We should work hard on disavowal of Nazism-influenced ideas in our societies, by tackling any kind of violence with proper measures, responding to arguments proposed by the extreme-right preachers and saving the anti-fascist identity of our common home, Europe, and the world.

Don’t wait, act today!

Your comments
  • On 30 November 2011 at 16:21, by Joe Replying to: Fighting fascism in the XXI century

    If you really care about blunting fascist ideas, you need to get serious and recognize that these fascists aren’t “the far right”. In fact they espouse tradisionally leftist ideas such as economic nativism, employment nationalism and a high level of state social intervention.

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