To claim that racist parties are democratic is based on a dangerous and ahistorical view of ideology, says Henrik Arnstad.
Here are the notes preceeding the posting of the article below.
”Den [mellankrigstida] fascismen ansåg krossandet av demokratin vara ett villkor för ultranationalismens triumf. Men den nutida extremhögern vill göra demokratin etniskt homogen och reservera dess förmåner till den dominerande nationaliteten.”
”Partierna strävar helt enkelt efter att tillskansa sig en sköld av politisk anständighet och rumsrenhet, som gör att de kan framföra sin politik utan att sammanknippas med rasism och fascism.”“The [mellankrigstida] fascism saw the destruction of democracy as a condition for ultranationalismens triumph. But the contemporary extreme right would make democracy ethnically homogeneous and reserve its benefits to the dominant nationality. “”Parties strive simply to usurp a shield of political decency and housetraining device, that allows them to express their policy without associated with racism and fascism.” (Translated by Bing)
Europe is a troubled continent still trying to comprehend the 1900s political disasters. Above all, we fear Hitler’s return. “Anti-Nazism is postwar strongest ideological force, the basis of the secular society’s perception of good and evil,” writes the historian Alf W. Johansson . Hence the confusion facing the racist parties that have become a well established part of European policy.
“Not since 1930 has there been so many racists in Europe deputations, “points democracy minister Birgitta Ohlsson . But does this mean that Hitler is back? He was never disappeared? Or is the contrary of our time parliamentary racism harmless and even democratic?
Recognition of Modern racism as a historical continuity from the Great Evil 1900s must lead a painful and complete European introspection. It is therefore tempting to deny the seriousness of the situation.
The Contemporary racist parties have a special group patrons within the normative and “respectable” part of the public discourse, which constantly asserts that the parties in fact, democratic, harmless and, above all, non-fascist.
Today’s suits racists similar to the – usually – not Hitler’s SA or Mussolini’s black shirts. Admittedly, the “guardians” themselves never vote for these parties, but they know to normalize movements politics. Thus, soothes the mind of the surroundings and produce a gratefully received discourse, often described with words like wise or balanced: “Calm, Hitler is still dead.”
An example of such a voice is journalist Guillou. He traveled around 2009 with the Sweden Democrats SD and their party leader Jimmie Åkesson on advocacy tour.Guillou underwent a radical change during the trip, which was crowned with a five-page story in Aftonbladet and an acclaimed interview in P1 .
Guillou knew that SD was not at all the party that the media described, because he considered himself to be “one of those old-fashioned reporter who first tries to find out the whys and then truthfully try to tell it.” SD was under Guillou harmless non-racists:
“I met a completely different game than I had expected. I had left the image of the image of the Sweden Democrats as some kind of skinheads and racists, but it is not anymore. It was a surprising knowledge. “
Guillou antipathies 2009 hit instead Danish People’s Party , which he, unlike SD deemed racist. “It’s a very large distance between the Danish People’s Party and the Sweden Democrats, which of course stands out as the right gentle and cautious,” stated Guillou and concentrated all his journalistic honor in his assessment of SD was true: “I am very old-pike to be cheated . “
But later changed his mind yet Guillou, he discovered instead a new “approved” party in the same segment of European politics: the Norwegian Progress Party, Qty. Guillou’s description of the SD had been changed to “an idiot party that declared itself openly racist”. This was certainly not Qty however, according to Guillou. Qty That would be a racist party based solely on “the delusion that the Progress Party is the same mettle as the Sweden Democrats”. It’s wrong, you know Guillou, because Qty has “worked hard to become a ‘normal’ right-wing ‘.
The research calls this normalization process, how racist and fascist movements – if they want to get real political power (Qty nowadays Norwegian government party) must constantly compromise with their radicalism. Not to speak of between the wartime totalitarian teaterrekvisitan. It already knew the Swedish Nazi leader Sven-Olov Lindholm 1938:
“The only conceivable if the ideas are to be saved is to abolish both the name and symbol, not to mention the boots, leashes and ‘Nazi salute.’ I know it is a dangerous step, because most of our members might lose suction. But we fight’s not to forever remain an opinion covenant of a few thousand people, but to get anywhere. “
Lindholm’s words were prophetic for the future, for after 1968 things happened. The ideas were saved! The French political thinker Alain de Benoist initiated a loose political-philosophical group called Nouvelle Droite , ND. ND’s reform of fascist ideology rejected biological racism, in favor of a more sophisticated ideology.
According to de Benoist was the national identity and the specificity threatened – rather than any biological race. The enemy was not “inferior races” without multiculturalism. The political utopia for Nouvelle Droite – as it became concrete after a lot of thought – was not that parliamentary elections would be abolished.
The Scorecard was rather democratic universal human rights, which would be replaced by democracy based on the idea of an “organic society”:
“Enlightenment must be reached that European cultures are facing an urgent threat, they have almost been lost. Multiculturalism and multi-ethnicity undermines the homogeneous cultural and ethnic identities in Europe. “
“In practice, translated ND racism and intolerance to a liberal-democratic language.”
“In practice, translated ND racism and intolerance to a liberal-democratic language, “writes historian Kevin Passmore . “At the end of the 1980s could ND attributed to the non inconsiderable feat of completing a total make-over of classical fascist discourse. This was so successful that fascism – at least on the surface – had changed beyond recognition, “writes researcher fascism Roger Griffin .
Our time-normalization of racism (or rather denial that racism policies are racist) is thus the result of a very deliberate strategy among fascist thinkers after the 1968th No wonder that another policy renewal took place in European politics during the 1970s. The earlier fascist movements were supplemented by a – seemingly – a new kind of racism: the radical right-wing populism.
A typical example of right-wing populism is precisely the aforementioned Norwegian Progress Party. The party was founded in 1973 by farmer and journalist Anders Lange , hence the party’s initial name: Anders Lange’s Party. Influential party leaders became 1978-2006 Carl I. Hagen and outwardly was the party’s main issue typical of European right-wing populism – lower taxes.
However, as research shows, it was not primarily a fiscal policy that attracted populist party voters when they became popular in the 1980s – and the 1990s. Instead, it was racism (which also developed into central for SwedishNew Democracy ). FrP’s breakthrough came at the 1989 election, when the party went from 3.7 percent of votes cast (1985) to as much as 13 percent – and the high profile issue in 1989 was the “immigration”. Or, as the Norwegian journalist John Olav Egeland writes:
“Right from the start in 1973 FrP attracted right-wing extremists of various kinds. Maybe it was not so strange when founder Anders Lange was a clear supporter of including apartheid. Lot of History is full of infiltration attempts from the darkest part of the right side, also clean Nazis and fascists.Therefore, Anders Behring Breivik’s failed attempts to make a career in FrP not as unique as many would have it. “
Just where will Egeland into what would otherwise not be said out loud in Norway; the fact that Breivik was for many years an active member of FrP and that there he received his political education to terror summer 2011.
Two years later founded Breivik own fascist party in prison – “The Norwegian Fascist Party and the Nordic League”, a “democratic fascist” party, striving to win parliamentary support for the establishment of a Norwegian-Nordic “Indigenous state.”
Breivik manifests bridge between fascist ideology and the racist right-wing populism, developed in Europe since the 1970s. Fascism sounds influenced by populism methods and normalized racism within the mainstream political public, while populism retrieves ideological inspiration from fascism. How this is interpreted by the research?
There are currently two opposing views on how contemporary European racist parties should be considered. On one side stands a group of academics who argue that what we see is something completely new – a political-ideological phenomenon that suddenly popped up in European politics during the late 1900s, in English called “the post-1980 third wave”.
The leading Dutch political scientist Cas Mudde defines these movements as follows:
- Nativism (a combination of nationalism and xenophobia).
- Authoritarianism (requirement of law and order).
- Populism (asserting that the “traditional” parties are corrupt, a populist critique of liberal democracy rather than anti-democracy).
The other interpretation is borne mainly by historians, even if they are complemented by political scientists and other human scientists (sociologists, historian of ideas, etc.). These emphasize that our present is part of a European history and thus they want to historicize the lots in question.Somehow, these förhållas to 1900s fascism and Nazism. Many of the parties (such as Swedish SD) therefore called neo-fascist, based on modern science’s definition of fascist ideology:
Fascism is a type of political ideology whose mythic core – in its various configurations – a popular and ultra-nationalism focused on the nation’s rebirth.
The definition was formulated in 1991 by the above-mentioned Roger Griffin of Oxford Brookes University. Even in cases where the parties can not be called a fascist (typically lack the mythologies of “national rebirth”) so let they still affected by the overall fascist resurgence in Europe today. Above all, the populist parties, such as Norwegian FrP which addressed the “fascist spectrum,” according to Griffin.
Mudde however, dismisses the modern costume parties dressed as Fascism “and it’s various’ neo’-form”, he writes. His argument, however, is remarkably concise. It assumes that “the radical right is (nominally) democratic” unlike fascism, which according Mudde always have to be anti-democratic, “Opposing the fundamental principle of sovereignity of the people”.
The problem with the argument is that there are plenty of fascist movements and parties – both historical and contemporary – that embrace democratic elections and parliamentarism. See, for example Breivik’s “democratic-fascist” party above, or for that matter between the wartime French Fascist Party Party social français , PSF, which probably would have won power in 1939, unless the elections halted by World War II. PSF demanded “national understanding” and “social justice” and its leaders would be elected democratically.
Another example is the contemporary Bulgarian fascist portion Ataka (meaning “attack”). The party has a distorted swastika as a symbol, but requires nevertheless direct democracy in its program. “Referenda on all major issues in Case They Affect the lives and interests of over 10% of the nation,” they write. One may further add that even Hitler actively chose parliamentary democracy as a method to achieve power, and he succeeded with 1932-1933.
Hitler was in 1933 a democratically elected government in a Western liberal democracy, or to quote Martin Luther King: “Never forget That everything Hitler did in Germany was legal.”
But it happens constantly things within the scientific debate and the question that is increasingly discussed is whether it really is crucial to distinguish between fascism and racist populism. Especially as non-fascist populists (Norwegian FrP) is much coarser in its racism than, for example fascist SD.
Fascism researcher Robert Paxton notes that all of these parties – in practical and concrete – still want to accomplish much the same thing, from the interwar period to the present day: “At least occupy the same position on the political spectrum and attack the same enemy,” he writes.
In short, the parties wish to perform a racial cleansing of Europe from “Aliens” (which they are for the moment, right now mostly Muslim, but I think I see increased hatred against the Roma – and it has been said that it always starts with the Jews, and it always ends with the Jews). His colleague Kevin Passmore is on the same line:
“It [the war] fascism felt the crushing of democracy as a condition for the ultra nationalism triumph. But contemporary extreme right want to make democracy ethnically homogeneous and reserving its benefits to the dominant nationality. “
“The parties strive simply to gain a shield of political decorum and room cleanliness, which allows them to express their policies without sammanknippas with racism and fascism.”
A key concept to understand this parliamentary racism, dressed in supposedly democratic costuming, associated with the Norwegian researcherElisabeth Ivar Flaten : “The reputational shield”. The parties strive simply to gain a shield of political decorum and room cleanliness, which allows them to express their policies without sammanknippas with racism and fascism. Not least, this is done through the media, that’s why reductions of racism in mainstream politics remains central to racist parties.
Mainstream voice that denies movements dangerousness, racism and fascist tendencies exert far greater influence than, say, racist hatsajter (as Avpixlat, Free Times, etc.). The researcher Nigel Copsey writes:
“Just the radical right-wing parties who hold powerful ‘reputational shields’ can successfully attract votes from the voters who are against immigration.
Without such a shield – that is, if the parties’ fascist heritage dominates or if they have a reputation for being extremely racist – so these parties are fighting an uphill battle. “
Copsey indicates that even I myself have mentioned, namely how the new fascism actively affect the right populism. “The radical right populism (if we want to keep that name) has increased in sophistication thanks to the influence of neofascismens theorists,” he writes.
So it is a mistake to reduce fascism ideological and discursive influence on populist parties. The big problem, however Copsey unchecked, namely to what extent the racist right-wing populism affect traditional European right.As in Norway, where the “normal” right-wing Conservatives conceded racist FrP in government.
“It becomes a problem when some commentators prefer to see political movements like little ideological boxes, with sharp boundaries against each other.”
Ideologies are always ideal types – in reality affects political actors always together. They come and gnaw mutual and borders are becoming increasingly fuzzy, like when several kinds of jam stored in the same jar. It becomes a problem when some commentators prefer to see political movements like little ideological boxes, with sharp boundaries against each other. It is ahistorically approach. Or to conclude by again quoting Copsey:
“If all this concerns the limits of political science, so it may well be! As Roger Griffin once said, ‘there’s no cut-and-dried about the die-hards’. Truer words were never spoken. “
All Europeans agree that Hitler has existed . Most Europeans agree that Hitler likely to recur. Maybe he’s back in despised countries like Greece?
But always elsewhere.
Henrik Arnstad is the author of “Loved Fascism”.