Nazis. I Hate Nazis.

 

Strange times we live in when American conservatives — or some of them, anyway —  think it makes perfect sense these days for Europeans to get their Nazi groove on. I’ve been hearing this a bit too much on Ricochet of late, so I thought I’d make what in normal times would be an excessively easy call.

Nazis. I hate Nazis. And so should you.

The pro-Nazi argument, as I understand it, is that Europeans have been forced into their moist embrace by a political establishment that has unwisely ignored the larger public’s concern about the large number of migrants and refugees now streaming into Europe.

In discussing this, I’m going to single out comments by BDB not because he’s the only one to represent this argument, nor because I have it out for him, but because he’s tough and I know he can take it. I thus reproduce parts of an exchange we had on another thread:

BDB: You seem to view any opposition to Muslim immigration as such, and especially for cultural reasons, as akin to Nazis.  I’m sorry, but that’s a bad fit. This may make sense if you have a worldview that does not value Western Civilization, or which sees no threat to any culture through demographic change, but without at least one of those assumptions operating, mass Muslim immigration is fairly seen as a threat to Western Civilization. And not a single one of them has to intend harm in order to carry it out.

You don’t see danger — I do.  That doesn’t make me Hitler.  That makes me a conservative — literally — to conserve.  It’s disappointing to have to make that distinction here.

CB: No, you’ve misunderstood me, but I made this point on another thread, so perhaps you didn’t see it. I said that I don’t view opposition to Muslim (or other forms) of immigration as illegitimate or akin to the Nazis:

There are political parties in most of Europe that represent a more cautious or skeptical approach toward accepting refugees, but don’t wallow in the language, tropes, ideology, colors, and mud of traditional European fascism — or Putinism, for that matter. Germans who are uncomfortable with Merkel’s approach have the option, for example, of voting for the CSU, a perfectly respectable Christian conservative party. In France, they can vote for the Républicains — not that France under Hollande has taken in anything like an “inundation” of refugees; in fact, the total accepted in France so far is 14,800, with plans to take in another 24,000. It’s a myth that there are no mainstream parties to which voters may attach themselves if they’re uneasy about immigration.

What I view as akin to the Nazis are the parties and movements that are, in fact, explicitly Nazis (in that they say, “We are Nazis”) or very much akin to Nazis, in that they skirt laws or taboos against the formation of explicit Nazi movements by appealing to Nazi language, tropes, and ideology — e.g., Golden Dawn in Greece:

149327_402442516446610_100000425962344_1289883_576872380_n

(“The charm of the swastika, the splendor of red and black flag is alive today … our National Socialist task scream full of passion, faith in the future and our visions: HAIL HITLER!”) — Golden Dawn Issue 13.

(“Against the Jewish Life Perception whereby the Ioudaiochristinismos entered the history … Within the National Socialist renaissance dominance holds true religion of Europe paganism as an authentic expression of the religiosity of the Aryan man.”) –Golden Dawn Issue 59, p. 13-14

So I don’t think I’m straying into the territory of paranoia to suggest that Golden Dawn are akin to Nazis.

Some time ago, there were a spate of books written by European leftists like Nick Cohen — you may remember him; he wrote “What’s Left,” as well as by that great windbag BHL. They noted and deplored the European left’s willingness to ignore or justify Islamism in the name of multiculturalism. I see a similar tendency now on the right to ignore or justify the recrudescence of European fascism in the name of fighting Islamism. It’s a grave mistake.

BDB: And a reaction to the first.  Given a dominant political position that imports a culture-wrecking crew, do you really see other alternatives?  People who do not wish to be shoved off are being forced to lose or get offensive. Nobody chooses to lose.

Well, where do I start. While I don’t see “opposition to Muslim immigration as such, and especially for cultural reasons, as akin to Nazis,” I do see those who suggest that “there’s no alternative to the Nazis” as, very literally, akin to Nazis. That’s inarguable, no? If you’re offended at being tarred with the Nazi brush, I suggest it would be unwise to argue that Nazis are a natural reaction to anything, no less the only alternative in a sea of alternatives.

Let me quickly establish two important points. First, that the parties and movements we’re discussing are indeed Nazi parties. They are not misunderstood Jeffersonian Democrats with a curious but incidental taste for cuffbands, chevrons, belt buckles, commemorative badges, regimental standards, trumpet banners, field caps, service medals, shoulder flashes, permits, passes, boots, leather, chains, Iron Crosses, swastikas, and the Horst Wessel song. Their penchant for nattering on about Jewish Conspiracies and Blut und Boden is not a meaningless historic coincidence.

Here again is Golden Dawn:

Still not convinced?

No? Perhaps this will persuade you: When Nazi slogans were painted on Nikaia cemetery in Piraeus, Greece’s largest Jewish burial ground, they left behind their calling card: Hrisi Avgi — Golden Dawn. In May 2012, they ran under the slogan, “So we can rid this land of filth.” Party Leader Nikolaos Michaloliakos placed an adorable marble eagle on his desk. Here’s Golden Dawn MP Eleni Zaroulia during her inauguration, wearing the Iron Cross. Oh, and what have we here? Panagiotis Iliopoulos, another Golden Dawn MP, displaying his tattooSeig Heil!  Then there’s Artemis Matthaiopoulos, another Golden Dawn MP and the frontman of the tastefully-named band “Pogrom,” which churns out hits such as “Auschwitz” with lyrics such as “[redacted] Anne Frank” and “Juden raus.

Beginning to believe me yet? Well, let’s continue. Spokesman Ilias Kasidiaris quoted The Protocols of the Elders of Zion in a speech to parliament on 23 October 2012. Golden Dawn’s leader, Nikolaos Michaloliakos, denied the existence of gas chambers and ovens at Nazi extermination camps:

“There were no ovens — it’s a lie. I believe it’s a lie. There were no gas chambers either,” Michaloliakos said in an interview with Greece’s private Mega television, broadcast on Sunday.

Then Golden Dawn MP Ilias Kasidiaris said it outright, in the Greek Parliament: He’s a Holocaust denier.

It’s not just the rhetoric, either: It’s the action:

Late on Thursday, about 50, wielding blunt objects, violently confronted Communist party members in the Greek capital while they were passing out flyers … Nine leftists were hospitalized after sustaining severe wounds.

“The way in which they acted and the weapons employed … are evidence of the murderous nature of the attack. Among the Golden Dawners, some of whom had covered their faces or wore helmets or [party] shirts, were their leaders, well-known fascists and thugs.”

In April 2014, Golden Dawn MP Ilias Panagiotaros described Hitler as a “great personality, like Stalin,” and denounced homosexuality as a “sickness.” He described immigrant Muslims to Greece as, “Jihadists; fanatic Muslims” and claimed that he supported the concept of a one-race nation, stating, “if you are talking about nation, it is one race.”

Look: If looks like a Nazi, swims like a Nazi, and quacks like a Nazi, it’s not a duck.

They’re now the third-largest party in the Greek Parliament, by the way.

Now, suppose you’re a normal Greek, not a Nazi, and you’d like to vote for a party that takes a tough line on immigration. Well, you could vote for ANEL, the Independent Greeks — they’re not particularly attractive; a bit of that old anti-Jew stench off hangs off of them, too — but at least they’re not outright Nazis. They have a strong anti-immigration agenda; they want a 2.5% quota for non-Greeks residing in the country, the mass expulsion of illegal immigrants, and a hierarchy of “preferred” immigration by country of origin, heavily biased towards western and Latin American countries. They’re a little crazy and little conspiracy-prone, but at least they’re not Nazis. Or you could vote for the perfectly sane, center-right New Democracy Party, which proposed during its recent time in office to introduce a strict immigration policy. They recently strengthened this part of their platform. Or perhaps you could vote for the Popular Popular Orthodox Rally, which describes itself as “Hellenocentric,” opposes illegal immigration, and suggests deporting all undocumented immigrants. “I don’t want them to become a majority,” party leader Giorgis Karatzaferis says. 

But frankly, if you’re Greek, it doesn’t seem that immigration is anything like the biggest of your concerns, no matter what you think Greeks should think. According to opinion polls — for what they’re worth — immigration barely even ranks in their top concerns. If you’re Greek, your biggest concerns (at least, as of last year) were “International Financial Stability,” (95 percent), followed by “Global Climate Change” (87 percent), followed by Iran’s nuclear program (64 percent). I certainly understand why the first and the third issues are sources of concern. As for the second, I am beginning to doubt that the Greeks are a fully rational people, but then again, Americans too seem much preoccupied by this fear.

So don’t tell me that becoming a Nazi is a perfectly understandable reaction to an ambient political class that won’t take seriously your concerns about the assault on European culture — especially because most Greeks, from what I can tell, don’t share your concerns. They seem to want to do the decent thing toward these boat people, and I find it impossible to blame them:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tOVx_reOlXQ

This post is too long as it is, but I’ll continue tomorrow by looking at other countries, other parties, and other plans for handling the refugee influx beyond The Nazi Option. I will, I hope, convince you that there are many alternatives to Nazis. Stay Tuned.

Published in Foreign Policy, General
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  1. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Amen to that. Getting one or two things right does not make up for the hundred things that are wrong with their ideas.

    • #1
  2. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    The world’s descent into madness–

    All I can see is Ionesco’s play Rhinoceros.

    I need to pray more than I do.

    • #2
  3. Fake John Galt Coolidge
    Fake John Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    Do you hate all Nazi or just Illinois Nazis?

    • #3
  4. Concretevol Thatcher
    Concretevol
    @Concretevol

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.: The pro-Nazi argument

    Wait….this is a thing??  Like there is an actual “pro-Nazi” argument? I don’t know what to say about that and stay in COC compliance.

    • #4
  5. Tommy De Seno Contributor
    Tommy De Seno
    @TommyDeSeno

    One man’s patriot is another man’s nationalist…

    • #5
  6. Fake John Galt Coolidge
    Fake John Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    I believe that historically speaking the Nazis and the Arabs were more friends than not.  Mainly in the sharing of their hatred of the Jews and their hatred of Britain and France, but in other ways also.

    • #6
  7. LilyBart Inactive
    LilyBart
    @LilyBart

    Claire:  I hate Nazis too!   But the more rational ‘leaders’ need to stand up NOW and protect their own culture and their own country’s future, or the Nazi-types will surge ahead.    The average citizen is looking for some leadership to stand up for their interests.    Who will stand up?

    • #7
  8. DrewInWisconsin Member
    DrewInWisconsin
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.:Strange times we live in when American conservatives — or some of them, anyway — think it makes perfect sense these days for Europeans to get their Nazi groove on. I’ve been hearing this a bit too much on Ricochet of late, . . .

    Wait, really? Honest-to-goodness Nazi apologists? Here on Ricochet? 

    Even the things you’re quoting from BDB aren’t “Nazi Apologia.” Are there other examples to help sell your assertion that you’ve been “hearing this a bit too much on Ricochet of late”? Because this seems like really cheap slander. Sorry Claire, it just does.

    • #8
  9. RyanFalcone Member
    RyanFalcone
    @RyanFalcone

    So what I am gathering from this post is that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” philosophy is highly dangerous and any perception that conservatives are in some way in cahoots with Nazi’s just because they happen to also be in favor of closed borders and are on the main battle front against multiculturalism should be avoided at all costs.

    I think any rational person would agree with this. However, open borders is incredibly destructive as is multiculturalism. How can these perfectly rational beliefs be maintained along side the Nazi’s similar beliefs without the link being made by folks with zero desire for honest dialogue?

    • #9
  10. David Sussman Contributor
    David Sussman
    @DaveSussman

    People concerned over the name “Nazi” are fighting the wrong fight. Who cares what they call themselves, when you are being bullied, attacked or killed simply based on your religion or lineage.

    “The Revolution will be complete when the language is perfect.”
    ― George Orwell, 1984

    • #10
  11. PHCheese Inactive
    PHCheese
    @PHCheese

    Germany will rue the day that Jews were replaced by Muslims.

    • #11
  12. Aaron Miller Inactive
    Aaron Miller
    @AaronMiller

    Thanks for keeping us informed, Claire.

    Is political correctness a significant factor?

    Voters care about more than policy proposals. They want their views to be represented in the media. To be effective, politicians in a democratic government must win the contest of communication and inspiration. Republican politicians like Allen West, Fred Thompson, and Trey Gowdy have acquired many fans as much or more by their bold expression of politically incorrect views as by legislative decisions.

    This isn’t about justifying neo-Nazis (impossible). It’s about trying to understand why such detestable groups have gained popularity and, if ethically feasible, to apply those lessons within respectable parties.

    Might one reason for the popularity of neo-Nazis be that the respectable alternatives are too mild, ineffectual, and concerned with political correctness to seem like viable solutions? Might it simply be a preference for the strong horse?

    • #12
  13. Tommy De Seno Contributor
    Tommy De Seno
    @TommyDeSeno

    DrewInWisconsin:

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.:Strange times we live in when American conservatives — or some of them, anyway — think it makes perfect sense these days for Europeans to get their Nazi groove on. I’ve been hearing this a bit too much on Ricochet of late, . . .

    Wait, really? Honest-to-goodness Nazi apologists? Here on Ricochet?

    Even the things you’re quoting from BDB aren’t “Nazi Apologia.” Are there other examples to help sell your assertion that you’ve been “hearing this a bit too much on Ricochet of late”? Because this seems like really cheap slander. Sorry Claire, it just does.

    Agreed.   Reading the lede I gulped but when I got to the BDB quote I didn’t see any Nazi support.

    I was disappointed. BDB and I don’t always see eye to eye and I thought I would now finally have some dirt on him LOL.

    DBD is very thoughtful I don’t see him drifting toward the N word.

    • #13
  14. Ontheleftcoast Inactive
    Ontheleftcoast
    @Ontheleftcoast

    The great Tamara Keel is wont to say that Europe has a zero to jackboots time faster than just about anybody on the planet.

    • #14
  15. Nick Stuart Inactive
    Nick Stuart
    @NickStuart

    Paraphrasing Mark Steyn, when legitimate leaders refuse to address problems, people will turn to illegitimate ones

    • #15
  16. Tommy De Seno Contributor
    Tommy De Seno
    @TommyDeSeno

    David Sussman:People concerned over the name “Nazi” are fighting the wrong fight. Who cares what they call themselves, when you are being bullied, attacked or killed simply based on your religion or lineage.

    “The Revolution will be complete when the language is perfect.” ― George Orwell,

    100% agreed.  Islamo-fascism is marching into Western Civilization to destroy it and we are going to get mired in a syntax problem of what to call anyone who opposes it.  Good grief.

    • #16
  17. Wylee Coyote Member
    Wylee Coyote
    @WyleeCoyote

    I am reminded of my some of my libertarian friends who are always going on about Unconstitutional Wars for Empire and the American Police State, but gush like bobbysoxers every time Putin kicks over a pile of skulls someplace. It’s weird.

    • #17
  18. Majestyk Contributor
    Majestyk
    @Majestyk

    I am deeply skeptical of mass, Muslim immigration to this country.  We shouldn’t be accepting a single “refugee” from Syria or anywhere in that zone of the world before Saudi Arabia, the UAE and other wealthy Arab petro states at least take on significant numbers of these people.  That they don’t want them is a huge, red flag in my mind.  The second thing is: refugee status doesn’t have to last forever!  These people should go home after the crisis in their homeland has subsided, even if that means years later.

    I hardly think that position makes me an ultra-nationalist sympathizer with Golden Dawn.

    At the end of the day, these Nazi-lite parties that bubble up in Continental Europe from time to time (typically at times of discontent… how convenient) are a movement of the left.

    I’m reading Jonah Goldberg’s Liberal Fascism as we speak and I think the distinction he draws between Fascism and Nazism is interesting, it being primarily an issue of racialism – but the tactics are by-and-large the same.  They are national as opposed to international socialists.

    I haven’t seen anybody express sympathy for such ideas here… but I don’t read every thread, either.

    • #18
  19. Fake John Galt Coolidge
    Fake John Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    DrewInWisconsin:

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.:Strange times we live in when American conservatives — or some of them, anyway — think it makes perfect sense these days for Europeans to get their Nazi groove on. I’ve been hearing this a bit too much on Ricochet of late, . . .

    Wait, really? Honest-to-goodness Nazi apologists? Here on Ricochet?

    Even the things you’re quoting from BDB aren’t “Nazi Apologia.” Are there other examples to help sell your assertion that you’ve been “hearing this a bit too much on Ricochet of late”? Because this seems like really cheap slander. Sorry Claire, it just does.

    Don’t sweat it.  Reductio ad Hilterum is against the CoC unless you are an editor then it is cool.

    • #19
  20. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Nick Stuart:Paraphrasing Mark Steyn, when legitimate leaders refuse to address problems, people will turn to illegitimate ones

    I was just thinking that myself.

    The leaders of Europe have allowed this once-small problem to become a crisis.

    There is no substitute for executive leadership.

    • #20
  21. Umbra Fractus Inactive
    Umbra Fractus
    @UmbraFractus

    Concretevol:

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.: The pro-Nazi argument

    Wait….this is a thing?? Like there is an actual “pro-Nazi” argument? I don’t know what to say about that and stay in COC compliance.

    I haven’t seen it. This post, judging solely from the BDB quotes contained therein, seems to be a hyperbolic reaction to a comment that was itself hyperbolic.

    • #21
  22. captainpower Inactive
    captainpower
    @captainpower

    Is there a list of “is a Nazi” and “not a Nazi” for the undiscerning American?

    So far, “Golden Dawn” party in Greece seems to be on the Nazi list.

    Is Nigel Farage a Nazi? What about Geert Wilders? Pim Fortuyn? Theo van Gogh?

    I’ve heard these names and heard a few things they’ve said, but haven’t spent any real time researching them other than seeing that they have “links” to toxic groups. But even then, I’m never certain whether that’s just opposition slander making more out of it than is really there, or an accurate reflection of their sympathies.

    • #22
  23. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Whenever the subject of unrestricted immigration comes up, I hear my old Italian mother-in-law in my head: you have to take care of yourself because if you don’t, you’ll be no good to anyone else.

    The immigration issue is upsetting because (a) it’s mostly a numbers issue–10 is no problem, a million is a problem–and (b) there are other answers.

    I don’t want to create slums and ghettos anywhere.

    It will not help the refugees to create camps where they are being terrorized by other refugees or where there is inadequate sanitation or schools or hospitals. Where they can never get on their feet and live a normal life. And the camps will have to be created in Europe wherever there is a shortage of decent housing units.

    There are other answers, such as building new countries.

    • #23
  24. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    @Midge

    Aaron Miller:This isn’t about justifying neo-Nazis (impossible). It’s about trying to understand why such detestable groups have gained popularity and, if ethically feasible, to apply those lessons within respectable parties.

    Might one reason for the popularity of neo-Nazis be that the respectable alternatives are too mild, ineffectual, and concerned with political correctness to seem like viable solutions? Might it simply be a preference for the strong horse?

    Agreed. Especially agreed that it might “simply be a preference for the strong horse”. That said, a simple preference for the strong horse, unqualified by any other consideration, is, I think, how people who might have remained perfectly decent otherwise end up getting themselves entangled with thugs.

    • #24
  25. Ontheleftcoast Inactive
    Ontheleftcoast
    @Ontheleftcoast

    Speaking of center right parties, Eckhard Rehberg, a German MP (CDU) proposes requiring all high school graduates to complete either a year of military service or a year of social service; Rehberg means by “social service” taking the load off the volunteers who are looking after the “refugees” and refugees.

    • #25
  26. Basil Fawlty Member
    Basil Fawlty
    @BasilFawlty

    Do you also believe that those who explain the ardor of Trump’s supporters by pointing out that the Establishment has long ignored their concerns about immigration and the other issues he raises are necessarily in the pro-Trump camp?  Perhaps they’re only political analysts.

    • #26
  27. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    @Midge

    captainpower: But even then, I’m never certain whether that’s just opposition slander making more out of it than is really there, or an accurate reflection of their sympathies.

    That is part of the problem of slander. People can get so inured to slander making more out of it than is really there that they become disinclined to believe that there’s really a there there when it’s there.

    Call everyone a racist, for example, and what do you do to distinguish a real racist from all the others who aren’t but have been tarred with the same label anyhow?

    • #27
  28. Titus Techera Contributor
    Titus Techera
    @TitusTechera

    Miss Berlinski, I hope you will reconsider. Mr. Diamond Ball is harsh, but no kind of Nazi or sympathizer or supporter.

    I do not read him to say, he thinks it’s good or acceptable, much less desirable that fascist or fascist imitation parties are springing in Europe. I wish you would simply ask him instead of what you’re doing here–I will ask here–whether he throws his support behind the tolerable, if insanely incompetent oligarchs or behind the intolerable, tyrannic challengers. I, for one share his anger, if not the contempt–I’m not so moral…–but I have no problem I support oligarchic corruption against tyranny.

    But your position, that fascists are never responding to a crisis they feel is going unaddressed seems to me far less in touch with reality. The man is at least voicing the self-understanding of many of the angry people who see no civilized alternative. What you’re saying seems like wishful thinking.

    You cannot possibly believe all politics everywhere always includes parties all electorates find preferable to Nazis! Sometimes, all political parties with any popular or unpopular support are tyrannies in the making & preaching insanity.

    Your notion that Greece at least has tolerable alternatives makes me wonder whether you have an in-depth piece in the work on Greek party politics. You seem to make zero effort, for the time being, to explain what Greeks themselves think about politics & their preferences revealed by acts of will, i.e. voting.

    • #28
  29. Quinn the Eskimo Member
    Quinn the Eskimo
    @

    MarciN:

    Nick Stuart:Paraphrasing Mark Steyn, when legitimate leaders refuse to address problems, people will turn to illegitimate ones

    I was just thinking that myself.

    I think that’s true, but…

    We all ultimately have to take responsibility for our choices.  People are moral agents. I get that people don’t like the way their leaders are handling immigration and don’t like that they are being ignored.  But it can’t justify supporting Nazi parties.

    • #29
  30. Concretevol Thatcher
    Concretevol
    @Concretevol

    Umbra Fractus:

    Concretevol:

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.: The pro-Nazi argument

    Wait….this is a thing?? Like there is an actual “pro-Nazi” argument? I don’t know what to say about that and stay in COC compliance.

    I haven’t seen it. This post, judging solely from the BDB quotes contained therein, seems to be a hyperbolic reaction to a comment that was itself hyperbolic.

    Yes now that I read it more closely I agree.  I haven’t seen where CB asserts that opposition to Muslim Immigration is akin to Naziism and neither do I think that BDB is saying that becoming a Nazi is the next acceptable step if you oppose such in Europe.  The point he seems to be making (lord knows I don’t need to speak for BDB) is that if no traditional political movements can be bothered with taking up for western civilization  that leaves the door open for more extremist groups.  I think due to Claire’s location, she is more face to face with some of the extreme Nazi like elements there and is therefore more sensitive to what may sound like excuse making for it.  I personally reject Nazism being classified as a “right wing” movement by definition although it is hyper nationalistic….much like fascism.

    • #30
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