Re; Godwin's Law

Wed, 27 Jan 1999 09:28:53 -0500 (EST)

Subject: Re; Godwin's Law
Date: Wed, 27 Jan 1999 09:28:53 -0500 (EST)

Interesting discussion regarding the power of Fascist iconography and
artefacts to influence behaviour.

I think though, that one also ought to take into consideration the
actual political aspects of Fascism. Roger Eatwell's 'Fascism: a
History' (1995) and 'The Oxford Reader of Fascism' (a selection of
propaganda pieces and analyses ranging over something like 9 decades
are excellent reading.

Nazism is back in a big way in Europe, for instance the French National
Front command something like 12% of the vote (although after last
week's Le Pen-Megrier conference bust-up we may see 2 fascist parties
with 6% each). Gianfranco Fini's MSI is a major player on the Italian
scene now and controls local goverment in several large towns. We also
have the Republican Party in Germany etc. etc.

None of these parties go in for much in the way of traditional Nazi
iconography, although their ideology and provenance leave little doubt
as to their political intentions. Crucial to their current revival is
the economic alternative they present (or purport to present) to those
groups disillusioned with socialism and grievously injured by a decade
and a half of laissez-faire capitalism in Europe (and sadly that
includes a fair proportion of intellectuals). The appeal of autarky and
the corporate state, 'Fortress Europe', and vague promises of a revival
of European classical culture are extremely important in the current
political climate.

What I'm saying is that Nazism today actually appeals more to people's
pockets than it does to their desire to wear leather trousers. Any
effort to combat the vigorous Nazi revival in Europe has to concentrate
on exposing the fallacies of neo-Fascist economic/social programs -
because that's where the votes are being gained.


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