Fascism on the Rise?

On Paradigm Shift (4ZZZ fm 102.1) we talk about about neo-nazism in Australia. It’s been in the news recently overseas, but how much of a presence and threat is it in Australia? And how do we resist it to create an inclusive society? We speak with Jeff Sparrow, author of the book “Fascists Among Us” about online neo-nazi culture; and anti-fascist activist, Tom Tanuki.

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Image from Slack Bastard

Nazism (or National Socialism) is a brand of Fascism. It arose from a particular set of circumstances in Germany in the 1930s. High unemployment and low national self-esteem after a crushing defeat in World War I gave rise to Kristallnacht or the ‘night of broken glass’. This was an anti-Semitic pogrom that led to the the concentration camps and the holocaust based on the ridiculous notion that blond blue-eyed Germans were a super race. Fascism emphasises the importance of the state being ruled by one central dictator – “a man who is ruthless and energetic enough to make a clean sweep” said Benito Mussolini.

Recent events in the US and Europe suggest that neo-nazism is on the rise. So called Proud Boys attacked the heart of liberal democracy on Capitol Hill in Washington when the centrist Democratic Party managed to oust Donald Trump from the Presidency after four years of the United States moving further to the right.

Tom Tanuki has a facebook page called “Yelling at racist dogs” which, as the title suggests, encourages people to attack people with racist views.

“Yelling at Racist Dogs” (YARDS) also outs right wing iconoclasts like AVI YEMINI who goes around abusing people from progressive causes like the recent School Strikes for Climate Action.

Much of the fascist and racist material can be found online. Andy and Tom discuss the role of Parler, the social media website and app popular with the American far right. Is it more than 15 year old males acting out? The FBI seems to think so, as it is investigating Parler’s role the attacks on the Capitol building just prior to Biden’s inauguration as US President. They also discuss Reclaim Australia, a racist group that gained prominence and some followers egged on by the likes of Pauline Hanson.

In the shadow of the massacre near two mosques in Christchurch, are Australian fascists on the rise? – Andy asks writer and broadcaster, Jeff Sparrow. [Sparrow was one of the editors of Radical Melbourne and Communism – a love story.]

Sparrow wrote the book, Fascists Among Us, because of his concern that Australian authorities did not take the reasons for the Christchurch massacre seriously. The perpetrator published a fascist manifesto online in an attempt to justify the attacks. Andy and Jeff discuss the rise of the Alt right in the US and United Patriotic Front and Reclaim Australia here. Some of the talk online is bluster but some of the ideas are organised by White Nationalists at Gyms and Martial Arts clubs. They discuss the skin head phenomenon in Britain and their attacks on immigrants.

Recently neo-Nazis went camping in The Grampians in Victoria

Andy outlines some websites that monitor and ‘out’ the activities of these right wing groups. Slack Bastard is one and argues that:

” … the incident (of extremists camping out in the Grampians) has generated quite a lot of commentary, much of which has revolved around what might be an appropriate response to this news. The discussion has been given particular relevance in light of both the inability of police to take legal action and the recent announcement of a federal government inquiry into ‘extremism’. Hence, Greg Barton has argued that: ‘Now would be a good time for Australia to follow the lead of Five-Eyes partners such as Canada and formally proscribe far-right extremist groups such as the Proud Boys. Doing so would go some way to helping the police better do their job.’ Others have suggested that current laws, specifically counter-terrorism legislation, should be sufficient to address right-wing extremism and terrorism.”


The Glitter Rats – All you fascists
ZSK – Antifascista
Penelope Swales – The Ides of March in Christchurch
When Our Turn Comes – You’ll always lose in Melbourne
Linton Kwesi Johnson – Fite dem back

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