"A Man's a Man for all that!" - Rabbie Burns

"Religion? No thanks. I prefer not to outsource my brainwashing." - Bunc
Trying to get your average Joe creationist to understand the phrase scientific theory is as hard as getting a fish to enjoy mountaineering. Its an unimagined world for them - it requires a complete reversal of their normal modes of thinking and being. The fact that humans could explain the complexities of this world without a creating God is a world view they cannot grasp. It's like asking a tuna if it appreciates the view from the top of Mount Everest. Bunc

Nov 13, 2009

Whos a nasty little fascist then?

There's supposed to be a rule about life on the internet that goes something like this ... any discussion on the internet that goes on for long enough is bound to end up with someone calling someone else a fascist and mentioning Hitler or the Nazis. It's a fairly good rule of thumb as anyone who spends any time on the internet will tell you.

Well British politics is at bit like that at the moment except that we have some real fascists crawling from out of the woodwork and the emergence of some other groups who the mainstream press are categorising as far-right racist groups.

The problem is that the picture is more complex than the press would sometimes have us believe and it's in the interests of our mainstream politicians to befuddle us so that we dont start asking why they have been asleep on watch over this country for the last twenty years or so.

So whats at the root of all this?

There are a number of issues that are influencing recent developments. The first is an old nasty version of British racism and fascism. There have been far right fascist and racist parties in Britain for years and periodically they seem to morph one into the other. We have had the National Front, Combat 18 and more recently the "rebirthed" British National Party.

Traditionally these types of groups have seemingly been content to stand outside the political mainstream and do their agitation on the streets. When they showed their heads above the parapet they were often confronted by organised anti-fascist groups.

The British National Party has , to some extent, been able to break this pattern with its more recent policy of attempting to engage to a degree with mainstream political events. It is regularly putting up candidates in elections and has begun to secure for itself a share of the vote in some places which is causing much concern.

The question is why it has been able to achieve some, albeit limited , success with this strategy?

This is where the question becomes more complex. For each person who has turned to vote for the BNP there will be ten who have dabbled with the notion.

Do we really have such a rise in the numbers of people in our community who are fascist and racist? I think not.

The truth is that there are many many ordinary citizens who have been concerned for a long time about the way the multiculturalist agenda has contributed to the atomisation of British Society.

The approach to multiculturalism in Britain has done nothing to encourage different groups to look to what they have in common and everything to play up difference - both religious and ethnic. It has encouraged the growth of a society which practices almost voluntary apartheid. An approach which has led in some parts of Britain to highly segregated ethnic areas.

This cannot be good for any society.

To the extent that multiculturalism encourages respect for each others different beliefs and ethnicity it is a positive thing. The trouble in Britain is that it has gone much further than that.

It has left the white indigenous population feeling that they have lost their country and that they are the only ones whose culture and ethnicity is not valued. It has led to an increasingly smouldering resentment of immigration. In short it has become a recipe for ethnic tension and the rise of far right groups.

For this mess our current government must shoulder much of the blame - and I speak as a lifelong labour voter. For years they joined in the lazy response of simply shouting racist at anyone who questioned the sense of our immigration policy or our aproach to multiculturalism.

But even with their fingers in their ears they are now beginning to hear the clamour. Gordon Brown the Prime Minster himself acknowledged the other day that it is not racist to want to discuss immigration or argue for controls.

How ludicrous that it has taken them all this time to recognise this fact. In the meantime over the years those that had genuine concerms found themselves labelled racists. Small wonder that some people began to wonder if there was a home for them after all on the far right.

A further twist to this sorry saga has been given by the long rise of islamo-fascism in this country in the form of jihadist teachings in some mosques and the traitorous actions of a small number of Muslim citizens. Add to this the general tendency for Muslims to see everything as an attack on Islam and their complete failure until more recently to denounce the fanatics in their midst and you have a further recipe for complex racial and religious intolerance.

The result is that we have seen not only a fully justified attack by many on some of the extremist thinking and views within the Islamic community but we have also see a rise in unacceptable Islamophopbia which simply seeks to attack people because they are Muslims.

In this boiling soup of issues it takes a firm thought process not to get swayed by the pressure to see the arguments as being very black and white. They are not.

I have always been quite open myself about my own personal distaste for religion generally and most particularly for militant extremist Islam - a poisonous and murderous snake that has struck at ordinary people all around the world. It can and must continue to be challenged.

There are lazy people on the left who seem unable to distinguish between attacking religion and religious extremism and real islamophobia. Thats their problem. A bit more thinking and a bit less sloganising would cure them of that.

Equally on the right there are groups who are simply Islamophobic and racist but are using the issue of attacking Islamic extremism as a smoke screen to mount a broader right wing surge. They must be resisted.

There is an Anti-fascist demonstration in Glasgow tomorrow and I am going to attend. Its in opposition to a rally called by the so called Scottish defence League, a group linked to the English Defence League, who claim to be non-racist but anti-jihadist. If that were true I would have much sympathy for their views. The trouble is that this group clearly also harbours racists and fascists.

I will not be entirely comfortable on the other side though. For among the anti-fascist groups on such marches there have been previously some Islamic groups who have at best a very dubious pedigree.

So Im left in a quandry, do I march with the anti-fascists knowing that some on that side fail completely to recognise the fascism within Islam? Or do I stand aside and do nothing in the face of rising british fascist groups?

So I will be marching tommorrow. I'll be with those shouting the anti-fascist slogans. But I'll know in my heart that the issue is not so neat and tidy as many of our politicians and the media and many in these groups would have us believe.

4 comments:

Delirious said...

It's interesting that you equate racism and facism with the far right, while we on the right equate socialism and communism, and anti-religionists with the far left.

Nice to see you back in the ethersphere. :)

Bunc said...

Well you would be quite right to equate socialism and communism with the left ( and the far left in the case of communism).

You woudl be a little muddled though if you equated anti-religionsists wiuth either the far left or the far right because Atheism in various forms has had and does have well known adherents right across the political spectrum.

Im sure life would be much simpler for religious types having a go at us if there was an invariable one to one correspondance between atheism and political belief but you will find that there are Atheists of every shade of politcal belief.

Looney said...

It is an interesting mess you describe - and much that sounds familiar. I have never met a fascist in real life, so can't comment too much on what they are like.

I always understood that fascism was a third way among the major big-government utopias: Communism, Socialism and Fascism. Fascism being a form where private ownership was maintained, but the government gave detailed instructions on who would produce what. From this standpoint, I never understood why Fascism was classified as far right, except that WWII was won by the communists and socialists and they didn't want to bring "left" into disrepute. Is there another reason?

There is another item which puzzles me, and this is the term Islamo-Fascist. Does the link between the two words extend beyond an antipathy towards Jews? Or to put it another way, I have seen snakes eat rats, and I have seen coyotes eat rats, but I haven't thought to speak of a coyote-rat based on their shared passion for rat eating. Islam and Fascism both represent elaborate belief systems, but I don't quite understand the linkage ...

Bunc said...

Fascism is actually more difficult to pin down as a political concept than the other two and I would agree that the word is sometimes used fairly loosely - partly because its not as easy to come up with a tight definition as it is with the other two.

I also agree that there is in common among these utopian ideologies a tendancy to go for the "big state" in one form or another - and often eventually in the form of some type of dictatorship.

Islamo-fascism ? I think this gets at the essentially anti-semitic nature of quite a sizeable part of Islamic fundamentalist thought.
They find a great deal of common ground in their holocaust denial with groups on the far right.

Fascism often is characterised by a heavy dose of nationalism and an element of "we are the chosen race" thinking - all of which can be found among Islamic fundamentalist jihadists.

Add to that that during the second world war there was a sizeable Islamic religious element that sided with the Nazis.

I could go on but you get my drift.

It would certainly be incorrect to refer to them as Islamo-communists because their ideology is by no means anti prvate enterprise which has traditionally characterised far left thinking.

All in all I think its fair to refer to their mode of thinking and the way they operate as a form of religious fascism - whihc is why I would refer to them as Islamo-fscists rather than just fascists.

The difference with the more historical forms of fascism is that the orignal fascists were less heavily entwined with religious beliefs ( although in Francos Spain it would be true to say that the Catholic Church essentially supported the fascist regime there)

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