Ihave been asked by a fair number of ATS readers what my perspective is on the growing interest in Greece’s Golden Dawn. Here are my thoughts:
I generally concur with leftist “watchdog” critic Matthew Lyons’ and paleolibertarian Justin Raimondo’s analyses of Golden Dawn as a fairly straight line derivative of classical fascism. Some ATS readers probably view that as a good thing with others viewing it as a terrible thing. But the two big questions are whether Golden Dawn has any serious prospect of actually assuming control of the Greek state and whether Golden Dawn represents an alternative political model for the postindustrial and postmodern societies of the West.
The answer to both questions is no.
With regards to the question of to what degree the Golden Dawn actually threatens the Greek state, it must be remembered that GD is a fringe nationalist party who only recently obtained marginal representation in the Greek parliament. In this regard, GD is comparable to similar far right nationalist parties in Europe like England’s BNP, France’s National Front, Germany’s NDP, Sweden’s National Democrats, and so on. But elections held this year in multiple nations, including England, Germany, France, the United States, as well as Greece indicate that the prevailing political trends sharply favor the Left. Such trends are predictable given the ongoing demographic transformation and economic downturn currently being experienced by Western nations. The far right has also experienced some growth, which is to be expected in an era of both economic stagnation and radical demographic change, but the dominant political trends do not bode well for the immediate future of the far right. Further, the issue of street level violence associated with Golden Dawn appears to be somewhat similar to the skinhead phenomenon experienced by other Western nations during the 1980s and 1990s and is not particularly significant when weighed against street violence generated by other sources such as ethnic gangs.
As to whether GD represents a viable alternative political model for the Western nations generally, it must be recognized that Greece is still largely stuck in the pre-World War Two era with regards to its level of political, economic, and cultural development. The cultural leftist revolution that swept Western Europe, North America, and Australia in the 1960s and 1970s has yet to take root in Greece with nearly as much intensity as it has in Western Europe and the Anglosphere. For instance, anarchist contacts in Greece tell me that the Communist Party there is still an old-fashioned social reactionary party with regards to social issues (like their former comrades in Eastern Europe) with no interest in cultural leftism. Further, there has been considerable in-fighting on the radical left in Greece between the anarchists and the Communists in a way resembling that of the anarchist/communist civil war that occurred within the broader context of the Spanish Civil War. The anarchist groups in Greece are still largely stuck in the “first wave” model of classical anarchism with a strong workerist/proletarian orientation and have yet to fully absorb the bohemian/countercultural/New Left orientation of the “second wave” of anarchism that emerged in the 1960s in the West. And the streetfighting that has transpired in Greece between GD supporters and leftists resembles the classic street battles between leftists and fascists in the pre-WW2 era.
Greece is relevant to the postmodern, postindustrial nations of the contemporary West only by the fact that Greece is a member of the EU (where its plays the primary role of welfare recipient and parasitical burden). Even in the unlikely event of a GD seizure of the Greek state, the military threat posed by a GD-led Greece to other Western nations would largely be nil given Greece’s backward economic conditions and Greece lacks the geographical proximity needed to become a competitor to Israel in the same way as Iran, Iraq, or Syria. At best, a GD-led Greece would be an interestingly exotic regime that was largely irrelevant to international geopolitics, much like Juan Peron’s Argentina during its day.
The problems of the Greeks are for the Greeks to solve for themselves, but if we really want to look for inspiration from political movements outside the postmodern, postindustrial, post-Aquarian Age nations of Western Europe and the Anglosphere, there are far better models to drawn on than Golden Dawn. These include Lebanon’s Hezbollah, a fourth generation military force that has actually eclipsed the Lebanese state in a nation with a lengthy history of sectarian warfare, Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, which built an alternative infrastructure that actually replaced a state that lost legitimacy, Colombia’s FARC, which has actually seized and held territory on the fourth generation model, and Nepal’s Peoples War Group, whose revolution was on the classic anti-feudal, Third World socialist model but whose relevance is that they did so in a nation without a clearly discernible demographic majority.