09 June 2009

Fears of Neo-Fascism

What with two members of the British National Party, Nick Griffin and Andrew Brons, winning EU parliamentary seats, people are aflutter about a possible rise in British and, by extension, western Euopean, fascism. Granted, Griffin and Brons aren't the most charming of men, and they espouse some seriously abhorrent views. But how significant is their win? Probably, ultimately, not very.

The Guardian offers some reasonable debunking of fears about a rising tide of fascism. Noted historians, including Michael Burleigh and Eric Hobsbawn, chime in with their views. The consensus: don't get your knickers in a twist. The recent election has all the hallmarks of a protest vote: it's not a sign that "fascism is on the march again."

It is significant that these historians seem to agree that if neo-fascism is to gain strength, it might well be in Austria and the Baltic States because of severe "economic turbulence" in the region.

Anyways, it's a worthwhile discussion, so check it out.

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