It Can’t Happen Here
So just how do we construct a valid set that that contains poorly-regulated immigration, unemployment, The Golden Dawn, and Beppe Grillo? If we’re lucky, here in America, we probably cannot. So, as Cliff Eastwood famously asked. “Are you feeling lucky?”
Now given the nice, violent intro and the unresolved rhetorical queries above, I should explain this all a bit. I’ll endeavor below. The governments of what we typically refer to as The West are following a set of economic policies and a set of immigration policies that are accidentally making the rise of a politically influential fascist movement more likely in the Western World.
If things work out really badly over here, we could easily be on our way to having people gain power in America like Governor Huey Long. We once had a President who thanked and congratulated Filmmaker D.W Griffith on his pro – Ku Klux Klan historical fantasy “Birth of a Nation.”
So we’ve established that American electorates will vote for fascists if they are smart enough not to publically brand themselves as mass-murderers. Huey “The Kingfish” Long claimed to favor “Sharing the Wealth.” His populist slogan went “Every man a king, but nobody wears a crown.” Woodrow Wilson, while enjoying his pro-KKK movies, styled himself as Progressive.
But are Americans really dumb enough to just elect a crypto-fascist for novelty’s sake? Blessedly no. A lot has to go wrong first. People adapt the ideologies of fascism in response to what they view as existential threats. A common threat that empowers individuals with totalitarian desires involves the confluence between poor employment prospects and massive immigration.
People start out struggling to find work at all. They then see people who were not born in their country come in and find jobs. The fascist then tells the disgruntled person that these immigrants have somehow “stolen” this employment. This is made significantly more believable if native born workers are restricted from employment by minimum wage laws and union membership requiremnts and then they see recent immigrants doing precisely the same types of work they’ve been blocked from entering. Something then has to be done about these people before they breed and take over.
Margaret Sanger made a career as a political activist meeting this perceived need. She addressed The New History Society on January 17th, 1922. Some of Ms. Sanger’s Progressive Liberalism follow below.
…have Congress set up a special department for the study of population problems and appoint a Parliament of Population, the directors representing the various branches of science: this body to direct and control the population through birth rates and immigration. to keep the doors of immigration closed to the entrance of certain aliens whose condition is known to be detrimental to the stamina of the race, such as feebleminded, idiots, morons, insane, syphilitic, epileptic, criminal, professional prostitutes, and others in this class barred by the immigration laws of 1924….. to apply a stern and rigid policy of sterilization and segregation to that grade of population whose progeny is tainted, or whose inheritance is such that objectionable traits may be transmitted to offspring.
We don’t see this tendency gaining adherents in America at present. We have to look over to Europe instead. In Greece, where unemployment is over 20% and the nation is essentially bankrupt, an openly and militant fascist party called The Golden Dawn has seats in Parliament. They base a lot of their appeal on natavism. Here pay close attention to their proposal to reform the Greek Welfare System.
Opinion polls show support for Golden Dawn jumped from 6.9% to 11.5% soon after it entered parliament for the first time at last June’s general election. It has remained steady for several months. The party’s characteristics are violent racism (demonstrated by scores of attacks against immigrants), anti-semitic rhetoric and a “social action programme” for the needy (as long as they can produce a Greek identity card)
And in Italy, the economic scene is similar. Former Comedian and radical Leftist, Beppe Grillo, has emerged from the sidelines to form “The 5-Star Movement” and win 25% of the vote in last weekend’s Italian parliamentary elections. I wrote a partially favorable opinion of the man yesterday. Like Mordred and Benedict Arnold, he has a valid point. He probably feels genuinely aggrieved and outraged at what is happening to Italy. I’m sure Huey Long was legitimately peeved about The Great Depression as well.
Grillo, a former comedian, has some not-so-funny aspects to his act as well. He begins amassing power in a state that has effectively been forced to accept an outside “Technical Government” that placed them under servere austerity. Here is a description of conditions in Italy.
Government at all levels is corrupt. It’s the only way people can survive. Everybody is playing double games. People are doing two jobs and running their own businesses out of government offices. Everybody cheats on taxes. The mafia controls half the country. Survival depends on the black market, the black economy. The currency is kept artificially high, so exports crash.
So when Beppe Grillo goes on his blog and uses the old Red Army Slogans he learned growing up, it’s easy just to think the comedian is kidding. Some of the uglier parts of his agenda follow below. The ideals sync up nicely with Woodrow Wilson’s Progressive buddies D.W. Griffith and Margaret Sanger. It’s all about getting rid of the undesireables.
The Jews are a small, wandering minority of Arabs who stole the Holy Land from the others 2,500 years ago. They now run the world through the Illuminati, the Masonic Lodges, the Rockefellers and the Rothschilds. The Jews are responsible for Italy’s mess, because they own the banks that charge usurious interest rates. The Jews who run the world need to be “processed” en masse. Grillo supporters will not define “processed,” but they love the idea. Whatever it means. Beppe Grillo can save Italy by nationalizing the banks and cutting off trade to Europe. The fact that Italy is physically part of Europe is no impediment.
Before we all just laugh at the crazy Italians and crazy Greeks, we should keep in mind that similar ideas have been electorally successful in America. Planned Parenthood made its money helping get rid of undesirables. I’ve argued abortionist Kermit Gosnell did the same until his arrest. Fascist, eugenic thought makes the Freakonomics argument that abortion reduces crime a possibility.
So in conclusion, a society that fails to adequately solve its economic problems and fails to reasonably restrict the extent to which immigration changes the complexion of its society will trigger a violent and ignorant reaction. This reaction will take the form of an authoritarian and nativist political movement that will often seek to remove the “undesirables” from that society in a literal and bloodthirsty fashion.
America today has some of the problems that make fascism powerful. We do not have them to the extent that Southern Europe does. This is why there currently isn’t a powerful and well-represented Golden Dawn Party in the US. If we are lucky, we can continue what we are doing now and we may have nothing this bad actually happen. As I listen to GOP leadership justify a capitulation to the left on both immigration reform and on all matters economic, I have to ask the question: “Do we really feel that lucky?”