It is not the collapse of Conservatism causing the rise of the far-right in America, Europe and Britain, it is the opposite. It is, however, important to understand that this is exactly how fascism comes to power. Not through elections but because a significant section of the state and capitalist class side with them and clear their way to power by aiding in eliminating the opposition and their voices.
We should not forget what the dark heart of fascism really is. Corporations wield more power today than they have in since the robber baron era–where American businessmen were accused of using unscrupulous methods to get rich and expand their wealth. In 1859 the NYT reported that the Robber Barons had “crushed competitors, rigged markets, and corrupted the government. In their greed and power, they held sway over a helpless democracy.” It was the same all over Europe and the same is happening today right now.
Fascism is the merging of state and business leadership, together with belligerent nationalism. Reduced to just a few words it is–a merger of state and corporate power. This is what we are witnessing in the democratic West. Extreme neoliberal capitalism is driving itself to its next conclusion.
Britain’s Tory party is funded mostly by hedge funds, bankers, billionaires and business who profit from the ideology of neoliberal capitalism. The party has surged so far to the right, it now openly talks of cancelling democracy with a willingness to provoke a constitutional crisis by ordering the Queen to prorogue parliament, an act, that just a few years ago would have been deemed treasonous by the establishment.
All over America and Europe, the rise of the far-right has been documented. A quick look up in your favourite search engine will reveal dozens of reports. Now, the evidence is emerging of the collusion of the state and the far-right. Germany, Switzerland, Hungary, Sweden, Denmark, Austria, Finland, Estonia and Italy now have considerable nationalist political parties with seats in the corridors of power. In this article, we are highlighting just a few examples in America and Europe of the alarming emergence of the state actually supporting far-right groups in their effort to seize control.
In one such case, a truly shocking revelation comes from Germany where a far-right cell, mostly composed of police connected to the recent murder of a politician had used their access to police computers to draw up a death list with 25,000 targets on it. They stole 10,000 bullets and a cache of weapons including a machine gun. This one cell, thought to be 30 strong in numbers is also suspected of being just one part of a network of such cells across the German police. It was also found to be ordering hundreds of body bags plus quicklime to speed up decomposition (and thus destroy forensic evidence).
From a historical position, a part of the process of fascism coming to power in Germany and elsewhere was the police and courts cooperating by (for instance) arresting & jailing those activists on the left who physically resisted fascism, the AntiFa of the day–but not arresting or quickly releasing fascists. Here we see evidence of exactly that today.
Germany: The far-right and government allies
Last October, the New York Times published a piece by Thomas Meaney–a fellow at the American Council on Germany who reported that recent events make clear that extremists have allies deep inside the government.
The article highlighted the sudden public rise of right-wing street movements that have sprung up across Germany. It is surprising given strong legislative protections against right-wing ideology. And yet, the German security services and the B.F.V., in particular, have been accused of operating sympathetically—even symbiotically—with elements of the far right.
Angela Merkel’s fragile coalition agreed to remove the head of German intelligence as a result of these connections. Yet instead of demoting him—or outright firing him—the coalition effectively promoted him. His new job as State Secretary came with a salary increase. In reaction to the public outcry, he was shuffled once again, this time to become “special adviser.” He now has even stronger connections to politicians within the party that ironically now threatens Angela Merkel’s more moderate political coalition.
Just two years ago, many right-wing politicians were still politically unable to officially endorse nationalist, anti-immigrant street movements such as Pegida. Now it is normal for not only Alternative for Germany politicians to back them officially, but even members of the putative political centre to make shows of sympathy.
For hundreds of civil servants, the rise of Alternative for Germany has presented them with an opportunity to engage in more right-wing political activities than would have been possible only a few years ago. Evidence has emerged of leaks and briefings from senior civil servants against the government in cases of prioritizing anti-right policies over the solving of crimes committed by refugees or the “left-green indoctrination of students” in public schools.
There is evidence, says the NYT piece that elements of the German state are supporting nationalist right-wing extremists.
Far-right violence backed by the state
State criminal police (LKA) are investigating a right-wing extremist network within the Frankfurt police force which was reported by the respected German newspaper Frankfurt Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ).
In addition, German newspaper DW reported that a lawyer who represented victims of far-right violence had her daughter threatened by extremist police. The resulting investigation then revealed a neo-Nazi network within the Frankfurt police force.
The LKA in Hesse has set up a special investigative group after a group of police officers allegedly sent threatening letters to the lawyer of Turkish background who has represented Islamic extremists in court.
“Dirty Turkish sow,” the faxed letter to Seda Basay-Yildiz began. “You’re not going to destroy Germany. You better piss off as long as you can still get out of here alive.” Frankfurter Neue Presse said this part of the letter was standard fare for her regular hate letters, but she was more worried by what came next.
“In retaliation … we will slay your daughter,” it read, followed by her daughter’s name and her address. It was signed with “NSU 2.0.,” referring to the far-right German neo-Nazi terror group National Socialist Underground.
Investigators found a police computer had been used to look up the lawyer’s personal details without an official reason. LKA officials told FAZ they were not ruling out the possibility that it could end up being a case of “much greater dimensions.”
The Guardian also reported that–“A group of German rightwing extremists compiled a “death list” of leftwing and pro-refugee targets by accessing police records, then stockpiled weapons and ordered body bags.”
America: Protecting white supremacists
In America, evidence has emerged of police chiefs giving far-right streetfighting group tips about leftist demonstrators’ movements, newly released text messages and emails reveal.
The Daily Beast reported that–“Olivia Smith, co-chair of Portland’s Democratic Socialists of America, called the messages “evidence” of a relationship leftists have long suspected between the Portland Police Bureau and (the far right group) Patriot Prayer.
“American police forces were founded to protect white supremacy and the ruling class that enforces it,” Smith told The Daily Beast. “This was sort of a given for us, but now we have actual concrete evidence supporting what we already know.”
The article goes on to say that this is not unique as other far-right groups with ties to white supremacy have connections to the police. Events have become mingling grounds for neo-fascists who rail against immigrants, LGBT people, and the left. Left-wing organisations have openly accused the police of colluding and collaborating with the far-right, especially during rallies.
At an August 4 rally in Portland, police stood between a right-wing coalition and left-wing counter-protesters, ostensibly to keep the two sides separated. But police stood with their backs to Patriot Prayer, and their weapons facing the counter-protesters, ultimately showering the latter group with stun grenades, rubber bullets, and pepper spray. Multiple counter-protesters were badly injured, with one narrowly escaping death when a stun grenade punctured his bicycle helmet. In the ensuing confusion, Patriot Prayer and others in the far right patrolled the streets, attacking opponents.
Greece: Connections with police, counter-terrorism and riot control units
In Greece, the Golden Dawn ultranationalist, the far-right political party in Greece was in court where the trial revealed “extensive ties and coordination between Golden Dawn members and the Hellenic Police, including counterterrorism and riot control units.” The court case itself was evidence of this collusion.
Members of the public, jurors and journalists were threatened with signs of ‘slit throats.’ from members of Golden Dawn who had turned up in court. The courtroom eventually erupted with the judge attempting to cancel proceedings just as a riot police unit entered the courtroom and attacked the anti-fascists, with witnesses and victims of neo-nazi attacks among them.
A freelance journalist was in the courtroom–Katja Lihtenvalner wrote:
“The fascist group applauded this gesture of the police. (It was) an extremely emblematic act which speaks for itself: Neonazis welcomed the violent act of Greek police officers against victims and antifascists.” Lihtenvalner went on to say–“Police during yesterday’s trial against neo-nazis picked a side. The side of the perpetrators: a self-proclaimed fascist political party, Golden Dawn. Openly. No hiding. No secrets.”
Think Tanks, Dark Money
In March this year, openDemocracy reported about American Christian right ‘fundamentalists’ linked to the Trump administration and Steve Bannon and a number of American groups and think tanks pouring tens of millions of dollars of ‘dark money’ into Europe.
In May, Avaaz revealed the far-right networks of deception–a Europe-wide investigation into networks of disinformation on social media. This was the first investigation of its kind and uncovered that far-right and anti-EU groups are weaponizing social media at an enormous scale to spread false and hateful content.
In March this year, TruePublica reported that the poster boy of the far-right in Britain, Tommy Robinson, would not be so prominent if it were not for radical free-market agitators on the extreme right in America providing support for his UK activities, which is ultimately designed to stoke up social division and tension for a specific political outcome.
In another report from the Centre of Analysis of the Radical Right it is surely concerning that direct-action social street movements have piqued more established far-right groups with their religious-based bigotry and aims of civil war’ in Britain without as much as a solitary paragraph written in the right-wing mainstream media such as the Mail, Express, Sun, Telegraph and Times.
Reports are even emerging of scientific racism such as talk of eugenics which was discredited with the defeat of Nazism. However, it must be noted that it was powerful in Europe and the USA until the late 1930s. Now it is back in far-right ideology, which is globally spreading across the USA and Europe.
Trial runs for fascism are in full flow
Finton O’Toole writes an alarming piece in the Irish Times about not just the emergence of Nazism. Here O’Toole writes–“Fascism doesn’t arise suddenly in an existing democracy. It is not easy to get people to give up their ideas of freedom and civility. You have to do trial runs that, if they are done well, serve two purposes. They get people used to something they may initially recoil from; and they allow you to refine and calibrate. This is what is happening now and we would be fools not to see it.”
The rigging of elections in America that saw the rise of Trump and let’s be fair–it was largely American billionaires connected to him that saw the shock Brexit result in 2016. Since then, the playbook for facsism is being run page by page. Society is being divided, intimidation becomes the norm. As O’Toole postulates–“And fascism of course needs a propaganda machine so effective that it creates for its followers a universe of “alternative facts” impervious to unwanted realities.” Social media and the right-wing press in the USA and UK are good examples of a propaganda machine in full-flow.
“The muscles that the propaganda machines need for defending the indefensible are being toned up. Millions and millions of Europeans and Americans are learning to think the unthinkable. So what if those black people drown in the sea? So what if those brown toddlers are scarred for life? They have already, in their minds, crossed the boundaries of morality. They are, like Macbeth, “yet but young in deed”.
You are currently witnessing the rise of not just the far-right, but of Facsism itself. The official description of it is its disdain for liberal democracy and the parliamentary system, but also incorporated fervent antisemitism, anti-communism and scientific racism into its creed. In Britain, liberal democracy is being abandoned and with threats of proroguing paliament so the parliamentary system itself. It is threatened in full sight. The government, over the last few years has racheted up its rhetoric against Russia creating another political enemy when one does not exist whilst acts of anti-semitism and Islamaphobia have skyrocketed.
Angela Saini writes a piece in Wired last month entitled–“The disturbing return of scientific racism.” Her last paragraph says it all. “They (the scientists) appeared to believe that with enough data, with enough human guinea pigs, with enough science, they could take race–this imaginary, arbitrary set of categories invented by the powerful to control the weak–and somehow make it real.”
Rising quite specifically from universtities, laboritories, think tanks and the offices of public policy research teams across America, the popularity of scientific racism is tangible in the lexicon of political life.
The 2019 Voltaire Lecture, similarly entitled–“The Return of Scientific racism” presented by Dr Adam Rutherford last May said the same. “Race science is once again part of the public discourse, and real genetics is being misrepresented and co-opted by white supremacists.”
In the Smithsonian–another article is entitled–“The Disturbing Resilience of Scientific Racism.’
Soon, Britain will be inextricably tied economically to the USA and will, therefore, become politically aligned at worst, at best, heavily influenced. And with it comes a very big change to a way of life that has been admired across the world, soon to be extinguished in the shadow of a toxic political ideology stemming from extreme capitalism. It is likely that the far-right, its politics and economic implications are here to stay.