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The resurgence of fascism in the UK

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The resurgence of fascism in the UK

Post by Chas Peeps on Wed Dec 28, 2016 12:02 am

To get a debate started, I wanted to reproduce below a recent exchange I had on social media. I have been truly shocked at the content of a significant number of posts. For example, one post was trying to glorify the mass murder of teenagers in Norway by the convicted right wing terrorist Anders Breivik. I have reproduced the exchange on Muslims in Britain below and hope it encourages an exchange of views on how those of us on the left can counter this very real threat to the tolerant society I am sure all of us on here cherish. Apologies for any expletives but it's an unedited copy.

(Original Post from) Gordon Brown:
Is it just me or do you find that this group concentrates more on Muslims than the group title of "British Politics"? I like to accept that Muslims are a part of British society, and a part of British Politics as well, though obviously not representative of Britain as a whole and by eff woe betide if anyone of us was. Now we're ending up in this dangerous state, where Europe's becoming more right-wing daily and you only have to look on here for the proof. I believe we've did the right thing in making the first move to close our borders but do we really want to be part of this gathering bitterness? Is this not what our great four nations have fought against? There's some right shameful, disgusting people on here and I'd rather have yer average Muslim living in Britain than these creatures. Shame on you!

(Reply from) Maddison Munro:
People are allowed to feel how they feel and you are totally ignoring or not understanding why they feel like they do.

My Reply:
No doubt the same was said about the Nazis in 1930s Germany and look where that ended up. The same free speech that our British and Commonwealth ancestors fought and died to protect alongside Poles, Czechs etc is being used to victimise and demonise a whole religion and the people who follow it. People in this country who are justifiably angry about rising poverty, dreadful working hours / conditions, bad housing, low pay, sanctions etc need to attack the politics that did that to them, not minorities like Muslims. Angry people need to make sure they are not being used as jackboots by rich fascists wearing thin masks. People need to read about how fascism takes hold and need to channel their anger for positive not negative change. I will not shrink from calling fascism out wherever I see it, however much fire that brings down on me. I owe that to my grandparents who endured great sacrifices and suffering to overcome it. I want a very different Britain and Europe too but if scapegoating of minorities is the answer, someone has asked the wrong question.
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The resurgence of fascism

Post by boatlady on Wed Dec 28, 2016 9:15 am

Hi Chas - your reply seems about right - there is a nasty upsurge of right-wing sentiment out there, which seems to be widespread and becoming mainstream.

I think all any of us can do is to counter this trickle of poison with facts and alternative views wherever we can.

We seem to be re-experiencing some of what made the world such a dangerous place back in the '30's - and we just have to hope that enough people remember enough history to prevent the worst excesses of that era.
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Re: The resurgence of fascism in the UK

Post by oftenwrong on Wed Dec 28, 2016 5:41 pm

The currently prevailing fascistic tendency among parts of British society has been carefully cultivated by a particular segment of the British Press.

The first question needs to be, WHY?

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Re: The resurgence of fascism in the UK

Post by boatlady on Wed Dec 28, 2016 6:17 pm

I suspect the neo-liberal takeover is almost complete - they just need a short distraction until they get the last machines in place. Then all the fascists will be co-opted into the private armies and the rest of us will be subdued - really not looking forward to the future at present.

Maybe when Christmas is fully over and I can stop being nice to people I may have a more balanced answer
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Re: The resurgence of fascism in the UK

Post by Chas Peeps on Wed Dec 28, 2016 10:40 pm

oftenwrong.....
In my opinion, capitalism is in its death throes, fundamentally because it relies on raping the planet for ever diminishing resources, pressurising eco-systems beyond breaking point and chasing ever cheaper labour sources and zones of weak regulation. It is failing to distribute its spoils with sufficient legitimacy to protect its goodwill with enough people to maintain majority public support or acceptance. As the rate at which resources, eco-systems and economies collapse and the climate changes, I think the capitalists will be forced to move from libertarian models of government to authoritarian methods, including fascism. This will be necessary in their view to protect the 'stability' of a dying system and to ensure that wealth continues to flow upwards to fewer and fewer super-rich individuals. In short, a liberal democracy is something capitalists can no longer afford because the risks of social breakdown or resistance are too great and would threaten those at the top. Fascism will work for them because past experience tells us that enough people want easy answers to their problems, 'strong' leaders in times of adversity and above all 'lowly' scapegoats.

boatlady.....
It is easy for all of us to feel hopeless and even fearful at this time but I believe that fundamentally liberal opinion in the UK and US still polls at 50% or more. That is a big reservoir to draw on and what we all need to do is set aside our (frankly) often petty differences and concentrate on protecting a tolerant society founded on the rule of law and true democracy. The fascists have always made far more noise than their number warrants but we must ensure that good people speak out, challenge and resist their attempted take over. Mosleyites were driven off Britain's streets by Trade Unionists rather than the Police in the 1930's. It may well come to that again. I think we are all going to be tested like never before.
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Re: The resurgence of fascism in the UK

Post by boatlady on Wed Dec 28, 2016 11:05 pm

I think you're right, Chas  - just when I was thinking about cocoa and carpet slippers I shall be out manning (or should that be womanning) the barricades
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Re: The resurgence of fascism in the UK

Post by Chas Peeps on Thu Dec 29, 2016 12:18 am

Boatlady - hahaha there's nothing to stop any of us having cocoa and carpet slippers AND manning / womanning the barricades in the morning. Just have to hope we don't get landed with the night shift!
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Re: The resurgence of fascism in the UK

Post by sickchip on Thu Dec 29, 2016 2:01 am

There is little danger of Brits being dangerously fascistic - in the sense of committing genocide etc......British people are docile, apathetic, stupid, and dumb but they are also adhered to conformity and the 'status quo' therefore recline in horror at anything 'out of the ordinary'.

That being said, we are a nation of chock full of xenophobic, illogical, fearful, racist, and bigoted idiots.......and I'm not just talking about the working classes - I'm talking about the smug middle classes, the village fete Dicks and Fannys who conceal their bigotry beneath a veneer of cosy 'Englishness' - how many ethnic minorities get close to village greens? Keep 'em in the inner cities.

We are a paranoid little country chock full of paranoid little people vehemently selfish, backed into corners by financial commitments, and selfishly defending those 'imposed upon them corners' in the vain belief they are 'looking after No.1'.

The UK is a pathetic nation of ignorant docile cowards and it's only going to get worse. We will bluster through the coming years pretending, convincing ourselves, that we're ok.
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Re: The resurgence of fascism in the UK

Post by Penderyn on Thu Dec 29, 2016 12:53 pm

Capitalism doesn't work, we are not to think about socialism because Mr Murdoch says so, and so what is left but those jackboots Granddad brought back from Germany after the War? Pull the other one, it's got bells on - the British people are mostly just gagged and ground down: they haven't really changed that much, as you find out if you ask them sensible questions instead of believing all these animal noises Murdoch has trained them to make.
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Re: The resurgence of fascism in the UK

Post by Chas Peeps on Thu Dec 29, 2016 11:38 pm

sickchip wrote:There is little danger of Brits being dangerously fascistic - in the sense of committing genocide etc......British people are docile, apathetic, stupid, and dumb but they are also adhered to conformity and the 'status quo' therefore recline in horror at anything 'out of the ordinary'.

That being said, we are a nation of chock full of xenophobic, illogical, fearful, racist, and bigoted idiots.......and I'm not just talking about the working classes - I'm talking about the smug middle classes, the village fete Dicks and Fannys who conceal their bigotry beneath a veneer of cosy 'Englishness' - how many ethnic minorities get close to village greens? Keep 'em in the inner cities.


There has been little change in the second paragraph in recent years but big changes to the first in my experience. The danger lies in an increasingly desperate, exploited and disengaged white working class becoming very angry. The Brexit vote was largely a vent of that anger and victory has given a perception of legitimacy to the xenophobia that powered it. I can tell you that in Lancashire that anger is very real and the intended scapegoat is the Asian Heritage community. This is a toxic development and I am sure it will be mirrored in similar communities up and down the country. I believe our biggest enemy right now is complacency and any idea that it is business as usual in the UK.
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Re: The resurgence of fascism in the UK

Post by Chas Peeps on Thu Dec 29, 2016 11:54 pm

Penderyn wrote:Capitalism doesn't work, we are not to think about socialism because Mr Murdoch says so, and so what is left but those jackboots Granddad brought back from Germany after the War?   Pull the other one, it's got bells on - the British people are  mostly just gagged and ground down:  they haven't really changed that much, as you find out if you ask them sensible questions instead of believing all these animal noises Murdoch has trained them to make.

I agree that most people are gagged and ground down. The big change is the toxic cocktail of anger, frustration, an available scapegoat and the feeling of legitimacy for racism that the Brexit vote has created.

Remember too that the German people were ground down by the reparations to the Allies post WW1 and that was the fertile breeding ground of fascism in Germany.

As far as lies from MSM are concerned, here are the Nazi Joseph Goebbels well known thoughts on the subject:

"Think of the Press as a great keyboard on which the Government can play."

"If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie."

I really do hope you're right but I fear you may be wrong.
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Re: The resurgence of fascism in the UK

Post by Penderyn on Fri Dec 30, 2016 12:32 pm

The Nazis won because they were able to get the mugs to ban the CP, not because of any changes in German workers.
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Re: The resurgence of fascism in the UK

Post by Ivan on Fri Dec 30, 2016 5:18 pm

sickchip wrote:-
There is little danger of Brits being dangerously fascistic - in the sense of committing genocide etc......British people are docile, apathetic, stupid, and dumb but they are also adhered to conformity and the 'status quo' therefore recline in horror at anything 'out of the ordinary'.
Most of the small-minded people who trumpet tripe like “Britain is the best country in the world” have never been anywhere else, so how would they know anything? Germany works much more efficiently, Denmark usually wins on the happiness index, Canada has the highest quality of life and Sydney is arguably the nicest city in the world. Britain's claim to fame is through having the most expensive (and probably the most highly subsidised) railways. Britain, while still better than most places, is a deluded country that thinks it’s more important than it is because it used to have an empire on which the sun never set.

I share your anger and frustration with the fact that so many British people were ignorant and foolish enough to vote to leave the EU, but let’s not forget that 48.11% of us didn’t vote for racism, xenophobia and ‘little Englander’ nationalism. However, as the journalist Laurie Penny writes: “Not everyone who voted leave is a swivel-eyed bigot. But the people who are largely voted that way, and the many gentler citizens who did the same now have to live with the fact that they’ve helped to empower the worst impulses of the angriest, most desperate people in this country at a time when racism is the only recognised outlet for working-class rage......The British political class does not understand how badly it has alienated its voter base. It does not understand the rage against a democratic system that has failed to provide any coherent, liveable alternatives to falling wages, rising rents and persistent unemployment.

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I don’t think being “stupid and dumb” is any guarantee against resorting to fascism, quite the reverse in fact. The stupid are more gullible, and either less likely to notice what is being done to them and everyone else, or more easy to persuade that atrocities may be 'necessities'. I started a thread nearly five years ago suggesting that the Tories were becoming velvet-glove fascists, and I felt chilled when I heard Iain Duncan Smith say on breakfast TV that “work makes you free”. Michael Gove's dislike of experts made me think of Hermann Göring's attitude to culture.

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A list of the warning signs of fascism was created by Laurence Britt and published in the magazine ‘Free Inquiry’ in 2003. You can tick off which ones apply already:-

- Rampant cronyism and corruption
- Power of corporations protected
- Power of labour suppressed or eliminated
- Identification of enemies/scapegoats as a unifying cause
- Disdain for the importance of human rights
- A controlled mass media
- Obsession with national security
- Rampant sexism
- Obsession with crime and punishment
- Powerful and continuing expressions of nationalism
- Supremacy of the military/avid militarism
- Religion and ruling elite tied together
- Disdain and suppression of intellectuals and the arts
- Fraudulent elections

Laurie Penny again: “George Orwell once famously wrote that the reason goose-stepping fascists would never gain a shiny-booted toehold in Britain was that they would be laughed at. Unfortunately, he was wrong. If real far-right hegemony arrives in Britain, this is what it will look like. It will look ridiculous. It will set its unserious self against the serious politicians everyone loathes, and the British people - and, in particular, the English people - will giggle it all the way into Downing Street, accompanied not by a Wagnerian overture but a farting trombone.”

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