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Austerityland

There are those who will be cheering the arrest on Saturday of Golden Dawn leader Nikolaos Michaloliakos and the Greek government's crackdown on his neo-Nazi party after the political assassination of rapper and left-wing activist Pavlos Fyssas last week.

My Facebook and Twitter feeds have been filled with hosannas for the government's moves against the neo-Nazi party.

Some feel that with the raids of branches, confiscation of some weapons, and arrest of leading cadre on charges of forming a criminal gang, the governing parties, New Democracy in particular, have finally, belatedly realised that the Golden Dawn now threatens their interests as much as it threatens the left and immigrants.

Perhaps this is the case. Perhaps the cabinet has indeed decided that enough is enough, however useful the fascists have proved until this week, and that the pitbulls now need to be muzzled. I have no access to the interior of the skull of Prime Minister Antonio Samaras or Nikos Dendias, his anti-immigrant minister of public order and citizen protection [sic]. So I do not know.

But I am sceptical.

Despite my revulsion at the party, I am afraid that I have to take my leave from this celebration, partially because I feel that the evidence suggests that the crackdown is at best little more than a piece of political theatre.

But also more fundamentally because I worry that in the context of the dominant but dishonest media and political discourse of "two extremes" of left and right - where the so-called `far left' Syriza, trade-union strike action, and smaller left wing groups are spoken of in the same breath as the Golden Dawn - the moves against the nazis are a precursor to a similar but more thoroughgoing crackdown on sections of the left.

I would rather the ideas of the Golden Dawn be defeated in open political contest, and its militants sent scurrying, swept from the streets by popular antifascist mobilisation, than they be arrested by the very same men who not days before stood by approvingly while the blackshirts engaged in their pogroms.



'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Wed Oct 2nd, 2013 at 10:42:28 AM EST

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