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FTR #229 Update on Euro-Fascism

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MP3 Side 1 [1] | Side 2 [2]

Immi­gra­tion has become a focal point of polit­i­cal dis­sent in the devel­oped world, as “glob­al­iza­tion” relo­cates indus­tri­al facil­i­ties to the Third World and, in turn, pro­fes­sion­al­ly qual­i­fied work­ers from under­de­vel­oped coun­tries to the First World. “Immi­gra­tion” and the socioe­co­nom­ic pres­sures cre­at­ed by the Euro­pean Union and Euro­pean Mon­e­tary Union have fueled the rise of fas­cist polit­i­cal move­ments through­out Europe. begin­ning with dis­cus­sion of the recent suc­cess of Jörg Haider in Aus­tria, the pro­gram com­pares Haider’s polit­i­cal agen­da with that of oth­er Euro­pean fas­cist move­ments.

Termed “the Yup­pie fas­cist” by some, Haider has been the lynch­pin of the Aus­tri­an Free­dom Par­ty. This par­ty was cre­at­ed in the late 1940’s as a vehi­cle for the polit­i­cal reha­bil­i­ta­tion of Nazis who had served Hitler. Haider has termed his polit­i­cal agen­da “The Con­tract with Aus­tria,” after that of for­mer Amer­i­can Repub­li­can Speak­er of the House Newt Gin­grich. Suc­cess­ful­ly mobi­liz­ing Aus­tri­ans’ fear of “immi­grants,” Haider has entered the gov­ern­ment as part of a par­lia­men­tary coali­tion. Lion­iz­ing the SS, Haider has stead­fast­ly refused to con­demn his Third Reich polit­i­cal antecedents.

The pro­gram high­lights the role that polit­i­cal cor­rup­tion has played in cre­at­ing pop­u­lar dis­sat­is­fac­tion with the polit­i­cal ”estab­lish­ments” in EU coun­tries. In Italy, that cor­rup­tion helped to bring Sil­vio Berlus­coni to pow­er in 1994. (Berlus­coni held that post in a polit­i­cal coali­tion with Gian­fran­co Fini, the head of the Ital­ian fas­cist par­ty and polit­i­cal heir to Mus­soli­ni.)

The broad­cast high­lights the anti-immi­grant sen­ti­ment in Den­mark, fuel­ing the rise of the far right in that coun­try.

Next, the broad­cast turns to a series of Nazi ter­ror­ist acts in Swe­den, includ­ing an assas­si­na­tion of a promi­nent anti-fas­cist. That killing brought thou­sands into the streets in protest. Next, the broad­cast sets forth Aus­tri­an chan­cel­lor Wolf­gang Schus­sel’s vis­it to Hun­gary and Hun­gar­i­an Prime Min­is­ter Vik­tor Orban’s endorse­ment of Haider’s polit­i­cal ascent in Aus­tria. Viewed with a jaun­diced eye because of his pre­vi­ous polit­i­cal align­ment with the fas­cist Tudj­man regime in Croa­t­ia, Orban has demon­strat­ed a dis­tinct nos­tal­gia for Hun­gary’s fas­cist past.

In addi­tion to bestow­ing hon­ors on the fas­cist mili­tia that par­tic­i­pat­ed in the exter­mi­na­tion of Hun­gar­i­an Jew­ry dur­ing World War II, Orban’s gov­ern­ment has hon­ored Hun­gar­i­an sol­diers who fought along­side the Third Reich. (Hun­gary was part of the Axis dur­ing World War II.)

Orban’s coali­tion part­ner, Ist­van Csur­ka, has called for the polit­i­cal reha­bil­i­ta­tion of the Hun­gar­i­an fas­cist par­ties of the World War II peri­od.

Com­bat­ants who fought along­side the Nazis are being reha­bil­i­tat­ed in the for­mer Sovi­et repub­lic of Latvia, as well. The Lat­vian Waf­fen SS divi­sion has been offi­cial­ly hon­ored in that coun­try, with numer­ous mem­bers of the Lat­vian par­lia­ment par­tic­i­pat­ing in the cer­e­mo­ny. Pre­vi­ous­ly, the top offi­cials of the Lat­vian armed forces par­tic­i­pat­ed in the hon­or­ing of the SS.

The sec­ond half of the pro­gram begins with dis­cus­sion of Latvi­a’s impris­on­ment of an anti-Nazi par­ti­san for alleged “war crimes”. This man had been viewed as a hero for fight­ing against the Nazis.

The sec­ond half of the pro­gram then deals with the recent elec­toral suc­cess of the Ital­ian media mag­nate Sil­vio Berlus­coni, and his rela­tion­ship with the fas­cist P‑2 lodge of Licio Gel­li, high­light­ing Berlus­coni’s close ties to for­mer Prime Min­is­ter Bet­ti­no Craxi, and the polit­i­cal forces that engen­dered a series of scan­dals over the years. Cen­tered on the P‑2, those polit­i­cal forces cat­a­pult­ed Berlus­coni (him­self a mem­ber of P‑2) into pow­er. Iron­i­cal­ly, it was dis­en­chant­ment with the very cor­rup­tion embod­ied by Berlus­coni and his asso­ciates that led to his elec­tion as part of a fas­cist coali­tion gov­ern­ment. The pro­gram reviews Berlus­coni’s par­tic­i­pa­tion in Gel­li’s “demo­c­ra­t­ic re-birth of fas­cism”. (Record­ed on 4/30/2000.)