Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Gates of Vienna

Interesting goings on over there the past few days. Lottsa fascinating posts and commentary.


Anonymous said...

Very interesting to see what is transpiring between LGF and GOV and several other European blogs. One of the tragedies of the virulent Euro PC culture is that citizens of those countries seemingly no longer have the political vocabulary needed to effectively counteract Islamofascism. This role is being filled to a degree by some pretty unsavory types. So I do think that in sending a clear signal about the dangers of the neo-Nazis and similar European groups, and about the unsuitability (both moral and tactical) of an American affiliation with them in combating the threat posed by Islam, Charles Johnson is in the right.

It may be that this little blogosphere quarrel presages greater struggles between Americans and Europeans as Islam advances in Europe. I hope that it never comes to this.

ambisinistral said...

I think the right wing in Europe is pretty far to the right.

I read Biased BBC a lot, and the folks over there who are horrified by creeping Islamization have the same problem of being tarred as BNP (apparently a far right Nationalistic party) supporters. It is going to be a very difficult minefield for them to navigate.

My own guess is that once one European country veers hard against Moslems that it is going to set off a chain reaction as, with the relatively open boarders of the EU, Moslems slosh around Europe to escape the harsher measures. I think it is going to be a mess.

chuck said...

One of the dangers of the failure of the left wing European governments to deal with Islamists and immigration is that the door is wide open for the radical right. The promise to keep order in a decaying civic community is a strong message.

And let us remember that the European Right doesn't like us anymore than the European Left.

Anonymous said...

And let us remember that the European Right doesn't like us anymore than the European Left.

Yup. Very tough to predict.

Anonymous said...


I think the right wing in Europe is pretty far to the right.

I know what you mean, but they are not "to the right" and are often well to the left. They are racists and socialists at once.

The larger question for us is how do we pick our allies in the battle that is coming?

ambisinistral said...

Yea, I think in the last election La Pen -- the French right-winger -- was willing to throw in with the 'youths' in the ghettos surrounding the French cities.

Anonymous said...

And that is what makes the future so hard to predict.

ambisinistral said...


I gotta be honest -- I think the "fascists were really socialists" is one of the goofier arguments conservatives push. Hitler taking over a party with Socialist in its name doesn't mean much to me. He, Franco and El Duce were right-wing nationalist thugs as opposed to Collectivist thugs.

Granted, it doesn't mean much when you're standing against a wall with a blindfold on, but it sure does make conservatives look screwy every time they float it.

There are thugs on both sides of the spectrum -- doesn't make much sense to deny it in my opinion.

chuck said...


I don't think it is that nutty at all. Mussolini began as a Communist and remained so right up until 1914, when he split with the Party over participation in WWI. He then spent some time at a Syndicalist newspaper (IIRC). After he came to power he did a lot of economic experimentation, trying to avoid what he thought were the mistakes that the Bolsheviks had made in Russia. What he ended up with isn't all that different from what you see in parts of Europe today, or from what Roosevelt sought to put in place here. It is also worth mentioning that Mosley came from the Labor Party and that Per Albin Hansson (Swedish Social Democratic Party) had an extensive correspondence with Mussolini. BTW, the Wikipedia entry on the Swedish Social Democrats is a hoot if you are tickled by propaganda.

It is easy to think that all socialists are Marxist internationalists and that makes the Fascist phenomenon a real puzzle to explain -- Trotsky, for instance, struggled to formulate a correct Marxist explanation -- but there was a lot of variety on the Left before the triumph of the USSR in WWII and some strands were notably nationalistic.

Rick Ballard said...

Fascism was seen as a transitional phase from capitalism to "pure" socilaism. Mussolini put sindicatos (labor leaders) on corporate boards as "stakeholders" as an initial step in the process. The nationalization of certain industries followed - and actually continues today.

Two sides, one coin - state control of the means of production.

Anonymous said...

I'm looking for a famous quote - so far without success - in which Hitler claimed that the natural converts to Nazism were to be found among the Communists and almost never among the Social Democrats and others of the bourgeoisie. And the Fascist insistence on state control of the means of production survived the war, to be found among the Peronists in Argentina even to this day.

Anonymous said...

And it will be very interesting to see the contortions of American intellectuals in trying to explain things if and when a goose-stepping band of racist, antisemitic socialist skinhead thugs takes power in a European capital. It might be good only insofar that it might sweep away our old 20th century notions of what constitutes "left" and "right."

loner said...

In my view, 20th century notions of what constitutes "left" and "right" (the newsreel in Citizen Kane comes to mind) come down to how one identifies oneself and those with whom one disagrees on one or more questions regarding how people should relate to one another. Those who continue to self-identify either way won't have much, if any, trouble in deciding, however irrationally, who is with them and who is against them and those who opt out when it comes to ideological labeling will more often than not adopt an a plague on both your houses stance.

"Conformity or rebellion?"

"Neither one. Both ways are simple-minded—they are only for people who can't cope with contradiction and ambiguity."

chuck said...


I think it was Ernst Rohm who remarked somewhere that his thugs might be out fighting with the Communists one day, and with the Nazis the next. This bit from The Face of the Third Reich by Joachim Fest captures something similar.

"Above all in the big cities, 'a permanent underworld war was carried on between the SA and the Red Front (RF), in which both sides made use of low taverns as bases', not without occasional tactical alliances and, following National Socialist reverses at the end of 1932, frequent desertions from the SA to the RF, which in the spring of 1933 were offset by whole units of the RF going over to the SA."

I think the Nazis were a far more complex movement than the Italian fascists and based their politics more around emotion than philosophy.

Here is a link to Joachim's text. I found it engrossing.

chuck said...

And this:

Strictly speaking, it is not that revolutions devour their own children: it is the principle of violence that destroys revolutionaries.

Damn, I'm going to have to buy that book.

chuck said...

Interesting life, also.

chuck said...

And the book ends thus:

The totalitarian infection survives its active phase in many, often apparently insignificant, manifestations. The world-wide political developments of the post-war period have given the German people, at least in the Federal Republic, a period of grace during which its changed consciousness has not been put to the test. Nevertheless it is possible that the new 'political rationality' of the German people, not infrequently pointed out with pride, is merely the reflection of 'rational' circumstances. The proof has yet to be given, but who can be blamed for awaiting it with trepidation.

Isn't that what we are talking about?

loner said...

Fest preferred to call himself a pessimist rather than a conservative, albeit a pessimist who believed that strong healthy societies could be built out of the rejection of dangerous utopias.

I can relate. I wasn't aware that he'd died. Thanks, chuck.

Knucklehead said...

Haven't gotten through all the commentary yet. Nice to see such good participation ;)

Coupla thoughts...

I'm with Rick re: fascism and socialism/communism - two sides, same coin. Both are statism. In fascism the authoritarians see the people as belonging to the state and, by virtue or their ownership of the state the people belong to them. In communism the authoritarians see the state as belonging to the people and, by virtue of their ownership of the people the state belongs to them. A difference with precious little distinction.

Re: right vs. left in Europe... There is very little difference except at the fringes. Europeans want their welfare state. They want no anxiety, let alone real conflict, in their lives and they are willing to accept most any political and social charade to maintain what they currently have for as long as they possibly can. The political consensus is H-U-G-E regardless of rhetoric and number of parties.

Individuals and parties may self-identify as center, right of center, left of center, and so on but the sliver around their notion of center is very slim.

Only radicals, of whatever stripe, buck the consensus. Or at least that's the way I've perceived things over there since I've been going there and payign at least some attention. Which is all to say that I have at least some understanding for, if not complete comfort and agreement with, the points GoV is making. The vast majority of Euros belong to the political sliver in the "center".

Anyone who wants to do anything outside the broad consensus (such as put up, or at least discuss, resistance to Islam and/or protecting Western culture, must step outside the sliver and the moment they do, they are Dancing With Radicals. Only the "crazies" are outside the sliver so stepping outside the sliver immediately identifies one as a "crazy".

We here in the US think we have untold political pain because of the nastiness between our political halves. The Euros, poor dears, will have to go through real political pain just to develop some healthy differences of opinion.

I don't know if they can get there. As far as I can tell they just flat out aren't willing to accept the conflict, anxiety, and damage to the one thing that they view as utterly essential in their political systems - consensus.

Anonymous said...

Knuck, I don't know if they can get there either.

Rick Ballard said...

When you can't be bothered to reproduce at the natural "balance" rate you reap Gaia's reward. It's fitting that Russia is leading the way to the demographic grave.

They might consider importing some South Americans or Filipinos, once they fence out the muslims. That would guarantee the type of hospice care that the Europeans are seeking.