Sunday, February 10, 2013

A Not So New Dawn

Digby looks on with alarm as the Neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party continues to swell in strength. "These," she tells us "are the wages of austerity."

Well ... look. I'm not fan of austerity politics. But let's not be too quick to cast Golden Dawn or the Greeks who voted for them as victims. There's nothing inherent in austerity politics that makes people think "you know who I hate? Jews! And everyone else who isn't me!" That comes from a pre-existing cultural frame wherein hostility to Jews and other others is already built in. Deprivation brought on by austerity politics may bring that to the surface, but it was always present and remains a problem even when not living in austere times. The moral of the rise of Golden Dawn isn't "if you enact austerity politics, anti-Semitism will return in Europe." It's "anti-Semitism still is a serious problem in Europe, and the right trigger can bring back to the surface with all the violence and fury that attached to it in the mid-20th century."