jordan179 - Greek Government Criminalizes "Golden Dawn" Opposition Party, Arrests Leadership
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Greek Government Criminalizes "Golden Dawn" Opposition Party, Arrests Leadership|
From Andrew Marszal, "Greece Arrests Golden Dawn Leadership in Crackdown on Far-Right," The Telegraph:
Nikos Michaloliakos, 56, was arrested on Saturday morning on charges of founding a criminal organisation, with arrest warrants issued for dozens more party members and lawmakers, officials said.
The arrest of Michaloliakos, along with 13 other party members including spokesman Ilias Kasidiaris, comes as part of a wider crackdown on the far-right group following the murder of anti-fascist rapper Pavlos Fyssas by an alleged Golden Dawn member, which sparked riots across the country.
Pavlos Fyssas – known by his stage name of Killah P – was stabbed to death in an Athens commuter town on September 17, triggering violent anti-fascist protests across the country.
Now, the important question, and the one completely unanswered by the article is this:
Is there any evidence linking Nikos Michalolikas, or any of the arrested party members, to the murder? Or in fact to any of the other violent incidents committed by persons linked to Golden Dawn?
If so, then all well and good: a political party which orders its minions to carry out violent physical attacks against other persons is a criminal organization (this would, of course, criminalize the US Democratic Party at any point between 1865 and 1964, but that's a mere detail with which I can live). But if not, then what the Greek Government has now criminalized is political dissent ...
... and that is the first step on the road to dictatorship.
Understand: I don't like the Golden Dawn. They are nakedly hearkening back to the Nazi tradition (a damned stupid thing to do in Greece, given its history between 1941 and 1945), they are in favor of defaulting on Greece's international debt, they are indeed national socialists, and they are anti-Semitics who advocate the disastrous policy of turning on Israel to suck up to the Muslim Powers. We're not talking about someone like Geert Wilders here: Michaloliakos is less a Greek Churchill than he is a Greek Mussolini.
But when the State discovers that it can criminalize an open political party, and get away with it, it is only a matter of time before this criminalization extends to other political parties. Eventually, mere dissent becomes criminally punishable.
Greece has a fairly-recent history of open dictatorship -- first Georgios Papandopolous and then Dmitrios Ioannidis tyrannized Greece between 1967 and 1974. The Greeks cannot do something this dangerous in a democracy not yet two generations old and expect it to escape unscathed. I hope very seriously for Greece's own sake that this crackdown was justified, because if it wasn't, I would not be suprised to see Greece drifting back to authoritarian rule -- this time, a Fascism of the self-proclaimed Left.
Tags: civil rights, democracy, free speech, golden dawn, greece, nikos michaloliakos, politics
|Date:||September 29th, 2013 05:23 pm (UTC)|| |
It is annoying as always that they're calling another leftwing group 'right wing'.
Well, all European political parties are authoritarian by American standards. Golden Dawn is national-socialist, the dominant Greek parties are more democratic-socialist. Except that, if the Greek government is merely using violent incidents as an excuse to crack down on dissidents, and worse to do so in a biased fashion, the Greeks are losing their civil liberties -- which in the end can delegitimize themselves, and lead to someone calculating that he might be able to carry out a successful coup. That is one of the dangers.
They keep aligning themselves with self-proclaimed right wing groups, so they're just feeding that fire.
The thing is that by European definitions, Golden Dawn is far-right. The Europeans see "left vs. right" as "international vs. national," rather than as "authoritarian vs. libertarian."
If you leave your constituents actual grievances to violent crackpots, violent crackpots will gain power.
Indeed. That's always the problem with outlawing peaceful dissent, especially if this is popular peaceful dissent. The more one closes off respectable and constitutional paths to power, the more the concerned -- or merely ambitious -- will contemplate coups and rebellions.
|Date:||September 30th, 2013 06:57 am (UTC)|| |
I can't imagine what you think you are talking about. Golden Dawn have been a bunch of vicious bastards from the beginning, and the neighbourhoods where they started became nests of violence. They were elected - and got only 7%, which in the circumstances isn't much - because a section of the Greek public, which is often immature and prone to looking for scapegoats, went mad after the economic disaster. The mandate is what made the trouble; the Greek authorities knew well enough what kind of homicidal filth they were dealing with, but did not have the nerve to touch elected representatives until they began to commit open murder. These men aren't a political party. They are a political criminal gang, like Hamas or the Nazis of old.
Comparing Michalolikas to Mussolini is a slur on Il Duce, who, whatever his other faults, didn't have a problem with the Jews. Not that I'm a big fan of the Italian Fascists; as you say, they're different only in degree from the Communists and Socialists they fought.
The comparison with Mussolini was precisely because I don't think that Golden Dawn is nearly as anti-Semitic as were the real Nazis or the current Islamists, and also because I think the Greek Right might make the mistake of picking the wrong side in the upcoming war. Had Mussolini remained aligned with the Allies, France would never have fallen and World War II would have lasted around three years -- and Mussolini might have remained in power well into the 1950's.
|Date:||September 30th, 2013 07:00 am (UTC)|| |
You are entirely wrong. When Mussolini rammed through the Race Laws, blasting any remaining shred of his relationship with the Church and making his country effectively a Nazi colony, he declared his relief to his lover, Claretta Petacci. "I have always been an anti-Semite", he told her, "and I am glad that now I am free to act on it". The Petacci diaries, which had been kept in a bank vault for decades while they were subject to litigation, have been recently published by the woman's surviving nephew, and they effectively blast every positive legend on Mussolini to smithereens. The man was a lecher, a brute, a coward and a vulgarian. Reading them made me feel rather queasy.
I had not been aware of the Petacci diaries. I stand corrected.
Mussolini was a bastard, but he wasn't Hitler, and if he hadn't allied with Hitler he might never have acted on his anti-Semitism -- and almost certainly wouldn't have helped carry out genocide of the Jews. And Mussolini nearly wound up on the side of the Allies in World War II -- it was entirely due to the League's combination of hostility and ineffectuality over Ethiopia that he switched sides. Remember, Italy was one of the Allies in World War I.
|Date:||September 30th, 2013 02:28 am (UTC)|| |
My problem is with the Greeks more than the Golden Dawn (who crack me up just because of the name being that of an older European occult organization).
There was Golden Dawn member being questioned in a roundtable on television who got up and repeatedly struck the female reporter and the other men at the table did nothing for far too long. When that happens, it is too late.
|Date:||September 30th, 2013 07:02 am (UTC)|| |
So, Jordan, these are respectable political new forces being suppressed by a totalitarian Greek government, eh?
|Date:||September 30th, 2013 07:21 am (UTC)|| |
Jordan already mentioned that the Golden Dawn are despicable and evil and deserve every badness coming to them.
Governments, however, have a history of writing up new powers to use on bad people and then using them on not-bad people.
Incidentally, how was he not arrested for this?
|Date:||October 1st, 2013 01:02 am (UTC)|| |
A little googling tells me that he was a member of Parliament, one of the Golden Dawn who was so elected recently. As such he had limited immunity. After the assault he was locked in a room at the studio to wait for the police to arrive but he broke out and escaped.
Eventually the parliament voted unaminously to strip the Golden Dawn MPs of their immunity and they've recently been arrested to stand trial for a variety of things though it might be a tough case depending on who is how clean - they have the goods on SOME Golden Dawn members to be sure but the rest are being dragged along via conspiracy charges with the organization.
|Date:||September 30th, 2013 03:23 am (UTC)|| |
Democracy certainly isn't giving them very good results. Maybe it's time to try something else.
|Date:||September 30th, 2013 07:08 am (UTC)|| |
I cannot congratulate you on your knowledge of history. They "tried" military government from 1967 to 1974, and I don't think they are too keen to try any such filth again. At least in democracy you are not likely to vanish from your own home one evening and be found a few weeks later by the side of some country road, dead and with your finger and toenails missing and burn marks all over your body. But if that sort of thing floats your boat, you are welcome to it, and there are plenty of places in the world where you can experience it.
I cannot congratulate you on your knowledge of history. Adolf Hitler was elected democratically to the title of "fuhrer".
Democracy is only one check against atrocity, and not the most important one.
|Date:||September 30th, 2013 03:29 pm (UTC)|| |
I cannot congratulate you on your knowledge of Greek history, which is what I was talking about. Nor of German - Hitler was never elected to the rank of "Fuehrer" (joint President and Prime Minister) but took it by force when old Hindenburg died. And he never had any kind of parliamentary majority till he had begun to destroy other parties one by one.
|Date:||October 2nd, 2013 04:11 am (UTC)|| |
There are more than two possible forms of government, you know.
Or maybe you didn't...
This is exactly the reasoning that, if the Greeks are merely acting to suppress political dissent, will destroy their democracy. And in that situation, their democracy will be destroyed quite rightfully, as liberty is the end for which democracy is instituted. When democracy is opposed to liberty, it should be democracy which fails.
Oh, but you don’t understand democracy (FPB version). True democracy is superior to every other consideration; and it consists in voting for the correct Socialist politicians, who will then run everything wisely and humanely on behalf of the benighted sheep. In this view of democracy, liberty is a positive evil, to be stamped out in the interest of public order and good government.
This is why Mr. B cannot see an armed citizen as anything but a murderous thug. Merely by existing, he imposes a limit upon the coercive power of the Socialist State, which is by definition intolerable. The rest of the job is done by confirmation bias.
Nothing like a good old fashioned flame war.