How to debate the undebatable
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I write this on the evening of Nick Griffin’s appearance on BBC Question Time. I began it before the show started, and as I’ve sat at my laptop, I’ve watched it in it’s entirety.
Before I start I’d like to say that I’m vehemently opposed to the B N P, and racism in all forms. I’m more or less in favour of the “no platform” approach to the B N P , and don’t think he should be appearing on Question Time.
I was interested to read in the days leading to the programme, this article on the BBC website Magazine : What is a fascist?
Blatant self advertising I thought. I wasn’t initially too impressed. Actually though this was a very interesting article. I learned quite a bit from it –
“Fascism in Italy … had corporatism ingrained in is political make-up. … The corporatist model emphasises co-operation over competition”
That section came as quite a surprise – I expected it all to be about individuals and the survival of the fittest. Much as what we tend to call the “far right” in the modern day political arena.
The article doesn’t actually shed much more light on what fascism is, but it does throw up for me a big issue.
Fascism – Racism – Call it what you will – is so far beyond the pale in this country, that we can’t easily discuss the politics behind it. In a way I’m as guilty as anyone – I’m intolerant of those politics – and resist them and shout them down if I possibly can. But it does get in the way of looking at the darker periods of world history and finding out about the reasons behind some of the most painful chapters of our story.
In Germany for example it’s pretty much taboo, possibly illegal, to debate the holocaust (A point which Nick Griffin, gibbering fool that he is, has actually made). So how will we understand what drove a nation to indulge in such an inhuman industry as that – effectively murder factories.
Personally I find it hard to distinguish a Jew from a Goy, so quite how anyone could view jewish people as so inhuman as to be unconcerned at their deaths is unimaginable. So how do I imagine it ? How do I research it ?
We all tend to know how authoritarian Governments keep a hold on their power – using fear and terror to stifle criticism and dissent and clamp down on any opposition – but do we know how regimes like Mussolini’s fascists, and Hitler’s came to power in the first place – because make no mistake : they had massive popularity in their own countries – far more popular than the rag tag minorities that support the likes of Nick Griffin now.
What was it that made all of those people support an outrageously hateful regime ? How can we learn from that to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
We have a difficulty though because the moment we try to “enquire” about these outrages from history, then others – the hatemongers, the holocaust deniers, the racists, and the “fascists” start to “question” them. Not asking questions about them, but questioning whether they ever occurred. Not seeking to illuminate our understanding, but seeking to twist and warp our understanding of history to their own perverse viewpoints.
On issues such as this I can’t pretend to have any answers, but having just watched the odious Mr Griffin bumble his way through Question Time, I can just say that while ever I have breath in my body I will do all I can to oppose racism, and to prevent any chance of the holocaust and similar crimes against humanity ever happening again.
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