Authorial Note: Pt. 1 can be found here,  Pt. 2 here, and Pt. 3 here

         Can the past ever be the future? What is so remarkable about the resurgence of the fascist-esque ‘right’ across the globe is hardly its fears, its rhetoric, its devotees, or its objects of devotion, but simply just how much they reflect a past we long thought deadGolden_Dawn_members_at_rally_in_Athens_2015-1.jpgThe imitation of many of these movements, such as the party of the Golden Dawn in Greece to Nazi Germany or other 20th century fascist movements is remarkable. Whether it is the similarities between their adoration of Adolf Hitler or their iconography- you could be forgiven for mistaking the Golden Dawn Party’s meander symbol against a red background for the Nazi flag . What many average or ‘leftist’ people would have regarded as long dead and so obviously objectionable as to be the prime association for the word ‘evil’ in civil discourse, is for these fascist-esque ‘right’ movements a source of inspiration. The political apocalypse of neoliberalism has left us with a legacy of internationalism and the loss of sovereignty, mass illegal immigration, the shaming of national pride by international law, the destruction of the family, and the secularization of spiritual realities like nature and ethnicity. What will be argued next will be controversial given our climate but must be considered just as important to reflect upon as the neoliberal economic crisis and everything it consists of. What the fascist-esque ‘right’ are pointing to as symptoms of a political apocalypse are real symptoms. The racism, homophobia, and much else of this fascist-esque ‘right’ are reprehensible, but their fears are just as human. While the ‘left’s’ realized fears in the neoliberal economic crisis are privileged secretive arrangements, fraud and deceit, loss of material security, theft, and overt violent domination, the realized fears of the ‘right’s’ political apocalypse are loss of control, invasion of an uncontrollable external force, being ashamed and humiliated, the break-up of social cohesion, and the disenchantment of life itself. To not recognize these deep fears of the radical ‘left’ and the radical ‘right’ is to miss the only possible way of understanding why these movements are reacting the way they are.

      We have explored the ‘left’s’ proposals of the legal notion of odious debt, debt forgiveness, and occupation of public and private space, but now, with human fears in mind we can see how these proposals address those fears. If the ‘left’s’ realized fears are such as fraud and deceit in financial deregulation, we can see how the concept of odious debt is an attempt to bring responsible accountability and honesty back into the financial realm- ‘everyone pays for their own debts, not anyone elses’. With this in mind then we will explore three proposals of the radical ‘right’: (i) the use of coercive force to enforce boarders and nationalist law, (ii) reassertion of the patriarchal figure of the father of the household against the foreign oligarchy that threatens to rape the daughters of the nation, and (iii) the reassertion of religious institutions as a preventive measure against the secularizing tendency of the pleasure driven market economy- as attempts to provide an alternative political vision that will address their fears. Up until now the words ‘right’ and ‘left’ when referring to positions of the political spectrums have been used with quotations marks precisely to remember the lines of ideological delineation between the ‘left’ and ‘right’ are more permeable, because they are more human, then most are inclined to perceive. The radical ‘left’ and the radical ‘right’ may overlap in many respects because the hopes and fears of all the years lie within the hearts of humans who now wander the global as refugees of a neoliberal palace on the verge of collapse.

      When Yanis Varoufakis made the observation that the neoliberal order came for Greece this time with the banks instead of the tanks, he failed to mentioned that the tanks are still not far off. Correlated with the demise of the neoliberal political order and the mass impoverishment of entire populations as a result is the rise of militarized police, martial law, surveillance, and private security forces- as use of tear gas and the infliction of severe head injuries against protestors throughout the past few years in Greece will attest to. The radical ‘right’ fears the rise of this coercive violence of the state as much as any oppressed minority fears for his life at the barrel of a gun. In response to this state and international use of coercive force to quell rebellion by the impoverished, the radical ‘right’ has resorted to its own desire to adopt the use of coercive force to protect itself against the forces it sees itself as coming under such as illegal immigrants. As one english news outlet for the Golden Dawn Party expressed about its own civilian militias,

“The Militia Guard exists to safeguard the Greeks. Patrolling poor neighborhoods neglected by the Police, being the only protection in protests against the brutal officers of the Riot Control Unit, and helping the citizens face the dangerous daily life of Athens, the Militia Guard is the always there to help the Greeks that have been weakened by the austerity measures.”

All vigilante violence of radical fascist-esque movements however is implicitly endorsed by state institutions for primarily two reasons, one is that it justifies their own use of force with the military and the police, but the second is that the vigilante violence is done with the aim of the protection of the state institutions themselves. Vigilante violence is done not with the aim of rebelling against the state but of purifying it, and thus the centres of power including mainline political parties, always will be found to have an unease but not well-disguised relationship of tacit endorsement of these violent movements whether its the KKK and the Republic party of the United States, or the New Democratic party with the Golden Dawn Party of Greece. The Golden Dawn party of Greece has recently been investigated and tried for criminal charges related to gang violence and thuggery, much like Donald Trump supports in the United States, but what has been so surprisingly to many unfamiliar with the nature of violence is that the Golden Dawn has been secretively endorsed by large percentages the police, often with their very participation in aggressions.  What the radical ‘right’ proposes with options like beating up protestors, killing immigrants, building walls, and much more is an impotent attempt to reclaim the use of coercive violence for their own ends. The use of coercive force to enforce national boarders and laws is the first proposal of the ‘right’ and, like the ‘left’s’ first proposal of odious debt, it too does nothing to challenge neoliberalism vision for society, for it too uses coercive force, it only says ‘we shall appropriate that method for ourselves’.

    Fascist-esque movements of the ‘right’ often refer to their nation state in an almost off-handedly unimportant way as a motherland- such as in the Golden Dawn’s outreach for membership which says “You can contribute and fight the social and cultural degeneration of our motherland Greece.” The lexicon of ‘motherland’ however is mythology in which the earth and its inhabits are female, specifically awaiting to be fertilized and taken care of by the male owners of the land. Given that Nazism and many other fascist movements throughout history have been explicitly rooted in occultic paganism, we should not be surprised that for the rise of these new fascist-esque movements, all of reality is sexed– that is, divided into male and female. What is most remarkable about these new fascist-esque movements is precisely that they embrace a version of environmentalism, which is traditionally thought to be a ‘progressive’ notion. The Golden Dawn, instance, has a Green Wing which takes care of fires, and animal protection.  tumblr_mocok3nigD1rp30dro5_500Derek wall at the Red Pepper, sees such a connection between fascism and ecology as essentially an aberration because “What better way, after all, of destroying a radical movement than by connecting surrogate body to suggest that infiltration by the far right has occurred and that names/addresses should be handed over for prudent disinfection?” Apologetics at its finest. Alongside of this environmentalism is also a quasi-feminist emphasis on women’s rights and the protection of their bodies. For instance, in the Munk Debate on the Global Refugee Crisis, Nigel Farage the former leader of UKIP, and Mark Steyn, both considered to be leaders of political conservative movements, were mocked by Louise Arbour, a former Canada supreme court judge, with having become feminists because they were continually raising concerns about rape cases across Europe as a result of the refugee crisis- an acute concern particularly in Greece. What cannot be fathomed by both Wall and Arbour however is that leaders of the fascist-esque movements could be genuinely concerned about environmental destruction and protection of their women’s bodies. ‘Their women’s bodies‘, the fascist-esque movements appeals to their own versions environmentalism and feminism are based precisely in their mythology of male ownership of the female bodies of the earth and the female population of their country. The thesis proposed is that these movements do recognize that the neoliberal order has precipitated some sort of environmental crisis and that the proliferation rape as a weapon whether by refugees or oligarchs has precipitated a crisis of the destruction of family. Does this reassertion of the father figure protecting the female body challenge however the neoliberal vision of the cosmos as a marketplace? Much like the left’s proposal of loan forgiveness, while the reassertion of male authority figures over agriculture and family life would undoubtedly provide some measure of safety and security, in the end, it does not challenge the neoliberal order because it does not challenge the idea of ownership, it only challenges the idea of who the owners should be. While loan forgiveness did not challenge the idea of debt, reassertion of the patriarchy does not challenge the idea of ownership. As a result, both the environmental crisis and the crisis of family precipitated by the neoliberal order of the world as a market place, whether natural resources or women’s bodies, would not be challenged by the reassertion of patriarchy because the ownership of the market would inevitably reassert itself in familial and agricultural relationships.

    Fatherhood and the giving of bread, familial and agricultural relationships, are at the heart of the Lord’s Prayer, and in the midst of the political apocalypse of neoliberalism, religion, spirituality, and institutions like the Greek Orthodox church in the case of Greece for instance, are bulwarks seized upon by the ‘right’ against the rising tide of secularism brought upon by neoliberalism’s commodification of all values and resources. It seems clear that, as Dr. Konstantinos Papastathis in his research pointed out that, “While it  [The Golden Dawn] articulated an openly anti-Christian political discourse (1980s), there was a reorientation of the party’s strategy to exploit church’s social influence and the alignment of religious officials to an ultra-nationalist agenda from the 1990s onwards…allegedly protecting religion has not been the aim, but the means to an end” the end of political power. For the Golden Dawn, their relationship with the Greek Orthodox church, as has been pointed out by Demetrios Bathrellos a priest in Athens, has been both of being coddled and challenged. The challenge for these movements is to gain the endorsement or the housing of the most centralized and powerful religious institutions of their country, whether the Catholic Church or the Orthodox church (though sometimes the Protestant churches as is the case of the appeal to Evangelicals by Donald Trump) while at the same time not being remotely representative of the values or doctrinal beliefs of those institutions. Catholic or Orthodox churches, because they are often nationalist and traditional tend to fall on the ‘right’ side of the political spectrum, however, as Bathrellos makes clear, this in no way necessarily makes them fascist sympathizers because these same institutions are also part of international bodies and promote the values of weakness and humility. For fascist-esque movements that seek to restrict their socialism to their own nation in protest to the internationalism of neoliberalism they assert their strength with both coercive physical violence and patriarchy, but in order to appear powerful they must have the blessing of the influential religious institutions where power lies, but which do not appeal to the means of power that these fascist-esque movements do. As the radical ‘left’ tries to occupy public and political space in order to, even symbolically, protest against the universal ownership of the market over all aspects of life in neoliberalism, the radical ‘right’ attempts to occupy spaces of religious and spiritual significance and proclaims them to be sovereign over all aspects of life. Likewise, this particular proposal does challenge neoliberalism even though it comes with its own challenges about its success given the Orthodox and Catholic Church’s complicity in particular with the ethnocentrism and authoritarianism of these fascist-esque movements.

    If the alternative vision of the radical ‘left’ is the democratization of the economy, the alternative vision of the fascist-esque right is quite simply not only to conserve but to revert to national socialism. If the neoliberal order wants to organize society around chrimata, and the ‘left’ wants to reorganize it around some sort of demos, then the fascist-esque ‘right’ wants to reorganize it around ethnosgreekWhat may be surprising and difficult to acknowledge is that both of these alternative visions are quite similar and draw inspiration from each other. If one reads the platforms of the Syriza party and the Golden Dawn party one would find a great deal of similarity- much like the similarity between both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders calling for the repeal or reform of NAFTA- two opposing figures, same goal. The differential factor then between the visions of these two movements is not along fearful vs. courageous, open vs. closed, ethnocentric vs. cosmopolitan, but, first and foremost, whether neoliberalism is a economic crisis of an integrated market or whether neoliberalism is a political apocalypse of an international political power. What is not noted in any clear systematic sense, though it has been attempted here minimally is that both the economic crisis and the political apocalypse are intertwined with each other. Even the proposals of the radical ‘left’ and ‘right’ are mirrors of each other, as could be seen in the following manner,

  • Odious debt does not challenge debt generally only that they are responsible for their debt- the bankers should be responsible for their debt, but we should not be responsible for their debt  VS.  Coercive violence does not challenge violence generally only that they are responsible for their violence- the immigrants and the international order should be responsible for their violence, but we should not be responsible for their violence
  • Loan forgiveness does not challenge the patronage/credit system generally only that every so often the game should be reset  VS.  the reassertion of the patriarchy does not challenge the hierarchical power relationships of ownership generally only that they should be realigned and reset properly
  • The occupation of public and political spaces does challenge the vision of neoliberalism in the symbolic manner of reclaiming the idea of the common demos over the market  VS.  the occupation of spiritual and religious spaces does challenge the vision of neoliberalism in the symbolic manner of reclaiming the idea of a spiritual community of the ethnos over the market

Both these visions reject the assertion of the neoliberal vision of the society as the cosmos as a marketplace but neither one of them challenge its fundamental structures of power should as debt, coercive violence, patronage/credit, and hierarchy of ownership. Both these visions reject the anthropology of neoliberalism of homo economicus– that we are primarily concerned with ourselves and our desires. The ‘left’ proposes a general spiritual humanity that can transcend selfish desires of the rich oligarchs by recognizing our commonness, and the ‘right’ proposes a particular ethnic humanity that prides itself in its uniqueness over against other nations. Democratization of the economy, the alternative vision of the ‘left’ however is precisely the belief that the citizens should have priority and control over their economy. National socialism, the alternative vision of the ‘right’ is precisely the belief that the citizens should have priority and control over their economy. Once manners, cartoons, and rhetoric are put aside both visions cast their collective humanity against the monsters, whether bankers or immigrants as the socio-economic and political apocalypse. “International bankers ‘choke’, ‘rape’, ‘blood-let’, and ‘enslave’ citizens of countries” vs. “Immigrants ‘choke’, ‘rape’, ‘blood-let’, and ‘enslave’ our women and the earth.” The anthropology is an antagonistic permanent binary that yearns for the the reversal of roles of the socio-economic and political order, not its demolishment.

    We asked in our first instalment what do these alternative visions reveal about the nature of our crisis, not merely its causes and effects- but firstly and foremost, what is it rooted in? What is our socio-economic and political apocalypse of the demise of the vision of neoliberalism rooted in, and whose courtroom is it? It is these questions, and most especially the second half of Papastathis’ research question, the question of “…why the Church has accepted GD’s [Golden dawn’s] endeavour to exploit its symbolic capital?” that will occupy us like New York protestors in Zuccotti park, forever holding up a sign of the beatitudes to those who should know them best. Is there a public and spiritual resource to be found in between the Thessaloniki program of the left and the Thessaloniki marches of the right in Thessalonica itself?  Is there an anthropology that can inform our daily ethics beyond self interested individualism, groundless general egalitarian collective humanity, and particular defied ethnic glorification? Is there another courtroom by which we can evaluate our current socio-economic and political apocalypse? What can those who believed the end of their order was coming teach us about how to prepare for our world’s ending? If the Christian faith is to propose its positive vision for society is must go back to its roots, to its earliest document by current scholarly estimations, St. Paul the Apostle’s first letter to the Thessalonians.

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