Though Russia has trumpeted its goal of fighting fascism more or less continuously since the Second World War, many in Europe have assumed such an ideology to be definitively outmoded. Today, the West must figure out how to speak to disenfranchised citizens in a meaningful way, to show them that dysfunctional democracies can be reformed, and that directing political frustration at society's most vulnerable members is never a constructive way forward.
Despite my passion for the EU, I have a confession. Not only have I never really been a fan of the European Parliament, but I get a bit embarrassed when the EP tries to hype up the European Elections. It's like they're watching all the hoopla of the US elections and shouting "But look at us! 500 million people! We matter too!"
The recent murder of left-wing activist Pavlos Fyssas in Greece has drawn further attention to the rise of the extreme right-wing Golden Dawn. For many, this phenomenon may be understood as the result of the economic crisis facing Greece, the severe austerity measures, declining living standards, the lack of jobs and the government shut-downs.
When I was last in Athens two years ago Golden Dawn was a violent streetlevel militia, whose members were regularly beating up migrants and leftists in the streets of central Athens. At that time Golden Dawn had no MPs and little national political clout. Since then it has become, according to most polls, the third largest party in the country, with eighteen seats in parliament.
Under the blitz of current Orwell stuff in the media there's a recurring theme: what would the great man have made of the present day, and how right was he about the modern world? Recent chit-chat in my office was broadly positive about his "predictive" powers. Recent chit-chat in my office was broadly positive about his "predictive" powers: Doublespeak (modern political/managerial jargon?), Telescreens (TV, especially those tuned to the Big Brother house on Channel 5!), Napoleon, the revolutionary-turned-authoritarian pig from Animal Farm.
LGBT communities in Greece are experiencing an alarming rise in the number of violent hate crimes, according to a researcher writing for the Huffingto...
Historian Laurence Rees, author of The Dark Charisma of Adolf Hitler and producer of the titular BBC documentary, spoke at the London School of Economics last night on the nature of leadership - mainly, how could significant portions of populations support groups such as the Nazi Party or Golden Dawn?
If anything, the timing of the Nobel Peace prize is ironic. If the European Union is serious about sticking to the values and the principles upon which it was formed, it must recognise that bringing unity to a country where the memories of civil war are all too recent is paramount. Austerity measures will do nothing but create unrest and divide country, allowing parties such as Golden Dawn to rise up through the cracks.
Yesterday's attack on two Greek female MPs by Ilias Kasidiaris, the spokesman for the neo-Nazi Chrysi Avgi, (Golden Dawn) party, on a national talk show, has presented the Greek public with a moment that will be difficult to ignore.