Wait, they’re banning a political party in Greece now?

The Greek government has hinted that it will seek to ban Golden Dawn after the far-right party was linked to the murder of a leading leftwing musician in Athens.

As violence erupted on the streets and demonstrators protested after the fatal stabbing of Pavlos Fyssas, a prominent anti-fascist, the public order minister, Nikos Dendias, cancelled a trip abroad saying the government would table emergency legislation that would seek to outlaw the group.

Amid renewed political tensions between the extreme left and right, the new law would re-evaluate what constituted a criminal gang, he said.

“Neither the state will tolerate, nor society accept, acts and practices that undermine the legal system,” the minister told reporters, adding that the attack showed “in the clearest way the [party's] intentions”.

Are Golden Dawn fascists?

Pretty much from what I can see.

Does that mean that a party that is represented in Parliament should be banned? I’m afraid that I can’t see a useful version of democracy where such a thing can be done.

The background is that there was a murder by what appears to be a group of Golden Dawn thugs. This is certainly a justification for the prosecution and trial of those potentially responsible for that murder. And if it becomes apparent that officials of the political party planned or even turned a blind eye to such plans then yes, they should indeed be similarly tried.

But banning a political party because a member/some members murdered someone just doesn’t fly I’m afraid.

Yes, yes, I know about all the “no platform” stuff but everyone does indeed get the freedom of association no matter how vile their views. The various Stalinists, Maoists (there’s even a few Juche groups about) Trots and the rest get to form political parties if they so wish despite the vileness of the views expressed. Therefore so do fascists, racists and if there was a group that wanted to associate in order to promote the revival of chattel slavery then they too have the right to exist as a group and contest elections.

Another way to put this is that we don’t ban people for being fascists for the same reason that we don’t ban political parties for not being fascists. Because we’re not fucking fascists.

30 comments on “Wait, they’re banning a political party in Greece now?

  1. A huge chunk of the Greek Left has a background in Marxist Leninism. Even PASOK. Certainly all the newer groups.

    Those Communists have murdered tens of thousands of Greeks since 1945. Their offshoots – which for some reason the Greek government could never be bothered to hunt down as long as they were only shooting American diplomats – were murdering people well within the lifetime of most people reading this.

    A Fascist allegedly kills one and the entire Party deserves a ban?

    It is not as if they have been giving Greece’s enemies aid and comfort. Or taking their money. Or working to murder millions of their countrymen.

    Hypocrits.

  2. Used to come down here, back when it was run by fascists & it was certainly a better place than the Poland where I got the shit kicked out of me by the police before being jailed & deported. Given all the W. European governments are now some riff on the socialist/communist theme, looks like things are shaping up for a re-run of post WW1 Germany, ‘cept continent wide this time round. Wonder who’ll come out on top?

  3. It’s a bit shortsighted, to be honest. The problem with leftists banning things based on political ‘undesirable-ness’, is that it is a two-edged sword.

    Take, for instance, the current bout of pants-wetting excitement about the Selfridge’s employee refusing to serve Tommy Robinson of EDL fame. Yes, Mister Robinson appears to be a bigot. But if the staff of Selfridge’s are going to stop serving bigots and racists then their hallowed halls are going to get very empty, very quickly. As anyone who spent any time in a large London department store; Selfridge’s, Harrods, John Lewis etc will know, the place is full of very well off foreigners. In fact, their business model depends upon them. And a great many of them are openly racist or anti-Semitic.

    Can’t see the progressives getting all excited about a staff member refusing to serve a Moslem who they recognised for making anti-Semitic statements.

  4. Selfridges is a private company and can serve who it damn well pleases. And if an employee refuses to serve a customer management don’t actively disapprove of, then that employee should be disciplined. I’d sack ‘em, but current employment case law may disagree.

    Government bans are different in kind not just in degree.

  5. I have no knowledge whether Golden Dawn are fascists or not – has anybody – all I know is that the BBC have claimed it and that the BBC certainly are not only fascists but willing to tell any lie to support fascism.

    This is the BBC which, repeatedly called the Bosnian Moslem leader a “moderate democrat” when they knew he was an unrepentent former SS auxiliary publicly committed the genocide of all non-Moslems (not just Serbs but Croats & Jews). This “moderate” made bin Laden look extremely moderate.

    If anybody has any evidence that the BBC reporting here is several million times closer to honesty than the BBC Nazis normally aspire to I would be interested to see it.

  6. Far left rioters firebombed a bank and murdered three of the staff. A year later far left rioters set a police officer on fire.

    To date, no far left parties have been banned in Greece.

  7. A pointless ban. Today Golden Dawn, tomorrow Bright New Start.

    Furthermore, both far left and far right parties eventually fragment under their own contradictions and ideologies anyway, so Golden Dawn will probably disappear in all but name before a law is passed,

  8. On the subject of “thugs” who “murder” people, the Labour Party, assisted by the “fascist” Tory Party took part in the murder of about a million Muslims in Iraq a few years ago.

    So there’s a VASTLY BETTER argument for banning those two parties than banning Golden Dawn.

    Oh wait a mo…. Those two parties have got loads of money, and money buys respectability. So no chance of banning them, unfortunately.

  9. History repeats itself. So the Left wants to ban fascists for being fascists, next the military sees the left behaving like fascists and…

    One day people will learn the value of arguing your point, and letting your opponent defeat himself with his arguments. The best recruiting sergeant for the British Right: Richard Murphy. Keep up the good work Ritchie.

  10. Arnald’s post isn’t very strong evidence; that isn’t a Golden Dawn publication but one by its founder years before Golden Dawn was set up.

    They now use a “greek key” sort of design. Still looks sort of fascisty, but not the swastika.

    From the little I have read about them they have also changed their ideology quite a bit from the early days before they became popular, so evidence of their early days doesn’t show what their supporters are like now.

    For example they started off with a lot of Himmler-esque neo-pagan rubbish, but then dropped that and supported the Orthodox church.

    But yes, it wouldn’t surprise me if they were fascist. Doesn’t make them worse than a lot of other political groups though.

  11. IN fairness, golden dawn do fall foul of the first test for fascism, which is “does their logo look a bit hitlery?”

    I’ve never understood this – if you’re going to be a fascist party, but you don’t want anyone to know, try not to use anything that looks like a fucking swastika for a logo.

    Generally speaking, banning political parties isn’t a good idea. Although I note that here in tolerant old Blighty we do ban rather a few organisations. Mostly islamist nutters to whom I wish nothing but failure and humiliation, but there’s an awful long list of them.

  12. PASOK is looking (and has been since the bloody nose at the last election) for an excuse to ban “Golden Dawn”. The PM was backed into a corner after his PASOK deputy produced a populist headline.
    So, should we ban the Labour Party every time one of their supporters commits murder? Would they ever get unbanned?
    The BBC newsflash shows lots of violent far-left agitators rioting – logically they should be jailed first.
    If the Nazis had won in 1945 my (Anglican) parents would have been murdered by them – if it had been delayed until I was born I should have joined them (against the wall or strangled in my cot) so I have no liking for fascists but PASOK have created “Golden Dawn” just as Lenin and Stalin created the environment for Hitler.

  13. Ralph Musgrave

    No, our armed forces did not “murder 1 million muslims” or anybody else in Iraq.

    My real concern is, based on previous comments, you really believe this shit don’t you.

  14. Ironman,

    First, I didn’t say that “our armed forces” murdered anyone. I said two political parties did.

    Re “you really believe this shit”, I’m not 100% sure which of my “shit beliefs” you object to.

    Re your point that “One day people will learn the value of arguing your point, and letting your opponent defeat himself with his arguments.” I couldn’t agree more. Unfortunately the British left isn’t too keen on free speech. For example there was section 5 of the Public Order Act, which till recently placed a totally absurd restriction on free speech: it said that no one could insult anyone else. A survey done by Comres found that twice as many Labour politicians wanted section 5 retained as compared to Tory or Lib Dem politicians.

  15. If a Muslim party sprang up in Britain with a ‘Hitlery’ looking symbol 15 nanoseconds later the first article would appear on Comment is Free about how it is actually an ancient Hindu symbol and not wrong at all.

  16. I find it odd that any Greeks would want anything to do with an ideology of pan-germanic supermacy, could understand it from germans, swedes, dutch etc even english, but greeks ? And yet I notice that southern europe does indeed have its fair share of swastikas painted on walls.

  17. @johnny bonk
    What you’re looking at is the continuing process of the Nazi Party going mythic. It’s the result of people like our very own Arnald jumping up & down & yelling “Fascist Nazi swine!” at anything they find mildly offensive. Stops being a part of history & becomes symbolic. So if you don’t care much for whichever local brand of socialism is failing to float your boat, identify with what socialists love to hate.
    Next stage will of course be Nazi as a symbol of stubborn defiance & they’ll be including it in the name of football teams. See Atlanta Braves etc.

  18. Small point, but:

    “Pavlos Fyssas, a prominent anti-fascist …”

    What exactly, does an ant-fascist do? If I’m not a fascist, am I automatically an anti-fascist, or must I perform anti-fascist acts to qualify?

  19. Mr Potarto, Fascists believe in a strong State to which the individual should be subservient, wear uniforms and have street-fights with their political opponents.

    Anti-fascists are much the same, but their uniforms aren’t as smart.

  20. Mr P: “anti-fascist” runs the gamut from “annoying right-on student union twat” to “revolutionary communist/anarcho-syndicalist”. Absent any other info we can’t tell where the stabbed Bubble in question fell on this spectrum.

  21. Re: Godwin’s Law – it’s a descriptive law, not a prescriptive one. It merely says that the probability of a mention of Hitler or the Nazis occurring in an Internet discussion goes to unity as the length of the discussion increases. It doesn’t, per se, have anything to do with whether the mention of Hitler/Nazis was apposite.

  22. Ralph Musgrave

    Well, if our armed forces didn’t comit this “murder”, who the fuck did?

    It’s not difficult to know what shit you believe: the two major political parties “murdured” about 1 million muslims. You said it in those terms, remember?

    1. “Murdered” has a very clear, singular meaning; it involves intent and action. As neither Labour nor Conservative possessed either, it’s not murder is it.
    1 million muslims? FFS, that figure of deed is off the top of your head – or just made up – or just a lie to help your case along.
    Whatever the mistakes Tony Blair/George Bush made, they intended to remove an evil dictator, they intended nation-building. I would have assumed that anyone claiming “murder” knew they were talking bollocks, but as it’s you…

  23. @Richard

    Anti-fascists are much the same, but their uniforms aren’t as smart.

    Proper lol’d. To quote Al Capone*: “we laugh because it’s funny, we laugh because it’s true.”

    *well, actually David Mamet, but you know what I mean.

  24. Swastika like symbols go back to the cavemen, on every continent except, maybe, Australia, so that is not proof.

    On the other hand I am glad NOBODY disputes the example I gave proving the BBC is willing to tell any lie and assist in any atrocity to promote real Nazis.

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