Leonidas Vatikiotis: The Rise of Golden Dawn

1.           What caused the rise of GD?

                 In a few words Troika and Memoranda. On elections of 10.2009 they gained 0,29% (19.993 votes) and a year before on 5.2012 they gained 6.97% (440.966 votes). Between these two elections only one development mediated: the social crisis which was imposed by EU and IMF.

         Additional reasons of its rise are:

  • Its political support from governing party of New Democracy. Prominent advisors of Greek prime minister (Ar. Mpaltakos for example) till a few weeks ago were arguing in favor of a governing coalition with GD as a means to stop SYRIZA from forming its own government.
  • Its ideological support from prominent neoliberal journalists who offered the theory of “two extremes”. It’s a theory that originates from the comparison of Hitler to Stalin which is deeply reactionary and an anti-historical opinion which equates rapists and raped. According to this theory Greece is under the threat of two political extremes: SYRIZA and GD. Just this argument was sayed by an advisor of Greek PM on TV after the assasination of young rapper on September, 17.

The theory of “two extremes” has three serious implications. First, SYRIZA is demonized and is appeared as a criminal gang, like what really is GD. Second, the extremists of political centre (i.e. the governing parties of ND and PASOK) are appeared as guarantors of political stability, security and normality. Third, if SYRIZA is appeared as an extreme party then whatever is at the left of SYRIZA looks like terrorist.

  • Generous funding of capitalists and concretely greek ship-owners. There is an illuminating reportage of British paper Guardian whish shows the relation between Golden Dawn and Greek ship-owners. With these money GD is doing social policy paying bills of electricity for example to unemployed. With these money they pay generously their members too for political activism. The biggest share of their money is coming from organised crime (prostitution, smuggling of gans, drugs, security on night clubs, etc). Is very characteristic that only a few days after the assasination, the biggest newspaper of Greece revealed a report of Greek intelligence service with the crimes of a today MP of GD. The original date of this report was February of 2012. So we conclude that despite the greek state knew very well their biography they allowed to GD to participate in the elections of May of 2012 as a means to confront the Left and social struggles.
  • A fourth reason for the rise of GD is related to the existence of a deep state in Greece which is controlling political life and is based on army and police. Even now where police voted, GD gained nearly 50%. So, we can suppose that in police and army ranks, GD would form its own government with absolute majority.
  • All the above which are very real, look like conspiracy theories if we don’t take into consideration the dissapointment and hate that cause political life and parliamentarism to the orddinary people in Greece. Typical political procesess are blamed for the poverty and unemployment. In this poisoned political enviroment GD is appeared as a force against the whole corrupted political system. So, in its rise we can see the inability or even the failure of Left and labor movement to pursue for their own ideas. By another point of view if Hitler and Nazism was the price that german and european working class paid for the defeat of Spartakists, now the rise of GD is the price that greek Left is paying for its failure to overthrow policies of austerity fighting in the streets.

 2.           Why government decided to crackdown GD, arresting its prominent officials?

 Under the political pressure of mass movement after the assasination of Pavlos Fyssas at September 17. It was a victory of anti-fascist movement.

  • Because GD challenged the hegemony of governinh party of ND on the right side of political spectre. A few days before the assasination of singer, a member of parliament of GD in a “fest of hate” (where they honored collaborators of Nazis) they hit publicly a mayor of ND. So, government wanted to assure that ND is the dominant player in this field.  
  • Because of very concrete electoral reasons. Traditionally, the far right in Greece was voting ND, with the exception of the last years, when they voted LAOS (the party of “soft” far right which participated in the previous government of technocrats) and recently GD. Now, opinion polls give SYRIZA as the most probable winner of next elections. So ND decided to crackdown GD as a means to increase its percentages.
  • They crackdown GD because of the pressure from abroad. The day of massive arrests Samaras was speking to Jewish lobby of AIPAC in USA. Prominent representatives of Israel has said repeatitevely to close down GD, even as a term for investments.
  • On the foreign pressure must be added a comment of socialdemocrats’ leader in European Parliament Hanes Svoboda who asked Greece to lose rotating presidency of EU that starts on 1 January if not take measures against GD.

 3.           What has to be done?

          First what has no to be done: They must not get GD out of law, because there will be a very dangerous precedent that can be used against Left or mass movement organisations and trade unions. To remind you that in Greece till 1974 Communistt Party was out of law and political beliefs had sent tens of thousands of left people to the exile for many years.

         Now, articles of penal law are sufficient to be punish the whole leadership of GD closing them in prison for many decades.

         Considering that fascism is a political form that fits to capitalism in crisis (not generally in capitalism) two are the most effective ways to stop fascism:

  • Combative social struggles against austerity and exploitation, and
  • Theoretical confrontation with ideology of ruling class. I speak about a different culture that will have in its core the working people and the social emancipation. In this process Left must become more visionary and inspiring and must promote its values as a response to existing barbarism of capitalism.

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