Golden Dawn Recruiting Video, with English subtitles
This video reminds me of some of the more extreme promotional videos done by right-wing fanatics in this country, with scary music and all. In fact, if you looked hard enough, you could probably find more than one made by FreedomWorks with the same music.
You'll definitely find the same message. In the video, the promoters of Greek neo-Nazi group Golden Dawn send the message that they want to "take their country back." They're interested in evangelizing that message to other countries, too. The Guardian reports:
Emboldened by its meteoric rise in Greece, the far-right Golden Dawn party is spreading its tentacles abroad, amid fears it is acting on its pledge to "create cells in every corner of the world". The extremist group, which forged links with British neo-Nazis when it was founded in the 1980s, has begun opening offices in Germany, Australia, Canada and the US.
[...] But Golden Dawn is hoping to tap into the deep well of disappointment and fury felt by Greeks living abroad, in the three years since the debt-stricken nation was plunged into crisis.
"Golden Dawn is not like other parties in Greece. From its beginnings, in the early 80s, it always had one eye abroad," said Dimitris Psarras, whose book, "Golden Dawn's Black Bible", chronicles the organisation since its creation by Nikos Michaloliakos, an overt supporter of the colonels who oversaw seven years of brutal anti-leftist dictatorship until the collapse of military rule in 1974.
"Like-minded groups in Europe and Russia have given the party ideological, and sometimes financial, support to print books and magazines. After years of importing nazism, it now wants to export nazism," added Psarras. By infiltrating communities abroad, the far-rightists were attempting not only to shore up their credibility but also to find extra funding and perhaps even potential votes if Greeks abroad ever won the right to cast ballots in elections.
"[Golden Dawn] not only wants to become the central pole of a pan-European alliance of neo-Nazis, even if in public it will hotly deny that," claimed Psarras, who said party members regularly met with neo-Nazis from Germany, Italy and Romania. "It wants to spread its influence worldwide."
Those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it. In ordinary times, people would reject the message of groups like Golden Dawn out of hand. But the rise of the Tea Party illustrates the damage done and the exploitation opportunities when ordinary people's anger at Wall Street's unpunished malfeasance gives rise to irrational and xenophobic solutions.
Most of the original Tea Party populists have now been co-opted by billionaires whose interests are served by keeping them stirred and angry, and it's likely this neo-Nazi group's expansion is also fueled directly or indirectly by similar forces. After all, international expansions don't happen in fringe groups which have no funding. Clearly there is some money behind the scenes driving and stoking the anger, just like there is here in this country.
Students of history recognize similar patterns and groups in the past. When economic imbalance robs people of even the most meager existence, they rise up, and when they rise up they're vulnerable to those who take advantage of that anger for their own political or financial gain (or both).
I'd like to confront the next Tea Party Republican who claims they "don't want this country to go the way of Greece" with this video and ask them what specific differences they see between the rhetoric of this group and their own. See if this sounds at all familiar:
As part of its international push, Golden Dawn has also focused on the US, a magnet for migrants for generations, and Canada, which attracted tens of thousands of Greeks after Greece's devastating 1946-49 civil war.
"It's a well-studied campaign," said Anastasios Tamis, Australia's pre-eminent ethnic Greek historian. "There is a large stock of very conservative people here – former royalists, former loyalists to the junta, that sort of thing – who are very disappointed at what has been happening in Greece and are trying to find a means to express it. They are nationalists who feel betrayed by Greece over issues like Macedonia, Cyprus and [the Greek minority] in Voreio Epirus [southern Albania], who cannot see the fascistic part of this party. Golden Dawn is trying to exploit them."
Digest that for a minute. Because...FreedomWorks.