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September 23, 2013
September 23, 2013

What do we mean when we say Golden Dawn should be outlawed?

Author: Despina Biri
Category: Letters from home
This article is also available in: esel
What do we mean when we say Golden Dawn should be outlawed?

Following the tragic assassination of Pavlos Fyssas, there is much talk of uprooting the neo-Nazi construct, and of referring its leaders to justice for instigation of criminal acts. In parallel developments, high-ranking police officers have resigned allegedly as a result of more or less well known close links between police and GD. In the past few days, public discourse has been dominated by voices calling for the outlawing of Golden Dawn, yet what exactly is meant by this?

Given that the popularity of GD is not particularly affected by its (possibly judicially determined) involvement in the murder of Fyssas, it is doubtful whether the Nazi phenomenon will be weakened if and when GD is outlawed. First, Michaloliakos himself anticipates such a development, probably on the basis of previous experience from related neo-Nazi organisations in other countries, and has simply stated that he will change the name of the organisation as, after all he is ‘bored with the old one’. Perhaps the ‘actions’ of the ‘Assault Divisions’ of GD will cease for a while. Perhaps some high ranking members of GD, accused of criminal activity or of instigating the assassination of Fyssas will experience their downfall from the organisation. However, GD, as a neo-Nazi organisation completely applying the Führerprinzip, will likely not be severely hit by the downfall of even high-ranking members, as has previously happened in the case of Periandros, for example. With its popularity higher than ever, there is unfortunately a large pool of young candidates for membership, who may be enlisted in order to redeem any losses.

Secondly, it must be noted that today’s resignations of police officials were officially handed in ‘for personal reasons’. There is therefore denial of the close ties between GD and the police, despite unofficial reassurances for the opposite. Let us not forget the rumoured high prevalence of GD among police officers, with reference to high percentage of votes within the police. This is a sign that any ‘beheading’ of the police will likely not lead to the uprooting of neo-Nazi culture within security forces.

Finally, the ideas of neo-Nazism, with a purported ‘nationalist’ facade, have found a degree of acceptance in Greek society (this can be verified by the ironic fact that, in the last week, there has been unprecedented mobilisation, which may have not existed had the victim been a non-Greek). This predates the rise of GD, and is evident by anyone who may witness racist ‘jokes’ among a company of friends. This type of behaviour can neither be policed nor outlawed, yet is one of the fundamental causes of the problem. As Manos Hadjidakis and the films of Michael Haneke show us, ‘the beast lives within us’, and antifascism is above all a way of life requiring moral guidance which cannot be substituted by any kind of law.

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What do we mean when we say Golden Dawn should be outlawed? by Despina Biri is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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