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Monday, May 23, 2016

European Far Right on the Rise

By Douglas V. Gibbs

The Freedom Party (FPOe) is making quite a bit of noise in Austria.  According to the media, FPOe is a far right extremist movement.

Far Right.  The term sounds very extreme, indeed.  Scary, to some - especially to those in Europe who are constantly reminded about what "far-right fascism" did less than a century ago.  Historically, the liberal left and Europe considers communism the far left, and fascism the far right.  Therefore, to stay away from those scary and tyrannical extremes, we must be moderate. . . dead center.  Except, their definitions of what is right, left, and center are skewed.  Therefore, when we read headlines like Far-Right on Edge of Power as Austria Votes for President, we are not really sure what is meant by "far-right."

According to the article mentioned above by the AFP, far-right in the context of Austria's election is any politician who has a problem with Muslim refugees pouring into the country ("European Union's first far-right leader, fueled by anti-immigrant anger over Europe's worst post-war refugee crisis").  The anti-immigration stance is considered dangerous, and is a polarizing attitude held by "fringe groups" according to AFP.

The far-right candidate even felt compelled to explain that he is not a "dangerous person."

Remember, "far-right" is fascism, to Europeans.  Fascism was the political system of the Nazis in Germany, and Italy.  The Nazis believed in a master race, rejecting people different than them.  Therefore, without actually saying it, the folks who are against Muslim refugees being welcomed into their country are not much different, according to the media, than fascist Nazis.  But, just in case you, as a reader, did not pick up on that subtle hint, after the part of the article about how the Freedom Party's Norbert Hofer had to explain why he is not a dangerous person, the next paragraph begins. . .

"For the first time since 1945. . . "

Yes, a factual year for the part that follows it, but the year conjures up World War II, and the defeat of the Nazis, doesn't it?

"For the first time since 1945 the president will not come from one of two main parties. . . "

Ah, again another similarity to Hitler.  The Nazi Party, after all, was also not among the original main parties.

The media has learned that when they blatantly attack "the right" it looks bad, so now they leave hints, a trail of bread crumbs, so that you can come to the conclusion yourself.  Hey, if you figure it out for yourself, it must be true!  Right?  Then, they can lay the rest of the propaganda groundwork afterward.

Here's the thing.  As a reader, you might suspect that you are being fed a line of bull.  But, what if the guy really is a Nazi-kind-of-guy?  Then, you would feel foolish doubting the media.  So, you may not trust the media, but you are not quite ready to scream out that you don't trust them, either. . . just in case.

It creates a real conundrum, for the reader.

Okay, now for some more tidbits about this far right extremist, Norbert Hofer.  In addition to being against the Muslim tsunami into his country, he's a gun enthusiast.  (oh, the horror!)  He's partially disabled (are they stating that as a reasonable fact, or are they trying to get the reader to doubt his abilities?).  The AFP then goes on to explain that Hofer has a "friendly face", and pushes "populist themes with a winning smile, steering clear of the inflammatory rhetoric."

In the next paragraph, you are then provided with an explanation to that the "populist themes," "winning smile," and "steering clear of the inflammatory rhetoric" was a "more moderate tone" that "paid off."  So, we are being told, his "populist message, winning smile, and non-inflammatory rhetoric" was all a ruse.  He's hiding something behind that artificial image, we are being told.

Here it comes: "...observers have warned that beneath Hofer's smooth image lurks a 'wolf in sheep's clothing', who has already threatened to seize upon never-before-used presidential powers and fire the government if it fails to get tougher on migrants or boost the faltering economy."

He sounds like an American Republican by the name of Donald Trump, but be warned, that's just what a Nazi-looking far right fascist looks like when he's trying to win over votes. . . right?

The former Green leader says that if voters abandon their parties and Hofer is among the final candidates, they'll be facing a "pathbreaking decision between a cooperative and an authoritative style".

So, is the "rightwing" political angle that Hofer represents something like the way conservatives are in America, or is he the kind of "rightwing" extremist that is more like fascists we've seen in history?  Honestly, the far left sees no difference between the two.  So, though this guy sounds like he may be what Americans would call conservative, he's being made out to be more like he's a nationalistic fascist.

"I've experienced how Austria rose from the ruins of World War II, caused by the madness of nationalism," he said recently. (the "he" being one of Hofer's opponents)

Hmmm, more clues about fascists from World War II.

The far-right extremist party Hofer belongs to, according to the article, "has tapped into public anger about growing inequality and the migrant crisis, which saw around 90,000 asylum-seekers arrive last year -- the second-highest number in the EU on a per-capita basis."

Hmmm, those "angry" members of the public almost sound like Trump supporters.  Is this a double-demonization going on?

"Back in 2000, more than 150,000 people marched in the Austrian capital against the FPOe -- then led by the late, SS-admiring Joerg Haider -- after it entered a much-maligned coalition with the OeVP."

FPOe being that far-right party known as the Freedom Party.  Throwing in "SS-admiring Joerg Haider" sounds similar to the left in America accusing Trump of being in bed with the KKK and David Duke because he didn't reject their support fast enough.  (Never mind that longtime Senator Byrd of the Democrat Party side was a grand wizard of some kind in the KKK).

"The far-right power grab also prompted international sanctions and turned Austria into an EU pariah."

See?  If the socialists of Europe doesn't like him, he must be a fascist!  Wait, isn't that what the liberal left media scrams about Trump, too?

Honestly, it's a confusion, because the definitions are all mixed up.  Reading the article about Hofer is like trying to put together a very poorly designed puzzle.

According to Europeans and America's Democrat Party, far left is communism, and fascism is far right.  But, in reality, they are the same.  Communism (they won't call it socialism because they don't want to incriminate themselves) allows government to take full control of the means of production through government take-over.  Fascism allows government to take full control of the means of production through heavy government regulation, while allowing the illusion of private ownership to remain in place.  In both cases, government controls the means of production.  They are the same, except when it comes to the method on how they do it.

The true political spectrum is 100% government to the left, and 0% government to the right.  So, if the article was being honest, the far-right Hofer (if they want to use the term "far-right") is an anarchist.  But, it sounds like he is either a left-wing fascist (which is actually closer to what the current European leadership and American Democrat Party is), or he's a centrist candidate (U.S. Constitution, and American Conservatism is actually dead-center, but everything has gone so far to the left, that constitutionalists and conservatives look like they are to the right).  As a constitutionalist, I call myself a "classical centrist."  That really makes heads explode.

From this side of the pond, it's hard to tell what Hofer truly is. . . but I am willing to consider he's not some rightwing extremist fascist.  He's probably a guy who believes in freedom, recognizes the danger of Muslim immigration, and just wants to keep his country from going over the edge.  Well, at least that's my theory from what little evidence we are given by a biased and untrustworthy media.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

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