There is precisely one bright spot in this depressing story about the rise of anti-Semitism and national socialism* in France.
…people debating the issue of a resurgent anti-Semitism would resort in good faith to the reassuring remark that “after all, Nazis were not marching in Paris.”
Since the Jour de Colère rally, even die-hard optimists must recognize that this is no longer true. Nazis are marching in Paris, unchecked.
Postmodern Nazis, to be sure: no brown shirts. But Nazis nevertheless — nazis who relish in anti-Jewish paranoia and are eager to spread it everywhere.
Radical politics usually develop when classic politics fail. According to an Ipsos/Steria poll published on January 21 by Le Monde, 8% of the French — only 8%! — trust the political parties. Only 23% trust their National Assembly representatives. Trade unions do not fare much better: 31%. Nor does the judiciary, at 46%.
Real confidence starts only with local powers: 63% of the French trust their mayors. The increase culminates with such last-resort players as the police and the army, credited, respectively, with a 73% and a 79% confidence rate.
Continue reading France’s frightening fascist flirtation.
This article from the UK Spectator is a pretty strong accusation to make against Italian comedian-turned-rabble-rouser Beppe Grillo:
The stand-up comedian Beppe Grillo, like the fascist dictator Benito Mussolini before him, has a craving to take over the piazza and mesmerise the crowd. Where once young Italians chanted the mantra ‘Du-ce! Du-ce!’ now they chant ‘Bep-pe! Bep-pe!’. But it is not just a shared need to rant and rave at large numbers of complete strangers that hirsute Beppe and bald Benito have in common. Worryingly, for Italy and also for Europe (where democracy seems incapable of solving the existential crisis), there is a lot more to it than that.
Beppe Grillo founded the MoVimento 5 Stelle (M5S) in Milan on 4 October 2009. The capital ‘V’ stands for his signature slogan ‘Vaffa!’ which roughly speaking means ‘F[*]ck off!’ — in his case, to everything more or less, except wind farms. ‘Surrender! You’re surrounded!’ he bellowed over and over again at his rallies. The phrase was traditionally very popular with Italian fascists. He was referring to all Italy’s politicians, except his lot.
Continue reading Beppe the Moose?
James Lileks, in the process of genially sneering at a Guardian writer’s not-genially sneering at an Alabaman Olive Garden (which was apparently a stand-in for America itself):
And if we seem arrogant when it comes to beating fascism, forgive us once more, for we have something you don’t.
Not that this is entirely true: the British at the very least kept fascism from their throats long enough for us to get there after the French caved. But James was justifiably annoyed at the time.
Via Ed Driscoll, via The Sundries Shack.