Tuesday, 1 January 2019

The Unholy Alliance

In the 1920s, many wealthy business people and substantial landowners gave financial support to far-right agitators, which enabled fascist extremists to take power in the 1930s. Why did they do that? Some of them realised that prevailing policies left many people in dire poverty, and believed far-right ideologues would be the ones to prevent any socialist government from tackling social injustice by tilting the balance in favour of the poor. Some were enticed by vast government contracts promised by far-right politicians if they should win office. Others simply shared a kindred spirit with demagogues who were racist, sexist, jingoistic, homophobic, full of petty prejudice, and driven by hateful intolerance. The result was the end of the rule of law, the beginning of a dark reign of terror, arbitrary arrests and executions, and the invasion of other countries.

A century later, will the 2020s take us down the same horrific path again? The signs are ominous. With wealth inequalities rising back to the level last witnessed in the 1920s, and far-right sympathisers (and many enthusiastic advocates) holding power or gaining influence across Russia, the US, and many countries in Europe and Latin America, the unholy alliance of plutocracy, bigotry and authoritarianism is clearly on the march.

The vast majority of people would recoil from the agenda behind this vile alliance, if they could see through its fa├žade of fake patriotism and empty promises. And exposing their lies is the key to halting their advance.

Responsible politicians, community leaders, civic educators, should make it their priority to highlight at every opportunity the following:

People’s Livelihood: beware of empty promises, because for all the talk of more jobs and better pay, the unholy alliance will just defend the mistreatment of workers, make employment even more precarious, and drastically cut public service so that people will be left extremely vulnerable to homelessness, hunger, and unable to access healthcare.

Real Friends & Foes: the unholy alliance will pretend to be friends of the people, when their actions are always designed to increase their own wealth and power at the expense of others; and the scapegoats they relentlessly attack – such as migrant workers, progressive politicians, trade unions, dedicated public servants – are the ones who help make life better for everyone.

Protection by the Rule of Law: leaders of the unholy alliance will always dismiss rules and regulations as misguided or biased, except when they can use them to safeguard their own position; and they are determined to brush aside due process and impartial scrutiny so that they can intimidate and attack anyone they consider a threat (or an inconvenience) to them.

Weaponised Uncertainties: it needs to be much more widely understood that a common unholy alliance tactic is to stir up problems, dismiss evidence for solutions, and use the ensuing uncertainties to exploit people’s sense of insecurity. They promote anti-vaccine propaganda, accelerate climate change, destabilise the economy, launch wars, so they can benefit from the chaos they cause.

The unholy alliance of the 1920s and 1930s led to the Second World War. It was eventually defeated, but in recent years it has been coming together again in the guise of xenophobic ‘populism’. To avoid another global catastrophe, its true intent must be exposed and its advocates held to account.

1 comment:

Woodman59 said...

I may be wrong, but as far as I understand it, the National Socialist regime in Germany was exactly that - a socialist regime...except nationlist in its outlook, as opposed to internationalist.

It sought to create its own version of utopia by removing all those seen as enemies of progress, just as international socialism has always done. In fact Communism killed many more people than Nazism did, in pursuit of the perfect socialist world.

I am both poor and struggle with disability, so obviously agree with policies that assist the poor and disabled - but only insofar as those of us who can, attempt to make a contribution to society, but obviously a lot more consideration needs to go into that. It is not just a case of "having a job, or not".

On the other hand I can fully understand the hostility and contempt for those who can be clearly be seen to be exploiting the system at the bottom, or of those coming in from outside of our Western society - whilst despising and attacking the very people that are supporting them...as much as those in society who may be exploiting their position at the top.

There can be many very genuine people at the top as well as the bottom and we have to be as extremely careful about a whole panoply of "socialist" dogmas - which are as fully dangerous as any of the "right wing" ones.

Everyone needs to be able to consider the welfare of everyone else - the basic communitarian principle.