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Issue #1861      March 20, 2019

Fascist agenda must be stopped

The fascistic political shades present in the current federal government and in mainstream politics are making themselves known, encouraged by successive Coalition governments; from the snarling, attack dog approach of former PM Tony Abbott; former Attorney General George Brandis (“I want the right to be a bigot”) to the abuse of children, women and men in offshore detention centres and the dispossession of Indigenous Australians driven by continued policies underpinned by genocide.

The left has a challenge to defeat the enemies of reason and humanity.

To Queensland Liberal MP George Christenson speaking at rallies of fascist groups; former One Nation Senator Fraser Anning’s “final solution” speech in parliament and now his statement on the mass shootings at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, by a fascist terrorist, (at the time of writing 50 dead, another 50 in hospital) as being caused by “Muslim immigration”.

An Australian man, Brenton Tarrant, has been charged with murder in New Zealand.

This rise of the fascist right has been aided and abetted by the homogenisation of the various interconnected fascist groupings in Australia – their “normalisation” – by the media and the two major parties.

Ideologically, the common propaganda line of aligned fascist forces in the industrialised Western countries – among them National Front in France, Freedom Party in the Netherlands, Alternative for Germany party, UKIP in Britain, and its most prominent member, the Trump administration, is based on a mantra that Western Civilisation (the “civilised world”) is in a global war against Islam.

But in fact law enforcement agencies in the Western hemisphere have for a long time been warning that the number one terror threat comes from right-wing extremism. In the USA, 100 percent of all terrorist attacks on US soil have been carried out by right-wing extremists, attacks carried out with increasing frequency and ferocity in mosques, synagogues and Black churches.

(It should be noted that PM Scott Morrison has avoided the use of the words “terrorist” and “fascist” when referring to the Christchurch attack.)

The election of Pauline Hanson and other One Nation candidates to the Senate is just one indicator of the trend in promoting fascists in the formal political structure. Hanson - and her ilk in the Liberal-National Coalition (the clique behind the ouster of Malcolm Turnbull) have ridden a wave of racism, nationalism and anti-scientific attitudes into Parliament. These sentiments had already been stirred up by major conservative parties and by hate-mongers in the corporate media. The resuscitated career of Hanson et al and the emergence of a brace of other extreme right political forces are not an exclusively Australian phenomenon.

Similar scenarios are playing out across the capitalist world as economic crisis bites hard, governments make savage cuts to social spending, corporate taxes are cut and working people are expected to foot the bill for massive military budgets. Racism and other scapegoats and distractions are trotted out to divert attention from the real causes of the crises facing the working class.

The left has a mighty challenge on its hands to defeat these enemies of reason and humanity.

Hanson plays the populist, to instil fear in an environment where people are already feeling insecure over their jobs, wages, the future of Medicare, housing and what future their children have.

It should not come as a surprise that One Nation had its best results in working class suburban and rural electorates where discontent with the major parties is the greatest.

Fuelling hatred and division

Hanson and her ilk fuel hatred and division. They tap into people’s fears and ignorance. The corporate media play a key role in keeping people in the dark with a constant stream of non-news and outright lies about the economy, government policy, Australia’s involvement in US wars, the so-called “illegal” asylum seekers and other important issues.

A massive operation is also underway in the media and elsewhere in the ideological apparatus to trivialise the left and other progressive forces that embrace concepts of equality, collectivity and multiculturalism. Indulgence is being encouraged for ideas once correctly identified as ignorant and harmful, as fuelling hatred, division and violence.

Not a day goes by where there is not some beat-up about the threat of terrorism, always linked to Islam – all concepts taken up and exploited by Hanson and other ultra-right outfits.

Today it is the Muslim community that is scapegoated, when the real threat to social harmony is the ultra-right politics of One Nation and other fascist groups.

Hanson’s election also arises from a spike in institutional racism. Right-wing commentators allege that the “left” has successfully substituted “minority rights” for the inclusive values of what she refers to as “western civilisation”.

Hanson has strong support within Liberal Party ranks.

The right is networking and building, supported by major institutions of the capitalist state, advancing their reactionary political agenda. The left will have to unite as never before and gather the support of the decisive force for progressive change, for workers and other exploited people. The anti-human, fascistic agenda is becoming clearer. It must not pass!

Next article – Editorial – School students demand action on climate change

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