Strengthening The Centre

Over the last few months a disturbing trend has begun to emerge. In France there are attempts to impose sanctions against the internet company Yahoo! on political grounds.

In Germany there is call for the banning of political parties. In Britain there is support for jailing political opponents without charge. Now none of this is new. Such calls for censorship have been a feature of political life in most countries, particu­larly at times of political crisis. What is novel today is that these demands are almost uniformly coming from the left. They are moreover being made in the name of anti-fascism. In Germany there is wide support among the Greens for the banning of the far-right NPD and others. Antiracists in France want Yahoo! closed down because an American client is trading in Nazi memorabilia. In Britain, not only does the ANL want the state “to jail all the Nazis”, but Searchlight’s Gerry Gable feels comfortable in describing, live on television, the deputy head of the anti-terrorist squad as “a colleague”. Meanwhile, the Racial and Violent Crime Task Force on which Gable serves as ‘a lay member’ openly admits that it targets “extremists on the right.., and on the left”.

In an even more bizarre departure from anti-fascist custom and practice, the ANL sought to extend the ‘no platform principle’ to a democratic debate, where the legacy of the Holocaust was being discussed - in front of an audience made up overwhelmingly of Jews

A notable feature of this stridency, and the almost complete loss of a sense of priorities, is that in the real world, the far-right go about their business practically unmolested. One gets the impression that in parts of Germany the far-right, control the streets in what they refer to as ‘liber­ated zones’. In France successive surveys find that the majority, as much as 60% of the population, reject anti-racist perspectives. In Leicester a gay rights march attacked by a small number of NF and forced to be diverted by police, is still hailed as a ‘victory’ by the ANL, the Socialist Party, and even elements on the periphery of AFA.

Consistent with this is that Bexley, Tipton and Burnley where the BNP have recently polled over 20% are all studiously ignored by these largely bogus anti-fascists. Just as comically, fraternisation with Searchlight, a self-confessed conduit to the state/from the state, continues to be defended on the grounds of ‘information’ requirements by these same elements Under these twin pressures something called ‘anti-fascism’ is not only becoming embourgeoisfied, but is gradually being totally assimilated into a state strategy of anti-extremism.

Thus to strengthen the centre against extremes is merely to strengthen the state against one’s self. Those unable to understand the implications, will more and more come across those happy to make the distinction for them.

Reproduced from RA vol 4, Issue 8, September/October '00