In history classes across America, students still learn about Greece as a semi-magical land that was home to mythical heroes, fabulous beasts, gods and the first stirrings of the political philosophy called democracy.
It’s a far cry from the Greece of today that is an economic sinkhole with government-created poverty and austerity measures that are slowly choking the people to death.
In the chaos, high unemployment and growing desperation, native Greeks are blaming immigrants for many of their problems, even while clamoring for decisive government action.
They got it over the weekend when the authorities detained more than 6,000 immigrants in a massive deportation push. According to witnesses, Africans and Asians were being stopped in the streets and questioned. About 1,500 were actually arrested for illegally entering the country.
According to the Christian Science Monitor, the influx of about 100,000 illegal immigrants a year has corresponded with a sharp increase in crime and contributed to a rightward shift in the country’s politics.
One thing you have to understand about European politics — their “right” is not the same as our Right. In the United States, the Right Wing is conservative and biblical for the most part, wedded to the principles of liberty and personal responsibility. In Europe, the description “Right Wing” generally means something resembling the American Left’s secular nanny state, but a little more tolerant of private industry and far less tolerant of illegal immigrants.
In Greece, it’s meant the rise of a political party called the Golden Dawn, seemingly a relative newcomer to the political scene, as far as the media are concerned. Having won 7 percent of the vote in the recent elections, the Golden Dawn seems to be on the upswing.
It’s popularity has grown not just because of its nationalist, anti-immigrant stance, but because of its social aid program of “Greeks-only” food and other assistance efforts. The Greek public is slowly getting behind the Golden Dawn.
But there’s more to the Golden Dawn than appears at first blush. Even the media have picked up on the taint of Nazism in the movement, which the group’s leaders deny. But the group’s Nazi ties may be much stronger than what has come out in the media.
Some sources that track such things believe the Greek Golden Dawn is the modern incarnation of a secret society that actually was formed back in the late 1800s. Its leadership roster has included some prominent people, such as William Butler Yeats, Bram Stoker and the infamous Aleister Crowley.
The order is an occult group that uses a system of magic that is said to have influenced Wicca, New Age religions and other such esoteric movements around the globe. Golden Dawn was said to have inspired the Theosophical Society, whose ideas about Aryan and Semitic races found expression in the German Nazi Party, whose inner circle was notoriously obsessed with the occult.
“Golden Dawn’s bigotry has not changed, only its popularity has, and the result is a political victory for hate,” said Abraham H. Foxman, Anti Defamation League National Director.
According to the group’s multiple websites, the Golden Dawn has offices in Florida, New Jersey, Los Angeles, Boston, Denver and other places in the United States.
The shootings Sunday at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin are being attributed to a “frustrated neo-Nazi.” The Golden Dawn in Greece is also being referred to by members of the media as a neo-Nazi movement. There may in fact be nothing “neo” about them.
Guys like the temple shooter are just what are called “useful idiots.” The so-called skinheads are cannon fodder for the real Nazi movement.
The people behind the public activity of the Golden Dawn are the real deal, apparently itching for Round Two. As other economies, including that of the U.S., continue to falter, world leaders better take notice of the movement flowering right now in Greece before it’s too late.