Note: This is the second part of the article about Golden Dawn. We highly suggest that you read Part 1 first, so as you understand the background and context of this one. Keep in mind that both articles are heavily opinionated (strongly criticize the group) and thus may prove offensive to some.
After examining the facts and figures that shroud Golden Dawn, it is high time we delve deeper into how they achieved success in such a short period of time. Success here means their ascension to the Parliament and the expansion of their network. The imprisonment of their leader and other important figures, sanctions and media boycotts have done little to halt their rise or prevent the violent xenophobic attacks that they orchestrate.
It may be difficult for some to comprehend how a group like this, despite the recent media attention they have received, continues to exist as if nothing has happened. I myself had great difficulty while trying to wrap my head around it. To be frank, that’s normal. For people like me and you, it is impossible to understand how hundreds of people truly believe in these extremist ideologies.
This is not the first time something like this has happened. Let us travel back in time to the 20th century, when thousands of Germans willingly supported Adolf Hitler. He never tried to hide his intentions, yet people voted for him, essentially giving him the right to start one of the worst wars, humanity has ever seen. It is beyond wrong to claim that every German believed in Nazism. It is even more wrong to claim that Germans as a whole were – or, as some believe, still are – guilty of the Holocaust, deaths, strife, and destruction Hitler caused.
I am guessing some of you are baffled by this comparison. How can someone compare Hitler and his Nazi party to Golden Dawn? It’s true, their impact is not comparable. But the undeniable truth is that Golden Dawn has adopted Nazi-like practices to attract more and more followers. Even though (one hopes) they will never manage to be what Hitler was, or gain the power to create the havoc they crave, the comparison cannot be dismissed. These practices continue to be effective at ‘converting’ the masses.
The recipe is simple: make everyone believe that they are useful. What useful means in this context is debatable. It seems that for Golden Dawn, this ‘usefulness’ has to do with mind control and using the people for the benefit of the party. The followers are mere puppets, tools to pressure society into accepting the new order; one where the party and its leaders get to disenfranchise democracy and establish their totalitarian regime unhindered.
Engaging members actively is the key. Unlike other parties, whose supporters only have to express their support, send some funds and rarely help physically, Golden Dawn members have additional duties. (Side note: A member is someone officially enrolled or affiliated with the group and not just a voter.) These tasks can range from carrying shopping bags for an old lady to actively engaging in violence. Members must successfully complete them to climb the ranks, like a sick video game. There is always a task for everyone, no matter their age, gender, or economical situation; the machine must keep running.
Members form clusters, make friends, and help each other. The party becomes their extended family, an extension of their life. A place where they can escape from reality, a place where they can express their hateful opinions freely, without being judged by society. Many even adopt party practices in their everyday lives. They feel the need to preserve the ‘integrity’ of Greek society, its customs and traditions, all while trying to return to an anachronistic and patriarchal model of life.
In last year’s elections, an advertisement was aired featuring three children stating why they think Golden Dawn is the only party that can save the country. The similarities to their parents were striking; even these young and fragile sprouts have not managed to escape the madness. Their parents have taken care of that.
Trust me, many times have I tried to discuss politics with Golden Dawn supporters. They fail to listen to reason, choosing to live in the darkness of nescience. They have been taught to defend their views with great vigor, since they are the only ones that know the ‘truth’. Even if you manage to tear down their wall of prefabricated arguments, they opt to end the conversation abruptly, rather than allowing you to guide them back to the light of awareness.
Members unwittingly become pawns in the hands of the leaders. Their hands are now stained with the blood of innocents. Engulfed in a vicious circle of violence and hatred, they gradually become indoctrinated. Ignorance has been achieved. Number 354 is ready. Time to move on to the next subject. Humans have no value anymore, being only the “means”, not the “source”, of exercising might.
The motto of the party, “Blood, Honour, Golden Dawn”, means something else to those who can see them for what they are. The blood they have spilled, the honour they have trampled upon, and a Golden Dawn that will never rise, since they represent nothing but darkness and ignorance.
Everything I have described doesn’t exactly sound new, does it? Maybe that is because Golden Dawn is just the tip of the iceberg. All similar parties and groups use this tested recipe. Golden Dawn isn’t worrying because it is a single party in Greece; it’s worrying because it reflects our political system and society at its worst. If you take a stroll outside you can see it. In your neighborhood, street, school, workplace and parliament. Golden Dawn is everywhere; you cannot deny it.
Yet, if you ask people on the street they will say that there are more important issues to be taken care of than this dangerous group. The same people will complain after the next elections about how some idiots elected the “Nazis”. To be frank, you cannot blame the “idiots” if you have failed to act yourself. Nothing has been done to stop them, because only a handful of people have actually moved from words to action: too few to have a catalytic impact.
So, what is the verdict then? If we believe that everyone is open to judgment, how are we entitled to view the members of Golden Dawn?
Yes, they are guilty. They are guilty because they let their guard down, fell for lies and built up hopes for an impossible future. I said it before: but Golden Dawn lives in the past, not the future.
No, they are not guilty. There was a reason they turned to this group – a motive so pure and positive, it manages to negate everything: Hope. Personally, I don’t want to judge them. There is no point. I only hope that one day they will face the reality and change.
In a continent slowly drifting to the political far-right, it seems that Europeans have reason to worry. Nationalism is a phenomenon that has invaded everyday life in every way imaginable – a phenomenon that knows no borders. Within a Union that has refugees and immigrants stuck at the borders, starving, afraid, treated like pigs for the slaughter, confined by manmade walls that want to separate us once more, these ideologies spread like wildfire.
Blood was shed to abolish such walls in the past. But now, it is as if the events that led to WW2 are unfolding again. Only this time, we have much more to lose: our integrity as human beings, and maybe our existence as well.
That is Nazism for you. A cunning tactic to control the masses, while the “brains” are free to continue their opprobrium. This is exactly what has always happened. Various forms of hatred and persecution have appeared throughout history, and all of them are shameful and pernicious.
Before I leave you to reflect on the things you have read, I would like to add something. Maybe some of you are still wondering why this article was published anonymously. And here is the short, yet truthful answer. Like you, I have a name, and opinions have names too. Why did I do it then? Do I have something to fear? No, I have nothing to fear from these people. I would have no problem standing up this very moment, raising my voice and defending my rights. But I firmly believe that this article is an ode to anyone who shares my concerns about our future. A manifesto against ideologies that have been proven in the past to be disastrous to our very existence. I aimed to voice the opinion of all those fighting obscurantism. Those who are often neglected. Those who see humanity with open-mindedness and a kind heart. This article is not mine, dear reader; It is your article too.
May it always be with you.