Fascism on the rise in the Netherlands

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Stockholm
Fascism on the rise in the Netherlands

So many of us have these quaint notions of the Netherlands as the country of social liberaliam, early adopter of gay rights, the country Anne Frank is a national heroine, a country where euthanasia is legal and where cannabis is virtually legal.

But it seems that a dark ugly side of Dutch society is rearing its head as the racist "Freedom Party" of Geert Wilders soars in the polls and may end up as the largest party after elections in June.

I found this article by Doug Saunders about him in today's Globe very interesting

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/opinions/the-scary-world-of-geert-wi...

"It doesn't help that most Muslims in Europe are not religious. And Muslim Turks in the Netherlands average 1.6 children per family, fewer than Dutch-born citizens of similar income levels. Never mind that. Mr. Wilders strongly believes that Islamic ideas are a sort of colonizing ideology – as he says, a Mein Kampf. It is not the Muslim people he opposes but the ideas and, to stop them, we must ban the people who carry these ideas.

I wonder whether he's really read Mein Kampf. Perhaps we've forgotten, perhaps he doesn't realize it himself, but his words and the message of Fitna are exactly – to specific phrases, to the tone of louche brotherliness – what was said about the Jews.

It wasn't the people but the “the code of Jewish ethics,” the well-documented desire of Jewish believers to take over countries and industries and societies. Judaism wasn't another religion but an ideology, closely linked to communism (“Judeo-Bolshevism” was your grandfather's “Islamo-fascism”). And it was the terrorism and violence that Judaic beliefs always seemed to bring to societies. Don't forget that Kristallnacht, the concerted violence by the Nazis against Jews and their property in 1938, was provoked by an act of Jewish terrorism, the assassination of a German diplomat in Paris. The connection between the Torah and the violence was evident to many decent and otherwise liberal-minded people."

DaveW

some good points by Saunders:

but while the integrated, law abiding Muslims of the Netherlands do not often make the headlines,

those few killing or threatening to kill members of parliament or other Islam critics (Theo van Gogh, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Wilders himself ) do get lots of attention,

plus there is a lot of new anti-gay and anit-Semitic violence in Amsterdam

http://static.rnw.nl/migratie/www.radionetherlands.nl/currentaffairs/ned...

whose perpetrators are often culturally Muslim;

this makes an explosive cocktail that a populist like Wilders finds agreeable, and that nervous voters fear

Q.: what is the best reply of the social democrats? 

 

NDPP

Ayaan Hirsi Ali is mentioned above. She is more than just an 'Islam critic', she is a 'fellow' at the American Enterprise Institute and a true and loyal servant to the US imperial court. Here's a bit more so you get a rough idea where she's coming from: [very right]

Islam Promotes Culture of Death

http://www.cjnews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=19346&It...

"In lashing remarks on the Western media, she said it is generally uncritical of Islam, refusing to use a term such as 'Islamic terrorism' and treats Israel harshly...Ali immigrated to the United States becoming a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.."

 

remind remind's picture

One drunken Halloween a couple of years back was partying with some dudes from the Netherlands who contract work in Canada for a Dutch telecommunications corp.

 

They seemed quite open about their wanting to control the world.

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

remind.... don't you remember the old proverb "and the tall shall inherit the world?"*

 

---------

* see the table at the bottom of the linked page

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

DaveW wrote:

[...]

plus there is a lot of new anti-gay and anit-Semitic violence in Amsterdam

http://static.rnw.nl/migratie/www.radionetherlands.nl/currentaffairs/ned...

whose perpetrators are often culturally Muslim;

this makes an explosive cocktail that a populist like Wilders finds agreeable, and that nervous voters fear

Q.: what is the best reply of the social democrats? 

Addressing the issue of anti-gay violence, I think the best reply is to focus on what is held in common by the overwhelming majority of perpetrators of anti-gay violence - that they are young (late teens to late 20s) males. The sex and the age of the offender seems to be the determining characteristic, not their ethno-cultural origin. I have a suspicion that the same determining characteristic probably applies to perpetrators of anti-semitic violence (although I might have a little more difficulty finding substantiation of my suspicion were I challenged on it). As in so many other violent crimes, the real question is how does a society stop its young males from "acting out".

DaveW

 

Netherlands the tallest country
At an average height of 5-foot-11 (181,0 cm), the Netherlands has the tallest average height amongst males twenty years old and older.

Holland was followed by #2 Iceland (5-10.8, 179,8), and then the three Scandinavian countries Norway (5-10.7, 179,7),  Sweden (5-10.6, 179,3), and Denmark (5-10.4, 178,8) rounded out the top five.

 As an aside, some economists have used height as a metric for social/economic well-being,

and note that the US, long the tallest average country, has seen a flock of European countries pass them in recent decades:

http://ideas.repec.org/p/lmu/muenec/76.html

Abstract

Within the course of the 20th century the American population went through a metamorphosis from being the tallest in the world, to being among the most overweight. The American height advantage over Western and Northern Europeans was between 3 and 9 cm in the middle of the 19th century. Americans were also underweight. However, today, the exact opposite is the case as the Dutch, Swedes, and Norwegians are the tallest, and the Danes, British and Germans - even the East-Germans - are also taller, towering over the Americans by as much as 3-7 cm. Americans also live shorter. The hypothesis is worth considering that this adverse development is related to the greater social inequality, an inferior health-care system, and fewer social safety nets in the United States than in Western and Northern Europe, in spite of higher per capita income. The West- and Northern European welfare states, with cradle to grave health and unemployment insurance currently provide a more propitious environment for the biological standard of living than its US counterpart.

leftypopulist

So who was so wreckless while at the control seat ?

Primary blame has to go to Balkenende. He made priorities out of closing down coffeeshops, cutting taxes and "standing shoulder to shoulder with Bush in his war on terror".

Meanwhile, in a puny country with extreme population density, they crank up the immigration slider, and don't aid true societal integration and support. Even a country like Canada has to ensure the new folks are integrated and happy, and that the xenophobia is squashed at every turn.

BTW, has anyone noticed the coexisting false impression many have of Canada ? That's we're peacekeepers, pro-cannabis and have a socialist system ? Balkenende and Harper are DIEHARD Christian Fundamentalist Neocons. But being so much smarter than Bush, they craftily navigate coming across as moderates (when enduring a minority gov't tenure).

NorthReport

2 days to go!

Geert Wilders seeks expulsion of Turkey's ambassador

Demand made by Freedom party leader in TV election debate as Dutch prime minister seeks to defuse row with Erdoğan

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/mar/14/geert-wilders-seeks-expuls...

NorthReport

Turkey vs. the Netherlands: Why are they fighting?

Turkey demanding apology after Netherlands bars ministers from holding rallies

http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/turkey-vs-the-netherlands-why-are-they-figh...

6079_Smith_W

It was a really stupid move on Netherlands' part. Regardless of what he was selling, it is a Turkish referendum on Turkish domestic affairs.

NorthReport

What a flippin' mess. 

In the Netherlands, we’ll halt the march of Geert Wilders’ populists

However well his anti-EU, anti-Islam and anti-immigration platform does in the general election, Wilders will not get to lead a government – or a Nexit

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/mar/13/netherlands-halt-g...

bekayne
NorthReport

Is that actually factual or just more anti-Russian propaganda?

NorthReport

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan: 'We know Dutch from Srebrenica massacre'

Turkish president holds the Netherlands responsible for massacre of 8,000 Bosnian Muslims as row over rallies deepens

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/mar/14/turkish-sanctions-bizarre-...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Srebrenica_massacre

lagatta

The Netherlands does have a very high population density, but that doesn't mean that one feels particularly crammed or hemmed in as in some very crowded cities on different continents. The Randstand, the big conurbation where most of the country's population lives, does NOT have a huge major city. Amsterdam is much, much smaller than Paris or Berlin. The other main cities in the conurbation are Rotterdam (the 2nd city, very multicultural, major port), The Hague (capital) and Utrecht. 

The high density means that there are only small areas with park and forest land, and the countryside is very ordered, a succession of greenhouses, tulip and other flower fields, and other intense forms of agricultural production, large and small. There are some pleasant green regions and the dunes in the far north, but Dutch people also easily travel to France, Germany and other nearby countries. 

 

NorthReport

The progressive left's big hope in the Netherlands looks like Trudeau but says he's more like Bernie

https://news.vice.com/story/the-progressive-lefts-big-hope-in-the-nether...

NorthReport

Why Are Steve King and the President of Turkey So Interested in the Dutch Election?​

http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2017/03/13/why_are_steve_king_and...

NDPP

The Dutch Far Right's Election Donors Are Almost Exclusively American

https://qz.com/928684/the-dutch-far-rights-election-donors-are-almost-ex...

"The largest donor by far was the David Horowitz Freedom Center, a California-based think-tank run by right-wing activist David Horowitz, who has called Wilders 'The Paul Revere of Europe.'

Wilders was also a hit with local JDL Zios when he spoke there several years ago.

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

Holland has coalition governments.It's all compromises.I hear that other parties are unwilling to work with FP. But on a personal level I'm disappointed but not surprised what's going on in the Netherlands and most of Europe. Seeing that Americans are the FP's main donors,maybe the problem isn't the Dutch but the Americans. USSA is immured and contaminated by hate. They want to spread their cancer across the globe and they have the money to get the job done.Watch out Canada. They're disgusting pieces of shit.And they're proud of it.

voice of the damned

And the Dutch people who vote for the racist FP are just well-meaning naifs helplessly duped by the evil Americans?

 

 

lagatta4

A new progressive, anti-racist voice:

https://www.equaltimes.org/the-black-dutch-feminist-taking?lang=en#.WMlR...

No, of course the Dutch racists aren't blameless, and they don't even have serious unemployment or structural problems as are the case in some other European countries (think of the former East Germany or their rustbelt in the northwest).  But contributions from abroad should be illegal.

josh

Then let them hold rallies in support of Erdogan's quasi-dictatorship in Turkey.

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

Americans meddling with foreign affairs is nothing new but it needs to end. I'm sure the FP can support themselves. As usual some billionaire psychopath who cannot be satisfied with his wealth,just a real need to put their infantile racism and neo-nazi attitudes to the poor not only in their home but globally.  Sorry.

josh

I don't think that's a terribly constructive suggestion.  Besides, Horowitz is just a front man for the money.

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

I retract my assertion.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Link to election results:  The exit polls show Wilders' party doing far worse than expected, and progressive parties such as Democrats66 and the Green Left making gains(the Labour Party, junior partners in the current coalition, have lost about three-fourths of their seats-they have been punished for making the same foolish choice the Irish Labour party made, remaining junior partners in a coalition government that made severe cuts in social benefits and badly weakened legal protections for working people).

 

http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2017/03/live-blog-dutch-election-2...

NorthReport

At least some societies don't think the good ole days were actually the good ole days, eh!

‘Dutch Donald Trump’ Geert Wilders easily bested in Netherlands election

http://globalnews.ca/news/3311490/geert-wilders-dutch-election-netherlands/

lagatta

By "the good old days", do you mean the Occupation?

The Nazis stole the Dutch people blind, even their bicycles, despite their vaunted Aryan Germanic ties. Do remember that there were Dutch Nazis, who swallowed the "superior race" koolaid. 

Do visit the Resistance Museum if you are in Amsterdam. 

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

I think North was using the term "good ole days" ironically there...or at least I hope so.

lagatta4

The problem is that although the far-right party did not make the gains it hoped for, the rightwing neoliberal party did. The Green Left is good news; what happened to the Socialist Party? (I don't mean the Labour Party, but one that was farther left). 

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

The SP stayed about where it was.  I think it still hasn't recovered from whatever went wrong in the 2012 election, when the early polls suggested it would double its seat count but it ended up just holding its ground. 

6079_Smith_W

And the problem is that we aren't just talking about fascists. Pim Fortuyn and Theo Van Gogh might have been anti-Islam and anti-immigrant, but neither was a fascist. Fortuyn was inspired to act because he didn't want to fight the battle against homophobia all over again.

Wilders is another kind of beast, and I am glad people saw through it. I wouldn't assume everyone who fell for it was a neoliberal or a fascist.

As for the Turkey thing, shutting down that speech was a bad mistake IMO. At best it was a lose/lose, but taking the paternalist route of not allowing Turkish voters the opportunity gave Erdogan a lot of ammunition. They think he's anti-democratic? Well what do they call what they did?

Cody87

As for the Turkey thing, shutting down that speech was a bad mistake IMO. At best it was a lose/lose, but taking the paternalist route of not allowing Turkish voters the opportunity gave Erdogan a lot of ammunition. They think he's anti-democratic? Well what do they call what they did?

I agree with your other points, but disagree with this one. How would you have felt if Donald Trump sent Paul Manafort, Steve Bannon, or Don Jr. (or his other adult son) to campaign in Toronto or Ottawa or wherever during the presidential election? Would it have been anti-democratic for the Canadian government to deny permission for such a rally? And if Trump ignored the request and tried to sneak his operatives in to hold the rally anyway should the Canadian government then acquiesce? What if the rally posed potential risk to Canadians?

If nothing else, Erdogan's excessively hostile response should say everything that needs to be said about whether or not he should be allowed to pursue his agenda without pushback.

6079_Smith_W

Much different, because there is a big difference between the most powerful nation in the world, with ex pats who have ready access to the biggest media in the world, and the Turkish minority in Europe who are oppressed, targetted, and do not have the same access to media covering their election.

Also, it would not be a case of Canada acting paternalistically and interfering in domestic American affairs for the Americans' own good,by preventing those American voters to election information, and the ability to make an informed decision. Americans living in Canada are not treated the same, nor are they regarded the same as Turkish people in Europe.

Never mind that there was no reason, and would be no reason for any American campaign to do that in Canada. They don't even do it for places with a large overseas American population like Frankfurt. The sitiation for the Turkish minority in Europe is quite different. In order to ban someone from speaking in Canada the government would presumably have to have a reason, if only as an explanation for such a political act. What reason could there be for a domestic American election?

The Dutch government gave no reason for the ban other than a claim of safety concerns, and saying that they felt it was not the place for a foreign rally. They also prevented Turkish officials from entering the country to visit their own embassy. In fact they only took that step after being accused by Gert Wilders of being soft.

I'm not saying that rally should have been held there. But given the two choices they had, this one was the worst of the two because it shows Rutte up as willing to take anti-democratic and paternalistic steps , and play into the hands of their racist opponents.

 

lagatta4

People of Turkish origin in European countries with large Turkish populations do experience discrimination and racism  (though please don't generalise as if they are all poor or uneducated) but if you've ever spent considerable time in an immigrant neighbourhood in a major Dutch or German city, they aren't information-poor. All manner of electronic devices are among the most popular goods on the shopping streets of such neighbourhoods in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Cologne, Frankfurt (I'm referring to actual streets in cities where I've actually stayed). 

I'm not defending the ban, but a major reason for it was the fear of violence; both violence by Turkish extremists and by far-right Dutch racists. 

By the way, Theo Van Gogh was also an antisemite and of course, a misogynist. If not an outright fascist, probably just because he was too much of an individualist.

6079_Smith_W

I have. In Germany, and I was familiar with the Turkish community centre where I lived, and I know they are not information-poor. All the more reason to trust that they can make their own decisions for their own country and not assume that we know better. It is one thing to get it all from television, radio and newspapers and another to meet with people face to face, and hold them to account.

And it is really another thing to prevent government officials from having access to their own embassy.

I do see both sides of this, and I don't like the idea of Erdogan bringing his power play to Turkish communities in the rest of Europe which may not have to deal with the end result first hand. My point is that this was at best a lose-lose for Netherlands, and Rutte likely only resorted to it because he was goaded into it by Wilders. The end result is that other nations feel that same pressure to give in to a right-wing foil and ultimately take decision-making power away from Turkish citizens.

Basically, he walked into a trap, and though it isn't Nazism, Erdogan is right to call it out as anti-democratic.

And regarding Van Gogh, no, I don't think his individualism was the only thing keeping him from being a fascist. That was precisely my point. I totally disagree with many of his attitudes, his irresponsibility, and especially his blind spot when it came to the immigrant community and European power. But I think we only make a polarized situation like this worse when we make assumptions about why people hold the values they do. That goes for him, and for many people who are now duped by racist parties, but are not fascist.

lagatta4

Yes. I didn't support the ban, and more importantly, neither did the progressive Dutch people I know (whether native Dutch or "allochtoon"). I was simply saying that there were reasons other than racism or paternalism that many, including some Turkish Dutchpersons who fear Erdogan's rule, supported denial of permission for those public meetings. 

For linguistic reasons, I have more friends of Maghrebi or African origins among the "allochtoons" than Turkish ones, as many of the former are fluent in French, and unlike native Dutch people, many from immigrant communities are less likely to be fluent in English, as they already have to deal with their own language and Dutch. I discovered this when staying in the East End neighbourhood near the International Institute for Social History - so I actually did have to learn some basic Dutch to buy groceries and such. Dutch is closely related to English and German, but some of the sounds are tricky for non-Dutchies. 

6079_Smith_W

A big aside... it is interesting how much friesische platt (not Mennonite platt - that is a different beast) is closer to English than German. And on the other end of the spectrum how higher-class and academic German also has far more anglicized words (a good friend was forced into a non-academic stream and learned a very different language) than Standard German. I only know a few words of Dutch, but for some reason I was usually mistaken for one of them because of my accent, perhaps because I learned German not far from that border.