Nazism doesn’t stop. It can’t. The attitude of discrimination, be it based upon race, religion, sexuality, age, employment status or disability remains the same – and that attitude is self-perpetuating.

Pastor Martin Neimoller summed it up perfectly decades ago when he wrote…

neimoller“First they came for the Communists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Communist.
Then they came for the Socialists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me
And there was no one left
To speak out for me.”

What happened in Nazi Germany and throughout Nazi occupied Europe was both tragic and predictable. Once discrimination of any form gains acceptance, other prejudices inevitably follow. That’s why the racial and religious discrimination of groups like Britain First, the English Defence League, the National Front, UKIP, the BNP and all the rest of their petty, small-minded, mean-spirited ilk threatens everyone. Ironically enough many of their hoodwinked supporters will soon find themselves in the discriminator’s sights. Such is the inevitable expansion of the prejudicial mindset.

These far right groups base their appeal upon scapegoating and upon deception. It’s a well-worn ploy intended to demonise the innocent, as though that somehow will solve our country’s social and economic problems. And of course it won’t. Far from providing a solution, all this extreme bigotry achieves is social division and unrest. Our society becomes all the poorer for it.

"Auszug der Juden" - Abführung jüdischer Männer in Regensburg zum Transport in das KZ Dachau

Aufnahmedatum: 10.11.1938
Aufnahmeort: Regensburg
Geschichte / Deutschland / 20. Jh. / NS-Zeit / Rassenpolitik / Juden / Verfolgung / November-Pogrome 1938 / allgemein

But that’s not the biggest problem. This sort of scapegoating feeds into one of humanity’s basest characteristics – the fear of the other, the outsider. Xenophobia, in other words. It fuels the perception that everything would be OK if we could only get rid of those pesky ……… (insert the demographic of your choice here).

The trouble is that life is never that simple. We could persecute the Jews, the Asians, the Muslims, the immigrants, the queers and the blacks but that won’t solve our problems. And when we realise that nothing has changed we need an to find alternative political strategy. For reasonable people that means economic solutions. For discriminators it means targeting another demographic. It means finding a new scapegoat to persecute.

We saw this in mid-20th century occupied Europe and we see it in modern UK. The last few years haven’t just seen the rise of Islamophobia. Since 2009 (& the rise of the neoNazi EDL) discrimination from the extreme right has expanded to include socialists, gays, lesbians, Sikhs, Jews (an old favourite), the ‘wrong’ kind of Christian, public sector workers, the disabled, the unemployed, immigrants and pacifists. Basically anyone who dislikes neoNazi politics.

itd are you worried yet

Just take a look at Pegida’s propaganda to see how this monstrous mindset of hatred and prejudice is growing. Just look at the rise of far right and racist political parties across the continent from Marine le Pen’s ‘Front nationals’ in France to our very own UKIP here in Britain. History is all set to repeat itself and, as before, Europe seems barely to have noticed.

neoNazis rising

There is no end to discriminatory, divisive politics. Even after the neoNazis have given Jews, Muslims, refugees and immigrants a thorough kicking their problems will still be there. The need to find a new scapegoat to persecute will be just as pressing.

Who will the far right turn against next?

It could be you!