I like Bob Brown. I especially like how he manages to drive those who dislike his politics into paroxysms of rage. So yesterday, we learnt from Liberal Senator George Brandis that Bob Brown is objectively pro-fascist [excerpted from yesterday’s Hansard]:
I think until fairly recently the Australian people tended to divide the Greens party into two camps. There seemed to be two points of view about the Greens party. There were those Australians who thought that the Greens were a collection of well meaning oddballs — and there was certainly a degree of evidence to give comfort to that view. There were others, I think, in Australia who regarded the Greens not so much as well-meaning oddballs but as a mob of scruffy ratbags. There was certainly plenty of evidence to give comfort to that point of view. But, as their behaviour last Thursday demonstrated, the Greens are not well-meaning oddballs and they are not scruffy ratbags; they are something much more sinister than that. They have introduced into our democracy — one of the world’s greatest and most successful democracies — a new and sinister element. The journalist Andrew Bolt, in a very perceptive piece published in the —
…[Brown interjects to raise a point of order; Senator Brandis continues:]
In a very perceptive column syndicated throughout Australia in last Sunday’s newspapers, the journalist Andrew Bolt pointed out the striking and very dangerous antecedents of the fanaticism of contemporary green politics in this country, and its commonality and common source with the views that inspired the Nazis in prewar Germany. In an earlier piece, published in July, Mr Bolt directed our attention to two studies that have been written of contemporary green politics — and I have read them in the last day or so; they make chilling reading — which go all the way to explaining the modus operandi of the Greens last Thursday. The first, by an American scholar, Professor Raymond Dominick, examined the common source of the fanaticism of contemporary greens with the nature worship practised by the Nazis in the 1930s.
…[Brown interjects to raise another point of order; Senator Brandis continues:]
And I intend to continue to call to the attention of the Australian people the extremely alarming, frightening similarities between the methods employed by contemporary green politics and the methods and the values of the Nazis.
Brandis goes on to point out the “similarities”:
First of all — and this is the most obvious point of the lot — is the embrace of fanaticism, the embrace of a set of political values which will not brook the expression of legitimate difference. So, as we saw from Senator Brown’s and Senator Nettle’s behaviour in the House of Representatives chamber last Thursday, they are unable to listen to somebody whose political colour they dislike, whose political views they disagree with, without screaming at them. They will not even brook the legitimacy of alternative points of view. The zealotry — the fundamentalism — we saw from Senator Brown and Senator Nettle last Thursday identified them as true fanatics.
I wonder what Brandis would say of a person who is “unable to listen to somebody whose political colour they dislike” without screaming “fascist!”, “Nazi!” etc. The really odd thing about this is that cries of “fascist!” and “Nazi!” are something you’d expect from, say, Counterpunch, not from Liberal members of the Upper House. But Brandis is not to be stopped:
The second feature of contemporary green politics which bears chilling and striking
comparison with the political techniques of the Nazis and the fascists is not merely their contempt for
democratic institutions but a very cynical willingness to use those democratic parliamentary institutions to achieve antidemocratic ends. Let it never be forgotten that the Nazis came to power in 1932 when they won a majority in the Reichstag in free elections.
The mechanistic use of democratic institutions — the invocation of the good repute of democratic institutions by those who wish to destroy those institutions — is a hallmark of contemporary green politics, just as it was a hallmark of those who were their antecedents.
It wasn’t that long ago that a green party shared power in New Zealand, and for the last five years the greens have been part of the ruling co-alition in Germany. Yet, surprisingly, they have not attempted to use their power in the Beehive and in the Bundestag to “destroy those institutions”, at least not to my knowledge. Indeed, Germany’s greens haven’t even managed to destroy themselves, despite constant speculation.
But wait, Brandis has more:
The third feature which we see in common between the Greens and the Nazis is a kind of ignorant nationalism, as reflected most obviously in their hatred of globalisation. Professor Staudenmaier, in his book about ecofascism, tracing those values back to their philosophical antecedents, their philosophical roots, writes:
At the very outset of the nineteenth century the deadly connection between love of land and militant racist nationalism was firmly set in place.
Brandis’ analysis concludes:
As well — and I will not go too much further into this — we see other common features. We see the very clever use of propaganda. We see the absolute indifference to truth. We see the manipulation of bodgie science in order to maintain political conclusions. We see the hatred of industrialisation. We see the growth of occultism built around a single personality. We see a
fundamentalist view of nature in which the integrity of the human person comes second to the whole of the natural system. My point is that the behaviour we saw from Senator Nettle and Senator Brown last Thursday was not just a publicity stunt. It was not just a random event. It was the very mechanical prosecution in this parliament of a profoundly antidemocratic ideology having deeply rooted antidemocratic antecedents. To hear Senator Brown — and no doubt Senator Nettle in a moment — stand up and seek to claim democratic cover for their actions and for their ideology should shock us.
It should alert us to their game and it should send a message loud and clear to the Australian people — not just to the 90 per cent of Australians who condemned their behaviour last Thursday but to 100 per cent of Australians — that this is the kind of crypto-fascist politics we do not want in this country.
Well, I must say that I am shocked to hear someone other than Gore Vidal use words like “crypto-fascist”. Interestingly, Brandis’ inspiration, Andrew Bolt, is actually less extreme in his Greens-as-Nazis rantings. Here’s one of the Bolt columns that Brandis referred to:
True, Bob Brown means to do good and is not a Nazi. Nor are any of the other Greens politicians.
But Fatherland or Mother Earth, the pull is much the same. People bury themselves in a totalitarian cause that treats people as mere cogs, or else nasty grit, in a mighty and holy machine.
Bolt at least has the sense to make it quite obvious that he doesn’t actually equate the Greens with the Nazis, even if he does wish to imply some doctrinal and tactical similarities. In so doing, Bolt makes clear that his is a position that a sane person might hold, even if it’s not one that many to his left would agree with. I mean, Bolt’s implication is silly enough, but Brandis’ remarks are just stupid. Even apart from all that other stuff about killing Jews and invading other countries and advocating eugenics and so forth, Bob Brown is homosexual, and the Nazis hated homosexuals, or at least they hate every homosexual who wasn’t Hitler.
Also, try and figure out where John Howard stands on this:
In a statement, Mr Howard says he understands and supports Senator Brandis’s criticism of the Greens’ behaviour.
But Mr Howard says a comparison with the Nazis is not one that he would have made.
If Howard “understands” whatever point it is that Brandis is trying to make, he’s doing better than me. And if Howard supports Brandis’ criticisms, does that mean that he also thinks the Greens want to destroy Australia’s democratic institutions? That the Greens “embrace of a set of political values” that involve silencing “alternative points of view”? That they’re “crypto fascists”? Come to think of it, is it even possible to support Brandis’ criticisms without also supporting the ludicrous Nazi comparison, upon which said criticisms were based?
Oh, and the title of this post, explained.