[MGSA-L] Golden Dawn in New York city

Peter Bratsis pbratsis at gmail.com
Sun Sep 30 22:18:23 PDT 2012

It is good that AHEPA has come out against Golden Dawn but it is a severe misreading to equate their actions to those of SYRIZA or the far left in Greece.  Golden Dawn uses violence in order to defend the existing legal and normative order in Greece, to provide 'protection' to citizens and to fight back against those who desire to change key aspects of traditional greek society (for example, those who challenge the religious, linguistic, and ethnic social order).  Indeed, Golden Dawn often works in conjunction with the police and acts as a very useful foil to the present regime, taking a bit of attention away from the destruction and violence that the state is inflicting on society and dolling out the beatings and intimidation that would stain the image of official state security agencies.  

Presumably the violence and disorder one see on the streets during protests and general strikes (leaving aside the plain truth that this is most often at the hands of the police) is what is understood as being the violence and threats from the left.  That violence is a part of politics is a given, there is no denying that fact.  However, the violence from the left is categorically different in that it seeks to overturn and transform the existing legal and political order in Greece.  From the other side, from the right and the repressive apparatuses of the state, the purpose is to defend and continue the existing legal and political order.   

Those who believe that Greece is doing well and should continue on the present path, then by all means present the left as a danger to the status quo.   However if you simply decry violence and conflict, then you are fundamentally siding the with the existing regime and its own version of violence as a means of protecting existing Greek and EU policies.  The choice is not between violence on one side and none on the other, a position other than a partisan one is possible, either you want to defend and continue the existing order or you are on the side who wants to found a new one.

Peter Bratsis

On Sep 29, 2012, at 7:21 AM, "Savidis" <lists1 at savidis.com> wrote:

> It is important to note that the largest Hellenic heritage/diaspora
> organization in the world (excepting the Church), the American Hellenic
> Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA), has strongly and publically
> condemned Golden Dawn and the opening of this “office.”  
> AHEPA’s statement is fairly and rightly explicit in labeling the group as
> bigoted and neo-Nazi, and in pointing out the irony of a Golden Dawn
> attempting to recruit in the home of the descendents of Greek immigrants --
> who themselves had a long slog against xenophobic nativism and outright
> racism.
> Relevant to the prior discussion it is also instructive to note AHEPA also
> makes it clear this is a problem of both the ultra right and ultra left,
> which has been violent and equally nihilistic and threatening to
> democratically elected Greek governments: "Simply stated, such rhetoric and
> acts conducted by extremists on both the right and left are unacceptable and
> deeply concern us as a community and as Ahepans. "
> I find the AHEPA statement to be quite sober, well reasoned and well timed.
> It points to specific and unique dangers of Golden Dawn, and specifically
> and categorically deplores them, while also stating the evident fact that
> extremists on the left also threaten civil society there.
> George P. Savidis 
> Washington, DC
> From: mgsa-l-bounces at uci.edu [mailto:mgsa-l-bounces at uci.edu] On Behalf Of
> Eleni Bastea
> Sent: Friday, September 28, 2012 7:24 PM
> To: mgsa-l at uci.edu
> Subject: [MGSA-L] Golden Dawn in New York city
> While we are debating what should and should not be published on the MGSA
> list, Golden Dawn has opened an office in New York City. Deeply troubling
> all around. Maybe our New York colleagues can comment more.
> http://www.salon.com/2012/09/24/greek_neo_nazi_party_sets_up_ny_office/
> http://www.jta.org/news/article/2012/09/23/3107701/greek-neo-nazi-party-sets
> -up-new-york-office
> Quite troubling is also the commentary by various readers following some of
> these articles.
> Eleni
> -- 
> Eleni Bastéa, M.Arch., Ph.D.
> Professor, Architecture Program
> School of Architecture and Planning
> The University of New Mexico
> MSC04 2530, 1 University of New Mexico
> Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001, USA
> http://www.elenibastea.com 
> _______________________________________________
> List-Info: https://maillists.uci.edu/mailman/listinfo/mgsa-l

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