Amid the commemorations of the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz in January, controversy erupted when Prince Harry, invited to a tastefully themed ‘colonisers and natives’ party, turned up dressed as a Nazi officer.
How, asked outraged journalists, could such a prominent establishment figure be so insensitive to the sacrifices of the British people during WWII and to the sufferings of the jews? Didn’t he know that the Nazis were the Most Evil Empire the world has ever seen?
The furore about Harry’s costume gaff missed the point entirely – in fact, it was meant to. Making a fetish of the Nazi holocaust as the Biggest Act Of Barbarism In The World … Ever serves two very important purposes. First, it places one particular imperialist crime on a pedestal and, ignoring the other victims (communists, trade unionists, Slavs, gypsies, etc) of the Nazis, teaches that World’s Most Persecuted People status must be given to ‘The Jews’, thereby justifying the creation of the zionist settler state of Israel. Second, it gives the impression that German fascism was somehow worse than all other imperialist crimes – a historical anomaly arising out of an ill-fated combination of the apparently incurable hatred of gentiles for jews and Herr Hitler’s frustrated art ambitions. Reams of pseudo-analysis into the minutiae of How Hitler Happened assiduously avoids any mention of the numerous other holocausts that have been perpetrated by imperialist powers – the American and Australian aboriginals by European settlers; Irish and Indians under British rule; the Congolese by Belgian imperialism, the Korean and Indo-Chinese people by US imperialist aggression etc.
The truth is that fascism, ie, rule of the bourgeoisie by naked force, has always been used by imperialist powers – they export it everywhere that capital is exported to ensure the continued flow of maximum profits. Anyone wishing to see the face of fascism in the world today need look no further than zionist Israel or the British/US occupation of Iraq.
At home, although the ruling class prefers to stave off revolution by ruling through the velvet glove of bourgeois democracy, this only lasts as long as there is sufficient loot pouring in from abroad to bribe a section of the workforce into believing that they have a vested interest in the status quo. Economic crisis, however, is built into imperialism – the ticking time bomb at its festering core – and as the latest crisis grows ever deeper and the British economy teeters on the brink of a massive collapse, fascist measures in the ‘world’s oldest democracy’ are increasing daily.
In Britain today, there are concentration camps for immigrants; opponents of the regime are locked up indefinitely without charge; many anti-imperialist organisations are banned and racist hysteria fills the media. We may not have armed troops on the streets, but that has more to do with a lack of organised working-class opposition than any innate love of freedom on the part of the government – as can be seen by the ever-expanding number of criminal wars for plunder and domination in which British troops are involved.
The fact that Britain trails slightly behind the US when it comes to export of fascism and implementation of fascist measures at home should not blind us to reality. While mourning victims of the WWII holocaust, Britain and the US are engaged in perpetrating a new and equally criminal holocaust in Iraq today. Fascism did not die with Hitler, and it will not die until imperialism has been wiped from the face of the earth.