Sunday, September 16, 2018

Among Greenpeace extremists and anti-German Nazis

This is a book published in the Czech Republic by the Masaryk University in 1998. It's only available in Czech. In translation, the title reads “Political extremism and radicalism in the Czech Republic”. I admit that I skipped the boring, scholarly articles in the first half of the book, and went straight for the red meat in the second part, essentially a mini-encyclopedic survey of particular organizations.

The editors regard the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia (KSCM) as extremist. The KSCM is relatively strong, and represented in the Czech Parliament. This is unusual for a direct successor party to an “East” European Communist regime. The section on Communist front groups is interesting. Many of them claim to be Christian! The book also contains information on “Stalinist” groups within or outside the KSCM. They believe that the KSCM has conceded too much to post-Communist conditions.

The so-called Republicans (SPR-RSC) are an obvious candidate to the right-wing extremist mantle, with their bizarre hatred of Jews, Masons, Rotary, the Roma (Gypsies) and (surprise) Communists. The latter phobia has not stopped the Republicans from hobnobbing with unregenerate Reds in various front groups. The authors argue that there are clear parallels between “Mein Kampf” and the writings of Miroslav Sladek, the Republican leader. Sladek even wants Lebensraum, demanding the return of Ruthenia to Czechoslovakia. Ironically, Sladek is anti-German! This might be the height of Czech Dadaist humor: the Untermenschen create their own anti-Übermensch Nazi Party. The blond beast, it seems, is really from Golden Prague.

Various foreign groups have established a (usually small) presence in the Czech Republic. The editors have tracked down local chapters of both White Aryan Resistance (WAR) and the opposing Skinheads Against Racial Prejudice (SHARP), both groups originally from California. There are also local Czech branches of the Hammerskins, the KKK, the Animal Liberation Front and various Trotskyist internationals. A few peculiar outfits have been included, too, including “Hussite” skinheads, the Humanist Alliance (Silo's supporters) and the “Purists”, a Neo-Pagan/Nazi/anti-German re-enactment group sometimes deemed to be a joke.

The editors' definition of “extremism” is sometimes too broad, since both the soft left Left Alternative, Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace (!) are included on their political hit list, with apologies that perhaps the two latter aren't really extremists at all. It's interesting to note that the editor of this volume, Petr Fiala, is currently the head of the ODS, Vaclav Klaus' conservative Euro-skeptic party, so perhaps he, too, should be considered an extremist under this broad definition?

The Czech Republic often prides itself on being more modern, Western and enlightened than other post-Communist states, say, Poland, Serbia or Slovakia. The Czech political landscape does indeed have a remarkable resemblance to that of the Western nations. Even their extremists are the same! I suppose you could argue that the Czech Republic has successfully completed the “transition”…

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