Pauline Hanson's full burqa and the rise against fascism

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(Screen shot via @itvnews)

'Hanson cloaked her xenophobia in the cloth of liberating women, but taking her lead from Trump, her real aim is to unite the forces of fascism and white supremacy and build her electoral and social base.' 

John Passant

LAST WEEK, the bellicose bluster bag was threatening to rain down fire and fury on the Stalinist monarchy of North Korea.  

This week Trump supported, not once but twice, the Nazis and white nationalists in Charlottesville. 

You might remember these were Nazis, KKK members and other human detritus who marched through the town – some with Swastika flags – chanting "Jews will not replace us".

One of these "representatives of human dust" – to use Trotsky’s phrase – rammed his car into a crowd of anti-fascist protesters, killing one protestor and injuring 19.

Trump supports these murdering fascists and Klansmen. They are an important part of his supporter base. His election has invigorated them, although some of the hard core anti-Semites and Nazis want a more racist version of Trump — for example one without any Jewish family connections.

Their rise – and that of Trump – reflects a return to racial politics, at a time when American capitalism faces economic stagnation, if not decline, for American workers and others.

It is not that different in Australia. On Thursday (17 August) Senator Pauline Hanson wore a burqa into the Senate. It is part of her campaign to ban the burqa. Maybe, instead, we should be banning those politicians who go fully berko.

Hanson cloaked her xenophobia in the cloth of liberating women, but taking her lead from Trump, her real aim is to unite the forces of fascism and white supremacy and build her electoral and social base. If Hanson was really interested in liberating women, what are her policies for doing so, apart from being a yes woman for the Turnbull Government and its attacks on women?

The burqa stuff is just a distraction.

There is another aspect to Hanson’s call to ban the burqa.

As the Turnbull Government shuffles from shamble to shamble, Hanson wants to win over the very conservative grass root elements of the Coalition, as well as street fighters from the likes of Reclaim Australia. Her burqa stunt was one way to crystallise the differences and make her party more attractive to that group of human dust, the disaffected middle classes and the "lumpenproletariat".  

It looks to me like Hanson has adopted, consciously or not, the "concentric rings strategy" — the same strategy the Nazis used to build support and power. It involves two separate wings: a "respectable" middle class wing and a street fighting wing. Anti-Muslim racism is both the flame to attract the middle class and fascist bugs, and the glue that joins the two together.  

In an emotional response, Attorney General George Brandis condemned Hanson’s actions. There has been undeserved praise for Brandis. The Government of which he is a key member has laid the groundwork for the rise of Hansonism with its racism and xenophobia. So too have previous governments. You cannot run concentration camps on Manus Island and Nauru and come with clean hands to this debate, Senator Brandis.  

The Turnbull Government had its own Trump-Lite moment a few days ago too. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull condemned the decision by a Melbourne local council to not celebrate Australia Day. While in America the statues to racists are being torn down, here in Australia many celebrate the indigenocide that established Australian capitalism. This is a genocide that continues today. 

Turnbull said the Council's decision was: 

"An attack on Australia Day was a repudiation on the values it celebrates: freedom, a fair go, mateship and diversity."

To spell it out (slowly) for Turnbull, Australia Day celebrates the G-E-N-O-C-I-D-E of Indigenous Australians. 

Turnbull’s lies about freedom, the fair go and so on, are designed precisely to hide this truth. And the point is not to find some alternative day to celebrate unity. There can be no unity with those who exploit and oppress.

Australia’s one per cent use the day and its celebrations to try to do precisely that. We are all Australians, the wealthy proclaim. You and Gina Rinehart are as one. The rich use "national unity" distractions to pick our pockets and deny history.

In the United States, the fight back against that denial of history has begun. The fascist and white supremacist brutality at Charlottesville has opened many eyes to the threat these elements pose to Jews, Muslims, Asians, the anti-fascist left and even democracy.

Part of the resistance to fascism and white nationalist extremism in the U.S. has been to build mass protests against this filth whenever it crawls out from under its Hitler-infested rocks. For example, on Sunday Australian time, there was a demonstration of thousands in Boston against a key white nationalist and fascist mobilisation — the latter laughingly described it as a "free speech" rally. There were thousands of anti-racist protesters and only a few racists.

Hate speech is not free speech. Hate speech is designed to mobilise people against the targets, be they Muslims, or blacks, or Asians, or the left or all of the above. In response, anti-racists in the U.S. have organised counter protests and begun to tear down statues of confederate heroes, supremacists and mass murderers.

Donald Trump asked a pertinent question at a news conference recently (yes, a stopped clock can be right twice a day):

"George Washington was a slave owner ... What about Thomas Jefferson?" 

Yes. So instead of denying that truth with bullshit about freedom and the like, and instead of worshipping them, why not examine history truthfully?

It is a message Aboriginal groups and the left in Australia have been pushing for some time. All the founding heroes in Australia's history are genocidists and mass murderers. Their statues are everywhere. How, then, can we pull them down — figuratively and literally?

We have to build a mass movement against racism and against the rise of the crypto-fascist One Nation Party and the other groups in the same pool of effluent. That will take different specific forms — supporting the end of Australia Day, supporting Muslims, joining with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in fighting for sovereignty and a treaty. It means building mass protests and a mass movement against the Australian equivalent of the Ku Klux Klan and other abominations.

The 40,000 who marched in Boston show the way. We must not stay silent and inactive. To do so is to acquiesce.

Read more by John Passant on his website En Passant or follow him on Twitter @JohnPassantSigned copies of John's first book of poetry, Songs for the Band Unformed (Ginninderra Press 2016) are available for purchase from the IA store HERE.

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