HERE’S a question. Why is anti-Semitism thought to be a feature of the ‘far Right’? Perhaps more to the point, why are ‘far-Right’ fascist groups thought to be Right-wing? The Nazis were National Socialists, after all. Mussolini came from the Left and, despite rejecting the principle of equality, always described himself as a socialist. The totalitarian state in the 20th century came in communist and fascist forms, and was sometimes committed to internationalism and sometimes to nationalism, but it was always a creature of the Left, a ‘progressive’ vision to end class division and capitalist oppression and move humanity towards utopia.
Anti-Semitism on the Left is linked to the alleged connection between Jews, banking and capitalism. Not coincidentally, so it is among fascists as well. The Soviet Union waged an almost continuous war against its Jewish population, especially under Stalin. Oswald Mosley said in 1935: ‘For the first time I openly and publicly challenge the Jewish interests of this country, commanding commerce, commanding the Press, commanding the cinema, dominating the City of London, killing industry with their sweat-shops. These great interests are not intimidating, and will not intimidate, the Fascist movement of the modern age.’
Oswald Mosley was a Labour man and a Fabian who left Labour because they rejected his radical programme of authoritarian nationalisation. He embraced fascism because he saw in it the embodiment of his radical national socialism. He was far Left, not far Right.
From Wikipedia: ‘His period outside Parliament was used to develop a new economic policy for the Independent Labour Party, which eventually became known as the Birmingham Proposals; they continued to form the basis of Mosley’s economics until the end of his political career. . . . Mosley and his wife Cynthia were committed Fabians in the 1920s and at the start of the 1930s . . . Mosley realising the economic uncertainty that was facing the nation due to the death of her domestic industry, eventually put forward a whole scheme in the “Mosley Memorandum”, which called for high tariffs to protect British industries from international finance, for state nationalisation of main industries, and for a programme of public works to solve unemployment. Furthermore, within the memorandum, it laid out the foundations of the corporate state which intended to combine businesses, workers and the Government into one body as a way to “obliterate class conflict and make the British economy healthy again”. Mosley published this memorandum due to his dissatisfaction of the laissez-faire attitude that both Labour and the Conservatives held and how passive it was to the ever increasing globalisation of the world and thus looked to a modern solution to fix a modern problem. However, it was rejected by the Cabinet, and in May 1930 Mosley resigned from his ministerial position.’
Mosley’s Blackshirts were famously fought by the blue-collar East Enders of London, notably in the Ridley Road riots, and these would have been Labour voters through and through. The UK Labour movement in the mid 20th century included dozens of Jewish MPs, showing how British Labour long resisted the anti-Semitic strains in far-Left Marxist thinking.
Labour now embraces multiculturalism and open borders. But the rise of Corbynism has shown how the socialist contempt for ‘capitalist’ and ‘rootless’ Jews remains among many in the party, augmented by the arrival of another larger religious minority into British urban constituencies adhering to a religion, Islam, that has its own deep theological and cultural antipathy to Jewish people.
The vision of racial purity characteristic of 20th century far-Left visions such as National Socialism and British fascism is, thankfully, largely gone from the modern Left. But the obsession with race remains, both with the persisting anti-Semitism, and also transmogrified as a fixation with diversity and anti-white discrimination – any race who can be identified as part of the ‘capitalist oppressor’.
This is not merely ‘anti-Zionism’, as some maintain. At the final pre-election Corbyn rally his supporters were chanting ‘from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free’, which is, as Guido points out, the ‘genocidal promise of Hamas to drive out the Jews from Israel/Palestine‘. Why the obsession with the supposed illegitimacy of Israel, of all states, and the desire to bring its distinctive Jewish character to an end? The fixation with Israel and constant criticism of the minutiae of its defence policies reeks of anti-Semitism.
The SNP is an interesting phenomenon of a deeply nationalistic and socialist character, inevitably setting itself against the larger nation of England, seeking to differentiate itself as more socialist and deeply culturally nationalist. In its roots of the 1930s a founder member, Hugh MacDiarmid, longed for the victory of the Nazis over Britain and for London and the English middle class to be bombed flat. MacDiarmid has been cited approvingly by Alex Salmond while SNP MPs wore the white rose, an invention of MacDiarmid, when they took their seats after the 2017 General Election. But anti-Semitism does not seem to have tainted the party.
So if you ever wondered why the ‘far Right’ and many on the Left are united in their dislike of Jews, then wonder no more. The ‘far Right’ are not Right-wing at all but Left-wing. Fascism and National Socialism originated on the Left and are far-Left philosophies, having nothing to do with the freedom-loving conservatism of the Right, save for a co-option of the national idea as a vehicle for socialism and the totalitarian state. The anti-Semitism they often share with Marxist socialism comes from the same source.
This far-Left fare is not of course the staple political diet of the average Labour voter or the mainstream of traditional social democratic Labour, which in the UK has deeper roots in Methodism than Marxism.
Britain has for a long time been regarded by Jews as a benign state and culture. Cromwell invited the Jews back, after their bloody expulsion from England in 1290, as they were ‘the people of the book’, and since then they have thrived and contributed immensely to all aspects of national life. Today’s rise in anti-Semitism is therefore a very nasty development whatever one’s political allegiance, and it is most welcome to see it fall so spectacularly at this election. May it now recede once more into the depths of the far Left whence it came.