Greek Police Arrest Fascist Members of Parliament

According to this article on Slate, six elected members of the Neo-nazi "Golden Dawn" party have been arrested on charges of starting a criminal gang. This isn't surprising to me, and I don't think it should be surprising to anyone; if any political affiliation should be described as a criminal gang, it's fascism.

What shocked me was the apparently ambivalent tone of the article.

Still, the arrest of sitting lawmakers and what amounts to the wholesale criminalization of a party that earned 7 percent of the vote last year, is an extreme step. As NPR’s Joanna Kakissis notes, this is the first time that sitting members of parliament have been arrested since the end of the country’s military dictatorship in 1974.

Gideon Rachman of the Financial Times is right that “Mass arrests of legitimately elected politicians should always spark unease."

“When you feel you have to arrest your neo-Nazi party to limit their influence, things have gone far indeed in a very bad direction,” adds Tyler Cowen.

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We're only 68 years out from the end of World War 2, and it isn't as though the world has been without reminders of the nature of fascism since 1945. There are plenty of Neo-fascist and Neo-nazi groups around the world who are quite capable of keeping us up to date on the price of inaction.

I appreciate the sentiment of Tyler Cowen. It's a bad sign when you have to constrain your Neo-nazi party by force, but I don't see how it could possibly follow that that means you shouldn't be using force to constrain your Neo-nazi party. It isn't as though fascists are an unknown factor, or that we can't be sure that stopping them is the right thing to do. This question should be decided. There are no cases where fascism is going to lead to the betterment of mankind, or to a state that treats human beings as anything other than its own property. I know that this might seem to be anti-democratic, when people are voting for fascists, but if your interest is in preserving democracy, you have to stop totalitarian parties from seizing power.

I think that if we're going to consider ourselves capable of recognizing the difference between right and wrong, or good and evil, we can start by saying that fascism is an evil. Am I totally out of line in thinking this?

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