Salient: Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 29, No. 10. 1966.
Fascists in NZ?
Fascists in NZ?
Sir,—In his tv interview Brigadier Gilbert showed that his assessment of our political system and likely threats to its stability takes quite insufficient account of what constitutes the greatest danger: Namely right-wing extremism. In fact, he hardly mentioned it — then only in answer to a question that he could not avoid. His words were: "We are concerned just as much with threats from neo-fascism as with threats from Communism. In fact it is not so very long ago that we were successful in detecting some neo-fascist activity here."
"Not so long ago" is too long ago. considering that some neo-fascist activity seems to be operating without hindrance or protest. Fascism is not. as many people think, restricted to black-shirts and the swastika.
An organisation calling itself "Essential Books" is circulating fascist literature around the country, and is centred at Frankton. Anyone writing to the press displaying a right-wing outlook is liable to receive an advertisement for the sale of this literature. In this way its activities remain unknown to the general public, while its influence goes on spreading. The books and pamphlets give clear evidence that this organisation is surely neofascist. An hysterical, bigoted, irrational and fear-crazed outlook is cloaked by the very symbols that it seeks to strike down.
In 1945 the USA War Department gave the following guide to the identification of fascism: "An American fascist seeking power would not proclaim that he is a fascist. Fascism always camouflages its plans and purposes." The fact sheet goes on to say that the camouflage commonly consists of "Red Bogy" panic incitement, names and slogans of popular appeal draped with the flag, and racial and religious bigotry.
Americans and Australians are the writers of these books and pamphlets, some of them representing recognised organisations—for instance the Australian Social Crediter. Anti-Communism is the theme scream: Racialist doctrines, super-patriotism, and many popular concepts, such as "reason," "realism," "democracy," "freedom," also play a big part. The list includes "The Blue Book Of The John Birch Society" and "America's Retreat From Victory" by Senator Joseph McCarthy. Every document contains accusations of Communism from the USA Supreme Court to the United Nations. from President Roosevelt to President Johnson. Other literature expounds the facts of white supremacy.
One might hope that such rubbish is unlikely to be taken seriously, but in the present situation that seems most unlikely. For as long as "Essential Books" is allowed to spread its filth, our doubtful democracy cannot become anything but weaker. USA and Australian neofascism is being encouraged. And Security is allowing this to continue.