Fascism In The Contemporary World Essay Research

Fascism In The Contemporary World Essay, Research Paper FASCISM AND ULTRANATIONALISM IN CONTEMPORARY CROATIA, HUNGARY, AND SERBIA Introduction This research examines the development of fascism and ultranationalism in contemporary Croatia, Hungary, and Serbia. Fascism and ultranationalism are not one and the same thing.

Fascism In The Contemporary World Essay, Research Paper

FASCISM AND ULTRANATIONALISM IN CONTEMPORARY CROATIA, HUNGARY, AND SERBIA

Introduction

This research examines the development of fascism and ultranationalism in contemporary Croatia, Hungary, and Serbia. Fascism and ultranationalism are not one and the same thing. While a fascist likely will be an ultranationalist (and will certainly be nationalistic), an ultranationalist need not necessarily be a fascist. As these two terms are critical to this examination, they must be defined.

Ultranationalism

Ultranationalism implies not only an intensely patriotic attitude toward and a highly chauvinistic perception of one’s own nation, but also implies a desire to exclude others from one’s nation, particularly should those others be in some way different from the majority population in one’s own nation. By and large, the United States has one of the most intensely patriotic populations on the globe, and certainly has the most chauvinistic population of any major nation. The American population is also highly insular in that the broad base of the population possesses little knowledge about the rest of the world. The American government, however, tends to be highly interventionist internationally in contrast to the general insularity of the population. The population of the United States tends to be divided, however, with respect to a desire to exclude immigrants from the nation.

The dichotomies involving an interventionist government and an insular population, and both pro﷓ and anti﷓immigration

elements within the population keep the United States from being designated as an ultranationalist country, although strong ultranationalist forces are present in American society. Among the major nations, both Germany and Japan are better examples of ultranationalist societies. Patriotism and chauvinism are strong in both countries. General tendencies toward insularity in each of the countries are reinforced by concerted efforts to restrict immigration, particularly the immigration of persons who differ ethnically from the majority German and Japanese populations. Generally speaking, however, the populations of both Germany and Japan are more aware of the rest of the world than is true in the United States. Insularity in Germany and Japan stems not from the ignorance of the world found in the United States, but rather from a desire to avoid societal pollution. The German and Japanese governments are also less interventionist internationally than is the United States government, and, thus, more in tune with societal preferences.

Ultranationalism, thus, is defined in terms of patriotism, chauvinism, insularity, exclusion, and a withdrawal from international interventionism. To some extent, these phenomena must be present in a society or in an organization designated as ultranationalist in character.

Fascism

Fascism is a term that is even more misused and misunderstood than ultranationalism. To many people in the United States, the federal government is fascist, although in fact the American federal government is not fascist in character. To many people around the world, fascism is equated with racism. The original fascists which developed in Italy, however, were not racist. In fact, to many people, any approach to political action or government that differs from their own preferences is termed fascist. Such misapplications of the term, however, do not cause a government or a political movement to actually be fascist.

The fascist movement was formed in Italy in 1919, and Benito Mussolini led the fascists to political power in that country in 1922. The fascists remained in power in Italy until defeated in the Second World War. Other governments with similar characteristics were created later in Germany, Spain, countries in the Balkans, countries in South America, and countries in the Middle East. Political movements with fascist overtones that never formed governments were created in both Europe and North America.

All fascist governments and political movements are authoritarian in character. All fascist governments and political movements are strongly nationalistic. A characteristic of all fascists prior to the contemporary period has been a powerful anti﷓communist perspective. The anti﷓communist perspective is found among neo﷓fascist groups in the contemporary period. The eclipse of communism in the late﷓1980s and early﷓1990s, however, places a question mark along side anti﷓communism as a characteristic of future (perhaps even contemporary) fascist groups. Certainly, fascists will continue to oppose the communist concept, but in the absence of strong communist political force, the anti﷓communist focus may dim as a defining characteristic of fascism.

Fascists always have and may be expected to continue to abhor liberalism, democracy, and parliamentary political parties. Such phenomena are contrary to the authoritarian state governed by a single charismatic and dictatorial leader that represents only the fascist philosophy and party.

Fascist political movements are also characterized by tendencies toward violent action to achieve their political goals. Seizing political power is considered acceptable by fascists. Propaganda and terror are typically used by fascists as political weapons. Once in power, fascists tend to have little regard for constitutional provisions or laws generally.

One could consider the above characteristics of fascism for a moment and conclude the American Republican Party under the leadership of Ronald Reagan came quite close to being fascist, and that the Christian Right in the United States possesses many of the characteristics of a fascist movement. While these groups do not possess (did not in the case of the Reagan Republicans) all of the characteristics that define fascism, the similarities are sufficient to be disturbing.

As there are characteristics that define fascists, there are also factors that are not defining traits of fascism. One such factor is racism and another is anti﷓Semitism. Some fascist groups are both racist generally and anti﷓Semitic specifically. These factors certainly characterized the National Socialist in Germany in the 1930s and 1940s. Racism and anti﷓Semitism, however, were not characteristic of the Fascist Party in Italy in the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s. Fascist groups also tend to be paramilitary in character. Thus, uniforms, ranks, and salutes tend to be part and parcel of most fascist movements. Not all fascist groups, however, are paramilitary in character. Similarly, it is not uncommon for fascist groups to observe ritual, and to require solemn oaths of allegiance and secrecy. Again, however, not all fascist groups engage in such activities.

Fascism, thus is defined in terms of authoritarian control, charismatic leadership, and a strongly nationalistic orientation. Fascism is also defined in terms of a strongly anti﷓communist stance, although the relevance of this characteristic in the contemporary environment must be weighed carefully. Fascism is further defined in terms of an abhorrence of liberalism, democracy, and parliamentary political parties, and a preference for dictatorial leadership by a single party﷓﷓the fascist party. Fascism also is defined through the willingness of fascist groups to engage in violent action, terror, and propaganda to attain their political objectives. Fascism is also defined by a willingness to seize political power through the use of force when possible. Assessing the fascist character of political groups within the context of this factor is difficult, because most fascist groups forswear the use of force to seize power until such time as an opportunity for such action develops. Lastly, fascist organizations that gain control of government are defined by a tendency to disregard constitutional provisions and laws generally. To some extent, these phenomena must be present in a society or in an organization designated as fascist in character. Some fascist organizations may also be racist or anti﷓Semitic in outlook, paramilitary in character, or may

observe ritual. Not all racist, anti﷓Semitic, paramilitary, and ritualistic groups, however, will be fascist in character.

Assessing Contemporary Croatia, Hungary,

and Serbia Within the Contexts of Ultranationalism and Fascism

The contemporary societies in Croatia, Hungary, and Serbia, together with some organized groups within these countries, are assessed within the contexts of ultranationalism and fascism. The defining assessment criteria are as follows:

1. Ultranationalist societies and groups.

a. Strongly patriotic.

b. Strongly chauvinistic.

c. Highly insular.

d. Highly exclusionary.

e. Strong tendency to avoid international interventionist activities.

2. Fascist societies and groups.

a. Authoritarian control.

b. Charismatic leadership.

c. Preference for single﷓party dictatorship.

d. Strongly nationalistic.

e. Strongly anti﷓communist.

f. Anti﷓liberal.

g. Anti﷓democracy.

h. Anti﷓parliamentary party.

i. Willing to seize political power through the use of force when provided with an opportunity.

j. Willing to use violence, terror, and propaganda to attain political objectives. k. A tendency, when in control of government, to disregard constitutional provisions and laws generally.

Croatia

As early as 1897, a political movement with fascist characteristics existed in Croatia. The Party of the Pure Right was fanatically anti﷓Serbian, and was strongly nationalistic, although Croatia was at the time a part of the Austro﷓Hungarian Empire (Palmer, 1970, p. 100).

In the 1920s, the Croatian Ustase Party was born. Ustase meant rebels, and the party opposed the inclusion of Croatia in a Yugoslav federation that would include Serbians (Palmer, 1979, p. 193). The Ustase also possessed fascist characteristics. The Ustase rejected liberalism, and was convinced that Ustase objectives could be attained only through the use of violence and terror (Palmer, 1970, p. 193). In the 1930s, the Croatian Ustase were encouraged and supported by the fascists in Italy (Palmer, 1970, p. 209).

The creation of the Yugoslav federation was an anathema to Croatian nationalists and fascists. In the aftermath of the Russian Revolution, Marxist agitation was rife throughout many parts of the world. It was, however, strongest in Europe, especially so in the Baltic states of the northeast, and the Balkan states of the southeast (Hyams, 1973, p. 14). In Yugoslavia, communists were not strong in 1918 and 1919, but the dissension between socialists and the ruling monarchists was high (Pavlowitch, 1971, p. 34). This breach opened the political door for the communists and other leftist groups (Maclean, 1957). By June 1919, a Socialist Workers Party of Yugoslavia had been formed. This party was communist in orientation, and joined the Communist International. The party adopted the name Communist Party of Yugoslavia at its Second Congress in June 1920 (Maclean, 1957, p. 27). At this Second Congress, the Party declared that its goal was “the establishment, by revolutionary means, . . . a Yugoslav Soviet Republic, to be included ultimately in a World Communist Union” (Maclean, 1957, p. 28).

Soon after the Second Congress of the Communist Party, the centrist﷓socialists were expelled from the party, leaving only the leftist﷓socialists, primarily communists, in the party. In 1921, the expelled socialists joined with the Social Democrats to form the Socialist Party of Yugoslavia. The Communist Party was now ready to compete on its own in the Yugoslav political environment.

The Communist Party immediately set out to establish a network of party and labor group organizations across the country (Pavlowitch, 1971, p. 47). Local elections in 1920 and 1921 indicated that the party had a relatively wide appeal. They were able to obtain majorities in many towns and cities, including Belgrade in Serbia and Zagreb in Croatia. The Croatian fascists were dumbfounded by this turn of events. In the 1920 general elections held in the fall of that year, the Communist Party elected 53 out of a total of 419 members to the national parliament (White, 1951, p. 51). More significantly, however, the Communist Party was one of only two parties, the other being the Democrats on the right (a non﷓fascist party), to elect representatives from every province in the country (Pavlowitch, 1971, p. 64). On the left, therefore, the Communist Party had established itself in the 1920 general election as the only national party.

In the 1920 election, votes for the Communist Party were largely ascribed to a protest vote (Pavlowitch, 1971, p. 65). Limited agrarian reform by the government had muted much of the protest in the countryside; however, resentment against the prevailing economic situation in the cities was strong, and Macedonians, Montenegrins, Bosnian Muslims, Slovenes, and Croats objected at the efforts of the government to Serbianize Yugoslavia (Auty, 1970, p. 101).

The success of the Communist Party, although it had elected only 12.6 percent of the members of parliament, caused the government, in a panic of fear, to enact repressive measures against the party (Djilas, 1962, p. 147). All communist organizations were ordered dissolved. Any form of propaganda was prohibited if it called for general strike action, violence of any kind, revolution, or dictatorship (Auty, 1970, p. 102). The mandates of the 53 communist deputies elected to the parliament, and the mandates of all communists elected to local positions were nullified by the parliament (Pavlowitch, 1971, p. 74). All members of the Communist Party became immediately liable for arrest and imprisonment. Penalties up to an including death were mandated for the spread of the communist doctrine. As repressive as these measures may seem, they did not satisfy the Croatian fascists.

As a consequence of the government crackdown on the Communist Party, the Party’s membership declined from approximately 65,000 in 1920 to about 1,000 in 1924 (Auty, 1970, p. 124). What remained of the Party, however, was well disciplined and well organized (Djilas, 1962, p. 151).

Although most Yugoslavs were afraid of supporting the communists, they continued to harbor strong resentments against the government (Dedijer, 1971, p. 71). The eventual recognition of the government of the Soviet Union by the Yugoslav government resulted in an easing of the Yugoslav crackdown on communists in the country, although the repressive laws were not changed. The easing of the governmental repression, together with the worldwide economic deterioration of the late﷓1920s and early﷓1930s, and continuing public resentment against the government and the monarchy, resulted in renewed public support for the Communist Party in Yugoslavia (Avakumovic, 1964, p. 88).

Under the leadership of Josip Broz, Tito, the Communist Party was also able to present itself as a progressive force against fascism (Pavlowitch, 1971, p. 126). Both the monarchy and the government in Yugoslavia had open sympathies and links to the fascists (Avakumovic, 1964, p. 91).

Yugoslav political life was characterized by factionalism. Factionalism was present in the abundance of political parties in the country, and it existed within political parties. Factionalism, however, was anathema to Tito (Maclean, 1957, p. 54). Tito eliminated factionalism from the Communist Party, which almost alone among Yugoslav political parties, was able to speak with a unified voice.

With its unified voice, the Yugoslav Communist Party spoke out against both the fascism Hitler and Mussolini, and the western democracies, which they contended were exploiting the working classes, as well as the home﷓grown fascists in Yugoslavia (Maclean, 1957, p. 58). The short﷓lived alliance between Hitler and Stalin caused the Yugoslav communists some problems within the context of public support; however, it also provided them with additional strength to build their national power. By continuing to oppose fascism in the face of the Hitler﷓Stalin pact, they were able to demonstrate that they were independent communists who placed Yugoslav interests ahead of Soviet interests (Dedijer, 1946, p. 21).

The toadying right﷓wing, monarchist government in Yugoslavia rapidly lost support because of its alliance with the fascists. Its inability to maintain control eventually resulted in the occupation of the country by the Germans and Italians.

The Communist Party gained its strongest credentials as a national movement from its organization of the Partisan and insurgent movements against the German and Italian military forces occupying the country (Djilas, 1962, p. 171). Although right﷓wing forces led by fascist groups also organized against the occupation, there were continual allegations of their cooperation with the Germans and the Italians. Although the British and the Americans desperately wanted to recognize the right﷓wing forces, they eventually became convinced that only the communists offered a dependable resistance against Hitler and Mussolini (Singleton, 1976, p. 45). It was much easier for the Americans and the British to support groups called Partisan than it was to openly support the Communist Party; however, the outcome was the same, because the Partisans were the Communist Party of Yugoslavia. The prestige of the Communist Party within Yugoslavia increased significantly as it was recognized as the single patriotic force defending the interests primarily of Yugoslavia (Dedijer, 1945, p. 211). Mihailovich’s Cetnics, a strong fascist organization, lost all credibility in this role (Pavlowitch, 1971, p. 135).

The contemporary Croatian government led by Franjo Tudjman is comprised of both moderate and extreme nationalist factions (LeBor, 1994, p. 11). The policies of the Tudjman government are authoritarian and they are ultranationalist (LeBor, 1994, p. 11). The Tudjman government also provides funding for the Bosnian Croats in the conduct of ethnic cleansing campaigns against Muslims in Bosnian areas controlled by the Bosnian Croats (LeBor, 1994, p. 11). The Tudjman government restricts the freedom of the mass media, and attempts to expel Serbians from Croatia (LeBor, 1994, p. 11).

Recently, the Tudjman government made a decision “to scrap the Croatian dinar and replace it with the kuna, currency of the wartime Ustasha regime” (LeBor, 1994, p. 11). The fascist Ustase government that controlled Croatia during the Second World War “murdered Serbs, Jews, and Gypsies en masse” (LeBor, 1994, p. 11). The reinstatement of a fascist symbol by the Tudjman government represents a strengthening of the fascist element of the government (Roberts, 1994, pp. 16﷓18).

Tudjman is a megalomaniac, although he is hardly charismatic (Banac, 1993, pp. 20﷓21). Tudjman has, however, succeeded in creating a merging of his own identity with that of Croatia in both the domestic and international arenas. The Tudjman government has also used propaganda to arouse ordinary Croatians against the government’s enemies (Branson, 1991, p. 48). Thus, the Tudjman government appears to be trying hard to earn its fascist credentials.

A valid issue is how the Tudjman government in contemporary Croatia rates as either an ultranationalist or a fascist group. Within these contexts, the assessment of the Croatian government is as follows:

1. Ultranationalism:

a. The Tudjman government is strongly patriotic.

b. The Tudjman government is strongly chauvinistic.

c. The Tudjman government is highly insular.

d. The Tudjman government is highly exclusionary.

e. The Tudjman government does not avoid international interventionist activities.

2. Fascism:

a. The Tudjman government exercises authoritarian control.

b. Tudjman is not quite a charismatic leader; however, his identity has been successfully merged with that of Croatia.

c. Tudjman claims that Croatia is a model democracy; however, he operates as a virtual dictator.

d. The Tudjman government is strongly nationalistic.

e. The Tudjman government is strongly anti﷓communist.

f. The Tudjman government is anti﷓liberal.

g. Tudjman claims that Croatia is a model democracy; however, Tudjman’s Democratic Union Party controls the government

although the party commands the support of only 25 percent of Croatians.

h. Tudjman’s government is essentially anti﷓parliamentary party (see the preceding comment).

i. Tudjman gained power by capitalizing on popular discontent. Whether he will be willing to use force to retain political power remains to be seen.

j. Tudjman’s government is suspected of using both violence and terror in the destruction of rival political party facilities. The Tudjman government has used propaganda to attain political objectives.

k. The Tudjman government has displayed a tendency to disregard constitutional provisions and laws generally.

On balance, the Tudjman government in Croatia qualifies for designations as both an ultranationalist government and a fascist government. At present, Tudjman is enjoying greater success than has any Croatian fascist party of the past with the exception of the Ustase during the Second World War who were protected by the German and Italian armies.

Hungary

The Hungarian National Socialist Party, a fascist organization, was formed in 1937 (Palmer, 1970, p. 223). This party was virulently anti﷓Semitic, and in this context was out of step with the other fascist﷓like right﷓wing parties in Hungary at the time (Palmer, 1970, p. 223). Hungary’s fascist government lasted through the Second World War.

Conditions in post﷓communist Hungary provide a rich environment for the fostering of fascist thought. To be brief, in present day Hungary the economy is in as bad or worse shape than it was under the former Communist system (Holman, 1994, p. A12). In 1991, the most recent year for which accurate data are available, non﷓manufacturing industrial activity accounted for 38 percent of Hungary’s gross domestic product (GDP), while manufacturing accounted for 28 percent, services for 20 percent, and agriculture 14 percent (Frydman, Rapaczynski, and Earle, 1993, p. 97). This structure places Hungary at some point between a Third World country and a developed economy within the context of the structure of production.

Inflation is high in Hungary. Prices rises have not slowed during the country’s post﷓Communist recession (Weidmann, 1993, pp. 104﷓105). Double﷓digit inflation in the twenties, double﷓digit unemployment in the teens, and low wages have combined to create an economic nightmare for the majority of Hungarians.

Economic progress is not being accomplished in the context of growth in Hungary, the East European country with an economy closest to a western model. Economic growth averaged six﷓percent per year in the 1971﷓1975 period, four﷓percent in the 1976﷓1980 period, and one﷓percent in the 1981﷓1985 period. The 1986﷓1990 period witnessed an average one﷓percent per year decline in economic activity, and the decline in 1991 was three percent. In the first full year of reform in 1992, economic output plunged 11﷓percent.

Converting macroeconomic data to more usable figures, the average monthly wage in Hungary approximates the equivalent of US$150 per month. A food basket (one loaf of bread﷓﷓one pound, one package of butter﷓﷓one pound, one liter of milk, six ounces of ham, one chocolate bar﷓﷓four ounce, and four bottles of beer﷓﷓one liter﷓﷓costs the approximate equivalent of US$4.15 in Hungary. Neither the macro nor the micro economic situation in contemporary Hungary is inviting or palatable. Inflation in 1994 is running at 22 percent and the unemployment rate is 12 percent (Williams, 1994, p. B5).

State﷓owned enterprises and cooperatives continue to exist in Hungary, although the reform government, a coalition of the Hungarian Democratic Forum and the Alliance of Free Democrats, that was defeated in the election in May 1994, has offered the more profitable state﷓owned enterprises to foreign interests at fire﷓sale prices (Torok, 1993, pp. 366﷓384). The early give﷓away of state assets under the reform government’s privatization program led to such public outcry that the State Property Agency was established to introduce some degree of equity and order into the process. Hungarians particularly resented to transfer of state﷓owned assets to foreign entities.

One outcome of privatization that has caused considerable public resentment is the reduction in the levels of unemployment compensation (Bonin, 1992, pp. 716﷓732). The potential for this outcome to threaten the entire economic reform process was ignored by the reform government. In banking, privatization permitted foreign investor to come into the Hungarian economy and buy up all of the profitable industrial banking sectors (Moore, 1993, pp. 141﷓143). The result is that the country’s retail banking sector has been allowed to languish, an outcome that has

resulted in additional public resentment toward the reform government.

Right﷓wing political activity in contemporary Hungary has some racist overtones. African, Arab, and Asian students are being attacked by skinhead gangs with increasing frequency (Attacks, 1192, p. 216). The skinheads are young people who carry “symbols of the Arrow Cross, Hungary’s 1940s﷓era fascist group,” and affect s.s.﷓style trappings” (Husarska, 1992, p. 10). As a consequence, many foreign students are leaving Hungary (Woodard, 1992, p. A48). This exodus contributes to the attainment of the goal of exclusion pursued by right﷓wing political groups in Hungary. Hungary is already a country with only two minority groups of any significant size. There are approximately half﷓a﷓million Gypsies and 80,000 Jews living in Hungary (Kenez, 1992, p. 6).

The primary “repository of nationalist thought is the Center﷓Right governing coalition” which is dominated by the Hungarian Democratic Forum (Kenez, 1992, p. 7). The Hungarian Democratic forum does not attempt to distinguish either the government or the party’s policies from the pre﷓Second World War authoritarian government led by fascist Miklos Horthy (Kenez, 1992, p. 7). In fact, the current Hungarian government pursues highly nationalistic policies.

The chief rival of the Hungarian Democratic Forum for political power within the ruling Center﷓right coalition is a fascist group led by Istvan Csurka, who also acts as vice﷓president of the Hungarian Democratic Forum (Kenez, 1992, p. 7). Csurka advances views that are both anti﷓democratic and anti﷓Semitic, and his group is both wildly anti﷓communist and anti﷓liberal (Kenez, 1992, p. 7). Csurka’s group “vilify all their opponents with extraordinarily passion, often in language hardly suitable for decent political discourse. They portray them as traitors” (Kenez, 1992, p. 7).

At present, the Hungarian media, although managed by the government, presents a balance in political discourse. Csurka’s group denounces this balanced approach. As a consequence, Jozsef Antall, Hungarian Prime Minister and leader of the Hungarian Democratic Forum, attempted to remove the responsible ministers. The ministers refused to resign, and Antall encountered constitutional roadblocks that prevented the removal of the ministers. Csurka, the fascist leader, has demand that the ministers be removed from their offices by force (Kenez, 1992, p. 8).

One troublesome issue concerns the motivation for the Hungarian Democratic Forum to keep Csurka’s group within the governing Center﷓Right coalition. The general assessment is that Csurka’s ideas appeal to a significantly﷓sized faction within the coalition (Kenez, 1992, p. 8). Csurka thinks this support is in the 70 to 80 percent range (Husarska, 1992, p. 10). In January 1993, however, Antall defeated Csurka for the leadership of the Center﷓right coalition (Steady, 1993, p. 48).

Both Csurka and Antall frequently refer to a Hungarian nation of 15 million persons. Hungary’s population is only 10 million. Csurka and Antall, however, include the five million Hungarians residing in neighboring nations who were displaced from Hungary by the provisions of the Trianon Peace Treaty in 1920, as action that reaffirmed by the Yalta Agreement in 1945 (Husarska, 1992, p. 10). Both Antall and Csurka note that the Yalta Agreement expires in 1995, and echo Hitler’s call for lebensraum for Germans in the 1930s by demanding living space for Hungarians in the late﷓1990s (Husarska, 1992, p. 10).

Antall lost the prime ministership in Hungary in early﷓1994; however, Csurka did not succeed him in that office (Ingram, 1994, p. 8). The caretaker prime minister is Peter Boross, an open admirer of Hungary’s fascist prime minister from 1920 through 1944, Nicholas Horthy (Ingram, 1994, p. 8).

A valid issue is how the Center﷓right coalition government in contemporary Hungary, along with the political organization led by Csurka, rates as either ultranationalist or fascist groups. Within these contexts, the assessment of the Hungarian political environment is as follows:

1. Ultranationalism:

a. Both the government and Csurka’s group are strongly patriotic.

b. Both the government and Csurka’s group are strongly chauvinistic.

c. Csurka’s group is highly insular; the government is less so.

d. Csurka’s group is highly exclusionary; the government is less so.

e. Neither the government nor Csurka’s group avoids international interventionist activities, as both groups demand the return of the territories of surrounding nations in which large concentrations of ethnic Hungarians reside. 2. Fascism:

a. The government attempts to exercise authoritarian control; Csurka’s group advocates such control.

b. Neither Antall, Boross, nor Csurka can be described as a charismatic leader.

c. The coalition government attempts to stifle opposition; Csurka would use force to stifle political opponents.

d. Both the government and Csurka’s group are strongly nationalistic.

e. Both the government and Csurka’s group are strongly anti﷓communist.

f. Both the government and the Csurka group are anti﷓liberal.

g. The coalition government claims to be democratic in character; however, there is doubt that the Center﷓Right coalition would relinquish power without a fight. Csurka deplores democracy.

h. The government shows antipathy toward parliamentary parties, while the Csurka group is openly anti﷓parliamentary party.

i. The government has given no indications of what actions it would take to remain in power. Csurka advocates the violent seizure of power.

j. Neither the government nor Csurka’s group has been linked directly with the use of violence and terror. Both the government and Csurka’s group, however, have used propaganda to attain political objectives.

k. The coalition government has displayed a willingness to disregard constitutional provisions and laws generally, although the government has attained only limited success through such tactics. Csurka openly advocates the disregard of constitutional provisions and laws generally.

On balance, both the Center﷓Right coalition government in Hungary and the Csurka﷓led group qualify for designations as both ultranationalist organizations and fascist organizations. At present, the Hungarian political situation is in a state of disarray; however, individuals with both fascist and ultranationalist leanings appear to be gaining the upper hand.

SerbiaIn 1911, a Serbian secret society, the Black Hand, was formed (Palmer, 1970, pp. 81, 112). Another name for the Black Hand was Ujedinjenje ili Smrt, which means unity or death. The Black Hand was an ultranationalist organization whose main objective was Serbian independence from Austria﷓Hungary. The Black Hand organization also was characterized by fascist tendencies, such as a military structure and participation in ritual (Palmer, 1970, p. 112). The Black Hand “imposed blood﷓curdling oaths of obedience and anonymity,” and “operated with . . . sinister secrecy” (Palmer, 1970, p. 113). The Bosnian student that assassinated the Austrian Archduke in Sarajevo in 1914 and precipitated the First World War was supplied arms by agents of the Black Hand (Palmer, 1970, p. 117).

The Austria﷓Hungarian Empire tended to treat the Balkan nations as so many backward provinces (Palmer, 1970, pp. 103﷓120). Serbia in particular was treated as a backward, provincial state that was not worthy of consideration by civilized society (Robbins, 1984, p. 3). It is hardly surprising, thus, that the Black Hand organization was formed in that country, and that the organization played a major role in the assassination in Sarajevo, and in the fermenting of hostility against Austria﷓Hungary. Subsequent to the assassination, the Austro﷓Hungarian demands on Serbia were both unrealistic and demeaning (Buchan, 1991, p. 17). It is hardly surprising that Serbia refused to accept two of the conditions that Austria﷓Hungary attempted to impose.

Fascists, however, were never the dominant political force in Serbia. When the Yugoslav federation was taking shape following the end of the First World War, the Serbian Social Democrats refused to cooperate with the right﷓wing parties in the establishment of a Yugoslav parliament, and took the lead in unifying socialist groups (Pavlowitch, 1971, p. 77). Socialists, communists, and Serbians eventually dominated the Yugoslav political scene.

In the aftermath of the breakup of the Yugoslav federation subsequent to the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe, the Serbians were generally painted as the personification of evil, while the Croatians, Slovenes, Bosnian Muslims, and other nationalities were portrayed as victims. In actual fact, ethnic cleansing was practiced first by the Croatians and the Bosnian Muslims against Serbians living in Croatia and Bosnia. The western world generally ignored these ethnic cleansing activities because the Serbians were generally unrepentant socialists, while the other nationalities were generally moving in a rightist political and economic direction. When the Serbians began to fight back and began to engage in ethnic cleansing activities against the Croatians and Bosnian Muslims, however, the western world took note, and have been denouncing the Serbians ever since.

None of the above explanation is an excuse for the horrors committed by the Bosnian Serbians. The above explanation, however, provides an insight into the reasons that Serbians feel that they are treated unfairly by the international community.

The current government in Serbia uses propaganda to gain the support of the Serbian population (Branson, 1991, p. 48). The government also pursues a policy of exclusion, and has shipped Bosnian Muslims out of Serbia in railroad boxcars (Lief, 1992, pp. 41﷓44).

Western critics label Slobodan Milosevic, the charismatic Serbian president, as a fascist (Webb, 1993, p. 18). While Milosevic is authoritarian, nationalistic, and exclusionary, he is not a fascist. Milosevic remains a socialist, and as such is abhorred by fascists (Rosenberger, 1994, pp. 28﷓30).

A valid issue is how the Milosevic government in contemporary Serbia rates as either ultranationalist or fascist in character. Within these contexts, the assessment of the Serbian government is as follows:

1. Ultranationalism:

a. The Milosevic government is strongly patriotic.

b. The Milosevic government is strongly chauvinistic.

c. The Milosevic government is highly insular.

d. The Milosevic government is highly exclusionary.

e. The Milosevic government does not avoid international interventionist activities, as Serbia attempts to gain control of territory in surrounding nations in which large concentrations of ethnic Serbians reside.

2. Fascism:

a. The Milosevic government exercises authoritarian control.

b. Milosevic is a charismatic leader.

c. The Milosevic government does not attempt to stifle political opposition.

d. The Milosevic government is strongly nationalistic.

e. The Milosevic government is not strongly anti﷓communist.

f. The Milosevic government is anti﷓liberal.

g. Opposition parties are represented in the Serbian parliament.

h. The Milosevic government does not exhibit antipathy toward parliamentary parties.

i. The government has given no indications of what actions it would take to remain in power.

j. The Milosevic government has been linked directly with the use of violence and terror. Bosnian Serbians have been so linked. The Milosevic government has used propaganda to attain political objectives.

k. The Milosevic government has not displayed a willingness to disregard constitutional provisions and laws generally.

On balance, the Milosevic government in Serbia qualifies for designation as an ultranationalist organization. On balance, however, the Milosevic government does not qualify for designation as a fascist organization.

Conclusion

The contemporary governments in Croatia, Hungary, and Serbia are all ultranationalist in character. While the contemporary governments in both Croatia and Hungary are also fascist in character, the contemporary government in Serbia is not fascist. There is a tendency in the western nations to term the people in Croatia, Hungary, and Serbia as xenophobic because of their exclusionary policies. Xenophobia infers a fear of foreign persons. Because an individual hates persons of different races or national origins, however, does not necessarily infer a fear of those persons. Thus, while Croatians, Hungarians, and Serbians may well be largely racist, there are not of necessity xenophobic. To make such an assertion is similar in character to the gay rights propagandists in the United States who claim that all of the bigots who opposed equity for homosexual persons are in fact afraid of homosexuality. Such absurdities degrade justifiable accusations of bigotry, and similar assertions could degrade justifiable charges of racism in the Balkans.

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