A demonstrator dressed as Karl Marx marches during a May Day rally in Moscow last year. Picture: AFP

 

THE AUSTRALIAN

MARCH 27, 2019

Those who use the label “right wing” or “hard Right” to describe and criticise conservatives fail to acknowledge history and therefore fail to take some ownership of the dark side of communism and socialism.

How did we get to this point in a society steeped in activism and characterised by violence operating in a toxic social media space? History provides some of the answers, but not all.

Those who continue to criticise conservatives need to be reminded that fascism had its antecedents in socialism. Adolf Hitler joined the German Workers Party in 1919 and then he rebadged the organisation to be the National Socialist German Workers Party. Its constitution read like a communist manifesto but included anti-Semitism and broader forms of racism.

When Hitler took control of Germany, he joined forces with another emerging giant, Joseph Stalin’s Soviet Union. Hitler signed a non-aggression pact with Stalin but history records that he reneged on the deal by attacking Russia in 1941.

Benito Mussolini had a similar path. His antecedents were also in socialism, and he fervently supported the teachings and writings of Karl Marx and the communist cause.

Some might recall the disgraceful attacks and use of Nazi labels by the Electrical Trades Union against then prime minister Tony Abbott and senator Eric Abetz, reported under the headline “Union flyer furore” on May 9, 2014 in Melbourne’s Herald Sun. This attack was like that conducted on prime minister John Howard when he cleaned up the waterfronts in Australia (reminiscent of John Curtin’s actions against Australian communists on our waterfronts who preferred to support Stalin over our troops fighting abroad during World War II).

Now let us look at the present day and the abhorrence of the Christchurch massacre in New Zealand.

It was reported that the main (and only) suspect had a familiar rise to infamy outlined in his manifesto. He was immediately branded “right wing” notwithstanding the fact his manifesto clearly stated that he was a communist, then an anarchist, then a libertarian and then an eco-fascist before his European travels convinced him that violent revolutionary solutions were the only answer to achieving his objectives.

Doesn’t it all sound so familiar?

Margaret Thatcher succinctly summed up socialism and fascism when she noted that “socialism and fascism are two sides of the same coin”.

Today, half of us were either born overseas or have at least one parent born overseas. In a culturally and religiously diverse Australia, many conservatives come from these different backgrounds.

They share values and beliefs that include supporting the family as fundamental to the wellbeing of society; freedom of speech, religion and association; and a strong sense of pride and national spirit in our Australian way of life.

Significantly, our diversity has helped to enrich Australia, thus making it the best country in the world to live in peace and harmony.

So, my advice to the Labor Party, the Greens, GetUp, misinformed activists and those who join the chorus is: do not be divisive. Choose your words carefully before you unfairly label decent, hardworking, law-abiding conservative Australians.

Further, take some ownership of the problems facing the world today, because it has been your left-wing ideology that has been the embryo and source which has fostered most of the problems playing out in today’s societies around the world.

Concetta Fierravanti-Wells is a Senator for NSW.