mercredi 28 mars 2007


Title: The Causes of the Resurgence of Fascism in Russia and Germany
Thesis statement: The cultural and historical context added to the political instability caused by the reunification of Germany and the weak traditions for democracy in Russia contributed to the resurgence of fascist movements in those two countries
I. Review of the literature
A. Fascist and neo-Nazi organizations in Germany and Russia feed on anti-Semitism
B. These organizations use tensions created by immigration to recruit new members
II. Causes of the resurgence of fascist organizations in Russia and Germany
A. Economic problems contributing to the resurgence of fascism
1. Unemployment and poverty since the reunification in Germany
2. High inflation rate and poverty in Russia’s newborn market economy
3. Comparison with the global economic crisis of 1929 and the financial situation in Europe after World War I
B. Political issues resulting in a growing support to far right nationalist groups
1. Instability in Russia’s newborn presidential system
2. Weak and contradictory coalitions in Germany
3. These situations are similar but not as severe as the power vacuum felt in the aftermath of World War I
C. The cultural and historical contexts of both countries are favourable to the resurgence of fascist movements
1. Russia and its long history of anti-Semitism
2. Xenophobia and anti-Semitism in Germany
3. Weak traditions for democracy in Russia after a millennium of authoritarian rule
4. Eastern Germany is new to the traditions of democracy unlike West Germany
5. Xenophobia and inexperienced governments were a main factor in the emergence of
fascism in Italy and Germany before World War II

Final Summary

This research will examine and analyse the causes of the resurgence of fascist organizations in Russia and Germany and compare them with the context that contributed to the emergence of fascism in the first half of the 20th century. Nazi movements in Germany have never totally disappeared. They lost popularity since World War II but since the reunification, anti-immigration and ultranationalist parties in Germany gained support and neo-Nazi demonstrations can be seen on a more frequent basis. As for Russia, this country is known for its centuries old antisemitism and its weak traditions for democracy that neo-Nazi organizations use to gain more support. This research will focus on far right nationalist movements and not on anarchist and communist groups that have authoritarian and anti-semitic ideologies.

vendredi 16 mars 2007

Review: A Study of the Causes of the Resurgence of Nazism in Germany and Russia

The six o’clock news often display images of demonstrations where the participants wave nazi flags and do the well-known Roman salute. The medias often portray neo-Nazism as a subculture that appeals to bored and uneducated white kids. In reality, these movements are well organized and promote a political agenda. The causes of the resurgence of these organizations in Germany and Russia, the two countries where such groups are the most visible, are more complex than what is usually told. The cultural and historical context added to the political instability caused by the reunification of Germany and the weak traditions for democracy in Russia contributed to the resurgence of fascist movements in those two countries. The literature that tackles this issue promotes different but compatible explanations. This review will be ordered thematically; the sources that provide information about the reasons for the resurgence of nazi movements in Germany will be reviewed first, followed by those about Russia. These works will also be compared with sources covering fascism as seen in Europe during the 1920s and the 1930s. The causes of its appearance in the last century have had more time to be analyzed and can provide a different angle to review what has been written about neo-Nazism.

A good portion of the studies about the resurgence of fascism in Germany explain this situation by blaming anti-Nazi laws that, as they claim, actually contribute to giving the impression that they are the ones being persecuted (Banning Nazis, 11; Alexander, 32-7). This alone is not enough to explain their increase in popularity, or their existence for that matter, even though this kind of publicity can be a factor. Indeed, when one compares the current situation with what happened in the past, these movements tend to use censorship to their advantage. For example, Corneliu Codreanu’s Iron Guard movement in Romania (also known as Legion of Archangel Michael) gained popularity when the government banned the organization. Milza’s analysis also states that the same can be said of Gyala Gömbös’ fascist organization in Hungary and many other fascist organizations during the 1920s and 1930s that were also attacked this way by the government only to return stronger.

Another trend to explain the resurgence of such organizations in Germany focuses on the appeal of the Nazi subculture to teenagers. This trend is reflected by a first hand observation of Nazi groups in Germany published by Speigel International. This primary research observes that not only the “neo-Nazi look” and clothes appeal to a good amount of young Germans but also the ideologies this movement promotes. It is reported that these German teenagers were often the victims of foreign criminal gangs. Then, these young Germans saw these nationalities as one uniform and undesirable group. This research underlines the problem of failed attempts by the government to integrate these foreigners who often live in their own micro-society. This explanation does not put much thought behind the reasons of this criminality and this reclusion lived by these immigrants in Germany. Instead it focuses on the perception of these groups and the catchy themes they use to recruit. Again, xenophobia is a factor in the resurgence of Nazism and fascism. It is just not the main one.

Not enough documents actually address the issue of the instability that Germany’s political institutions suffer. They are often weak because most governments in Germany take power by making contradictory coalitions with opposing factions. Even though Germany’s political problems are under control and nowhere near as advanced as in Russia, the stagnation of democratic institutions was an important factor in the very creation of fascist organizations in Europe during the last century.

A good majority of studies on the resurgence of neo-Nazi organizations in Russia emphasize on anti-Semitism. The best examples of this trend can be witnessed through Petrou, Kipp, Gorodetsky, Wistrich, Shlapentokh, Ephross and Lungen’s works as well as a couple of articles published in the Economist. These sources focus almost entirely on Russia’s widespread anti-Semitism and its effects on neo-Nazi organizations. Hitler was a strong anti-Semite but it was not the driving ideology that allowed him and his party to legally take power. Most adherents supported him for his promise to restore Germany among the world powers and to put an end to the Treaty of Versailles. But Russia, according to the mentioned sources, seems to have a long history of strong anti-Semitism dating to several centuries ago. Anti-Semitism seems to be a common and accepted fact throughout the Russian society even though it is at various levels (Shlapentokh, 279). Judging by these sources, anti-Semitism would be fuelled by mass xenophobia caused by recent events such as Chechen terrorist attacks and the NATO invasion of Kosovo (Ephross, 29). Russians have always felt responsible for Serbia. Most sources that address the issue of Anti-Semitism have been written during Yeltsin’s administration and at first glance they can seem out of date. This might be partly due to Vladimir Putin’s repeated attempts to fight anti-Semitism (Russian Anti-Semitism, 38), but one can doubt that a centuries old tradition of racism totally disappeared overnight when he took office. Sources on that matter seem conflicted about the true effects of Putin’s work to thwart anti-Semitism. Most of his efforts seem to be aimed at members of the Russian bureaucracy while hoping it will have an effect on the population. But if anti-Semitism were as strong as these authors claim, Putin’s efforts would actually backfire and so far it is not the case.

Even if this contributes to a growth in the number of Russian neo-Nazi organizations, anti-Semitism alone cannot be the main reasons why such organizations advocate the creation of an authoritarian nationalist regime. History taught us that when democracies fail, it means they could not resolve a particular crisis. Is the Jewish community being held responsible for the totality of Russia’s problems? Russia has recently come out of a millennium of authoritarianism. The Soviet Empire followed the tsarist Russian Empire without ever allowing any democratic traditions to take roots in the country. Breslauer’s work points out that Yeltsin’s presidential regime had no precedent and was applied abruptly. Milza’s Les fascismes defends that when fascism took over several European countries, they all replaced weak newborn democracies that could not resolve their country’s crisis. Russia fits the newborn democracy profile, yet this subject is hardly touched by any of the works tackling the issue of neo-Nazism. As Breslauer noted, the Russian parliament was very hostile toward Yeltsin’s reforms and Yeltsin ruled with the use of decrees. The parliament was democratically elected, yet Yeltsin decided that for the greater good, he had to go above their heads (Breslauer, 295-318). One could wonder if this might have given a bad example and shown to radical organizations that democracy was not important to begin with. An article also hints at a possible return to an authoritarian regime without going into the details (Russian Anti-Semitism, 38). Further research should look deeper into this claim. After all, Vladimir Putin is controlling more or less successfully Russia’s chaos. Although this has been achieved with a certain level of “legal authoritarianism”.

The article about “Eurasianism” reveals a new radical nationalist philosophy that does not promote anti-Semitism in Slavic countries. Instead, it distinguishes American Jews from “other better Jews”. It supports the idea of a strong authoritarian regime to rule over Eurasia by claiming it would be culturally compatible with the Slavic culture (Shlapentokh, 279). This points back indirectly to the Russia’s weak democratic traditions. One could rightfully wonder if authoritarianism is culturally compatible with the Slavic culture or if the Slavic societies have in fact never given a real chance to democracy.

Almost all of the literature concerning neo-Nazism and neo-fascism in Russia and Germany focuses nearly exclusively on radical anti-Semitic organizations. Milza’s work proves that nazi and fascist organizations during the last century were not always anti-Semitic, and when they were, it was not the main focus of their political programme. The best example of this is that Mussolini had nothing against Italian Jews until he was forced to ally himself with Hitler. The literature on this subject would have benefited from giving more attention to other radical nationalist organizations that do not necessarily advocate the extermination or the expulsion of their Jewish citizens. One could wonder if such a thing now exists in Germany and Russia. It would explain why even though Nazism’s popularity increased, it is still not a mass movement.

The causes of the resurgence of Nazism as seen in the reviewed articles are varied but incomplete. They do provide relevant information and interesting leads but they do not explain entirely the resurgence of nazi organizations in Russia and Germany. Historical accounts that illustrate the reasons for the creation of fascist movements can end up being very helpful to verify if today’s context shares any similarities with what happened in Italy and Germany when fascism was created. Further research should head more in the direction of neo-fascism feeding on socio-political problems or determine if today’s resurgence of radical organizations in Germany and Russia is indeed caused almost exclusively by heightened anti-Jewish sentiments, thus preventing them from achieving the state of mass movements while having a strong support.

dimanche 25 février 2007

Note Taking XIX - Hungary, Mirror of Central and Eastern Europe Neo-Fascism

Petrou, Michael. “Neo-Neo-Nazis,” Maclean’s 9 (2006): 18-20. 25 Feb. 2007 <;VType=PQD&RQT=309&VName=PQD&TS=1170110402&clientId=9268>.


This article is about Hungary's neo-Nazi organization but it advances similarities with other countries in Central and Eastern Europe.


''The brand of extreme nationalism propagated by Istvan Csurka, leader of the Hungarian Justice and Life Party, is in some ways unique to Hungary, drawing on specific grievances and perceived historic injustices. But it also reflects a trend across central and eastern Europe, where xenophobic and neofascist movements have sporadically flourished since the fall of Communism.''

''According to Eric Weaver, an American historian who has been living in Hungary for 10 years and who has just written National Narcissism, a book on Hungarian nationalism, the transition from supporting Soviet Communism to backing neo-fascism is a smoother one than might initially be assumed. Both ideologies are illiberal, authoritarian, and thrive on scapegoats. In some countries, Jews have borne the brunt of right-wing resentment; elsewhere it has been Gypsies and other minorities. But it isn't just economic turmoil that has fuelled the rise of radical parties. It is also due to widespread corruption and frustration that many Communist leaders managed to reinvent themselves and hold onto power through the transition to democracy. "If he focused on that and left out all the anti-Semitic crap, Csurka would be popular," Weaver says. "He'd have Jewish supporters." ''

Note Taking XVIII - The LDP

Kipp, Jacob. “The Zhirinovsky Threat,” Foreign Affairs 3 (1994): 72-87. 25 Feb. 2007 <>.


This article is about Russia's Liberal Democratic Party and its leader. This political organization is in fact highly anti-Semitic and ultranationalist.

Pieces of information:

- The cause of their existence: political instability, threat of anarchy, nostalgia of being a world power.
- Need to look into what happened to this politician after the corruption scandal.

Note Taking XVII - Foreign Neo-Nazi Leaders Spreading the Word

Gorodetsky, Lev. “Anti-Semites of the World Unite, Duke Tells,” Canadian Jewish News 36 (2000):60. 25 Feb. 2007 <>.


This article holds interesting information in regard to known neo-Nazi leaders who visit foreign countries to spread their ideology.

Note Taking XVI - Global Anti-Semitism

Wistrich, Robert. “The Old-New Anti-Semitism,” National Interest 72 (2003): 59-71.

Summary: The causes and effects of Global Anti-Semitism on the resurgence of Nazism and ''islamic fascism''. It concerns mainly the muslim world but still holds a few interesting facts on neo-Nazism as a whole.


''The topography and lexicography of post-Holocaust anti-Semitism changed dramatically after 1945, yet the essential elements of ideological continuity have been remarkably tenacious. Today, the geographical center of gravity is neither Germany nor the European continent (despite the alarming revival of old prejudices) but the Arab-Muslim world and its diasporic offshoots. Anti-Jewish rhetoric in the new millennium tends to be Islamic, anti-globalist and neo-Marxist far more than it is Christian, conservative or neo-fascist.''

mercredi 21 février 2007

Note Taking XV - Nazism Helped by Anti-Nazism?

Alexander, Gerard. “Illiberal Europe.” Weekly Standard 11, 28 (2006): 32-7. 14 Feb. 2007 <>.


Illiberal Europe tackles the issues of freedom of speech and human rights. This article claims that anti-nazi ban laws actually backfire. This can be compared with the similar anti-fascist laws that were unsuccessfully applied in Europe during the 20s and 30s.


“European countries have never had America's strong free-speech tradition”

“First, anti-Nazi laws are being adopted in places where neoNazism poses no serious threat. Second, speech laws have been dramatically expanded to sanction speech that "incites hatred" against groups based on their religion, race, ethnicity, or several other characteristics. Third, these incitement laws are being interpreted so loosely that they chill not just extremist views but mainstream ones too. The result is a serious distortion and impoverishment of political debate.”

“But instead of being pared back, anti-Nazi legislation spread. Laws criminalizing Holocaust denial or minimization were adopted well into the 1990s in France, Switzerland, Belgium, Spain, and other European countries (and several countries outside Europe). What these laws could accomplish was unclear, since they were adopted when neo-Nazism's prospects seemed more remote than ever. In all these countries, including Germany and Austria, governments don't really have to ban neo-Nazis; voters do it for them through indifference. Nonetheless, anti-Nazi laws have proved uncontroversial, maybe because their sanctions fall on unsavory figures from Europe's anti-Semitic fever swamps. This is unfortunate, because anti-Nazi laws gradually expanded to cover other historical events. In 1993, Bernard Lewis, the eminent Princeton historian of the Middle East, was asked in an interview with Le Monde about the mass murder of Armenians in Turkey during World War I. He readily acknowledged that terrible massacres took place but questioned whether the murders were the result of a predetermined-that is, genocidalplan. That conclusion brushed up against French laws that now prohibit denial of more crimes against humanity than just the Holocaust. Several activist groups in France filed complaints. Two civil and one criminal suit were dismissed, but Lewis was found guilty in another civil suit and condemned by the court for having not been "objective" regarding events that the European Parliament and other bodies had officially certified as a "genocide."”

Note Taking XIV - Russia's ''Liberal Democratic'' Party 2007. Liberal Democratic Party of Russia. 19 Jan. 2007>.


Russia’s LDPR website. This website will prove useful to make a comparison with Russia’s most critical issues and what this party promises to solve. It will explain their past popularity prior to Zhirinovsky’s corruption scandal.

Pieces of information:

- Promotes the reunification of the 15 former Soviet Republics under a Russian-dominated unitary state and a single official language
- Annexation of Poland, Alaska and Finland because of their historical past with the Russian Empire
- Abolition of some religions in Russia, those qualified as “unconventional and fanatic”.
- The right to work
- Abolition of government corruption Russian economic protectionism

Note Taking XIII - Germany's NPD

“NPD Partei Programm,” 2004. Nationaldemokratische Partei Deutschlands. 21 Feb. 2006 .


Germany’s NPD political platform.

Pieces of information:

- Wants Germany to become an equal with the other countries and no longer be “blackmailed” because of its past.
- Tackles the issues of unemployment
- Promotes immigration restrictions (“Foreigners will be welcomed as guests, but should live and work in their own countries”)

Note Taking XII - Russian Nationalism and Anti-Semitism

Shlapentokh, Dmitry. “The Fate of Jews in Post-Soviet Russia” The World & I 15, 4 (2000): 279. 19 Feb. 2007 < index="14&did="52028160&SrchMode="1&sid="13&Fmt="3&VInst="PROD&VType="PQD&RQT="309&VName="PQD&TS="1170111555&clientId="9268">.


This article is about the future of the Jewish community in Russia. It tackles the issue of how Russian nationalism and communism responds to the Jewish community, the conflict of civilization and what the Russian Nazi organizations promoted. This article has tons of relevant information for my research even though it is a bit outdated. It does not take into account the political context since Putin’s arrival but most elements in this article still apply even to this day.

Pieces of information:

- Russian neo-Nazi groups openly promote the extermination of Jews, it is not a hidden agenda.
- Eurasianism: a new nationalistic approach in Russia. It asks for an alliance of all the nations in Eurasia, Jews and non-Jews alike, even Chechens. But this nationalism is aimed against Americans and American Jews which are seen as “opportunistic”.


“The rise of Russian nationalism leads to an increase of anti-Semitism.”

“The public’s response to these speeches indicates that anti-Semitic sentiments are growing among the populace, who increasingly believe that a strong nationalist, authoritarian government is indeed the answer to the country’s problems.”

“Throughout the Soviet reign, anti-Semitism was an accepted fact of life in Russia.”

“The rise of anti-Western feelings in general and anti-Semitic feelings in particular can be attributed to the economic problems that have followed the transformation of the country after the collapse of the Soviet regime. And the hardships have increased since the collapse of the ruble in 1998 and the beginning of the war in the Caucasus. Anti-Semitic feelings are quite common in the country's political discourse, and numerous proNazi publications circulate freely in Russian cities, including in downtown Moscow. Indeed, it is widely assumed among the Russian public that Boris Berezovsky, the Jewish tycoon, is behind the new Chechen attacks and even some of the terrorist attacks. Moreover, statements such as Makashov's were all too common among those members of the political elite who set themselves against the still mostly pro-Western Yeltsin regime.”

Note Taking XI - Quantification of Russian Anti-Semitism

Ephross, Peter. “ADL Survey Quantifies Russian Anti-Semitism” Canadian Jewish News 29, 38 (1999): 29. 21 Feb. 2007 < index="18&did="413195491&SrchMode="1&sid="13&Fmt="3&VInst="PROD&amp;VType="PQD&RQT="309&VName="PQD&TS="1170111555&clientId="9268">.


The results of an Anti-Defamation League’s survey about anti-Semitism in Russia.

Pieces of information:
- 44% in Russia agreed to six of eleven statements that express stereotypes about Jews. (12% in the USA harbours strong prejudice against Jews.)
- Even with these results, a majority agreed to some positive statements about Jews. (About honesty and their contribution during WW2)

“Several anti-Semitic bomb attacks and incidents have occurred during the past year, and last fall, prominent Communist lawmakers made repeated, public anti-Semitic comments.”

Note Taking X - Fascism in the 20s and 30s

Milza, Pierre. Les fascismes. Paris : Seuil, 1991.

Summary :

An extensive research on fascism. All its political characteristics, the context in which this movement can be created and take power. The article covers all types of fascism, in all the countries which has seen them in action (Finland, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain, United Kingdoms, Romania, Croatia and many more).

Future leads:

Even though this article does not cover modern fascism and neo-nazism, it will help to compare fascism these movements with their 1920s-1930s counterparts. I could also make a parallel with the economical problems of this period and the political instability with today’s situation in Germany and Russia.

The global economic crisis of 1929 è The high cost of reunification in Germany and the extreme poverty in Russia.Weak democracy created after the fall of monarchies è Weak democracy in Russia because of their history. In over 1000 years old they have no experience of how a republic works. This can be seen in their parliamentary administration, Yeltsin governed with decrees. The same thing can be said for Eastern Germany, which in the last century has seen a monarchy and a totalitarian regime followed by another. The cost of reunification is high and several problems have appeared. Also their parliamentary system is unstable and sees coalition governments time and time again. It was the same situation prior to Hitler’s arrival.

Note Taking IX - Xenophobia in Russia Caused by Recent Events

Ephross, Peter. “Anti-Semitic Tide Rising in Russia.” Canadian Jewish News 29, 50 (1999): 29. 21 Feb. 2007 <>.


Article about current events that contribute to a rise of anti-Semitism, xenophobia and strong nationalist sentiment.

Pieces of information:

- NATO’s involvement in Kosovo affected anti-Western sentiment. Russia has always been very protective of its little brother Serbia. Some Russians even went to fight NATOs along Milosevic’s troops. There is a resurgence of strong nationalism
- The situation in Chechnya also contributed to a rise of xenophobia which affects the Jewish community as well. “Dark-skinned” people are targeted in Moscow’s capital.
- It is very recurrent in former communist state to use nationalist sentiment to gain political support.
- Underlines problems in Russia regarding freedom of religion. Jehova’s witnesses are mainly targeted by local bureau.


“Observers say the war in Chechnya has contributed to the high level of ethnic slurs in the current election campaign, including a slur by the Nobel Prize-winning author Alexander Solzhenitsyn, who referred to the alleged control of Russian politics by Jewish bankers.”

“Even more mainstream candidates are sending a strong nationalist message, which historically in Russia has often translated into anti-Semitism.”
“[…] referring to the Russian Duma’s failure earlier this year to condemn Gen. Albert Makashov, a Communist legislator who made several public anti-Semitic comments.”

dimanche 18 février 2007

Note Taking VIII

Federal Statistical Office Germany. 2006. Federal Statistical Office Germany. 18 Feb. 2007 <>.

Summary: This website offers various useful official statistics that will prove worthy for my research. The relevant statistics for me are those about unemployment rate and immigration.


- Most immigrants come from Turkey (nearly one out of five)
- The Saxony-Anhalt (known for its strong NPD support) has the lowest percentage of immigrants (1,9%)Unemployment rates go from 8% to 11%, which is very high.

Note Taking VII

Cziesche, Dominic, Conny Neuman, Barbara Schmid, Markus Verbeet and Steffen Winter. “Right Wing Extremism in Germany: Shock Mom and Dad: Become a Neo-Nazi.” Speigel Online International May 2005. 18 Feb. 2007,1518,357628,00.html>.


This article is about why teenagers join neo-nazi organizations and Germany’s immigration problems related to integration. It also tackles the issues of if these teenagers join for a matter of trend or ideology.

“They believe that if foreigners left there would be more jobs and fewer unemployed Turks getting money from the government. There would be no Albanian drug dealers on the streets and no macho Islamic guys hitting on their girlfriends. They would also no longer run the risk of being beaten up by large groups of "Russians" on a Friday night in front of their favorite bar. They say it is always "the Russians" who attack first.”
“The press in the Bavarian town of Aichach had reported on a presumably foreign gang of thugs who had been attacking German youth, seemingly at random. The police downplayed the report, saying they were dealing with an "isolated group." Perhaps they were right, but young people in the town have reported multiple attacks, a circumstance that no one seems to be taking seriously in Aichach -- no one but right-wing extremists. It's a similar situation in the small city of Cloppenburg in northern Germany. 25% of Cloppenburg's residents are now immigrants, and young Russian-born Germans have begun terrorizing the city. The local park is now considered dangerous at night, with passersby reporting knife attacks. Only after local CDU (Christian Democratic Union) politician Hans-Jürgen Grimme was robbed did the local population finally embark on an open discussion of the problems of integration.”

“Many, mostly small communities now face ongoing conflicts as a result of failed efforts to integrate foreign-born Germans and other foreigners. Between 1993 and 2004 alone, Germany experienced an influx of close to 1.6 million immigrants from the former Soviet Union. There were plenty of programs oriented toward language instruction and integration, but hardly anyone had anticipated the resistance among many young immigrants to learning German and assimilating. Indeed, some preferred to barricade themselves into their own miniature societies, complete with their own laws. It was a situation that supporters of nationalist ideologies have since manipulated for their own propaganda purposes.”

Note Taking VI

Kirshner, Sheldon. “Germany Grapples With the Radical Right,” Canadian Jewish News 35 (2005): 11.


This article is relevant because it mentions other neo-Nazi groups in Germany and not only the NPD.


“Neo Nazism is a danger to German democracy,’ he observed. ‘It’s a dangerous movement for all of Europe.” And it may grow if the economy deteriorates, he added.

Note Taking V

Winock, Michel. “Le fascisme, c’est la guerre!” L’Histoire 325 (1999): 50-7.

Summary :

This article is the most precise and unbiased definition of what fascism really is.

Pieces of information:

- Fascism, and not neo-fascism, needs to have the six following characteristics to be called “true fascism”. The movement needs to be ultranationalist, wants to create a new Man, it needs a charismatic leader, it needs to promote or be the sole political party, it needs a state ideology and it finally promotes a war ideology to mobilize the nation.

Note Taking IV

“Europe: Banning Nazis.” Economist 357 Oct. 2000: 50.


This article is about a possible ban legislation against Germany’s NPD and other organizations of this type.

Pieces of information:

- One can find here what other German political movements think of this possible ban, taking into account the freedom of speech.

Future research:

- I need to find out the issue of the vote on this legislation.


“For libertarian reasons the Free Democrats, Germany’s liberals, are against it. The Greens […] are divided. Bavaria’s right-wing Christian Social Union strongly favours it, but its allies in opposition, the Christian Democrats, are hesitant. Some argue that Nazi sentiment in any public form must be suppressed, while others think people should be free to express just about any belief, however repulsive, so long as it does not directly incite violence.”

“Under German constitution, a party may be banned only if deemed “unconstitutional” meaning that “by reason of its aims or the behaviour of its members, it seeks to undermine the free democratic basic order or to endanger the existence of the Federal Republic.”

“[Far-right nationalists] won 13% of the vote in Saxony-Anhalt, an eastern Land, two years ago.”

“Although surveys suggest that a full two-thirds of Germans believe that “too many foreigners” are coming into their country, even more (78%) believe that not enough is being to curb the far right.”

Note Taking III

“Europe: An Ugly Head Rears; Russian Anti-Semitism.” Economist 374 Jan. 2005: 38.


This article is about anti-Semitism in the Russian society and what might happen regarding this issue with the future presidential administrations.

Pieces of information:

- The Protocols of the Elders of Zion are mentioned.


“Both the letter and the response to it confirm what many Russia-watchers already felt. On the one hand, anti-Semitism (which has deep roots in Russia) still seethes, a few millimetres below the surface of Russian life – though these days it co-exists with even more widespread kinds of prejudice, such as hatred of Chechens and Caucasians. On the other hand, Mr Putin, mindful of Russia’s image and of his good personal relations with senior Israelis and Jews, is anxious to stop anti-Semitism bursting out into the open.”

“Could a future Russian government decide to play the anti-Semitic card, knowing that it can draw on widespread xenophobia?”

“[…] a political change, brought about by a crisis, is certainly not going to bring more tolerant, liberal people to power.”

Note Taking II

Lungen, Paul. “Future of Jews in Russia Remains Unclear.” Canadian Jewish News 33 (2004): 49.


This article is about the situation of the Jewish community in today’s Russia.

Pieces of information:

- Information about anti-Semitism in the Russian bureaucracy
- Mentions anti-Semitism in Kazan, the capital of Tatarstan, an oblast populated mainly by Muslims.
- Mentions of Russian oligarchs (Roman Abramovich) who helped the Jewish community.Underlines what the authorities are doing to tackled the issue of anti-Semitism in Russia.

Bibliography MLA Style

Cassels, Alan. Fascism. Lancaster : Harlan Davidson, 1975
Chirot, Daniel. Modern Tyrants. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1996.
Davies, Peter. The Routledge Companion to Fascism and the Far Right. New York: Routledge, 2002.
De Grand, Alexander. Italian Fascism : Its Origins and Development. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2000.
Ebenstein, Alan. Today’s IMS: Socialism, Capitalism, Fascism, Communism and Libertarianism. New York: Prentice Hall, 1999.
Ellerin, Milton. Does Neo-nazism Have a Future. New York: American Jewish Committee, Institute of Human Relations, 1983.
Gregor, James. Interpretations of Fascism. New York: Transaction Publishers, 1997.
Griffin, Roger. Fascism, Totalitarianism and Political Religion. New York: Routledge, 2005.
Griffin, Roger. Fascism. Oxford : Oxford University Press, 1995.
Griffin, Roger. Nature of Fascism. New York: Routledge, 2001.
Jan, Abid Ullah. After Fascism: Muslims and the Struggle for Self-determination. New York: Booksurge Publishing, 2006.
Kallis, Aristotle. Fascism Reader. New York: Routledge, 2003.
Laguer, Walter. Fascism: Past, Present, Future. Oxford : Oxford University Press, 1997.
Lee, Martin. The Beast Reawakens: Fascism’s Resurgence from Hitler’s Spymasters to Today’s Neo-Nazi Groups and Right-Wing Extremists. New York: Routledge, 1999.
Lewis, Rand. The Neo-Nazis and German Unification. Westport: Praeger Publishers, 1996.
Marks, Steven. How Russia Shaped the Modern World: From Art to Anti-Semitism, Ballet to Bolshevism. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2002.
Mosley, Ivo. Democracy, Fascism and the New World Order. Exeter: Imprint Academic, 2003.
Passmore, Kevin. Fascism: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2002.
Paxton, Robert. The Anatomy of Fascism. New York: Vintage, 2005.
Read, Craig. Fascism and Paganism: A Brief Comparison of Nazism, Communism and Islam. Philadelphia: Xlibris Coporation, 2006.
Reich, Wilhelm. The Mass Psychology of Fascism. New York: Farrar, 1980.
Seldes, George. Facts and Fascism. New York: In Fact, 1943.
Shaw, Martin. War and Genocide: Organized Killing in Modern Society. Cambridge: Polity Press, 2003.
Sorlucco, Jerry. Facing Fascism: The Threat to American Democracy in the 21st Century. New York: Authorhouse, 2006.
Thompson, Elizabeth. Neo-nazism in Germany. Editorial Research Reports, 1953.
Thurlow, Richard. Fascism in Britain: A History, 1918-1985. London: Olympic Marketing Corp, 1987.
Veith, Gene Edward. Modern Fascism: Liquidating the Judeo-Christian Worldview. Portland: Concordia Publishing House, 1993.
Weber, Eugene. Varieties of Fascism: Doctrines of Revolution in the Twentieth Century. New York: R.E. Krieger Pub, 1982.
Weitz, Eric. Fascism and Neofascism: Critical Writings on the Radical Right in Europe. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004.
Williams, Eric. The Puzzle of Fascism. New York: Booksurge Publishing, 2006.

vendredi 16 février 2007

New Title / New Thesis Statement

A Study of the Causes of the Resurgence of Fascist Movements in Germany and Russia
The cultural and historical context added to the political instability caused by the reunification of Germany and the weak traditions for democracy in Russia contributed in the resurgence of fascist movements in those two countries.

mercredi 14 février 2007

Title + Thesis Statement

A Study of the Causes of the Resurgence of Fascist Movements

I will examine and analyse how the economical and political instability in Germany and Russia are a key factor in the resurgence of fascist movements.

Critical Thinking Analysis (In-Class Activity Done With Vincent Gagnon-Lefebvre)

Article:Boyer, Alan Lee. ''U.S. Foreign Policy in Central Asia: Risk, Ends, and Means.'' Naval War College Review 59, 1 (2006): 91-118. 20 Jan. 2007<;amp;amp;clientId=9268&RQT=309&VName=PQD>.
Subject and approach: The author analyses U.S. foreign policy in Central Asia.
Thesis statement: The US is limited in its ability to effect change in Central Asia because of geopolitics, the nature of the local regimes, and a lack of leverage.
Argument: Strategic risk can be lowered only if the mismatches between ends and means are reduced and strategy is made sub-servient to policy.
1. What is the stated premise? Is it completely accurate?
Strategic risk can be lowered only if the mismatches between ends and means are reduced and strategy is made sub-servient to policy. It is accurate as an answer to the thesis statement.
2. What is the hidden premise?
That there is a problem between the geopolitical goals of the U.S. and the means used to attain them. Hence the need for a change in strategy.
3. Is the statement completely accurate?
4. Do the premises inescapably lead to the conclusion? No other?
Change is unavoidable but different strategies are possible.

samedi 3 février 2007

Research Notes I

George W. Breslauer, ''Evaluating Yelstin as Leader'', in Gorbatchev and Yelstin as leaders, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2002, p. 295-318. 331 pages. ISBN: 0521892449
See the three underlined passages. Very important to understand today's political context in Russia. Hitler and Mussolini took power in weak newborn democracies. Putin's Russia fits this profile. The second passage clearly talks about the effects of this on the rise of nationalistic attitudes.
The first underlined passage is very important:
''Yelstin opened the door to the one ideology that had not yet been discredited: Russian nationalism. Perhaps radical nationalism will not emerge ascendant owing to its weak resonance among the Russian people and to the widespread awareness among elites of the country's real weakness. If radical nationalism does seize the initiative, however, it could destroy Yelstin's greatest ideational accomplishment - acceptance of a secular and tolerant definition of citizenship - along with the fragile organizational system he set up.''

Research Proposal 2.0

Why does Nazism still exist in Russia and Germany?

1) Subject (Narrowed topic and approach)

Russia and Germany have suffered deeply from Nazism and totalitarianism. One can rightfully wonder why it is in those two countries that neo-nazi demonstrations are the most common and that the political support for Far right nationalists are in the strongest recorded on earth. My research will examine and analyze why such a situation exists in those two countries by taking into account the background of both countries, the political context, their respective cultures and what those organizations actually propose to attract such a strong support in countries that should know better.

2) Audience (Imaginary reader)

It will be necessary for me to include in my paper a clarification of what Fascism and Nazism are, as there is a misconception regarding those two concepts. Far right does not necessarily means "fascist" and anti-Semitism does not automatically evoke the idea of Nazism. There will also be a need to distinguish the differences between Neo-nazism and Nazism. The same has to be done for Fascism and Neo-fascism. I will also include economical statistics for those unfamiliar with the socio-political realities of Russia and Germany.

3) Defence (Why does this project merit your time?)

A friend of mine who spent a year teaching in Germany came back a few years ago with stories that were peculiar to me at the time. He told me about Neo-nazi demonstrations in Eastern Germany, Far right nationalists being elected in several Länder (Germany’s federal provinces), desecrated Jewish cemeteries and about educated people who were highly xenophobic. I then started to search newspapers and online articles to verify what the medias had to say about such odd events and attitudes and I found out it was not only very true but more common than one could possibly imagine. There is one thing these articles could simply not address properly: the causes of the resurgence of these movements. During my research, I will try to find these causes (economical, cultural, historical). This question is worth answering because an unbiased and thorough understanding of these movements could help us see how serious this reality is and how to deal appropriately with it. History taught us what these organizations are capable of and should not be regarded as marginal groups. This critical mistake has been done once already. Also the fact that there are such organizations all around the globe is to my eyes another reason why this subject merits our time.

4) Methodology

The first step will include researching documents about Fascism and Nazism as an ideology. Then, I will need to look into the economic realities of both Germany and Russia. When fascists took power in Italy and Germany they were greatly helped by economic crisis. I will also look into the historical background of those two countries (past totalitarian regimes, the arrival of Jewish immigrants in those two countries etc.). The fourth step will include analyzing the situation of both countries with what the neo-fascist and neo-nazi movements actually promote and why it actually attracts this sort of mass support. I will look more into the political programmes of these organizations when such a thing will exist. They do not all have political agendas. The last step of my research will focus more on the redaction of the research paper and putting all the facts and analyses together.

General Outline

1- Political ideologies and agendas

a) Fascism
b) Nazism
c) Neo-fascism
d) Neo-nazism

2- Germany

a) Economy
b) Culture
c) Background
d) How these organizations fit in the picture

3- Russia

a) Economy
b) Culture
c) Background
d) How these organizations fit in the picture

samedi 27 janvier 2007

Pratical English Usage

a) What are the most important differences between British English and American English?

The most important differences are in spelling and vocabulary. Words ending with -or in American are generally ending with -our in British and Canadian English.

Examples: favor-favour, honor-honour

b) What is standard English?

Standard English is grammatically correct English. No slang words or expressions or syntax (gonna, wanna etc.), no contractions (don't, won't etc.)

c) What is a dialect?

A dialect is a variant of a language that uses different syntax or expressions and is generally pronounced differently. Dialects are variants of a language that are not the ''prestige dialect''. For English, the prestige dialect is either American English or British. Its dialects are Southern American English, African-American English, South African English and Australian English.

d) What are the characteristics of formal English as opposed to informal or spoken English?

Formal English as opposed to informal and spoken English is universally understood and agreed upon by all the English speakers around the world. It is the English set by conventions of standard English.

e) Do languages change over time?

Yes they do. Old English sounds nothing like Modern English. English has been influenced by Danish (during the Viking invasion), by Latin (at the time of christianization), by Norman French (Norman conquest of 1066) just to name a few. There was also the Great Vowel Shift which changed the pronounciation. Languages change over time for multiple reasons that are generally linked to the culture's ties with other cultures.

Research Proposal

Why does Nazism still exist in Russia and Germany?

Russia and Germany have suffered deeply from Nazism and totalitarianism. One can rightfully wonder why it is in those two countries that neo-nazi demonstrations are the most common and that the political support for Far Right nationalists are in the strongest recorded on earth. My research will examine and analyze why such a situation exists in those two countries by taking into account the background of both countries, the political context, their respective cultures and what those organizations actually propose to attract such a strong support in countries that should know better. I believe that a thorough and unbiased understanding of this movement is not only necessary for Germany and Russia but also for other countries such as Canada, Hungary, France, the United States of America and Italy. History taught us what these organizations are capable of and should not be regarded as marginal. This critical mistake has been done once already.

Part 1
The first step will include the compilation of information such as statistics (economy, unemployment rate, ethnicity etc.) regarding Russia and Germany. I will also look into the historical background of those two countries (past totalitarian regimes, the arrival of Jewish immigrants in those two countries etc.)

Part 2
The second step will include analyzing the situation of both countries with what the neo-fascist and neo-nazi movements actually promote and why it actually attracts this sort of mass support. I will look more into the political programmes of these organizations.

Part 3
The third step will focus more on the redaction of the research paper and putting all the facts and analyses together.

samedi 20 janvier 2007


In my research, I would like to find out the extent of modern fascist movements in two particular countries even if this phenomenon can be witnessed around the globe. Those two countries are Germany and Russia. I selected those two not only because of my knowledge of their respective official language, which can help in my research, but also because they are the most relevant areas for a research about the state of fascism today. Nazi movements in Germany have never really disappeared. They lost popularity since World War II but since the reunification, anti-immigration and ultranationalist parties in Germany gained support and neo-nazi demonstrations can be seen on a more frequent basis. As for Russia, this country is known for its centuries old antisemitism and its weak traditions for democracy. My research will also take into account that not every anti-semitic movement are fascist and not every fascist movement are anti-semitic. This research will focus on far right nationalist movements and not on anarchist and communist groups that have authoritarian and anti-semitic ideologies.

mercredi 10 janvier 2007

First Entry

This will be my academic blog for Written Communication II. I am in my sixth and final semester of ''International Studies'' and I study English, Russian and politics. I have a few ideas for the research topic but I am not sure if they are any good or if this is what Prof. Saint-Yves is looking for.

Those ideas include:

A research about the state of fascism today.
A research about the issues regarding the future of Somalia.
A research about global organized crime (or maybe about the state of local mafias in the 21st century and how they deal with the arrival of new technologies and advanced aggressive anti-mafia investigations)
A research about the state of democracy in Russia (or maybe a research about Russia's relationship with hostile countries such as North Korea and Iran)
Stability in the Balkans (for exemple: about the future of Kosovo, the Serbian Radical Party (who may win this month's parliamentary election) or about the state of Macedonia)