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I have heard that the Radio National is going to broadcast a report about the 1940s version of the “turn back the boats” rhetoric:


Only the boats they turned back were full of Jewish refugees fleeing the Holocaust. It is something that I have been writing about for a while reminding readers that the UN convention on refugees that Australia shows such disdain for today was set up in the wake of the refugee crisis engendered by the Holocaust. One simply wonders whether the radical right in Australia today are not only climate change deniers but Holocaust deniers too. Even the term “conservative revolution” is exactly the rhetoric used by Spanish, Italian and German fascists. Spanish fascists fighting the republicans certainly spoke of their war as a “revolution”.

In any case, if they talk about what I think they are going to talk about, Tony Abbott isn’t going to like it one bit. It will add to his case for shutting down the ABC. He might like to replace it with a party mouthpiece called “The Populist Observer”. If you are wondering why, it is because over the years there has been a huge controversy on how to translate the German term Völkisch (pronounced “furlkish”, the adjective from “Volk”, pronounced “folk”, meaning “the people”) into English and many historians have tended to leave it in German untranslated e.g. in the name of the National Socialist Party mouthpiece “Die Völkische Beobachter”. Today, it seems the best translation for “Völkisch” is “populist”, replacing the German word “Volk” meaning “people” with the Latin word “populi” also meaning “the people”, so that newspaper name “Die Völkische Beobachter” should be translated as “The Populist Observer”. The story of the sociopolitical origins and character of the “völkische Bewegung” (populist movement) in Pan-Germanist ultra-nationalism and National Socialism is a whole, highly involved blog post (or even a whole book) in its own right. But, for now, suffice to say that the Australian far right (including the current Liberal government) today are perfectly rightly described as being “populist” or Völkisch.