10th February 2021

I just today read an article about two thirteen-year-old boys who had become so radicalized by present day society as to be leading figures in extreme rightwing politics. Both European, one from Estonia, the other the United Kingdom, so not sharing a common heritage or immediacy, they seem to have arrived at extreme anti-Semitist, racist and sexist views, independently but coincidentally, from the very abundant flow of misinformation and lies propagated by social media, the internet, regular and dark, and the other conspiratorial hyperbole constantly permeating our     combined consciences.  

Just in case that information was in the slightest overwhelming, I repeat the two most pertinent and concerning issues, firstly the boys ages, both thirteen, and secondly that they absorbed these views in the now and very recent past. Notably, both the United Kingdom and Estonia have had a particularly checkered relationship with fascism in the past, although out of the two only Estonia fell completely under that perverse doctrines ever invasive and oddly attractive spell.

In my own late teens and early twenties I too found the attraction of extreme politics magnetic, although in my case the attraction was to a far leftist position. During that decade, the British labor movement was heavily infiltrated by Militant tendency, a seemingly innocuous clique, but whom were commonly believed, and later proven, to have been heavily sponsored by and aligned with the Soviet Union, with a particular anarchistic Leninist outlook. The tentacles of the manifestation spread far and wide, particularly within organized labor, trade unions, and academia. Being offspring to an unapologetically violent antifascist I quite naturally found myself drawn to a similar perspective, the far left being the natural perch. Thankfully my few but adequate years saved me from total indoctrination, and I managed to emerge unscathed, wiser, and hopefully in a position to make better balanced and considered judgements.

It is without question my generation who must carry the blame for the present upsurge in erroneous and illogical cults, movements, theorems, and felonious solutions.  Whilst we had the benefit of a plethora of first-hand perspectives, the voices, the haggard expressions, the daily realities of our parents and elders, we have failed dismally to carry those truths forward in an adequately descriptive and foreboding manner.

I listened to the personal experiences of those who witnessed violence, wickedness, horrors, beyond the easy acceptance of the average soul. I digested that legacy and instead of paying it forward I thought to conceal the multitudinous atrocities of the past from a future that perhaps deserved some degree of innocence. I say I, but of course I mean we, a whole generation of parents, teachers, politicians, who having learned the depths to which humankind in extremis can sink, chose to illustrate instead a world imbued in pretty pastel shades.

Worse we became a world of deniers, excusers, repeating endlessly that times never really were quite so bad, so dark, so close to hell on earth. Seems the time has come for honesty, to stop with the tinted pictures, the vague references, the occasional documentary explaining the deaths of six or seven million in but one edited short hour of video.

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