Monday, August 13, 2007


I posted something about Anti-Germanism here a while back. Here are some more links on Anti-Germanism. I’ve taken them from the Wikipedia entry on movement, but it was me who put some of them there.Lots of interesting stuff.


Karl-Marx-Straße said...

Interesting stuff, and very interesting people, the antideutschen. Yes, interesting. As in pretty barmy. You can't be against capitalism as that's the same as being anti-semitic. As obviously "capitalism" is just a code word for "international jewry".

That isn't a cariacture, but their 'position' as I've been informed on many occasions (which if you follow it through is actually extremely anti-semitic, as they're therefore claiming all capitalists are Jewish and vice-versa).

bob said...

I'm sure you know more than I do about them, KMS, as all I know really is what's in those links.

But from them, I think you do seem to be caricaturing them - their analysis seems more complex than that.

The key point, I think, is that real anti-capitalists should be looking at capitalism in its totality, not simply in terms of one of its forms (finance capital) or one of its national centres (America). "Anti-capitalism" that concentrates only on these is either simply anti-Americanism or ends up defending European or German/British/whatever industrial capital. And there is long history to the lopsided critique of finance capital, and that history is interwoven with the history of the anti-semitisms of the left and the right. (As I don't need to tell you, the Nazis painted themselves as "anti-capitalists" too.)

bob said...

P.S. Excellent post on the Lives of Others, KMS

Karl-Marx-Straße said...

Ok, it is some kind of cariacture - but one that "Anti-Germans" themselves have provided in short-ish conversations with me on demos or elsewhere in the past. The only occasions you see these people is when they demonstrate against "Al-Quds Day" or turn up on "anti-war" demos with USA and Israeli flags. Or you see their flyposters (or banners) thanking Bomber Harris for bombing Dresden, while giving him a ticking off for not finishing off the job (of bombing Germany back to the stone age and killing the entire population).

I think a lot of it is seriously, dangerously mental, born out of a combination of West German academic Marxism as taught at universities, perfectly correct disgust with the crimes of fascism, sympathy with Stalinism as it formally existed in the GDR (after the collapse of the East German regime they turned the slogan "Nie wieder Auschwitz" into "Nie wieder Deustchland" against unification), and a total acceptance of 'collective responsiblity' as taught in German schools.

Of course, they carry out no political activity as I, and I suspect you, would understand it - (again, I've been told on a fair few occasions), 'trade unions are just German, white, male organisations' - which is partly true, and also, they're pretty crap.

On the nazis being "anti capitalists" - here the NPD are much more anti-capitalist than any sector of the "antideutschen", but then again, that's not very difficult.

Karl-Marx-Straße said...

with Stalinism as it formally existed in the GDR

that should read "as it formerly existed"

bob said...

Thanks for the interesting comments KMS. Maybe I'll have to revise my comments. To be sure, it seems wrong to me for anti-capitalists to parade carrying American and Israeli flags (though certainly no wronger than parading wearing Palestinian scarves, or chanting "We are all Hezbollah", actions which make me want to parade carrying an Israeli and American flag...

I also think I don't fully understand the dynamic that Re-Unification played in the formation of the Anti-deutschen, which I know is part of their origin. Nostalgia for the GDR is certainly a deeply reactionary politics which I wouldn't want to have any part of.

Mike said...

Hey Bob,

You said "though certainly no wronger than parading wearing Palestinian scarves..."

Do you really mean to say that the actions of the US government (represented by the US flag) are "no wronger" than the actions of any of the various Palestinian factions that draw symbolism from the kafiyah? This seems hard to fathom.

I have major problems with the ways in which Palestinian solidarity is tangled up with apologies for terrorism and anti-semitism, but this sort of equivalence seems pretty unmoored from reality.


bob said...

Hi Mike. I don't think that Palestinian militancy and American actions are morally equivalent. The American flag symbolises lots of things: the Bill of Rights and the Constitution - and the history of violent interventions in Latin America and elsewhere. A tradition of free political discourse, the seperation of church and state - and the centre of operations for transnational companies that drain the world of its resources. The music of Leadbelly and the decisive action in the defeat of Hitler - and a couple of centuries of Jim Crow segregation and urban ghetto-ization. Similarly, the Palestinian scarf represents a legitimate greivance against oppressive Israeli policies - and the suicide bombing of pizza parlours.

In other words, the flags are not equivalent because both are better and both are worse than the other. In some contexts, choosing one flag, one camp, over the other, seems instinctively the right thing to do. But we shouldn't.

To choose one over the other (the two-way fight, the two camps) is wrong. To reject both (the three-way fight, the third camp) is probably the only morally healthy response.


(p.s. I hope parenthood is going well with you.)

The New Centrist said...

George Orwell and Paul Avrich, when faced with totalitarianism, voluntarily chose to side with liberal capitalist regimes. Like Orwell, Avrich was convinced that totalitarian ideologies and governments were a far greater threat than liberal capitalism. For both, there really was no true third option. As you know, I think the same is the case today. The “three way fight” is not a viable political option IMHO. Sometimes—as in the struggle against Hitler and global communism—you need to take sides.

Mike, hope you are having loads of fun with the new baby as well.