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so far left they're...neocon?
August 25, 2006 12:20 AM   Subscribe

Strange Bedfellows: Radical Leftists for Bush Among the German far-left, one subgroup called the anti-Germans holds some contradictory views. Most call themselves communists, yet loudly proclaim their support for Israel and George W. Bush.
posted by telstar (29 comments total)

 
Contrarity for it's own sake is not an ethos.
posted by delmoi at 12:28 AM on August 25, 2006


Walter, on the Nihilists (who believe in nothing): "Say what you will about the tenets of national socialism, at least it's an ethos." The Big Lebowski
posted by telstar at 1:11 AM on August 25, 2006


Is this their chain of reasoning?

They are against Nazis, against fascists, so they are for people who are against Nazis and fascists.

They believe that modern Islamic fundamentalism is scary anti-Semitic fascism similar to their own country's Nazism and must be countered -- so they are for people who are trying to counter it.

And who is in direct opposition to it? Bush and Israel.

Something like that. Did I get it right?
posted by pracowity at 1:46 AM on August 25, 2006


I always viewed the anti-Germans as the most extreme, somewhat self-hating participants of a pissing contest called 'you're more fascist than we are'.

On the other hand, I do see a tendency among German extra-parlamentary left-wingers to side with Hezbollah. From my personal experience, this also tends to go hand in hand with anti-American views, especially concerning American military actions in Iraq. So maybe the anti-Germans do have the nucleus of a point, even though their views are quite extreme.
posted by Herr Fahrstuhl at 1:59 AM on August 25, 2006 [1 favorite]


Didn't the American neocon movement originate from a bunch of disillusioned marxists?
posted by PenDevil at 2:40 AM on August 25, 2006 [1 favorite]


PenDevil writes "Didn't the American neocon movement originate from a bunch of disillusioned marxists?"

That depends on what you mean by the word "Marxists." In essence, the neocons come from the followers of Max Shachtman, a Trotskyist who by the '60s, when your proto-neocons were grouped around him, was known as a "State Department Socialist" because he backed the US against all the socialist countries; this was particularly embarrassing on the far left during Vietnam, where the Shachtmanites supported the US. Their politics were more like Dissent (a social democratic quarterly that has not come out against the Iraq War) than anything revolutionary.
posted by graymouser at 3:22 AM on August 25, 2006


It is possible to argue that the worst thing you can do against America is to support George Bush's policies. It's like political aikido -- using your opponents force against him. If somebody wanted to hurt the American economy, its status in the world community, and render the American military harmless, the best advice you could give George W. is to get bogged down in Iraq as soon as possible.

I have no idea whether the anti-Germans think like this, though.
posted by JoddEHaa at 4:13 AM on August 25, 2006 [1 favorite]


Drink-sodden former Trotskyist popinjays.
posted by stammer at 4:39 AM on August 25, 2006


Well, a fair criticism that can be levelled at some of the more extreme ideologically-driven left groups (say, ANSWER, or Socialist Alliance here in Australia) is that they take on the mantra of "the enemy of my enemy is my friend". They have erroneously identified "America" as the root of all that is evil, and have therefore twisted decent socialist beliefs towards support for some very-anti-left ideals. Support the Brave Afghan Proletariat Resistance In Their Struggle Against US Imperialism!

(this is not a criticism of "the left" in general. Shit, I'm as red as they come, which for me means a deep distrust of any violent, bigoted, racist religious movement, no matter who they happen to call their enemy, or what name they call their god)

I digress. Anyway, these "anti-Germans" are doing the same thing, just identifying a different enemy and ideal. Almost a more sensible one. Instead of identifying America as the "enemy", the take a more traditional socialist path and identify "fascism" as the enemy, and work from there, with comparable results, and with similar deliberate ignorance of some of the complexities involved. Fascists hate Jews? Islamic Fundamentalists hate jews. America hates Islamic Fundamentalists. Yay America, world hero!

Of course, true neo-cons do the same thing as well, in the enlightening way they turn a blind eye to the crimes of such allies as Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, while deciding any hippy with a NO WAR t-shirt is a friend of Osama.

Ain't the world an amazing place?
posted by Jimbob at 5:13 AM on August 25, 2006


Drink-sodden former Trotskyist popinjays.

I know who you're referring to. That guy. He's British, and a complete jerk. But you know, what? I've completely forgotten his name. I started Googling for it, then decided fuck it, I can be happy forgetting who the hell you're talking about.
posted by Jimbob at 5:16 AM on August 25, 2006


pracowity, that's more or less it. And if you consider that their support for Bush is often just used as a provocative device, their position is far less irrational than it would appear at first sight.
posted by dhoe at 5:16 AM on August 25, 2006


Wait wait wait!!! I thought the Germans loved David Hasselhoff!? When did they change it to George W. Bush? Man, I gotta keep up to date with these German folks, they move too fast for me.
posted by Vindaloo at 5:52 AM on August 25, 2006


They believe that modern Islamic fundamentalism is scary anti-Semitic fascism similar to their own country's Nazism and must be countered -- so they are for people who are trying to counter it.

Well, it seems to me they have a problem with the way they conceive of "fascism," then, because fascism is at its core market-centric and pro-corporate (don't worry--I won't trot out Mussolin's own all-too-frequently cited words on the subject), and most Islamists skew somewhat left of center in terms of their economic views.

Islamists might be something else--like bigots, say, or maybe just plain haters--but they can't literally be fascists because they don't really seem to support merging corporate and state power, and that's pretty much a necessary condition for being a fascist, in the strict sense.

Now, that's not to say there aren't possibly legitimate parallels between the tactics of fascism and those of extremist Islamism. Arguably, there are similar parallels among all forms of ideological extremism--but that doesn't make them equivalent.
posted by saulgoodman at 6:06 AM on August 25, 2006


maybe this will help to clear it up a bit.

Volker Radke wrote a short introduction: Anti-german for beginners

Communism, anti-German criticism and Israel, an Interview with Stephan Grigat by Jens Misera from Vienna based Café Critique

For english anti-german blogs go to I am a doughnut, cut-up Germany and asayake.

Of course anti-Germans face some heavy criticism (english thread in a german communist forum) from the left.
posted by kolophon at 6:35 AM on August 25, 2006


Almost a more sensible one. Instead of identifying America as the "enemy", the take a more traditional socialist path and identify "fascism" as the enemy

Are you serious? Most people outside of America have a somewhat clearer notion of what fascism means. And are ROTFL when another US politician again drops the "Islamofascist" in a speech.

Die Autonomen are radical and dangerous extremists, but they do usually have an average political and historical education. I don't think they would buy into equating islamist terror/theocracy and fascism.

The sole purpose of this stupid term is that bringing the unconscious Fascism=Nazis=Pure Evil™ association into the game is a supreme way of instilling even more fear in America.
posted by uncle harold at 6:36 AM on August 25, 2006


Uncle Harold: I kinda like how you say Die Autonomen are "dangerous extremists", when the anit-german splinter group takes part demonstrations with CDU hardliners like Beckstein, who demands coercive detention for leftists.
posted by kolophon at 6:55 AM on August 25, 2006


Are you serious?

I'm not saying they are correct in their identification of fascism, just that that seems to be the starting point of their logic.

Maybe the original poster is right. Just like neo-cons, they don't understand the corporate-state elements of fascism, they just stick to the simplistic "anti-democratic" and "anti-semitic" flavours of fascism that are brighter in the public consciousness.
posted by Jimbob at 7:01 AM on August 25, 2006


More and more the world and our existence in it becomes more absurd. . .

Sitting naked in the dirt playing with their poo . . .
posted by mk1gti at 7:07 AM on August 25, 2006


Real central European can of worms here. I had no idea.
posted by telstar at 7:28 AM on August 25, 2006


"Islamists might be something else--like bigots, say, or maybe just plain haters--but they can't literally be fascists because they don't really seem to support merging corporate and state power, and that's pretty much a necessary condition for being a fascist, in the strict sense."

While on the other hand that description of fascism does fit the situation since World War Two in these (I say pro-Zionist) United States of America. (Can you say "Halliburton"?)

Anyway, during the 1950s-70s the (formerly Trotskyite) Socialist Workers Party (United States) was heavily infiltrated and largely controlled by the FBI. What controls these poor "anti-Germans"? Or are they simply brain-damaged?
posted by davy at 7:46 AM on August 25, 2006


wacky.
posted by owhydididoit at 7:49 AM on August 25, 2006


By the way, one of the easiest "litmus tests" for anybody's "radical leftism" is support for the U.S. Government: if they do they ain't, whatever other properties they might have.
posted by davy at 7:51 AM on August 25, 2006


well, like you could read in those interviews, most anti-germans don't identify themselves as leftists anymore. They do sometimes proclaim they are communists, but not very rarely these days.
Traditional leftism is identified as anti-zionist, reactionary and cultural relativistic, apologetically embracing islamism, the ideology which they have identified as a worthy successor of Nazism.

Of course this can be seen as an attempt to shift the blame to an outside enemy instead of criticising the germany, like the self-proclaimed label "anti-german" would imply.

This shift is only very recent, I would say it started 9-11. Before that anti-germans have occasionally bashed anti-americanism as a reactionary, but then the stance suddenly switched to pro-americanism.
posted by kolophon at 8:23 AM on August 25, 2006


Stupid loves Stupid.
posted by Artw at 8:23 AM on August 25, 2006


(that should read: but very rarely these days. english is not my first language)
posted by kolophon at 8:24 AM on August 25, 2006


"most anti-germans don't identify themselves as leftists anymore. They do sometimes proclaim they are communists, but very rarely these days."

Rightist -- or at least non-leftist -- so-called communists. Like the Stalinists, or maybe, uh, German National Socialists!
posted by davy at 9:27 AM on August 25, 2006


Kolophon wrote: "Traditional leftism is identified as anti-zionist, reactionary and cultural relativistic, apologetically embracing islamism, the ideology which they have identified as a worthy successor of Nazism."

Traditional leftism isn't inherently anti-Zionist, reactionary or apologetically embracing what they have identified as a worth successor of Nazism. You need to stop listening to Rush Limbaugh and actually check it out for yourself.

Just to quickly go through:

1. Zionism is the Jewish people's drive to self-determination, which is a human rights issue that resonates with the left. To think the issue is anti-Zionism is to misconstrue the criticisms of Israel's treatment of the Palestinians. Although the term Zionist now is more associated with the right in Israel (i.e. Likud, National Religious, etc.) with many on the left (i.e Benny Morris) saying that we are now in a post-Zionist era since Israel exists.

2. Reactionary? You can pick and choose issues easily to cast anyone as reactionary. This is just a slur like saying that someone is dumb.

3. What is this about saying that the left is embracing what they see as the successor to Nazism? That is non-sensical in that it says that the traditional left has affinity to Nazism -- Nazism is most affiliated with the extreme right. Also you are implicitly saying that Islamism is Nazism -- which is just incorrect, although I take it that you mean to say that you disagree with both and thus even if they are immensely differently we might as well lump them both in the category of so evil as not to warrant precise thought.

You seem to lack a balanced understanding and are no better than knee jerk leftists who blast the right as being just evil and stupid.
posted by bhouston at 9:28 AM on August 25, 2006


davy: german national socialists were/are really as far away from communism as they can propably be, may it be leftwing or rightwing communism.

bhouston: don't you understand that I only wanted to explain the views of those anti-germans, and not stating my personal view on the issue? perhaps if i would have written "the anti-germans identify traditional leftism as etc."?

I myself would pretty much go along what Pepsi Coda says in the thread i linked to above .
posted by kolophon at 9:52 AM on August 25, 2006


Uncle Harold: I kinda like how you say Die Autonomen are "dangerous extremists", when the anit-german splinter group takes part demonstrations with CDU hardliners like Beckstein, who demands coercive detention for leftists.

Sorry, I don't understand what you mean. Anti-Germans have traditionally used violence. That's the line where I consider someone "dangerous".

Marching with Beckstein makes them perhaps loony, but not any less violent.

(That Beckstein himself is an extremist in my eyes as well has no bearing on the matter how I see the Anti-Germans.)
posted by uncle harold at 10:43 AM on August 25, 2006


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