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Anti-Deutsche Antifa

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Felix Frost's picture
Felix Frost
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Nov 18 2006 12:29
Tacks wrote:
From what the german comrade was saying, the position which is distinctly Antideutsche has never had socilialism as an objective (?).

I'm still at pains to understand how AD could think they were left or could relate to the left. Its seems to be a image crisis for leftists. An attempt at controversy, a critique for its own sake. AD can't actually have any genuine goals surely. Israel is safe and america run the world already.

The Anti-Germans that I have read, have defined themselves as communists, although I don't know if they would see themselves as a part of "the left."

While it's unusual for socialists to be "pro-imperialist," it's not without precedents, and you can make "pro-imperialist" interpretations of Marx just as well as "anti-imperialist." Engels was in fact quite explicit in his support of "great nations" dominating the "lesser civillized" ones, which led him for instance to support the US conquest of northern Mexico:

Engels wrote:
'How did it happen that over Texas a war broke out between [Mexico and the United States] [...], which, according to the moral theory, ought to have been "fraternally united" and "federated", and that, owing to "geographical, commercial and strategic necessities", the "sovereign will" of the American people, supported by the bravery of the American volunteers, shifted the borders drawn by nature some hundreds of miles south. And will Bakunin accuse the Americans of a "war of conquest", which, although it deals a severe blow to his theory based on 'justice and humanity', was nevertheless waged wholly and solely in the interest of civilisation? [...] The "independence" of a few Spanish Californians and Texans may suffer because of it, in some places "justice" and other moral principles may be violated; but what does that matter compared to facts of world-historic significance?' ['Democratic Pan-Slavism', 365-66.]

The Anti-German ideas are only shocking if you start from an anti-imperialist position. From an internationalist position, they are just the other side of the coin of the Hezbollah loving left. Yes, I can understand that palestinian refugees who have lost family members to the IDF will be provoced by people coming with Israeli flags to demonsrations. I can equally understand that Iranian refugees who has seen their comrades killed by the Iranian regime and their Hezbollah allies will be provoced when people bring Hezbollah flags to demonstrations. Yet, almost no one reacts to the Hezbollah supporters, while the Anti-Germans get beaten upp. Just on this thread, one poster has called them "nazis" while another has expressed his hope that they "will blow their brains out." And this is on a board that is usually a refreshing sanctuary from the usual leftist nationalism and anti-imperialism...

Makhno
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Nov 19 2006 16:12

Who cares what Marx or Engels said? These Anti-Deutsche Antifa are a bunch of arseholes same as the pro-hizbollah left are a bunch of arseholes.

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Tacks
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Nov 19 2006 16:20

what about pro palestinians / people who beleiuve palestinina statehood would be a good interim objective?

Do you get upset by ppl in keffiyahs?

I can understand how ridiculous support for hezbollah - an out an out religious islamist party that not only had othing for the working class of lebanon (apart from very very flimys defences from israel) but would actively crush any socialists. But i'm not going to go as far as saying 'pro-palestinians or pro israelis, they are just as bad from an internationalist perspective'.

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Felix Frost
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Nov 19 2006 19:26
Tacks wrote:
what about pro palestinians / people who beleiuve palestinina statehood would be a good interim objective?

What about them? Being "pro-Palestinian" is such a loose term that it could mean almost anything. And the entire "world community" thinks that Palestinian statehood would be a good idea, including the current US administration.

Tacks wrote:
Do you get upset by ppl in keffiyahs?

No, and I fail to see what my fashion sense has to do with this discussion.

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Tacks
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Nov 19 2006 21:23
Felix Frost wrote:
Tacks wrote:
what about pro palestinians / people who beleiuve palestinina statehood would be a good interim objective?

What about them? Being "pro-Palestinian" is such a loose term that it could mean almost anything. And the entire "world community" thinks that Palestinian statehood would be a good idea, including the current US administration.

Tacks wrote:
Do you get upset by ppl in keffiyahs?

No, and I fail to see what my fashion sense has to do with this discussion.

its not a question about your fashion sense is it? I people people wearing keffiyehs in support of palestine - which if done consciously is almost equal to wearing a palestinian flag.

anyway, you have answered my question: you do distinguish between different kinds of nationalism.

IMO, good.

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Nov 19 2006 21:39

The AD types under discussion are only an extreme outcome of a more general trend among some German leftists. Somebody who met Postone, for example, said he uncritically supports the Israeli state in zionist terms. And there are plenty of other 'anti-German' German leftists who take it to varying degrees of absurdity. Iirc, some consider Bomber Harris, of Dresden fame, a hero and wanted to erect a statue of him in the town for the 50th anniversary of the end on WWII. (Or is that urban myth?)
It's internalised national guilt for the sins of their ancestors - they are forever under permanent penance, the illusory obligations of the loyal citizen towards 'their' nation taken to strange extremes.

aswad
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Nov 19 2006 22:29
Ret Marut wrote:
And there are plenty of other 'anti-German' German leftists who take it to varying degrees of absurdity. Iirc, some consider Bomber Harris, of Dresden fame, a hero and wanted to erect a statue of him in the town for the 50th anniversary of the end on WWII. (Or is that urban myth?)

It's not an urban myth, and I also believe the admiration for Bomber Harris is not just shared by 'some'.

Quote:
It's internalised national guilt for the sins of their ancestors - they are forever under permanent penance, the illusory obligations of the loyal citizen towards 'their' nation taken to strange extremes.

I think it's more than internalised national guilt - the attitude, as a by-product, allows them to feel way above the anti-semitic rest of us who haven't seen the light. This is a personal interpretation, though, but when reading AD texts, I always had the feeling that they felt 'less guilty' for having found the right ideology. Grrman one-upmanship at its best, I suppose.

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Nov 19 2006 22:37
Quote:
It's internalised national guilt for the sins of their ancestors - they are forever under permanent penance, the illusory obligations of the loyal citizen towards 'their' nation taken to strange extremes.

it pains me to hear that people can fuck themselves up like that, it truly does. Surely any genuine leftism says you are not guilty of what has been done in the name of your country ffs... Poor mad bastards.

aswad
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Nov 19 2006 22:37
Felix Frost wrote:
Also, I think you are mischaracterizing the Anti-German position somewhat. Their argument for supporting the US invasions in Afganistan and Iraq wasn't that muslims are "Untermenchen," but the reactionary character of those regimes.

I don't think I am. It is true they say these regimes are reactionary. It is also true they describe Muslims in racist ways, attributing to them an almost genetically caused bloodthirst, as one example. They equate religious belief with ethnicity and genetically inherited traits of character. I know what this reminds me of.

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Red Marriott
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Nov 19 2006 22:51
aswad wrote:
I think it's more than internalised national guilt - the attitude, as a by-product, allows them to feel way above the anti-semitic rest of us who haven't seen the light. This is a personal interpretation, though, but when reading AD texts, I always had the feeling that they felt 'less guilty' for having found the right ideology. Grrman one-upmanship at its best, I suppose.

I'm sure you are better informed on this than me, aswad, and take your point. But just to clarify - I was referring to these anti-German tendencies existing to varying degrees among the broader German left, not just the specific AD organisation.

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Nov 19 2006 23:28

From the Guardian:

Quote:
I first came across them last year. I was covering a demonstration of neo-Nazis protesting against the wartime destruction of Dresden by British bombers and the deaths of thousands of German civilians. As well as shouting, "Nie wieder Deutschland" (Never again Germany), the anti-Germans held up banners with the slogan: "Bomber Harris, do it again." They even pelted the skinheads with homemade paper aeroplanes with RAF insignia. Another chant went: "You lost the war, you did, you lost the war, you did." (I left the march feeling that Germany still had, well, some issues left over from the second world war.)

Communism, anti-German criticism and Israel:
http://cafecritique.priv.at/interviewIN.html
"partisanship for Israel is a compelling consequence of communist criticism"

More texts from the Anti-Germans here:
http://del.icio.us/antideutschproject

bastarx
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Nov 19 2006 23:43
Felix Frost wrote:
[
The Anti-German ideas are only shocking if you start from an anti-imperialist position. From an internationalist position, they are just the other side of the coin of the Hezbollah loving left.

I said something similar on the aut-op-sy list a few months ago when the ADs came up. The anti-imperialist, pro-Chavez graduate students got very upset when I said they had no grounds to complain that other pseudo-radicals had picked a different set of states to cheerlead for.

Vaneigemappreci...
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Nov 20 2006 12:42
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Surely any genuine leftism says you are not guilty of what has been done in the name of your country ffs... Poor mad bastards

i recall sitting through a lecturing from salma yaqoob in which she suggested we should all feel guilty that our government was doing such terrible things in our name and that it was our responsibility to ensure they stopped doing such nasty things. As if the "national interest" normally corresponds to the interests of the average person in the street and that this anomalous situation should be dealt with immediately to ensure proper representation can get back on the agenda roll eyes

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Dec 2 2006 16:13

german politics are hard enough to get your head around anyhow, let alone the "ultra-communists" who have to be more apologetic than anyone else to get some self-satisfaction. what interests me is why antifa as a whole put up with that kind of behaviour (ie sorting them out with webspace)

aswad
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Dec 2 2006 18:07
Lab Rat wrote:
what interests me is why antifa as a whole put up with that kind of behaviour (ie sorting them out with webspace)

As far as I can tell, antifa does not put up with their behaviour. I remember some reports on how ADs tried to join an antifa protest and were --- errrm, let's say: shown the way home.

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Dec 2 2006 18:48

i remember antifa.net used to host some anti-deutsche sites. the one i remember was AG no tears for krauts, halle. i think there was another one as well.

The Builder
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Dec 2 2006 19:28

I like a lot of the stuff the Germans make. They're pretty good with their hands.

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Tacks
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Dec 2 2006 20:13

what about middle-class germans?

The Builder
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Dec 2 2006 20:47
Tacks wrote:
what about middle-class germans?

The few I know are wankers

aswad
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Dec 2 2006 22:39
The Builder wrote:
The few I know are wankers

Corresponds nicely with your previous post...

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robot
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Dec 3 2006 08:25

As for their social provenance most of that "Anti-Deutsche" I happened to know are upper middle-class. Their ideology gives them a perfect excuse for beeing digusted by those working-class boobies. Right because social struggles in general and working class struggles in particular are - at least in Germany - necessarily anti-semitic because German workers had been the Nazis biggest fans. That is at least what you can read in BA.HAMAS and other "Anti-Deutsche" fanzines. Sometimes their ideological evaporations are quite funny - two years ago one of their gurus compared Sharon to Durruti telling the crowd that Durruti as a true anti-fascist today would propably be a commander of the IDF and beating the hell out of all those fascist muslim wankers. They are not strong in numbers, propably only some hundreds but the have access to some major publications and played a devasting role in splitting an anti-fascist movement that has already be on the decline and in crisis.

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Dec 3 2006 11:24

working-class boobies.

thats my new tagline sorted:)

anti-deutsch=schwachsinn.

sphinx
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Dec 3 2006 13:03

I plan to write a longer post at some point about what I think is worth salvaging from the anti-german critique, but for now it's worth posting this brief and incomplete history of the tendency which is being put together by Angelus Novus.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-German

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Dec 5 2006 14:27

I think they should be rather forgotten, that written about. They are bunch of really sad tossers.

Angelus Novus
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Jan 13 2007 16:20
sphinx wrote:
I plan to write a longer post at some point about what I think is worth salvaging from the anti-german critique, but for now it's worth posting this brief and incomplete history of the tendency which is being put together by Angelus Novus.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-German

I should note that a huge chunk of that was merely translated from the article on German-language Wikipedia. A general lack of motivation (combined with juggling other responsibilities) led me to never complete it.

Whenever the Antideutschen are discussed outside of Germany (or the German-speaking countries), my instinctive reaction is a mixture of irritation and amusement. Irritation because anything capable of being discussed is difficult to discuss intelligently outside of the context that it arises in, and amusement because the topic itself is so played out in that very context.

To be somewhat glib, Anti-German is soooo 2002. Actually, in terms of the origins of the tendency, it's actually soooo 1990, though obviously the Anti-Germanism which is an object of morbid fascination for the English-speaking left is more a product of 2002. In terms of being a distinct political tendency (or various related tendencies), the phenomenon itself seems to have run its course. Anti-Germans still exist of course, and still exert a not-inconsiderable influence in Antifa and left circles, but their glory days of provoking controversy in the left are gone for good, I think. At this point, one either uncritically accepts their postulates, or merely regards them as targets for ridicule. Anything correct that they say has already been accepted by anybody who thinks. What remains is a truly vile racist campaign against Muslims and Arabs.

The hardcore Anti-Germans, around the journal Bahamas and the Freiburg ISF, have descended into pure irrelevance and hermeticism. This is an unavoidable consequence when you declare the "German left" to be your irreconcilable enemy while at the same time, that very enemy is the raison d'etre of your existence. Without a sea of impressionable, well-meaning leftists willing to engage in good-faith debate, sectarians of any stripe will tend to retreat into their own narrow sphere.

The various "softcore" strains manage to plod on as well as any tendency manages to do in an already marginal radical left. The post-Antifa journal Phase 2 bears unmistakable traces of Anti-German thought, but the (now defunct) organization which midwifed that journal into existence, the BgR Leipzig, also has a healthy dollop of Foucauldian and post-structuralist influences in its theoretical arsenal, as well as aspects of Value Critique, which is ubiquitous within a certain age/milieu demographic on the radical left.

But what obviously fascinates so many of you, whether positively or negatively, is this tendency's perceived unique relationship to Israel. But an ambiguous and differentiated regard for Israel is pretty much standard among anyone with a brain and a capacity for critical thought on the radical left in Germany. Even declared enemies of Antideutschtum like Robert Kurz have assorted the necessity of "support" (a term I loath) for Israel's "right to exist" (another problematic phrase) as a consequence of anti-semitism.

A critique of Anti-Zionism as a manifestation of Anti-semitism is really nothing particular to Anti-Germans. You can find debate contributions stretching all the way back the 1970s and 1980s from the armed Revolutionäre Zellen or the autonome l.u.p.u.s. gruppe criticizing the ideological aspects of anti-zionism and anti-americanism. The only thing original about the Anti-Germans is in going way beyond a well-founded critique of ideology into a positive affirmation of particular nation-states.

Unfortunately, the freak-show novelty aspect of Anti-Germanism in the English-speaking left, as well as the utter theoretical decrepitude of its contemporary advocates, has ensured that any reasonable ideas the ADs might have once held will never manage to carry over into the Anglophone left.

That's a shame, really, since the Anglophone left does have a major problem with Anti-semitism. Not just a problem with Anti-semitism, but also a basic failure to try to engage in an analysis of what exactly anti-semitism *is*

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Jan 13 2007 21:30

o lick my crack you joker.

so tell me, what *is * anti-semitism, and could you give me some examples from anglophone left groups?

I suppose you mean articles like this:

http://libcom.org/how-the-jews-stitch-up-international-capitalism-and-ea...

Angelus Novus
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Jan 14 2007 00:15
Tacks wrote:
o lick my crack you joker.

so tell me, what *is * anti-semitism, and could you give me some examples from anglophone left groups?

An expression of incredulity at the notion that there might be anti-semitism on the left could be either an expression of touching innocence or a display of cynical bad faith.

Given the "lick my crack" comment, I think it's safe to assume the latter, so you'll understand if I refuse to take the bait.

Enjoy your proletarian affectations, "joker."

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Devrim
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Jan 14 2007 00:29
Quote:
That's a shame, really, since the Anglophone left does have a major problem with Anti-semitism. Not just a problem with Anti-semitism, but also a basic failure to try to engage in an analysis of what exactly anti-semitism *is*

Can you elaborate?

Devrim

IrrationallyAngry
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Jan 14 2007 13:02
Angelus Novus wrote:
An expression of incredulity at the notion that there might be anti-semitism on the left could be either an expression of touching innocence or a display of cynical bad faith.

Alternatively it could be an expression of hostility to someone making a sweeping assertion about anti-semitism on the "anglophone left" and then not offering any evidence to back it up. A hostility grounded in an experience, shared by many Palestinian rights activists, of such sweeping assertions being used by pro-Israel or pro-war commentators to silence or delegitimise the left.

I'm certainly not incredulous at the idea that forms of anti-semitism can be found amongst sections of the broadly defined "left", by the way.

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Jan 16 2007 04:11
Angelus Novus wrote:
Tacks wrote:
o lick my crack you joker.

so tell me, what *is * anti-semitism, and could you give me some examples from anglophone left groups?

An expression of incredulity at the notion that there might be anti-semitism on the left could be either an expression of touching innocence or a display of cynical bad faith.

Given the "lick my crack" comment, I think it's safe to assume the latter, so you'll understand if I refuse to take the bait.

Enjoy your proletarian affectations, "joker."

Its not bait. Please give me some examples of anti-semitism by anglaphone left groups.

And thank, i enjoy my affectations deeply.