anti germans

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poo
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Nov 19 2007 06:21
anti germans

Hi all,
I bumped into an old friend who has been living in Germany for a few years. he is an "anti german" which is a very strange thing.

short version is they are anti fascists who believe that as germany produced the nazis and the holocaust, then Germany as an entire society is hopelessly anti semitic and beyond saving. They wave Isreali flags (and sometimes US flags!) on anti fascist demos, and consider almost everything to be anti semitic, including the wearing of kefiyahs, any criticism of Zionism, and almost everything else.

This guy talked about "structural anti semitism" meaning (I think) that anyone who is not anti german and pro Israel is basically anti semitic and racist, and seemed to think the german working class were the enemy of all that is good etc

one explanation is here
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-Germans_%28communist_current%29

an anti german website in english is here
http://bikinibottom.blogsport.de/
check out the disturbing demo pics with Israeli flags

It all sounds a bit mad to me, kinda like primitivism in the USA, being so opposed to everything in your society that you end up supporting all sorts of crappy ideas (in this case uncritical zionism).

please discuss . . .

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jef costello
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Nov 19 2007 07:38

There's been a discussion on here before, search under anti-deutsch and you shoudl find it.
Apparently the anti-deutsch beat people up for wearing kheffiyehs among other crazy things. I think there's also some tension between them and antifa as well.

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Joseph Kay
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Nov 19 2007 08:28

is it really all that different to leftists swooning over third world nationalists? they've just bought into a different national guilt trip and have orientated their victim politics accordingly...

(that said, when you get leftists going on about how israel is conspiratorially behind everything in the middle east from suicide bombings to events in iraq, 'structural anti-semitism' seems as good a description as any since it clearly plays on the 'conspiratorial jew' archetype)

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madashell
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Nov 19 2007 08:32
Joseph K. wrote:
is it really all that different to leftists swooning over third world nationalists? they've just bought into a different national guilt trip and have orientated their victim politics accordingly...

Aye, they remind me of this mob more than anything else.

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Joseph Kay
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Nov 19 2007 08:34
Jack wrote:
Have you been rimming another member of our local?

didn't you get the memo? it's part of our internal diversity training.

j.rogue
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Nov 19 2007 08:38
madashell wrote:
Joseph K. wrote:
is it really all that different to leftists swooning over third world nationalists? they've just bought into a different national guilt trip and have orientated their victim politics accordingly...

Aye, they remind me of this mob more than anything else.

Oh my god. I don't know whether to laugh or punch.

Feighnt
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Nov 19 2007 09:19
j.rogue wrote:
Oh my god. I don't know whether to laugh or punch.

obvious answer: why not do both?

qwertz
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Nov 19 2007 12:45

wondered what people thought about this article that might explain some of the discussions in the German antifascist left

http://www.shiftmag.co.uk/topberlin.html

rasputin
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Nov 19 2007 13:21

I read an article from an anti-Deustch group a bit ago which was really pretty sane until it suddenly went mad. basically the argument was that many leftists view capitalism as being simply the sum of its most visible parts - McDonalds, Starbucks and Microsoft on the one hand, the IMF, the WTO and the World Bank on the other. this in turn leads people to view capitalism as a literal conspiracy of the elite rather than a pervasive social relationship which has produced a ruling class.

but apparently because of this, if you view capitalism as having an elite at all, you're echoing the anti-semitic World Jewish Conspiracy concept and are therefore a latent Nazi, because all references to "the ruling class" are guarded references to the Jews.

odd stuff.

qwertz - I read that article and most of it seems pretty good, this bit confused me tho:

Quote:
One of the inherent dangers of this logic is to fall into anti-Semitic stereotypes: the anti-Semitic ideology is usually embedded into a worldview, which ‘explains’ the evils of modern capitalist society. Capitalism in this worldview is not seen as a process, which arises following its own structural logic without a particular leadership, but rather as an exploitative project consciously put into effect by evil people. Historically, this way of thinking emerged in the 19th century in Europe in a time of to the rapid spread of capitalist society and the social upheavals this triggered. The anti-Semitic worldview thus consists of personification for non-understood economic and social procedures and draws upon the picture of the ‘Jewish capitalist’ that is deeply embedded in Western culture, which for centuries associated Jews with money. It can be displayed in talk of ‘the capitalists’ who ‘pull the strings’ from ‘the US East Coast’, ‘dominate the world’ and just can't get enough with their ‘greed’.

I really don't see how the first bit, describing anti-Semites depicting capitalism as a conspiracy for the enrichment of a Jewish elite, ties to the last sentence, referring to capitalism itself and those who are currently at the top. or do you consider all class analysis latently anti-Semitic?

apologies if I've missed the point entirely.

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Tacks
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Nov 19 2007 14:20

the last thread on this pretty much had the final word.

ronan
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Nov 19 2007 16:41
Tacks wrote:
the last thread on this pretty much had the final word.

and that was..."MUPPETS!!"

yoshomon
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Nov 19 2007 16:50

I think it's funny that anti-fascism competes with anti-imperialism.

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Tacks
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Nov 19 2007 16:54

its weird how what is effectively a radical mag (BaHaMas) written by a handful, mere handful, of dissident commies that comes up with this ridiculous antideutsche idea has actually translated this silliness into feets on streets.

To see people on antifascist demo's waving israeli flags is just fucking insane.

Well to see people on antifascist demo's waving israeli flags and not getting told where to go is just fucking insane.

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Tacks
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Nov 19 2007 16:55
yoshomon wrote:
I think it's funny that anti-fascism competes with anti-imperialism.

dude you should write to them.

not re your comment just tell them to fuck off. Are people aware of this silliness in Israel? I know a few of AATW have been to germany and one is banned from Denmark for insulting the monarchy or something.

yoshomon
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Nov 19 2007 16:56

The most insane thing to me is them marching through Dresden with American flags!

smokescreen
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Nov 19 2007 19:42

I guess it's a very weird thing to do with denial of the past without making the necessary adjustments for 60s of political change. A naive viewpoint at best, and dangerous at worst. Very much like that "We are all Hezbollah" crap. If that's their conclusion so be it, but if they get in the way of change they're just another bunch of liberal twats.

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Khawaga
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Nov 19 2007 19:53
Quote:
I know a few of AATW have been to germany and one is banned from Denmark for insulting the monarchy or something.

Wasn't that Netherlands? Handing out fliers against the monarchy on the queens birthday (which is a big deal there).

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Anarchia
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Nov 19 2007 21:32

Poo, structural antisemitism isn't what you described, its closer to

Joseph K wrote:
'structural anti-semitism' seems as good a description as any since it clearly plays on the 'conspiratorial jew' archetype

According to the friend that poo mentioned, the general feeling towards Israeli anarchists (assumingly including AATW crew) who go to Germany is that "they don't understand because they've never experienced antisemitism".

I've read a fair bit of anti-deutsch stuff (most of what I've been able to find in English) coz I find it interesting, as a Jewish anti-Zionist - I've even argued (semi-jokingly) with our friend that anti-deutsch is antisemitic in itself, in that its a bunch of non-Jewish Germans telling Jews that we need Israel to survive, (essentially) because we aren't able to find common interests with anyone but ourselves...

I've also read a couple of interesting critiques (cant remember titles, sorry) of anti-deutsch as German nationalism, albeit in an abnormal form.

For what its worth, poo, our friend seems pretty open minded when it comes to this stuff, and he's pretty mild on it compared to a lot of the anti-deutsch stuff I've read.

RedHughs
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Nov 19 2007 21:57

I agree with Joseph K. that dynamic isn't particularly different from leftist supporting whatever leftist gulag you might name. The main surface difference is that the anti-Germans have facility with a wide variety of anti-state communist/modernist Marxist and so-forth concepts.

This might fool those who think the hallmark of Stalinists is their crude style and understanding. That idea is itself crude in my opinion. Nationalism of any stripe is a social and psychological dynamic which even the most sophisticated thinker can fall into.

This raise the question of what purpose revolutionary theory serves. If an anti-German or Pol-Potist can make "advances" in value theory or the theory of state, what actually distinguishes revolutionary theory and how does it advance a potential movement for the end of capitalist social relations.

This deserves more discussion

Red

yoshomon
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Nov 19 2007 23:51
guydebordisdead wrote:
yoshomon wrote:
The most insane thing to me is them marching through Dresden with American flags!

This is the same group who carried a banner stating "Dresden: Noone was innocent". It's little more than a guilt complex, people comparing supporting the oppressed peoples of palestine to this sort of thing need to start being a bit more honest in their comparisons.

I wonder if there is an Anti-Japanese group in Japan that theorizes about the inevitable authoritarianism of the Japanese state and celebrates the atomic bombs?

I agree that this is a different phenomena that the crude anti-imperialism of leftist college students passing out pro-Hezbollah fliers or the PLO, though I have reservations about the wording of your comment (isn't "supporting the oppressed peoples of palestine" exactly the kind of anti-imperialist line we are all mocking?).

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Tacks
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Nov 20 2007 01:28

no.

sphinx
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Nov 20 2007 16:45

I have already made my views on Israel clear in the discussion around Hamas' takeover of Gaza here http://libcom.org/forums/news/palestine-situation-hamas-fatah-fighting , and my position is influenced by a reading of anti-deutsche theory. Unlike others, I think that the anti-deutsch have something to contribute to revolutionary theory.

For instance, whereas Yoshomon laughs at the competition between anti-fascists and anti-imperialists in Germany, I think that this has been a very important dynamic for developing a critique of the German nation-state and its imperialist motives. The lack of such a dynamic elsewhere has been at least a contribution to the culdesac of the left.

Tacks is wrong that the anti-germans only consist of Bahamas, actually a bit funny. The anti-Germans begin as a split from the Kommunistische Bund in 1989 over the question of supporting the PDS (Party of Democratic Socialism) after reunification. Bahamas was one publication, along with others like Konkret and later Jungle World, Konkret and Phase 2, which rejected the new 'euphoric' German nationalism and insisted on an anti-nationalist position.

I would argue that if it is now possible for Germany to be critiqued not only as a capitalist nation state occupied with preserving class society, but also in its specificity, as a modern democratic state built on the reactionary tendencies of the 19th and early 20th century (that gave rise to the SS), this has been possible by the emergence of partisan positions against Germany and their dialectic influence. Many on the revolutionary German left (non-anti-imperialist) recognize at least some contributions of the anti-germans to the modern critique of German nationalism and its imperialism (Kosovo, German troops for the Golan etc.). Although Bahamas is basically a liberal magazine now, groups like Phase 2 and Jungle World still produce interesting texts according to my German comrades.

I was actually discussing the anti-deutsche with a comrade the other day. I put it like this.

Look around you. What are the major tendencies in how people are thinking in relation to the war? But more than that, how do people consider their own agency... True, the Olympia protests are an interesting development, but on the other hand, I see a lot more hopelessness or abject faith in bourgeois democracy. Whereas the left of the 1960s had the Vietcong to project their own revolution onto, as a 'progressive' Stalinist movement, the anti-war movement today has no allies 'in waiting', none that embody any sort of ambition for a negation of capitalism. If anything the Iraqi militias represent an intra-communal civil war and larger, the 'local wars' of regional states.

In such a situation, where the clear bankruptcy of both sides is evident, why hasn't the internationalist position of 'no support for either side' become more widespread? How is it possible that this isn't the conclusion of the average working class person?

This has contributed to a situation where a critique of the structures that necessitate the war (energy-intensive, international capitalist economy) either does not emerge, or does so in piecemeal and reactionary ways (peak oil, 9/11 'truth' movement, energy alternative moralism) which are in turn easily channeled back into elections. One of the worst symptoms of this is a surge in the appeal of both anti-semitic ideas and crass negationism aimed at Israel. I am talking now less of the left, and more at the level of 'common sense', where it has become fashionable in America (and elsewhere) to infer that Israel's interests are the main reason for the Iraq war (Walt-Mearsheimer), that AIPAC is somehow stronger than the Saudi Lobby, Bechtel, Blackwater etc. A 'cabal' understanding of capitalism instead of a sense of its real, diffuse everyday presence. This paranoiac understanding of society is no doubt provoked by the all-encompassing 'war on terror', a secretive government etc. and thus is a bit inevitable, but it distorts any sense of internationalism (especially vis a vis Israelis), and has devastating consequences at the level of agency. If the cabal controls everything why put up a fight?

The interventions of the anti-Germans have at least been focused on attacking structural anti-semitism, and its consequences at the level of ideology. The photos intervene at the level of popular discourse. The Hezbollah flag vs. the Israeli one, the American flag versus the German one. However, unlike the right-wing sideshows at American anti-war protests, this time both sides claim the cause of social emancipation. It doesn't matter who 'wins' the silly battle. It is only important that the claims of anti-imperialism are challenged theoretically, in image and in action. It is from this clash that more interesting politics and deeper thinking can emerge. The jaded communists and anarchists will yawn, but at the level of everyday interpretation, there is a shift.

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Nov 20 2007 16:57

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Nov 20 2007 19:57

Eh, actually you'd be surprised at how wide spread Jungle World (as opposed to Junge Welt) is within the left radical/autonome scene in Germany, at least from what I could see. Don't know so much about bahamas apart from the split in which it came about. Phase 2 from what I'm told is a far more theoretical journal.

Trying to find an image of the antideutsch european map that relates to their slogan of poland must reach to the netherlands and germany fall into the sea. It has the netherlands about four times as big, poland stretching into the middle of germany, france also stretching up with denmark stretching down and I think austria was some sort of agrarian state, from what I remeber. Also remember, dusseldorf being renamed dusseldorp amongst other strange name changes for german cities. grin

Pepe
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Nov 20 2007 23:05

Don't they say use value or something is anti-semitic? I can't remember.... I just remember a german pointing to a chair...

It's important to look at what's unique about german culture, seeing as it was the only european country that went fascist in the 1930's.

Seriously though I do have some sympathies with anti-deutsch but at the same time it is a bit ridiculous.....

posi
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Nov 21 2007 13:08
Jess wrote:
It's important to look at what's unique about german culture, seeing as it was the only european country that went fascist in the 1930's.

1. Italy?!?
2. Why do you focus on 'culture', looking for an explanation? Because I've studied the rise of Fascism in Germany twice at school, and once at university, and I don't remember that being raised as an important issue.

And what does 'deutschland das existenzrecht entziehen' translate as?

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Steven.
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Nov 21 2007 13:44
posi wrote:
Jess wrote:
It's important to look at what's unique about german culture, seeing as it was the only european country that went fascist in the 1930's.

1. Italy?!?
2. Why do you focus on 'culture', looking for an explanation? Because I've studied the rise of Fascism in Germany twice at school, and once at university, and I don't remember that being raised as an important issue.

She was being sarcastic, posi.

ftony
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Nov 21 2007 13:45

italy was already fascist in the 30s, it didn't 'go' fascist in the 30s. not sure what that has to do with anything though...

according to babelfish, the banner means "germany existence quite extract", presumably actually meaning something along the lines of "wipe germany out of existence"

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Joseph Kay
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Nov 21 2007 13:54

i think it means more 'germany has no right to exist' or 'germany has lost its right to exist', but my nonexistent german is very rusty

yoshomon
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Nov 21 2007 14:16
sphinx wrote:
The interventions of the anti-Germans have at least been focused on attacking structural anti-semitism, and its consequences at the level of ideology. The photos intervene at the level of popular discourse. The Hezbollah flag vs. the Israeli one, the American flag versus the German one. However, unlike the right-wing sideshows at American anti-war protests, this time both sides claim the cause of social emancipation. It doesn't matter who 'wins' the silly battle. It is only important that the claims of anti-imperialism are challenged theoretically, in image and in action. It is from this clash that more interesting politics and deeper thinking can emerge. The jaded communists and anarchists will yawn, but at the level of everyday interpretation, there is a shift.

Why not critique anti-imperialists without supporting Israeli nationalism? Why not wave the black flag and denounce all nationalism? I think that the argument against anti-imperialism is weakened when one takes pro-zionist positions because waving an Israeli or American flag does not challenge anything.

I don't understand how deeper thinking and more interesting politics can emerge from a clash of competing nationalist ideologies.

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Devrim
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Nov 21 2007 15:30
posi wrote:
Jess wrote:
It's important to look at what's unique about german culture, seeing as it was the only european country that went fascist in the 1930's.

1. Italy?!?

October 1922

Devrim